food, pebbles and headstands

Delicious simple food cooked by a Greek Mum all home made the cheese , bread , herb pie and very very tasty peas and broad beans cooked in a fabulous way slowly with fennel and extra virgin olive oil. I'm even loving the table cloth. It's all good learning lots and being well looked after. The pebbles found at Therma beach here in Ikaria, are a stone collectors dream! The small bay collects and holds these wonderful little gems, so that they can be found when beach combing.


Dear readers,
it was my name day and I was planning a relaxed, unambitious post about the wonderful things an English couple who live in Ikaria do with pebbles from the beach, when all of a sudden the famous Jamie Oliver, after his visit to the Chiapas last month, landed on the island to look into our cooking and shoot scenes for his next show!!! I am still and always a bad cook (my only improvement has been towards safety but unfortunately not towards taste) so don’t be afraid, I am not going to go crazy about recipes. I do think, however, that the island has a wealth of natural, healthy foods and natural and healthy ways of cooking. But I am not going to go crazy about that either. This was planned to be a relaxed, unambitious post, and a relaxed, unambitious post it is going to be. I’ll just push Nik and Stef’s stones a bit to the side and make room for a few pictures of Ikarian food from Jamie Oliver’s instagram, plus a few shots with heavier stuff taken in Ikarian restaurants by adamansel52, a ‘food tourist’ who toured the island last month. Move your mouse over the photos to read the descriptions. Scroll down to find a surprise. Nothing to do with food! It’s just another Ikarian summer drawing near!!!

🙄 ^^’


Learning how to make Trahana from this loverly lady Maria. It's a very historical healthy whole grain cracked wheat cooked with goats milk soured and dried in the sun it's something very special and central to there diet. Delicious! A massive thank you to all the wonderful people of Ikaria that I met and worked with. this island has really touched my heart it's so natural and such a special place I can't wait to go back. The colours and textures are something to behold, and the variety of stones found I have not seen anywhere else. Quartz, banded agates, granite, jasper, and many more are found here.

A beautifully simple Greek salad the classic way with juicy tomatoes, olives and crumbly feta! Proper bold flavours and super fresh ingredients. The stones come from the sea of course, and also they get washed down from the mountain range on the island, if you go and look at the cliff faces near the beach you can see these very stones jutting out from the mud and rock; fascinating!

Cooking delicious wild herbs greens and pumpkin to be rolled in filo. Yum! Since I started beachcombing for colourful pebbles, sea glass, terracotta pottery and other surf tumbled delights, I learnt a few techniques that might help a beginner to this wonderful past time; and thought I would share them with you.


Ikaria 288 At Therma Nik and Stef from England have a business beach combing for anything that can be used to make jewellery, selling it online then shipping it all over the world.

Ikaria 200 Here I will be talking about all the wonderful stones, minerals, sea glass and other oddities that I find where I live on the Greek island of Ikaria.

Ikaria 175 Beach combing here is unlike anywhere else in the world, and is a stone collectors paradise! There are many beaches here full to the brim with all different types, colours, and textures of stones; the only limit is how many you can carry!


Taverna in Therma. The fish in sauce with salad and with bread was 8 Euros. I could have eaten spaghetti Bolognese for 5 Euros! The half litre of wine was 3 Euros. But at payment time she only wanted 10 Euros. All fresh, all local produce. With a fantastic sea view. I found these beautiful mustard colour beach pebbles whilst out beach combing on the north coast of Ikaria yesterday. But what type of rock are they...any ideas??

Ikaria 229 A lovely selection of substantial sized beach stones I found whilst out beach combing on the north coast of Ikaria a couple of days ago. The colours are amazing.

Ikaria produce on my kitchen floor. Wine, honey, olive oil, mountain tea, herbs, soaps, cosmetics. About half of it unlabeled, given to me as presents. A mix of wonderful beach finds from Therma beach in Ikaria, sea glass, pebble candy; and a sea shell! If you look along the tidelines, this is what you can find.


Αρέθουσα #here #forever #ikariamylove #daysinikaria #gipsylife by Sofia Pavlides (@so_soso7) on instagram Seychelles Ikarias. I believe in the good things coming ☀ #daydreaming #behappy #headstand #daysinikaria by Sofia Pavlides (@so_soso7) on instagram

Seychelles Ikarias ☀ #happy #grateful #daysinikaria by Sofia Pavlides (@so_soso7) on instagram Κυπαρίσσι #headstand #islandlife #daysinikaria by Sofia Pavlides (@so_soso7) on instagram


Sofia’s headstands in her: «Days in Ikaria» on instagram ^^’ ^^’ ^^’
Nik and Stef’s etsy shop: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


The Almonds of Longevity

Ikaria 112 by Eleni Ikanou on Flickr
Ikaria 112 
by isl_gr (Mnesterophonia)

in case you don’t know me, I am Nana (to agrimi),co-author in Eleni’s blog

About Nana

who though I have a blog of my own, chose to write and post this entry here. The reason is that lately the views of our blogs took off very suddenly! This blog in particular has received several hundred views over the last days!

