I receive the same answer every time I ask the question: It’s easy. Puréed beets at the monastery, perfectly folded dolmades in Crete, and a midnight BBQ in the village of Nea Kalyvakia were all served with the same set of instructions. The response is neither disingenuous nor overly humble – it’s a matter of relativity. I learned by watching that appreciation for the process itself yields ease.
Throughout the evening spent at the family home of our host Eleni, conversations with our Traditional Creten cooking instructor reveal that the salt was collected by her father at the rocks by the ocean, the oil was harvested from the olive trees her grandfather planted, and the orange peels were boiled not once, but three times in sugar. True in every home, all ingredients are lovingly grown, collected, and compiled.
With a bit of patience, I try to apply this same amount of care to most things that I do.
I traveled to Greece in the summer of 2018 with my husband, his sister, and her boyfriend. We spent three weeks driving – and eating – throughout the country. We covered a lot of ground, so I will break up my story into city, country, islands, and the Ormylia Monastery.