I think I must have been born Greek in another life. From the moment I set foot on Greek soil in July 1963, I felt at ease and at home. Two years later I returned, married to an Athenian who lived in my birthplace, New York City. When we separated, he stayed in the US and I moved to Athens. Since then, I’ve explored the country from the tip of the Peloponnese to the Prespes lakes in the north, from Corfu to Kastellorizo, from the top of Mt. Olympus to the bottom of the Vikos Gorge – on foot, by car and by boat – with the best interpreter, my second Athenian husband. Along the way I morphed into a travel and guidebook writer, and since food is key to understanding a place and its people, I became a food and cookbook writer too.
While it’s true that I learned to eat and cook in Paris at Cordon Bleu, I’m enamoured of Greek cuisine – the wealth of vegetable dishes, the complex tastes arrived at from the judicious mixing of simple ingredients (herbs, olive oil, choice raw materials), and the camaraderie that accompanies so many Greek meals.
Now I divide my time between Athens and the wilds of the Cycladic island of Andros, where we have just over an acre (5,000 sq m) of land with over 40 trees and lots of thistles. As a way of paying back Greece for the wonderful life I’ve had here, I use my writing to hint at what lies beyond or behind the stereotypes of endless blue, storied columns, plates of moussaka, or that Zorba figure dancing on the beach.
In this blog I’ll be telling stories about our life in Greece, people and places, food and drink, how we play, how we cope and what makes it so very special. Sometimes there will be tales of other places I’ve loved: Italy, France, Turkey, even the US. Mostly, though, they’ll be about food.
I’ve written for most of Greece’s English-language publications, principally The Athens News, where I had a travel column for ten years, but also Odyssey, Insider, the late Greek Gourmet Traveler, and other now defunct magazines like The Athenian and Olympic Action. You can also find my work on http://www.weeklyhubris.com, where I have a column “Eating Well Is The Best Revenge;” The Art Of Eating; Elizabeth Boleman-Herring’s online guide to Greece, http://www.GreeceTraveler.com; and Matt Barrett’s http://www.greektravel.com
In addition, there are two cookbooks. Prospero’s Kitchen, Mediterranean Cooking of the Ionian Islands (with June Marinos), and Feasting and Fasting in Crete, plus several guidebooks, and two volumes of travel articles from the Athens News, Athens and Beyond, 30 Day Trips & Weekends, and Travels in Northern Greece, with my color photographs.