What was the matter?

The last time we were that popular was in Minoan times when we recorded the fall of Icarus at the shores of the island.


Centuries after that we made a good score when we covered the declaration of independence of Ikaria as a communist state, making us another pocket of resistance to capitalism between Cuba and North Korea.


Asking around we found out that the reason of our sudden recent popularity was the issuing of this seven page article by Dan Buettner in the prestigious NY Times:

The Island Where People Forget to Die

Therefore it seems that the dream of flight and freedom and the dream of a communist egalitarian society both fade against the biggest dream of all:


which perhaps (if aging wasn’t involved) the next best thing to
Immortality 😇

A set from Ikaria by karstalipp on Flickr


But why does our island generate so many dreams?

I will tell you my opinion. I am an accountant and therefore, unfortunately sometimes I am on the practical side of things. The reason is nostalgia. The rough mysterious landscape (to the extent that outsiders are familiar with it) and our way of life (to the extent that outsiders are familiar with it) generates a nostalgia, a homesickness for old values, old raw ways, direct approaches to life, supposedly carefree and happy, forever lost in urbanization and globalization.

That was all I had to say.

We actually spend our evenings cracking almond shells. We have picked them from Eleni’s famous tree in the intro picture above. We sprayed the nuts with salt water, we roasted them and after they cooled off we stored them in glass jars. On these jars we have written:

Almonds of Longevity

The Almonds of Longevity

It’s funny. They taste slightly different – we think they are better than last year’s.

Do dreams have an effect on reality? Who knows? Come and see for yourselves.

Kisses from Ikaria


Nana to agrimi's blog



In the Olives lies the Income


Agios Polikarpos by cgchryssa

…said the fool of the village…

Είχε δει ένα τρελό καλοκαίρι στο λιμάνι φωτιά, τον ήλιο πάλι να πέφτει...

after the rain.

(Photo of the village and the olive tress by © cgchryssa , 1st photo of the fool by © Elena Lygou), 3rd photo of the fool by © Panos Louk

Mastro Nikos 
Was he right?
«yes» votes: 12
«no» votes: 1
«don’know»: votes: 6
«a fool is a fool»
: votes: 2


(11 total)


Great entry, stupid poll. But then again who knows? Maybe the answer is not so obvious for everybody. If you had put up an entry and a poll as commonplace as «In ecotourism lies the income», you would have many comments and votes.

in the river 2

But people who are on the net know very little about olive trees, the rain and fools!

Sunday September 28, 2008 – 04:03pm (EEST)

I like to collect olives. My boyfriend and I collected a lot in Ikaria last December. Great days and great nights too by the fireplace!

Sunday September 28, 2008 – 02:24pm (EDT)

I hope you come back this year too collect olives with us again.

Sunday September 28, 2008 – 09:59pm (EEST)

In principle I am very interested the olive, although, apart from consumption, all my knowledge is very distant.

But I am interested…

carob, olive and kerkis  olivehole


Are they really collected in December?? That seems very late. They don’t seem like Christmas things, like Satsumas do for instance.

I planted an olive close to the wall (1m) at my shared holiday house in France.
Am I a fool? Will the house fall down?? Can you move an olive tree?

How did Thales know what he knew dendrosophically speaking? He knew that water was important? Is it all-important?

Wednesday October 1, 2008 – 11:18pm (CEST)

ok, we have a full house now!
– The olive crop in the valleys and from terraces on hills is collected December the latest. The olive crop in the plains is collected sooner.
– Water is all important. The correct balance of water, that is.
– Olive trees are easy to transplant. You dig a big hole around the roots and then bring a crane to uproot the tree. It’s a nice tree, tamed and given to the humans by Athena the goddess herself. If the owners are hard working, the tree does whatever they want it to do. Even if you are not a hard worker, it is sufficiant that you talk to the tree every now and then.

(Did you follow the tradition and planted the tree when your son was born?)

– Who voted «no»???? A hawk of the stock market?

Friday October 3, 2008 – 03:56am (PDT)

There is also the sun.

«μέσα στον ήλιο αναγαλλιάζουν οι ελιές» = in the sun the olives rejoice
(The beautiful assonance of 4 «L»s in this verse by Kavadias is lost in the translation.)

Friday October 3, 2008 – 11:06pm (EEST)

I see in wikipedia

that there are some very long lived olives; they must be good at withstanding the hot and dry, as well as the frosty years. Also that they do best on poor rocky soils.

We planted ours as soon as we got the house. It’s not the mediterranean, but the soil is chalky. I may need to get a crane. And a beatiful tall straw hat.

