Friday DH and I worked on making a new basket for his smoker. After a few hours, we came up with a nice box with a lip made out of exanded wire mesh that could hold a lot more charcoal than the previous bowl which came with the smoker. We'll get in the smoked meats tomorrow.
Saturday he had to work in the morning, so Rufus and I took a walk around the PO City Center. Rufus being Rufus made sure to greet every passer by, either by sniffing them, or just turning his butt to them looking for a good butt scratch. He had a great time trying to chase the squirrels (while on his 6 ft. leash). I tried to show him the little heron birds, but he just looked confused. We took a few laps around the lake - the weather was perfect. And then it was back home to do some house work.
Around 2pm my parents and I went to the 32nd annual Greek Festival in Daytona. I've heard they feed up to 10,000 people during the 4-day festival. My favorite is the Greek salad. The dressing must be homemade, the feta cheese is very fresh and the pepporcinis are always so full of flavor and juice. This year I got a small salad and a side of spanakopita - spinach and feta cheese stuffed into phyllo dough. My mom always gets the combination plate which includes spanakopita, tiropita (egg/cheese in phyllo), dolamades (meat and rice wraped with grape leaves), Greek meatballs, moussaka (sort of like Greek lasagna), rice, bread and a side salad. Yeah I know, it's a lot! There may even be other items on that plate that I've forgotten. My dad also got a large Greek salad, he knew from past experience he would be sharing from my mom's plate. Then it was on to dessert. We had to get loukoumades which is a bowl of fried dough balls smothered in honey and sprinkled with cinammon. What a treat. I could only eat a few before wrapping up the rest to take home to DH. I don't think he's a big fan of them, so next year I've got to remember to share a bowl with my mom because she was right, they don't taste nearly as good later as they do fresh out of the fryer at the festival. Interesting note: Just read this from http://www.wikipedia.com/ - "There is a Greek saying "Eisai megalos loukoumas!" ("you are a big loukoumas"), which is used when the speaker wants to offend somebody by calling him or her stupid."
And then there was the baklava. DH just LOVES a good, fresh baklava. Surprisingly, they're usually too sweet for me to have more than 1 bite. Baklava, I'm told, is actually pretty easy to make. It's made in layers, simiar to a lasagna. Typical ingredients: packaged phyllo dough, chopped nuts, sugar, cinammon, butter, vanilla extract, honey. And just layer those over a couple times. The other dessert in the photo is also in the baklava family, but it's made by rolling the basic ingredients in shredded wheat. That one was ok - but didn't pack the great crunch the traditional baklava is known for. So for now on, it's traditional phyllo dough baklava for us. And maybe I'll try to make it one day since aside from the greek fest, it's hard to get good, fresh baklava around here. Guess we could always send away for a delivery from Greek Town in Detroit. Mmm..Astoria Bakery. That deserves another post all by itself. http://www.astoriapastryshop.com/
Other tasty Greek cookies we've tried in the past were: Kourabiedes (Powdered-sugar-dusted almond cookie), Finikia (Cinnamon and honey-dipped cookie topped with walnuts). Koulourakia (Butter cookie with light sugar glaze).