Easter Ritual

If you couldn't stop in this is what you missed.....
This page will be updated as the day unfolds.....

Our household statue "Patel" (he came from Islin NJ) presides over a bowl of Greek Easter Cookies and wonderful Greek Easter Bread. Recipes below. Of course you also have to prepare the souvlaki, pastitsio, cheese and spinach puffs and the evening English Mixed Grill (A slice of leg of lamb reserved from souvlaki,bacon,breakfast sauages, baked beans, kielbassa, Italian sausage, fried eggs on English muffins, broiled potatoes and of course plenty of English style nut brown ale, English folk music of celebration....a good essential preparation for the hours of church to come).


You just can't have Easter without the reading of the Paas Box and then doing all the activities. You must read every word on the box-completely-then punch everything out and twirl the twirly tops around

Simulated image of Handy outside the cathedral....hand cutting re-enactment at home.

Time for Easter Vigil at the Cathedral of Mary our Queen. What else to drive but the Shrine to the Helping Hand. Handy! This year we got to the cathedral early-about 45 minutes....while waiting I took out the dolls and removed hands and started filling in a section that I had not been able to do because of lack of time and bad weather. someone saw me cutting off doll hands and the cathedral called the police. Wonderful tolerant people....anyway 6 police cars 12-14 officers and 20 minutes later they just suggested that it might not be the best place to do this....Ok...Maybe it was Peter Cotton Tail and the Easter Parade music coming from the car...Who knows. After the vigil we get home late....have a piece of Easter bread and get some sleep before the big day!

Of course the next morning is the work of the Easter Bunny.

You have to believe or you don't get any candy!

Next it was on to the Methodist Church.....no police called.
  Almost time for cheese puffs and souvlaki cooking.....
Recipes.....just click....

Minoan Easter Cookies

Greek Easter Bread

Cheese Puffs



To go to the top of the page click here.






Minoan Kolouria


Shape cookies like small snakes. An s figure. You can also do alpha and omega, braids, circles…
9 Cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
8 medium eggs, room temp.
1 pound unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 heaping teaspoon ground Masthia or 4 tablespoons brandy or Ouzo.
Almond slivers optional
2 egg whites
 Sesame seeds


1. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar and sift into a large mixing bowl.
2. Break the eggs directly into the flour mixture.
3. Add melted butter, orange juice, vanilla, and Mastiha or Ouzo and mix well.
4. Knead with dough hook for 4 minutes. Dough should be stiff. If not refrigerate over night or for a few hours.
5.Make cookies into shapes. Place on buttered cookie sheet. Leave an inch of space between.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Glaze cookies with beaten egg whites. Srinkle with sesame seeds and bake.
7. Bake till golden brown. About 25 minutes. Don't use bottom shelf in the oven.

Make a lot of these- generally if we do two recipes.

To return to the top of this section click here

Easter Bread


Spice Liquid
1 tablespoon whole cloves (ground works ok a pinch per clove)
3 large bay leaves
1 large cinnamon stick
3/4 cup of water.
(I generally make about 3 times this amount as the water evaporates )
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small pot reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Cool.
Do this step well in advance to give the mixture time to cool.
3 packages yeast (one package=1 tablespoon)
1/2 tablespon sugar
1/2 cup warm water

Crumble or sprinkle yeast into a small warmed bowl. Sprinkle the sugar over it and dribble the warm water over it. Cover with a warm plate and set aside. Don't do this too early in the process. First measure out ingredients and get the mixing started before starting the yeast.