Monday October 6, 2008 – 04:37pm (CEST)

After a few centuries people might call it: Simon’s Olive tree. The tree which the teller of tales planted and looked after. The tree under which he sat and told his tales. The tree that provided the oil for his salad and for the wheel of his eloquent tongue.

Monday October 6, 2008 – 12:37pm (PDT)

I voted ‘no’ not because I am a «hawk of the stock market» (:lol:), just a small business ordinary accountant. I voted no but because olive trees need A LOT OF WORK!

Tuesday October 7, 2008 – 09:19pm (EEST)

«…it is sufficiant that you talk to the tree every now and then. …»

I like that!

Wednesday May 13, 2009 – 01:26am (EEST)

That’s easy. The hard thing is to talk to the olive press factory man and stop him from polluting the rivers!!!!

Wednesday May 13, 2009 – 12:19pm (PDT)

page from my notebook (Ikaria, September 10, 2007)

There are vipers in Ikaria this summer.

This is rare

Vipers are usually found in drier, stonier and sunnier islands. Some say it’s because we have had a mild winter and a fine hot summer. Others say that there as few vipers as always, but because of the heat during the day they go near the houses to enjoy the water, the shade etc. Maybe this is why we see them around at night. This is rare too. I didn’t know viper snakes could see at night. Nana associates the fact with the lack of wasps this summer. Besides garbage, yellow jacket wasps eat a lot of insects and spiders, she says. Without wasps around, the vipers have taken this task.

Nana is a chick 100 years back, 100 years ahead; I have to look after her -:lol

There are also the grapes.

Photo by SpirosK © All rights reserved.

Everybody is busy with the grapes actually. Others still collecting, others making their wine, others worrying about the wine –if the must is going to take a good turn. It was a very hot June and July and many grapes became like dry currants: sour and without juice, useless. But the ones in more elevated and shaded places survived. The wine of the year 2008 will be very strong like dynamite.

rare muscat Ikaria

This is another thing people worry about. It’s hard to “make” a strong wine. It can “loose its way”. This what I hear (eavesdropping).

Inside Maneta's cellar 1  Inside Maneta's cellar 2

There is a mystic thing about the wine making process and women are sort of excluded from it. I am allowed to eavesdrop, though. Maybe it’s because I’m breastfeeding and I don’t have my period yet. Whatever…

We are leaving for Athens tomorrow. Nana wanted to vote (!..) I wanted to see Stavros (that was a figure of speech -in fact I wanted to be his slave for a while).

~also do some shopping for autumn…


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So, we miss you again Eleni. We arrive on Ikaria as you leave (almost)….I so much wanted Rowan and Sideraki to meet – maybe one day they will! I hear we will be arriving to chaos, but never mind as all will be normal again before we go. We leave on the 22nd – I don’t suppose you will be back? xx

Monday September 10, 2007 – 11:16pm (BST)

«Nana is a chick 100 years back, 100 years ahead»
I like that! So she is the perfect contemporary *chick* χαχαχα!..

Tuesday September 11, 2007 – 02:37pm (EEST)

Ah Jude! What could I do? Stavros and Nana wanted it. Nana felt a strong urge to campaign for the ecogreens and Stavros got a short leave and begged me to be in Athens. We are slaves of each other.

Thursday September 13, 2007 – 04:18am (PDT)

I understand. Ikaria has made me a slave to herself and others and I am also pulled from time to time. When you go back there, Rowan has left a small token for Sideraki, it will find its way to him.

Sunday September 23, 2007 – 09:59pm (BST)

WHAT? Rowan left a token for Sideraki in Ikaria? I have to get back from Athens (and my escape from there to the Middle Ages 🙂 very soon!

Monday September 24, 2007 – 12:48pm (PDT)

Worse than Wild Fire

The Athenians are depressed and angry and bitter about the loss of so many trees on Mt. Parnitha. Take comfort ’cause there is something much worse than wild fires. And that’s the loss of the earth itself!!! Take a look at
Κυρίες και κύριοι, με λύπη μου και ντροπή σας παρουσιάζω
το Θάνατο ενός Δάσους, ενός Ποταμού, ενός Όρους.


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rockyrunnerbird Pro User says:

What happened?
Posted 13 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

too many goats !
Posted 13 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

I’m just wondering why my friend «peppeta» added it in his *favs*. Is it because it reminded him of his fellow countryman Antonioni’s film «Zabriski Point»?
(those who don’t know, type «Zabriski+point» in Google images)
Because something that’s utterly bad can turn into good.

Posted 13 months ago.

