Elisavet was so kind in accommodating me so I could attend her cooking class. I was excited to learn more recipes I could not pronounce, but was sure they tasted very good. I arrived first after getting slightly, but not completely lost on the coldest London night I had experienced yet. The venue was nice and warm; very cozy. Elisavet was as nice as she was pretty. She spoke softly and welcomed me in. As the other students began to arrive, we were each handed a recipe sheet.
We all became acquainted over chopping boards and knives. It was a truly international class with people from Japan, India, Russia and mixed up Gringa Tica me. The kitchen soon got warm and the conversation began to flow. Everyone partnered up and took part in the preparations for the meal. Elisavet explained each dish to us and told us little stories of her heritage. We were all perplexed to find she was not a fan of feta cheese or olives, Grecian cuisine staples! I smiled to myself knowing that this probably always made people wonder, but I could definitely sympathize… Being very in tune with my North American heritage, I am probably the only US citizen that hates peanut butter, especially on PB and J sandwiches….
The class was lighthearted and fun. We learned how to make Gemista (stuffed peppers and tomatoes), Tanomenon Sorva (yogurt soup) and Politiki Salata (cabbage salad). Everyone participated and contributed. The room filled with smells of warm bread, baked spices and fresh cut vegetables. It never ceases to amaze me how food can create quick friendships. Elisavet set the table and we all gathered around to taste the fruits of our labor.
The dishes were fabulous! The meal was everything I hoped. The yogurt soup was very yummy, many of us were skeptical, but it was different and something I cannot wait to repeat (it was tangy, refreshing and comforting; kind of a Grecian version of mom’s chicken soup). The peppers and tomatoes we stuffed were also delicious, but the onion rolls we made with the same stuffing had me head over heels! At the end of our meal Elisavet passed out some honey cookies that were so succulent that they melted on your tongue. I am hoping she will pass that recipe along!
It was a lovely experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my last night in London. We all said our goodbyes, set out to face the cold and trudge back home. The cold was biting, but with a full stomach and a smile I didn’t seem to care. If you are ever in London, be sure to look up the Greek Food Lovers Supper Club; you are in for a treat!