Food Glorious Food – it’s all in “Androula’s Kitchen”

Following my last post of pictures of lovely food, my cousin asked me if I cooked any of the dishes and my reply was of course- I have been working my way through the recipes I collected for my book “Androula’s Kitchen” . I posted on July 27th the recipe for koupebia, – stuffed vine leaves, at a time when I was picking fresh vine leaves from my garden and using some fresh and freezing some for later use in the winter months, when fresh ones would not be available.

Good meat is essential in all the recipes to get the full flavour experience and I am very lucky to live near an organic farm that has exceptionally tasty lamb which I use minced for the koupebia and yesterday for moussaka.

In Cyprus all the meat has a wonderful flavour and I guess this must be in part due to the wild herbs and grasses on which the animals graze, as honey tastes differently depending from where the bees collect the pollen.

Even chicken eaten in Cyprus has a  beautifully full flavour. Is this maybe because the chickens are all free range?  I have no evidence of this at the moment, or maybe the chicken is a little more mature before killing and cooking it which will give the meat a fuller flavour.

The chickens we have in our local community garden, are two years old and as their egg laying value  is dwindling, discussions have taken place about them possibly getting the chop to make way for a fresh lot in the spring who will hopefully lay plenty of eggs for us. Once it has been decided who will do the deed, I only know it won’t be me, the meat will be put to good use in a tasty chicken dish which we will enjoy at our Christmas get-to-gether. So I will be interested to see what kind of flavour Tangmere chicken has. For the past month they have been pecking away in the strawberry bed, clearing away all the weeds. But will this mean they’ll taste of strawberry? What an extraordinary idea.

Ahh! food glorious food.


Finger licking good

I mentioned before that I belong to a community garden and we now have added hens to our patch. These are rescued from the  evil clutches …of the battery farm and seem very content in their new home  cluck cluck- a -chuck.

We have 8 hens to start with and a very organised rota of 24 people to take it in turns to look after them. Letting them out in the morning and feeding them and putting them away at night. They don’t seem to be laying too many eggs at the moment ‘though, maybe they think they deserve a holiday. But I have had one egg and it was delicious, so I look forward to gathering more. Of course this was a common thing in all rural communities to keep chickens both here and in Cyprus. Many of our members were born and lived in the countryside and have experience of being around hens. I was born in London… not a lot of hens where I lived, the only livestock in our garden was a cat and a tortoise.

But I am enjoying the experience so far and of course there is always one hen that has to be awkward when it’s time to go to bed and I found that hen on the first night, chasing it around the pen until it made a false move and hopped onto the coop in easy grabbing distance.

I remember when I spent some time living with my grandmother we were going to have chicken for dinner and my aunt grabbed the chicken to do the deed and crack snap that was that. I’m not sure I would be able to go that far but whose to say- if I was hungry I might. I do love roast chicken.

Chicken traditionally is eaten at the weekend in Cyprus, the most popular way is to boil it giving you a wonderful stock in which to  cook your pasta  to eat with your chicken meat and a little pile of yoghurt with some halloumi grated over it. Delicious.