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Peppetta says:

Somebody like it naked
Even if I love Antonioni, I added it in my favs becouse I love dry, naked, mediterranean landscapes. This place remind me of my thirsty land. Puglia too can be so dry. Desert is coming and this beautiful shot is screaming it loud. And, last but not least, there’s too much eros in my favs, I need some tanatos to balance it.
Posted 13 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

(me too likes it naked but not too dry ’cause it hurts -aooch!)
I doubt you have so many mad starved and thirsty goats in Puglia or Bari and the rest of the coastal towns would be flooded or gone thirsty to extinction. Goats should not be subsided by the E.U. On the contrary they should be totaly banned. It was a good idea some 7000 y. ago but not anymore. The same is for hunting etc.
I’m not going to have children in some kind of «our-own-Ethiopia» and loose them in a land and rock avalanche afterwards.
Posted 13 months ago.

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simonsterg Pro User says:

What’s that about having children?
That sounds like a good idea – I’m sure they would grow up to be ‘The Man / Woman who Planted Trees’.
Posted 13 months ago.

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angeloska says:

‘El’ : I’m sure the E.U. bureaucrats have no idea. They should be sent tons of photos like this. Brave of you to have posted it. The worst disasters happen gradually and silently and in places hardly anybody visits or takes notice.

‘simon’ : are you speaking of the famous ‘cartoon’ film with the man who planted oak nuts? Or about that modern German artist who did the same for real and as art? Or the cartoon is inspired from that artist? Do you know?
Posted 13 months ago.

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simonsterg Pro User says:

I have a very slim volume called ‘L’homme qui plantait des arbres’ by Jean Giono, first published in 1953, about a man who planted acorns…
Posted 13 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

-> Jean Giorno’s is the script of the cartoon, actually a 10′ b&w classic masterpiece.
-> «the German artist» was Joseph Beuys. Not just «a German artist». Buys was BIG in Conceptual Arts universally. See
The particular artwork is «7,000 Oaks for Documenta 7»

NOTE: Beuys was a Stuka plane pilot during the war. Doesn’t this photo remind of craters from bombs?
Posted 13 months ago.

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angeloska says:

ααα, εσύ κορίτσι μου δεν πιάνεσαι με τίποτα…
Τι μια φορά «οικολόγος», την άλλη με τα Στούκας.
Κάτσε λίγο ήσυχη να ηρεμήσουμε κι ότι είναι να γίνει, ας γίνει…
Posted 13 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

Posted 13 months ago.

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simonsterg Pro User says:

hi el!
my class of 6 year olds are learning about the forest now, yes, Bouconne itself…
– can I print this («all rights reserved») picture out to show them?

I got hold of that cartoon of The Man Who Planted Trees and we watched it.
I am contemplating some kind of drama…
Posted 3 months ago.

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angeloska says:

I saw «The Man Who Planted…» on TV ages ago. My son who was 6 then, was very excited. If I remember well, it’s based on a true story from before the war. There is a similar story about a woman who planted oaks in Ikaria. They called her ‘Lunny’ Maria Sarantaina.
Posted 3 months ago.

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simonsterg Pro User says:

I think «The Man Who Planted…» is fiction, but you do hear of people that have in fact done it for real. I’m glad Ikaria has one! Are there trees there still? Or is the story vague? Or have the goats got there??
Posted 3 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

The story of Lolo-Maria Sarantaina is clear and true. I think that many of her oaklings died because there was war and famine and she had no strength to climb the mountains to water them. She was believed to be mad in her time but now they have raised a small stele in her memory.

*** btw, did you know that there is a league of jet pilots who plant trees because they feel bad about the greenhouse gases caused by jet flights?
Posted 3 months ago.



(5 total) Post a Comment

Εκτός από την Αιθιοπία που πολύ σωστά αναφέρεις (που το θυμήθηκες;), λίγοι γνωρίζουν ότι αυτός ήταν ένας από τους λόγους που καταστράφηκε η οικονομία της γειτονικής Αλβανίας. Οιτσελιγκάδες εκεί ήταν από τους βασικούς υποστηρικτές του Εμβέρ Χότζα. Εξαιτίας της αποψίλωσης των δασών και της ελεύθερης βόσκησης, η ύπαιθρος ερημοποιήθηκε τόσο ώστε ακόμα και τα περίφημα Κινεζικής κατασκευής υδροηλεκτρικά φράγματα γέμισαν άμμο και σταμάτησε η παραγωγή ηλεκτρικού ρεύματος. Αυτή τη στιγμή η Αλβανία όπως και η Ελλάδα είναι από τους μεγαλύτερους εισαγωγείς ζωοτροφών.
κτλ. κτλ. κτλ.

Wednesday July 25, 2007 – 06:23pm (EEST) Remove Comment

Greece is burning, England is floading, the south and the north, the extremes are getting extremer.

Friday July 27, 2007 – 03:03pm (PET) Remove Comment

@ ‘Leo’ : maybe you are right; but for me who travel a lot because of my work and family, I am used to these extremities. In case you are right, let’s see this as an extra motivation for us to eliminate the wrongs in the environment and in our socities.

