September 24, 2009


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Glendi means good times
Line up for the Greek honey dumplings and much more

By Linda A. Thompson-Odum

For the 30th year Manchester’s Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral will celebrate Glendi, from Friday, Sept. 18, through Sunday, Sept. 20. Approximately 20,000 visitors attend this event, whose name in Greek means “good times” and which is dominated by lots and lots of terrific Greek food.

Board of Directors president Frank Comerford noted that this is the church’s major fundraiser for the year. He said 200 to 250 volunteers are involved in the event’s success, which takes months to prepare.

“We started to prepare for this in July and August,” Comerford said. “I personally start in March and April with talking to people, lining up sponsors, mailing out letters for the ad book, and getting the city permits. Then our first actual Glendi meeting is in May.”

The weekend’s premier food attraction is the barbecued lamb — all 2,000 pounds of it. The meat is seasoned and cubed and then put on skewers two and a half feet long. Twenty-four skewers are then put onto one of three barbecue machines over charcoal. The skewers rotate until the meat is roasted to perfection.

Other dinner items served inside the main tent include half-chickens, meatballs, and lamb shanks (for people who don’t like barbecue). Each dinner is served with rice, salad and a roll. Also served is pastichio, a Greek-style lasagna made with ziti and a cream. The volunteers make approximately 6,000 hand-rolled stuffed grape leaves and 2,000 stuffed peppers. Pita is available — the traditional spinach pie made with phyllo pastry and feta cheese.

“I can’t tell you how many trays of pita we make. There is pita all over the place,” Comerford said.

Outside the main tent, visitors will find loukaniko, a Greek sausage served on a roll with peppers and onions; gyros, sandwiches of lamb served in a pita pocket; and kefta kebabs, made with ground beef, rice and spices cooked on a stick. Also available are hot dogs, ice cream, cotton candy and homemade lemonade.

For dessert, visitors can visit the coffee shop set up inside the community center. One side of the room will feature a table with platter after platter of pastries (plus pre-made sample boxes for take-home purchase). On the other side will be the coffee shop, which will have Greek coffee and loukoumades — fried dough balls sold by the plate full, to be sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with honey or maple syrup.

Also inside the community center is the Aegean Market, where visitors can purchase items such as jewelry, sweaters, hats, wooden bird houses, wind chimes, breads and Greek coffee. Another table will feature for sale crafts, knitted apparel and holiday items made by various church groups.

Greek band Ta Pethia will perform Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and evening. And on Saturday, kids will perform traditional Greek dances in full costume. And visitors are welcome to take a tour of the cathedral.

Admission to Glendi is free. Shuttle buses will be available Friday and Saturday from McDonough Elementary School (550 Lowell St.) and Derryfield Park to help ease parking concerns. And for the first time, credit cards will be accepted for purchases.

“No matter how hectic we think the weekend will be, we always manage to pull it off,” Comerford said. “With 30 years of traditions, we’d hate to give it up.”

Where: Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 650 Hanover St., Manchester, 622-9113,
Schedule: Friday, Sept. 18, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 19, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 20, noon to 5 p.m. 

Glendi, recipes
Some of the actual recipes to be used for Glendi weekend.

¼ teaspoon each oregano, pepper, salt, garlic powder and parsley
4-oz. small can tomato sauce 
1 medium onion (diced)
1 lb. hamburger 
1 lb. cooked ziti
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
4 eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
dash of nutmeg
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Sauté all of the above, and then mix all together with ziti. Place in a deep 9 x 13-inch baking dish, and sprinkle parmesan cheese all over the top.

To make bechamel sauce: melt butter with the flour, and then add milk, eggs, salt and nutmeg. Whisk until cream thickens. Once cream thickens, pour it over the pasta mixture. Place in a 350-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes, ready to plate.

Spinach Pita
3 pounds phyllo
2 pounds butter
3 pounds feta
1½ pounds cottage cheese
4½ pounds fresh spinach, cleaned, chopped
10 eggs

Mix together feta, cottage cheese, spinach and eggs. Separate into 4 equal portions and set aside.

Brush a full sheet size baking pan with butter. Use one pound of phyllo for the bottom of the pita, brushing each sheet with melted butter. Adjust phyllo sheets so that two layers are draped over each of the four sides of the pan.  Brush these sheets with butter.

Put four layers of filling (equal portions) with two layers of phyllo between each layer. This works out using the second pound of phyllo. Fold over the overlapping phyllo sheets to envelop the filling.

Top pita with the remaining pound of phyllo, brushing each sheet with butter. Brush top layer generously with butter. Score through top layers of phyllo with a sharp knife into square pieces.

