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A childhood memory to share

As we grow older we look back more and more on how things were and used to be when we were young. We were busy with everyday life and our children’s memories and no time for ours. A specific memory came to my mind on something that had happened to me over 57 years ago when I was 13 years old in Greece that I will share with you. I always went to church on Sundays and always wore my special gold cross that my godmother gave me when she baptized me as a baby. It is custom in the Orthodox Church to be baptized a few months after birth and it is a very special event.

It is very important to choose a person the family is close to for as godparents they become like a second parent. It is also rather expensive for a person to become a godparent because they must buy a complete new white outfit and a gold cross with the name of the child engraved on it along with other accessories like blanket, shoes and so on. At the time of baptism is when the child receives their Christian name. It is a custom that the child is named after their grandparents … (for example my name is Angeliki and that was the name of my grandmother).

If you have had watched “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” movie, the names pretty much are very traditional like George, Nick, Kostas because they go down the family tree from generation to generation and it can be boring at times, but that’s a tradition although the young generations don’t keep some of the traditions and they fade away. I don’t know if it’s good or bad but our whole society has changed. We kept the family name traditions with our kids, our son George was named after my father-in-law, our daughter Niki was named after my mother and our daughter Sophia was named after my mother-in-law … so all the grandparents were very happy … our children did pretty much the same thing with our grandchildren and kept the same family name traditions so we have grandchildren named after Francis and that’s Franklin and we have Kiki named after me and also we have Nadia named after my father, and the rest of the girls named after other relatives. Anyway I just wanted to share that with you and give you an idea how we name our children, nothing creative about different names. LOL.

My godparents were my father’s brother and wife that had three boys and I was the girl that they didn’t have. They were very close through my early childhood and loved me very much. They gave me a very beautiful engraved cross which I still have and treasure very much up to this day. One Sunday I got ready — put on my gold cross and started the probably 12-15 blocks walk to the Church from my house. On the way I stopped at my uncle’s convenient shop to say hello and I loved going to Church so much I would go even if I had to go by myself. Friends would say that I would probably become a nun if this continued. LOL. This particular day when I arrived at church I realized that my special gold cross was missing. With tears I immediately left church to retrace my steps to see if I could find where I had lost it. My thoughts where how could I tell my parents and godparents that I had lost such a special gift. I had no luck finding it and stopped at my Uncle’s store to tell them what had happened and as I walked in the store to my great surprise my eyes caught a shiny little gold cross with chain in a corner and I ran and grabbed it and thought as a young child that someone gave me a million dollars.

Something like that can put a special meaning and remembrance in a child’s life. Believe it or not since that day I have never worn the cross again. It is safely locked up in a safety deposit box at a bank along with other very special childhood gifts. After 58 years this memory returned to me just a short while ago but will always be there.

SAVE THE DATES. A taste of the world international dinner with the Marietta Morning Rotary Club is Saturday, June 19, with first seating from 6-7 p.m. and second seating from 7-8 p.m. at 249 Pennsylvania Ave. in Marietta. I am very excited to be part of this great event and I’m going to make my delicious homemade Baklava, also my delicious homemade honey cake. I will be there to serve and see every one. Also very excited to announce and you can SAVE THE DATE in September I will have the honor and pleasure to be at the Blennerhassett Hotel once again to serve as a celebrity chef for the whole month of September, with my new and exciting and delicious menu.

SAVE THE DATE. The exciting 60th WVUP Birthday Celebration will continue monthly with new ideas and celebrations. Very excited to serve as a Community leader along with a group of dedicated local citizens. We are looking so much forward.

Until next week

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FIESTA CASSEROLE

1 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons cooking oil

3 (6 1/2 ounce ) cans chunk light tuna drained and flaked

2 (1 pound ) cans stewed tomatoes

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 eggs beaten

1/2 cup milk

5 ounces tortilla chips

3 cups shredded jack cheese

1 cup sour cream

Chopped parsley

Black olives

Brown onion in hot oil until tender. Add tuna. Stir in tomatoes and seasonings. Blend eggs and milk. Stir it into tuna mixture. Place half of chips in bottom of 3 quart casserole. Top with half of cheese, then half of tuna mixture. Repeat layers. Spread sour cream on top. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes. Garnish with parsley and black olives. Serves 6.

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PEACH CREAM ROYALE

1 1/2 cups of chocolate wafer crumbs

1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup butter melted

1/2 pound marshmallows

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 cups (a 1 pound 14 ounce can) drained and diced freestone peaches

1/2 pint Whipping cream

Mix crumbs and butter. Press 1/3 crumb mixture firmly in bottom of a 9 inch by 9 inch dish. In a sauce pan over low heat cook marshmallows with orange juice until melted. Cool. Stir in peaches. Whip cream until almost stiff; Fold peach-marshmallow mixture into it. Pour half of this mixture into pan. Cover with 1/3 of crumb mixture. Pour remainder of cream mixture over this and cover with the remaining crumb mixture . Chill-at least 2 hours. Serves 9.

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MAPLE MOUSSE

3/4 cup of maple syrup

2 egg whites beaten stiff

1 cup whipped cream

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon vanilla

Lady fingers

Boil syrup for one minute pour slowly into beaten egg whites. Beat for 3 minutes after all syrup is added. Set aside to cool. Fold in whipped cream. Add nuts and vanilla. Place in ice tray or shallow pan. Put in freezer and chill 4-5 hours. Serve in parfait glasses with lady fingers. Serves 4.

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