Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Eat and Run!

This weekend was the one time a year we do our best to gather up my Dad's side of the family and celebrate Greek Easter. 

With so much food to prepare, I was thrilled to have my two cousins opt for a little "HandMeDown" session.  They came out on Saturday to learn the finer art of Greek food.  I think they did a phenomenal job!!

The "To Do" menu consisted of Pasticio, Dolmathes, Spanikopita, Baklava, Galektaboureko, Greek Chicken, Avagolemona, Capama and Tiropita.  Got all that?
Because I felt it was important for them to learn how to work with Phyllo, I made them learn to wrap "the hard way".  As opposed to baking in a pan like I did with the Spanikopita.  :o)
I'd say they did pretty well for beginners!
My Dad made this one to make them feel better too!  :o}
He called it a Greek Burrito
The girls even came early on Sunday to help set up and learn how to make egg-lemon sauce. 
A very important component of many Greek foods!  It's an art they mastered as well!

Now about Sunday...to say the weather wasn't cooperating is an extreme understatement.  Right after the girls showed up, the sky dropped and literally sat on the farm field all black and ominous.  Then it turned pea-green.  And then it poured buckets...again...for the third day in a row!  We have received inches of rain each-and-every-day -for three days in a row!  More on what that has done to my gardening woes later.

But that's OK.  Rain never stops food from getting into our bellies.  It did stop nearly in time for all our family to arrive.  All was right with the world!
Aunt Kathy, Uncle Bill and Ellie
Or as I like to say, Aunt Bill and Uncle Kathy
Makers of the most divine Strawberry Pretzel dessert!
We enjoyed lots and lots of food! 
Chelsea and Tim
Baby on Board!
Probably way more than was needed.
Roger and Uncle Ted
Would I make that much again next year?
Uncle Bobby and Aunt Sandy
Hell yeah.
Ashley and our newest member, Branson.
For some of us, it's the only Greek treat we get all year!  Which is why I was so excited to have so much help from these folks:
Thanks Dad and Connie!  I'd be cooked without you!
And these two, of course!!
Thanks again T and Mar!  I really loved spending time with you's!
 Now, I did say something about "Eat and Run", didn't I? 

Well, the gathering started around 1pm.  At about 3:30 pm, a friend down the road showed up.  I didn't hear the particulars when she got out of the car, but the frantic conversation when she got to me went something like this:

S:  "The police are going around our neighborhood first and headed this way.  You all have to leave!"

APG:  "Why?"  (I mean, I know we can be a surly bunch, but really????)

S:  "The chemical plant is on fire and they are evacuating a 1.8 mile radius!  They said we all have to leave!"

Umm, yes.  We live 1.1 miles from the plant.  Imagine that.  And she has her dog in the car.

Sooooo...we packed up the food and away everyone went!  Just like that!  By 4pm everything was cleared up, shut down and family -gone. 

With the exception of us of course.  We stood our ground.  For hours.  No one showed up.  They closed the highway, our street, sirens blared.  But no one came.  People further away were evacuated.  Not us.  Police cars sped by many times.  Was it a sick joke maybe?  Nope, it was real.
Gases being burned off to avoid melt down of the unit.  It burned for hours!  They kept people out of their homes for hours too.  The plant hasn't had a severe explosion in over 25 years.  That was when they sat on the roof of our house and watched.  Debris did come into the yard I am told, but no evacuation then either.  Odd.  Our house is the closest on this street to it. 

Maybe they knew we would never abandon our chickens?

So yes, everyone did indeed Eat and "RUN!!!!"

Aunt Mar, being the sly doggie she is asked,

"Hey, who was that lady that told us we all had to leave and can I hire her to come to my next party?"

Yes, It runs in the family...


  1. Boy that was one HELL of a day :-( I can't believe everyone had to leave! But good for you for staying back with the chickies and leftovers. I'm so happy nothing got blown up. And sorry we missed you guys Monday! It was a perfect rain-free day :-)

  2. You guys do things in a BIG way---right down to evacuations. Funny!

    I couldn't be Greek-I could never pronounce the stuff. But it looks good!

  3. Say again,awesome heredity but I couldn't pronounce a word.I sure could eat it it tho,I can smell it from here. Awful ending to a beautiful time with a beautiful family!

  4. UNBELIEVABLE situation! Talk about raining (chemicals) on your parade! Good grief, I wonder how much damage that fall-out did to crops and such? Hope it blew clear of you. But if it blew clear of your area, where DID it land?

    On the upside, sounds as if you had a talented (and beautiful!) staff to help you with the prep. What a whole lot of work you did for the celebration. Do you hire out?? ;o}

  5. What an end to the day! Sounds like I'd be in foodie heaven with all that good stuff! So nice that you have all that family nearby to share good times with, the girls look like they had a blast learning. Indeed, the one who came in yelling to evacuate is just what some parties need, LOL!

  6. Jen, no man left behind!

    Sue, no worries on pronunciations, it's not polite to talk with your mouth full anyway :o)

    Judy, it just makes for memorable moments that way!

    MamaPea, the storms kept the winds away from us. And believe me, I kept watching. You could see the smoke for miles and miles. And I doubt they will tell us anything further and I am sure it was handled safely. Uh-huh. Riiiight.

    Erin, yes you would have had a protruding gut like the rest of us! I love fearless eaters so I would have shoved it all on your plate!

  7. I like how you said that there hasn't been an explosion in 25 years like that is a good thing. There should NEVER be an explosion! When you grow a third eye or something worse we will know why. I guess you won't have to cook this week.

  8. What an amazing feast! And what a beautiful family you are/is. Of course, I am coming to believe that no family reunion of yours would be complete without major drama! I am glad that you and yours are okay - and I wouldn't leave my chickens either.

  9. Wow what a story. Talk about a big "bang" ending...

  10. Jane, a sorry state we have been conditioned to, is it not? But you are right!!! If only good things could come from it! No third eye please!

    Susan, I don't think I have a dog crate big enough to put them in so the choice was pretty simple :)

    Tami, it's par! And oddly, I didn't even hear a 'bang'. Scarey