Fittingly, as it’s Palm Sunday today, my thoughts turned to cake, of course, not just any old cake but Easter cake. In the UK Simnel cake is associated with Easter this is basically a Christmas cake with a seam of marzipan running through the middle. Decorated with another layer of marzipan on top, it has 11 marzipan balls around the edge representing the disciples of Jesus minus Judas who did the dastardly deed. Mainly a rich fruit cake it is quite heavy and although I like a good fruit cake I wanted to celebrate Easter with something a little lighter so my thoughts turned to Greek Easter and the cake that is cooked there to celebrate. I knew of tsoureki which is the Easter plaited sweet loaf baked with a red egg poking out the top, but I didn’t know the name of the Easter cake.
Looking for a recipe online surprisingly I discovered a delightful blog written by Anne Zouroudi an English author married to a Greek fisherman, writing detective stories based in Greece. I have never heard of her before but from what I have seen I can’t wait to get reading as the books look right up my street. She has put a familiar sounding recipe for orange and almond cake on her blog and it sounds delicious so I’ll be giving that a try. here is the link to the recipe http://www.annezouroudi.com/greek-winter-food/
I like a good detective novel and have read quite a few in my time. Rebus is the well crafted Scottish detective of Ian Rankin full of grit and grim dark Scottishness, then there is the Aurelio Zen series by Michael Dibdin with the magical Venice as background which I devoured one by one. I did the same with the No1 Ladies Detective agency series by Alexander McCall Smith which I found absolutely delightful, I could almost smell Botswana from some of the descriptions. After seeing the Inspector Montalbano series on TV. set in Sicily based closely on the novels written by Andrea Camilleri, I ventured to the library again to order these books in sequence, I had to stop after 13 as the most recent haven’t been translated yet. The fact these are all set in a foreign country; you could count Scotland as a foreign country to some; makes them all the more appealing to me as I glean so much more information about customs, food, language and so on. So I was thrilled to find a new series of foreign sleuth stories to keep me occupied and I am eagerly awaiting the two I have ordered on Amazon as I was too impatient to try the library this time.
It seems I’m not the only one to be attracted by books set in foreign parts as I have been approached by a new on line book club that specialises in such books, more of this in another blog.