Sunday July 29, 2007 – 12:46am (PDT) Remove Comment

Και φαντάσου πως όταν έγραψες το blog ήταν μοναχά η αρχή….Δεν θα συμφωνήσω με τον ΑΚΚ πως η ελεύθερη βόσκηση είναι αιτία των καταστροφών. Οταν υπάρχουν αρκετοί βοσκότοποι υπάρχει φυσική τροφή για τα ζώα. Οταν οι βοσκότοποι μετατρέπονται σε βιλλίτσες και τσιμεντοποιούνται νομίζω πως είναι πολύ χειρότερη η καταστροφή……

Tuesday July 31, 2007 – 11:05pm (PDT) Remove Comment

Ειναι και τα 2. Και καμια 20αρια παραγοντες ακομα. Δεν υπαρχει καμια ελπιδα . Τουλάχιστον οχι απο μας του λογογραφους. Μονο το agrimi ξερει και δινει το στιγμα (σημα;) του μελοντος. Αν δεν τη τουφεκισουν για περδικα, εννοειται.

Wednesday August 1, 2007 – 01:28pm (PDT)

I’m learning to cook …SOUFIKO


-a soul warming country dish-

3 to 4 long thin eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices


1/2 cup olive oil

4 to 5 medium onions, peeled, halved and sliced

2 to 3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch rounds

3-4 plum tomatoes, peeled, cored, and sliced (with juice)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon dried oregano


1. Douse the eggplant slices generously with salt and let them sit in a colander to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse them thoroughly afterward, drain and pat dry:

2. In a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onion slices. Stir to coat and soften, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the eggplant and zucchini to the skillet and stir gently to coat with oil. Add the tomatoes and stir. Season with garlic, salt and pepper. Cover the skillet, lowere heat to low, and let the vegetables cook slowly until they are soft and have almost fallen apart, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the cover, season with oregano, and cook the mixture down until pan juices have almost evaporated, another 10 to 12 minutes. Serve hot or cold.


1. No mumbo-jumbo! This genuine Ikarian dish was recorded by Diane Kochilas and published in her book «The Food and Wine of Greece -More than 250 Classic and Modern Dishes from the Mainland and Islands of Greece»,1990, St. Martin Press, New York. The author cites her source, a certain Argyro from Rahes Ikaria, who I assume, is the photographer Christos Malachias wife.
2. Unfortunately we couldn’t have all the ingredients fresh out of an Ikarian garden as Diane suggests. Eggplants and zucchini we bought from the market at a rather high price because their season is past. We were able to find good natural tomatoes though, and Nana is always well provided with excellent olive oil from Crete.
3. The recipe worked! No big deal. It was easy -much easier now for me because I don’t smoke and don’t go absent-minded and talk about this and that and miss the right timing.
4. For a wine to go with Soufiko, Diane suggests an Ikarian muscat or ordinary Retsina. But we said that any good wine is good. I had half a glass of beer and it was fine.
5. We didn’t serve it with rice (pilaf) as the author says. It would be too vegetarian and we have hard-working men in the house. So Nana put half of the Soufiko in a pan and scrambled eggs in it. It was «Soufiko-Scrambled Eggs» and the boys loved it!
6. Bread is essential.

bon appétit


(4 total)

So the boys loved it? Soufiko with eggs was the only Soufiko I knew. We put slices of sausage or lard in it too.
Diane is a friend and Argyro is a relative. Your assumption about her was correct.
Oh yes… Bread is ESSENTIAL.
What’s for next week? What about a pie? What about pork with fennel? This is my favourite Ikarian dish. There is no fennel here now but you may find some in Athens.
Μμμμ… yum… Χοιρινό με Μάραθα : our own fricassée

Saturday November 11, 2006 – 10:20pm (EET)

Does Diane still run her Villa Thanassi? I met her a few years ago and had a lovely meal there – I have her books and the best Greek (some say only!) recipe I do is based on her spanakopitta!

Saturday November 11, 2006 – 11:43pm (GMT)

PS The Soufiko sounds wonderful. I am inspired to try this also. Will let you know how I get on, minus the sausage and lard – sorry Angele, I’m a veggie!

Saturday November 11, 2006 – 11:45pm (GMT)

Hi Jude! I’m happy that you were interested. But it has to be extra-extra good olive oil. All these Greek «ladero» (cooked w «ladi» =olivoil) dishes are based on this.
saucage slices and lard? bliah…
Pork with fennel is a good thing though. Yes it can be like a «fricassée» -the scientist here says…

Sunday November 12, 2006 – 03:50am (PST)

«my own Ikarian» waterfall comes from Tarascon, France !




This is a small waterfall in Tarascon, France. The photo was taken by the son of a friend  in Flickr.

I was surprised when I saw this photo. I thought it was from Ikaria. As you can see, there is a stonewall behind the fall. As if this was man-made or there was a cistern or a small lake behind it. If this was in Ikaria, there would usually be a garden below. The water would jump over the terrace and flush down to water the garden.



