Saturday, September 1, 2012

It's all Greek to me

I had a surfeat of babies on Thursday. When I got to Tung Chung to meet Elaine and her wee new baby Amy, she had run into friends whom I'd also met once before and they had their new baby with them. Amy is beautiul and at I think six weeks, she seemed tiny... until I saw the other baby...he was only two weeks old. Now that really is tiny. It was a lovely morning, I got to hold Amy for a while but of course as an honorary  Grannie I just handed her back when she started to grumble.

Friday was very laid back. I had a nice lazy morning, then met two friends for afternoon tea. We sat outside  under a big shady umbrella. We had the whole showy thing; a two tier cake rack holding tiny sandwiches and various savoury nibbles, followed by scones with cream and jam then assorted cakes. We had so much to chat about, Lesley ordered a bottle of wine to continue. I rolled home at 6.15. After a nap and then our exercises, we went out for a late, light dinner.

Why is there a Greek title line? Be patient, here come the two Greek connections:

Tonight, we've invited one of Les' work colleagues to dinner. For some reason I said, "We'll have Greek food".  Now, I have no expertise or even any particular fondness for Greek cuisine, so it's a mystery as to why I decided that. Les sent him an email saying it would be Greek food, so the die was cast. Therefore, this morning's shopping expedition was interesting. It's amazing how many things you can't get once you've decided on a menu.However,two of the three starters are now made and in the fridge, the main is prepared which just leaves one starter, salad and 2 sides to do.  I could't find cod roe, not even tinned, to make taramasalata, but I found fresh orange coloured caviar type stuff on the Japanese counter, so just used that. Once I'd added the milk soaked breadcrumbs, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil, it tasted fine. Its just that it's a bit orange....... The hoummus was easier, our supermarket even stocks  tahini paste, but the canned chickpeas had skins on. It takes a long time to pop the skins off a whole tin of chickpeas. As he's from Wisconsin and now lives in Hong Kong, I'm banking on the fact that he's never been to Greece.

On my way back from meeting baby Amy on Thursday, I got off the train a stop early to investigate a shopping mall I'd walked through once before en route to an art event.It was the most normal shopping mall I've visited here, I think. Most malls are full of designer shops with high price tags and very few customers, or heaving with people heading to the ice rink or soft play area. This one was a middle of the road kind of place, with affordable shops, a big supermarket and an M&S. The only strange thing was the food court. The mall is called "Olympian City" Now correct me if I'm wrong, but that's Greek, isn't it? (Oh! maybe that was in my mind when I decided on Greek food) But the food court is laid out like a French village, with old wooden mismatched bistro chairs and Victorian style gaslamps and metal signposts.The facades above the food counters have fake lavender and shuttered windows. However, it served only Asian food so far as I could see and the whole bizarre ensemble was finished off with two giant medieval knights in armour guarding the exit.Not a hint of anything remotely Grecian.The wonton noodle soup with green vegetables was delicious, though and very good value at $27 (about £2.50)

Sunday morning update:
The Greek food was a success although I did have a moment of fear when he said that although he'd never been to Greece, his best friend at home is of Greek heritage and the mother used to make the most amazing Greek food... But no worries, he ate it all and even asked for the recipe for the taramasalata. We had a good evening, he's good comany, a funny guy and is very easy going. He's also only 29 or 30 and newly married, but his wife is still in the US, she'll be here in November.
Today we are off to revisit the Olympian Mall and then relax by our pool.That's if the pool is open. Yesterday we had a shower of rain and they closed the pool "due to the bad weather". The thing is, from our apartment, we look down on 3 other hotel rooftop pools and they were all open, people were just swimming about in the rain. We must have wimps for lifeguards.

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