The Dough
1/2 cup milk
1/4 pound butter
2 large eggs, room temp.
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 cups un sifted all purpose flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1. Scald milk set aside. (Do this right away.) Melt butter and set asside.
2 Place eggs in bowl of electric mixer and beat slowly for 6 minutes. Increase to high speed and ad sugar very slowly. Make sure sugar has completely dissolved. Add melted butter and beat for another 4 minutes.
3. Pour mixture into a very large mixing bowl. I find the kitchen aid mixer bowl large enough. Add lukewarm milk, salt, and vanilla, beat slowly to mix.
4. Strain lukewarm spice liquid and measure 1/2 cup into mixture stirring to mix.
5. Add yeast mixture and mix well slowly.
6. Start adding flour. About 1 cup at a time. First make batter and mix well then add the rest.
7. When all flour is added knead with dough hook for 5 minutes.
8. Set bowl in warm place to rise for 2-hours or so till double in bulk.
9. Punch down and let rise again.
10. Form into balls and put into greased tins. Ball with cross on top is popular. Or braid.
11. Color hard boiled eggs in shell with dark red dye. Dry and push down into the bread loaves.
12. Let rise till doubled
13. Glaze with well beaten egg yokes (2 egg yolks at room temp. 3 tablespoons warm milk.
. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
14. Bake in Preheated oven at 350 degrees. About 30 minutes till golden brown. Note- watch at end as the crust in the pan will be slightly darker than bread.

The large braided version is called a Tsoureki-it can be long or round and is made with three lengths of dough made into ropes and braided.


To return to the top of this section click here


Cheese Puffs


About 35-50 puffs.....
1/2 pound Feta Cheese
6 oz. cream cheese
1 egg (you can add up to three but I prefer less)
1/2 pound margirine melted
Box of Filo dough sheets (also known as strudel leaves)
Oregano, Garlic, Pepper
1. If feta is salty rinse or drain.
2. Place cut up cream cheese in bowl of mixer beat till smooth.
2. Add in egg(s)
3. Beat
4. Add in crumbled feta and mix - do not beat just till mixed in and not too lumpy. then sprinkle with oregano till surface is covered almost...mix then sprinkle with pepper till surface is almost covered then toss in garlic- I like about 3 large cloves chopped fine. Let mixture cool. Should be stiff not runny. If too runny add more feta or flour till it gets stiff.
5. Lay out one sheet of filo. Brush lightly with butter-not too much just dab here and there.
6. Lay out another sheet on top of the first. Brush lightly with butter as above.
7. Cut into 3-4 strips across the long dimension.
8. Place about a large tablespoon of cheese mixture on each strip at the top. Fold like a flag into triangles around the cheese mixture.
9 Dab finished puffs with butter. Cover and cool till needed.
10. Preheat oven to 425. Bake puffs on greased cookie sheet till golden brown. Turn over. Bake on other side. Serve hot.
Spinach Filling
Prepare cheese filling as above.
Chop one large or 3 small onions into small pieces. Put in frying pan with three tablespoons of olive oil and cook till transparent. Chop fresh spinach drain thoroughly and put into frying pan with onions  Saute the spinach until it is soft. Add the juice of one lemon, two tablespoons of oregano, one of chopped garlic and a teaspoon or more to taste of pepper. (this can be done to taste) Cook on low heat for about 30 minutes. Mixture should be dry. Or you can put into colander and press out all liquid until dry. Let cool until very cool. Mix into the cheese mixture and make puffs as above.

This mixture is also good as a large filo pie. Place about 12 leaves dabbing with margarine in between on bottom of cake pan. Add in cheese mixture. Place 12 leaves as below on top. Brush top well with butter and bake as above till golden brown.


To return to the top of this section click here


1. Obtain one leg of lamb de-boned.
2. Cut up 5-6 lemons into quarters, 5 large onions into quarters, 12 large cloves of garlic minced.
3. Cut up lamb into no bigger than 1 inch cubes. Place in bowl.
4. Cover lamb with oregano until top is almost covered. Then mix. do the same with pepper and mix.
5. Squeeze lemons then toss them in to bowl. Toss in garlic and then onions mixing inbetween.
6. Add 2 - 3 pints white wine sweet. Mix.
7. Cover and let sit over night.
8. Soak bamboo skewers in water over night.
9. Drain skewers and put lamb onion on skewers tightly.
10. Start the charcoal burning. When almost white hot grill souvlaki till well done and crispy.

To return to the top of this section click here


To return to the main Easter page click here.

To go to the top of the page click here.