I 🙂 like to plant potatoes when I am in Ikaria. I have a weakness for «pommes frites». I got it in the country where I was born and raised. I also like the looks of a potato field. They are very neat and orderly and all the good stuff (the potato) lies underneath inside the earth. I do all the hard work and when I leave, my neighbours keep watering the potato garden and then when it’s time they just unearth the potatoes and store them (easy job). We share the crop. They give me a big bagfull when I return in autumn.
The water for my potatoes comes from a cistern very near «the barn».



It used to fill on its own every 2-3 days in summer but now it is connected with the water network of the village through ugly plastic pipes. Our turn to get water is again every 2-3 days like before, but now with the pipes we get our water from the mountain and we don’t loose the crop even when there is draught and water shortage.

In Ikaria we water our gardens early in the evening. The day when it’s our neighborhood’s turn to get water, I turn on the tap in the morning and the cistern fills slowly until the evening. But one day I forgot myself at the beach and came back home late when there was just enough light to see and to water my potatoes.



Still in my swimsuit I rushed to the garden, opened the «door» of the cistern and let the flow flush. It was a magical moment (very much like in the poem -1st page, beginning) and an evening of a very warm day. So while my potatoes were being watered I stood under the small waterfall and I was also «being watered» : washed the seasalt off my hair and body.

This happened many time during last June. Since then I’ve been thinking to make it a regular habit. People have gossiped about me running around in my garden all wet in my swimsuit and my legs all muddy, but down deep they don’t mind. On the contrary they 🙂 are happy because I «keep the traditions». Gardens in Ikaria is a religion. Anyone who «puts» (as they say) a garden (unless it’s not for :/ hash), no matter what his appearance may be, is a good person on principle.

splashSo I’m going to push this forward. I’m going to improve the site of my private waterfall and turn it into a «shower». What it needs is some flat stones on the floor so that I don’t get all in mud. I’ll also have to plant some flowers around the basin like in sam fin’s photo to improve the privacy of the place. I would have done this already this year, if it wasn’t for this Flickr addiction of mine. At least I didn’t sacrifice my potatoes. There is a limit to the virtual, digital world : 1) my 😛 stomach. And then the thought of how beautiful and delicious my potatoes will be, is one of the things that keep me going and working and spending a summer in a foreign land.


(in case you wonder what I’m talking about, oh passers-by, just read once more and more carefully

the main title of my blog,  «This blog is about…»)



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A Doctor writes: Now I Know why you love Erifi so much – it is the thought of that crazy man who tried to fill the place with potatoes. Potatoes are good for the soul.

Monday June 12, 2006 – 03:10am (BST)

I too have potatoes. But I think the moles are eating them. I do know that when I put the hose down the mole hole next to the potatoes it swallows up any amount of water. There is a whole mole kingdom under those potatoes.

Sam Fin hasn’t seen this yet, but he will be happy that his picture is famous!

Monday June 12, 2006 – 08:04am (CEST)

I have put in a garden every year for about 25, but this season decided to take a break so I could hike and fish more. I have only garlic in, and it will come out next month, oh yes and rhubarb. I’ve eaten pomme frites in Amsterdam, almost lived on the damn things for a couple weeks. Also have grown spuds, as we call them here, but quit because they are so cheap in the market and I needed the garden space for my salsa stuff, onions, peppers and tomatoes. Potatoes, by the way, are native to South America, I think the Maya cultivated them.

Monday June 12, 2006 – 07:49am (PDT)

Πανικός ! Κανείς δεν θέλει να σκάβει τη γη ούτε και για χόμπυ. Όλοι προτιμούν να κάνουν τις πιο άθλιες, άχαρες, ακόμα και παράνομες δουλειές παρά αυτό. Είναι έξω από το lifestyle (βλέπε *οικονομία της αγοράς*) Έτσι όμως που τα γράφεις, ξαναβάζεις τα πράγματα στη θέση τους. Το σκάψιμο δεν είναι *βλαχιά*. Είναι θέμα άποψης και στυλ. Για να μην πούμε ότι το ίδιο νερό χρησιμοποιείται δυο φορές και γίνεται οικονομία.
Το τμήμα Modern Sustainable Lifestyle Studies του USDA χειροκροτά. Όμως έχουμε και μια ερώτηση: τα υπολείματα αντηλιακού στο νερό κάνουν καλό ή όχι στις πατάτες;

To all readers, friends, commentators: the one and only dish my friend Eleni can cook and cook well (& w/o burning the house) : «pommes frites» -patates tiganites !

Monday June 12, 2006 – 08:06pm (EEST)

Nana, please tell me, what is your connection with the USDA – as in U.S. Department of Agriculture?

Monday June 12, 2006 – 10:42am (PDT)

@ are you magic? I have a «blog search» on and just found

This Ikarian/American is talking about (ex-french) fries! + a sandwich supposed to be an Ikarian invention ! What’s going on?

