Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tzatziki and Other Adventures

When I was ten or eleven years old, my Mum took my sister and I on holiday to Kefalonia in Greece. It was our first holiday that didn't involve sleeping in a caravan in somewhere terrifying like Wales.

I have flashes of memory from that vacation. I remember it being beautiful and I remember thinking that it smelled amazing at night time. I have a vague memory that I think might be the taste of honey. I remember the colors of the bougainvillea and I remember that I got an absolutely horrible sunburn.

I have a really weird memory. Lots of things are lost to me. My Stunt Guy clearly remembers conversations we had two years ago, but often I draw a blank. I can, however, probably recite entire episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for you, and I know pretty much everything there is to know about Anne Boleyn.

Anyway, after that family holiday to Greece, a couple of years later Mum went back to spend a week sailing with a bunch of other people. Evidently, and to me this sounds like the most amazing holiday, they spent two days learning how to sail a small boat with several other couples, then they sailed around the Greek islands in a small flotilla, anchoring up in bays in the night and swimming from one boat to another for visits. I think this was the first of my mothers amazing adventurous vacations. When she came back, she regularly started making Tzatziki. It became an easy staple in our household, frequently served with fresh sliced baguette. I love it for it's punch of garlic and it's cool refreshing bite. I'm sure my mother still thinks of Greece when she makes it. I still want to have all the adventures that she had. I think I still have time.


You can use store bought Greek yoghurt here, or you can make your own strained yoghurt which is incredibly easy. Set a paper towel in a mesh sieve over a bowl. Spoon the yoghurt into the paper towel and set in the fridge for an hour or two. Lots of liquid will drip out of the yoghurt and into the bowl, leaving you with amazing rich thick strained yoghurt.

8oz Cucumber
6 Mint Leaves
2 Cloves Garlic
6 Tablespoons Greek or Strained Yoghurt

Peel your cucumber, then grate it with a box grater. Squeeze out as much of the liquid in the cucumber as you can. I've found that the easiest way to do this really is to just use your hands.
Mince the garlic cloves and mint up finely. Stir all of the ingredients together in a bowl.

Serve with pita chips or a freshly sliced baguette.

Makes about 1 Cup.

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