“Xenia” in a mountain village



“More, please…”  Something you’ll never hear around a  Greek table.  Before you can even think it, the food appears and keeps on appearing even after your stomach is pleading for mercy.  Our Greek “daughter” Katerina and her new husband Sifis (see “Katerina’s Wedding” blogpost July 2012) invited us to his family’s village of Vrisses where a group of us were served up a plentiful supply of Greek hospitality (Xenia) and delicious food.    Sifis’ family welcomed us into their charming traditional home that had all the warmth of a well lived in family house complete with their own Cretan history tastefully displayed from floor to ceiling.

Table set for feasting

Table set for feasting

The old structure, originally a storage room/stable dating back to the late 1800’s, was lovingly renovated and decorated by Sifis’ parents.  The attention to detail inside and out was evident everywhere you looked.   As Katerina says, “Given how important family is in Greece, maintaining and improving family property is like paying respect to your ancestors…this is way I believe this house is so close to Sifis heart , and now mine, and I am sure (hope!) our kids will feel the same.”Lunch in VrissesOur hosts served up a lunch of magnitude in quality and quantity and made it look so easy in the process.   As we took a “tour” of the museum-like home, Vasilikis and Katerina put the finishing touches on the meal in the tiny kitchen.  Antonis and Sifis   entertained us with old family stories inspired by the photos and implements hanging on the stone walls, and then joined his wife in checking the succulent pork and chicken dish baking in the outdoor oven.

Nothing but goodness in the oven

Nothing but goodness in the oven

The food and wine that flowed freely and abundantly was second only to the wonderful fellowship enjoyed by friends and family around the table that filled the front room.  We sampled and sipped our way through the afternoon, finishing the feast off with some delicious desserts followed by shots of homemade tsikoudia (raki) with hints of fig and honey.  The whole experience was rated high on our list of island memories – definitely a “Dear Diary” day.  “Efharisto para polli” to the family who graciously embodied the concept of  “Xenia.”

Katerina serves up raki

Katerina serves up raki – Yia-mas!


About Melanie A Crane

Quote: "The best journeys ask questions that in the beginning you never thought to ask." (Anon) Here's my journey: Enjoying my short life on this earth one moment at a time by being intentional with God, family, traveling, cooking, gardening, Colorado living and all the perks that come with it, playing guitar, listening more and talking less. I've discovered that both cooking and travel can be messy at times but the risks can have some amazing results. The same goes for life lived with passion.
This entry was posted in Cretan Cuisine, Crete, Festivities and Events, Musings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “Xenia” in a mountain village

  1. Chuck Jackson says:

    Thanks so much for Cretan Chronicles, it is wonderful seeing the pics and you guys. Oh how we miss the island. If we did not have family here, I know where we would be! Not sure when we will get there. Possibly in Sep. love you, Leigh

  2. What a lovely family to spend some time with. They sound very loving and as if they made you feel very welcome. And yes, the food they served sounds delicious!

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