@ the USDA (a honoraty staff member myself due to special services) is a joke and it means «University of the Streets of Down Town Athens». So it would better be called USDTA but never mind. Nana is the *dean* because she 1) is a woman, 2) she beats everybody in «ouzo» drinking, 3) she works harder than everybody else, 4) she gives 1/2 of her salary to the poor people and immigrants downtown outside their shop (there are many).

Monday June 12, 2006 – 10:31pm (EEST)

hOw hAPpY I am that we I can share my *weakness* with you.

Yes, potatoes are good for the soul. I think that most edible things that grow under the surface of the earth are good («ψυχοφελή»). Now they import potatoes from Egypt during the summer. Though the best potatoes (in the world?) grow in the neighbour island, Naxos. Ikaria produces a lot of good olive oil and Naxos the best potatoes, so I guess we could put a big frying pan somewhere midway between islands in the middle of the sea.

Potatoes are good for the soul. Other women I know boil spagheti when they are sad. I fry potatoes. The chssss sound and the smell of oil, apeaces me. *good hydrocarbonates* as Nana would say. Some yoghourt to go with them. It should be *tzatziki* ( «white sauce» as the Ikarian/Americans say; loL) but my tzatziki either looks like cement or it is *white (yoghourt+cucumber+garlic) soup*.

Tip: when you they serve you fries in Greece and you see origan on them, there is something wrong, the potatoes or (more often) the oil. Origano has this ability to cover all faults. Take a bad cook’s word. Origan is very suspicious.

The Mayas: yes, potatoes like heights and I think it is correct that they were first *tamed* in Peru. There’s nothing better than potatoes to save an isolated population from hunger. It has been proved in Ikaria where wheat can’t be cultivated succesfully (is this perhaps the reason why Ikarians though very religious, are not exactly «christian»? tend more to the wine than to the bread? )

I call myself a traveller but I’ve never been outside Europe. When I am in Ikaria sometimes (& in some places) I like to think that I am in Peru or New Zealand. Or Africa ! Hey, *da man doctor*, no doubt it was *da man* Angelos who ‘s tipped you off about Erifi, eah?

Blogs: oh man, there have been some really wild blogs about Ikaria on the net recently.

@ Simon G : go on and spot more «Ikarias» for me in this universe. There are so many and I am delighted to follow you.

απομειναρια αντιηλιακου : ρε Νανα, αφου τηγανιζουμε τις πατατες στο λαδι, τι πειραζει να εχουν πιει λιγο αντιηλιακο πριν τις κοψουμε; Αχ, εσεις οι νεαρες επιστημονισες καμια φορα…

My next entry will be about A BIG WATERFALL. Not to water potatoes this time…

Tuesday June 13, 2006 – 12:35pm (PDT)

Eleni’s (test) poll about Agriculture

Basically this is a TEST to see how «create a poll» works


In order to do me the honour and vote, I don’t think you need to be «connected» to my blog.
If you have a Yahoo ID, it’s probable that you will be able to vote using only your Yahoo! nickname and password.
Also, you don’t have to be too serious in casting your votes. I’ll tell the Greek Image PM (who reads my blog) not to take any important desicions about Ikaria judging from the results of this poll. It’s all «off the record» and completely unofficial -just one more of ImageEleni’s endless tricks & teases…

So let’s see how it goes.

thank you

Eleni Image


What should we grow on the terasses of Ikaria?

What should we grow on the terasses of Ikaria?
thorny bushes/cactuses
nothing -leave them alone and wild
whatever -just take care that those ancient stonewalls stand in place


(9 total)

Sorry PM, I voted ‘flowers‘ – but now that I think about it, perhaps this may not be good for the ikarian economy. Just a whim, really.

Sunday May 28, 2006 – 07:53am (CEST)

no votes for marihuana? Come on now…

Sunday May 28, 2006 – 03:11pm (EEST)

I was tempted.. but the stone walls are tooooo important! They are a trademark of the island.

@AKK: We hiked a trail today from Pigi to Kampos, which Mihalis said you’re «clearing».. However, I must say that in places it was looking a wee bit .. shall we say.. over-natural 🙂

Sunday May 28, 2006 – 02:07pm (EDT)

so you hiked on a part of *the trail of the elves*
I left and the negociations with them were not concluded, hence, the *over-natural*. And to think that in other countries governments pay for this works. Oh, there are times I wish the Greek Pm didn’t read my blog like a comic book …
@Ψ have 2ice a good time in Ikaria ! ((-:I hate you:-))

Sunday May 28, 2006 – 12:43pm (PDT)

I voted for thorns ! Now the PM will be very confused. It was not a whim. I just love wildberries or blackberries or whatever they are called. I also like the «figues de barbarie» (frango-syka) the fruit of the cactus and I have a special (German made !) tool to collect, peel and eat them !