Sprinkle top of pita with a few drops of water to prevent the phyllo from flying off during baking. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until golden brown. (1 full sheet pan yields 40 pieces.)

Koulourakia Cookies
1 lb. butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
5 eggs
1 Tablespoon baking powder
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
7 1/3 cups flour
sesame seeds, for decoration

Beat eggs until light and fluffy, add sugar, and beat 5 minutes. Slowly add soften butter and vanilla and continue beating 10 minutes. Sift dry ingredients together; add to egg mixture, blend thoroughly. Knead well.

Pinch off small pieces and roll into long pencil-like strips, about 5 inches long and less than ½ inch thick. Fold strip in half and twist. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and brush with beaten egg with a little milk. Bake in oven at 350 degrees about 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Honey Ripples (Diples)
½ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 to 4 cups sifted flour
3 eggs, well-beaten
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup orange juice
½ teaspoon baking powder

Beat eggs until light and fluffy; add sugar, orange juice, baking powder, salt, oil, and blend thoroughly. Add enough flour to form medium dough, which leaves bowl clean. Knead until smooth.

Cut off large pieces of dough; place on flat surface sprinkled with cornstarch or flour, and roll as thin as possible. Cut in strips 2 inches wide. Deep fry in hot vegetable oil, twirling strips immediately with fork to shape diples. Strips also may be shaped into bows or knots before deep frying until lightly browned. Serve with syrup, cinnamon and crushed walnuts. Makes about 6 dozen.

4 Tablespoons honey
2 cups sugar
1 cup water

Cook sugar and water together to make a medium syrup. Add honey and blend well. Allow diples to cool. Drizzle with warm syrup, and sprinkle with cinnamon and chopped nuts.

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A year of eats

All-you-can-read guide to breakfast
A bagel by any other l
A picnic ó itís romance with ants
A sweet burst of summer, in stages
Beef, It's What's For Dinner, Lunch, And Dessert
Be it ever so humble, the burger rules
Blockbuster snacks for your movie
Box Of Chocolates
C Is For Cookie And Christmas And Cool Combo
Celebrating A Holiday For The Rest Of Us
Celebrate Easter In A Sugar Coma
Chat And Chew

Chinese soup is magic
Chocolate cake makes everything better
Chocolate, Part II
Competition flows like chocolate
Corn Flake Chicken, Honeycomb Salad
Dining at the "Your House Bistro"
Don't Dread The Bread
Dress Up Your Next Meal
Drinking Out Of The Box
Eating Your Way Back To Health
Enter Soup
Experiments With Very Bad Brownies
Feeding A Crowd The Morning After
Follow the cider house rules
Fresh Herbs
Go ahead ó run silent, run deep
Goodbye corn syrup, hello organic oatmeal
Go Indian for Thanksgiving
Grilled Cheese Junkie

Halloween candy for grown-ups
Have a Happy Meal and a happier wallet
Holiday Cookies - The Easy Way
Holiday Potluck 101-Tips For The Kitchen Novice
Home-Based Date
How do you like them apples?
In-A-Pinch Love Feast
It's not easy to be cheesy
Itís not Christmas without tamales
Lest We Forget The Humble Squash
Keeping your cool while you eat
Living through your salad days

Looking Beyond The Hot Dog Stand
Lunching your way to a less toxic you
Meat's meat and a man's gotta eat

Moist and delicious chicken ó no, really
Oatmeal Cookies, The Miracle Cure
Oscar Night, When The Stars Come Out To Eat

Offering Up A Slice Of Teriyaki Pie
Pot Pies Are Darn Tasty
Pumpkin-Flavored Treats
Small Plates Are The Next Big Thing
Speedy 'za not pie in the sky
Steak: itís whatís for dinner, again
Summer coolers, just add sunlight
Summer Squash
Super Bowl Grub
Take A Walk On The Dark Side
Taste of Manchester Event
The Cosmopolitan
The joys of a simple oatmeal breakfast
The return of comfort food
The One-Note Cook Book
The New American Plate Cookbook
The Stickiest, Hottest & Sweetest Of Love's Labors
The taste of retro
The Unheralded Peanut Butter Cookies
The union of sweet and heat
The Weekly Dish (12-16-04)
The Weekly Dish (12-23-04)

The Weekly Dish [1-13-05]
There's a Barbecue Bonanza Next Door
Week Four: Adding Diet To The Mix
What Was Hot And Haute In 2004
When $$ trumps urge to dine out
When in doubt, go for the organic
When nothing else will cool, Slurp it
You Say Potato, She'll Say Potato,Too
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