Friday, June 17, 2011

It Ends With Something Sweet

The Sydney wind blew my perfectly straight hair today into a fuzz ball. It usually hangs long down to my waist. I’m scared to comb it for fear the whole lot gets pulled out. As I get older the hair falls out and I’ve noticed wrinkles on my olive skin face. Some I recognise from a bygone era of smoking the Winnie Blues. Others have recently introduced themselves to me. Hello Arseholes. I look out the window and know that I live in Australia. My eucalyptus tree needs some loving. Like my hair, its branches hang long and low kissing the aloe vera pot. There’s no koala in there though. She died of syphilis. Poor love.

My memory is also starting to fade. I’m not sure whether it’s because I am getting older or because I’m a parent now - a repercussion of pregnancy maybe? I know there’s plenty to do – laundry, cooking, dishes, and mopping but all I can think of right now is my son. The little guy who still says “no” to everything. Yet his vocabulary in English and Greek is so advanced. He can say and point to all his body parts in both languages. Parrots and understands all our words. He (not surprisingly) has caught on to the 'fuck' word. Not just your usual fuck – a drop in the ocean kind of thing. No, the fuck when he crashes his trike into the wall or drops his juice on the floor. Yeah that one. The emotion filled "I did a doozy but I know I shouldn't say it" fuck. He also has this ridiculous almost obsessive fascination for The Wiggles. “Wiggles, Wiggles, Dorothy, Wags, Henry, Wiggles, Toot Toot, Big Wed Car, Woogles”. I hear this every day, almost all day. He is relentless in his pursuit to force me to pop on any one of their DVD’s. The fucking colourful skivvy wearing Wiggles. Or better known as The Cockroaches back in the 80’s.

I can’t remember the last time I read a book from beginning to end. I have so many sitting on the bookshelf begging and pleading for me to crack their spines, flick the insects and delight in its words. Anything recent that resembles a book was to review BabyCentre’s Pregnancy Book – a favour for the editor and now in a plane heading towards a dear pregnant friends hands. I highly recommend it. I might just have to lock the bathroom door, sink into the bathtub, let off a soap bomb and pour a glass of red wine. Anything to help me unwind and to remember to be me again.

How is it possible that my beautiful mother, who is heading towards her 60’s and babysits my son 3 days a week. Puts up with the old man’s bitching and my younger sisters whingeing. Does all the housework because that’s what good-Greek-women-do yet can still pull off this delicious tasty treat for us to eat?

I’m definitely from a different generation.

KATAIFI - καταϊφι (Almond & Walnut Syrup Pastries)



• 1 1/2 cups almonds, skin on, roughly chopped
• 1/4 cup caster sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
• 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 375g packet kataifi pastry
• 250g unsalted butter, melted
• Syrup
• 1 lemon
• 4 cups white sugar
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 6 whole cloves


1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a 2cm deep, 24cm x 30cm (base) slab pan. Combine almonds, sugar, cinnamon, breadcrumbs, vanilla sugar and egg in a bowl. Mix until well combined.

2. Lightly pull pastry apart. Place on a plate. Cover with a damp tea towel to prevent pastry drying out. Using 1/2 cup tightly-packed pastry, spread strands out to a 7cm-wide, 30cm-long strip. Lightly brush with butter.

3. Place 1 tablespoon almond mixture along short end of pastry closest to you. Roll up tightly and place in pan. Repeat with remaining pastry, butter and filling, leaving 1cm between rolls. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden.

4. Make syrup: Meanwhile, peel 1 large strip of rind from lemon and remove pith. Juice lemon. Place lemon rind, 1/4 cup lemon juice, sugar, honey, cinnamon stick, cloves and 2 cups cold water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly.

5. Drizzle hot syrup over warm pastries. Allow to cool completely. Serve.

Enjoy! I know I will ....with my red wine.

“My creed is that; Happiness is the only good. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so.” ~ Robert Green Ingersoll.



    Your too hard on yourself - your mum sounds like a machine!

    That is so cool that your little man can speak both English and Greek, what a little cutie.

    The wiggles do my head in too, but kids can't get enough of them!

  2. Can you just pleeeeeeese make them for me???

  3. Mmmm yummy I want some toooo......doubt I could make it either...yes sometimes earlier generations actuallly expect too much of themselves worry about everyone else and dont take care of themselves..but they love it and thats what makes them keep going each day

    my mother in law came over once after my laparascopy to clean the house...she cleaned dusted cleaned even mopped the floor with a towel (long explanation why) made herself sick as she wanted my approval...god bless to then there were two sick ladies lying on the lounge...what I learn is I will try to be like that hurt myself in the process

    and your son is very talented and will enjoy knowing two languages

  4. Yummo on the recipe! This post cracks me up, mostly because I see lines and wrinkles that were never there before. And I pretty much just boo and hiss about it. :)

  5. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  6. PS How do we order the book as well on babycenter as last time I checked out of stock

  7. Try Amazon or search for it in other online bookstores. You can also contact the editor via the Babycentre website and find out when the next stock will be in.

  8. Mmm that recipe looks sooo good!Haven't heard of the pastry though-wonder if it's available in NZ? I recently read a book that wasn't IF or pregnancy related and it was bliss...I think in approx 7 months time though book reading will be a distant dream! I couldn't help but giggle that your son knows the right context in which to use the word fuck lol!

  9. Thanks I found the book on angus and robertson ..

  10. Oh I wantz!!!! But I suspect my chances of finding kataifi pastry in Hobart are 0. Sigh.

  11. Surprisingly Kataifi pastry is sold in major supermarkets. That's where mum bought hers. Look in the specialty sections. Otherwise a deli should also stock them.

  12. Great blog, I've enjoyed the several posts I've seen. I need to try this recipe too, it looks delicious.

  13. Your son sounds so cute- unfortunate that he's caught on to the 'f' word, but he'll learn when it's appropriate and when it's not. The recipe sounds absolutely yum, and I'm not all that adventurous. I'm here from ICLW- second time around for me.

    Best wishes,



Grace was in all her steps, Heaven in her Eye, In every gesture dignity and love" ~ John Milton. Thank you for your comments.