Monday May 29, 2006 – 11:45am (EEST)

(…fields forever..)
They grow with big success in the mountain villages. They adapt so well that once planted, they go on growing wild. I should have told you on time so that you added it in the poll.

Saturday June 3, 2006 – 10:12pm (EEST)

Of course, I would have voted for them! R has been re-named Fraoula. It all started when she ate your stawberries AKK – she has them every day now!

Saturday June 3, 2006 – 11:11pm (BST)

That might have invalidated the whole survey now, adding strawberries in after we have all responded. You can’t just add strawberries! We might have voted for it! Now it makes it look like they are unpopular…

Then again if there are lots of snails, strawberries could be a ‘high-maintenance’ crop!

Monday June 5, 2006 – 01:11pm (CEST)

No no no … This was a test poll and thank you very much for taking part! Besides my friends, many others see it and I hope they can vote using just their Yahoo IDs.
Ah, by the way, I haven’t told you (you asked me and I didn’t answer in Flickr). I was planting potatoes this year !
I enjoyed it because they look so good (& orderly -this is my small vice) as young plants. Then I left and didn’t eat any. When I return, my good old neighbours will have kept a bagfull for me so that I can add up some weight again.

Monday June 5, 2006 – 05:03am (PDT)

The Vine on April 01, 2006



-there’s been too many

-so shut up and dig now, dig, dig, dig

-there can’t be a better setting than this.


I may write about the vine sometime, though,
and break Imageanother rule because it’s thought
to be a man’s job.
I’ll think about it…

In case I don’t write, it’ll be up to you then. So think about this:

What’s wine ? Wine is (according to me)

«a liquid landscape in the sun»



(lights, cameras, set, shoot)

This is what Eleni Imagesays in full awareness of the consequences of the law.



(5 total)

Εγώ, ξέρεις, δεν είναι στα προτερήματά μου να είμαι καλοπροαίρετη, γλυκιά, συμπονετική και τα ρέστα. Θα το πω λοιπόν χύμα: μήπως κάποιοι είναι εντελώς τυφλοί (για να μη πω τίποτα χειρότερο) στην Ικαρία; Οι Δήμαρχοι π.χ., οι επιχειρηματίες π.χ. Δεν είμαι του άκρατου φιλελεύθερου καπιταλισμού κι όλα αυτά, αλλά μήπως τέλος πάντων κάποιος πρέπει να παρει κάποια πράγματα στα σοβαρά στο νησί σας; Τέτοιο βάθος, τόση ομορφιά… φτου γμτ
Αλλά τι μιλάω εγώ; Είμαι 2 βήματα από την Ακρόπολη και υπάρχει τόση ασχήμια. Τουλάχιστον όμως (όχι όλοι -κάποιοι) βγάζουμε φράγκα. Εκεί πέρα, κάνουν ότι μπορούν να χαλάσουν το νησί και πάλι φράγκα δεν βγάζουν.
Τα γράφω αυτά, γιατί νομίζω ότι ο τύπος που έφτιαξε αυτό το αμπέλι είναι ένας αληθινός ήρωας.

Που δεν γέμισε το χωράφι του με παλιοκατσίκια ή δεν το γέμισε με σκουπίδια, χαλασμένα αυτοκίνητα και μπάζα. Που τσακίζεται στη δουλειά και σίγουρα θα κάνει ωραίο κρασί.
Ουφ, τα είπα και ξαλάφρωσα. ‘Delete comment’, αν σου κάνει πρόβλημα ότι έγραψα.

Sunday April 2, 2006 – 02:17pm (EEST)

«a liquid landscape in the sun» in a glass?
Wow, you are a master advertiser !
Though if we believe Nana’s words, soon there will be very little to advertise. So ‘First we take the Acropolis, then we take Ikaria» ? or the other way round? Or we don’t «take» -just «give» …
What about a good example for starters?..

(I wish you worked with me in the paths. But I know, you are a ‘seer’; I’m the ‘digger». I could ask Nana, but she is very lightfooted and I will not be able to catch up with her and I’m afraid she will be bored. )

Monday April 3, 2006 – 01:05pm (EEST)

For me its a liquid landscape on the tongue…

Monday April 3, 2006 – 09:54am (PDT)

I like G. Karimalis description (he got it from somewhere else) «the grape is a child of the sun, but the wine is a child of the darkness«

Monday April 3, 2006 – 06:48pm (BST)

I salute your comments. Do you know the story of the donkey (a ‘sun’ animal or a dark animal? you say Doctor) who first pruned a wild vine? It ate the useless branches and by doing so it made it produce good grapes later?
Since then, the donkey is a sacred animal because in its ‘stupidity’ it always does the right thing (for us -I don’t know if it’s the right thing for the donkeys) -:lol

P.S. I love donkey heads

Monday April 3, 2006 – 12:28pm (PDT)