A photojournal of the Wooster Square neighborhood in New Haven, Connecticut. And, occasionally a photo of New Haven, of course, of course.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cooking - Greek Style! Part 2 - Kolokithopita

The other half of the evening featured Virginia showing us how to make Kolokithopita. "I am the pita lady, I know!" exclaims Virginia and she's right. Pita is much more than just for scooping hummus or tzatziki, it's also a pie like item. Kolokithopita is the Greek version of pumpkin pie. The villages around Mount Olympus are the most famous for pita....long winters....many children....lots of pita-making! I can't help but think that St. Barbara is giving her total blessing to Virginia as she is blessing her with her hand in the icon behind her.Although you can use pumpkin, she used fresh butternut squash mixed with a little sugar and walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, Farina. You can also skip the sugar and add feta to make it a hardy meal rather than dessert.
Here's Maria watching on as Virginia spreads the mixture onto phyllo dough. The phyllo dough is layered...10 sheets on the top and 10 on the bottom. Each sheet is put down and then a generous amount of butter and oil is brushed on top. "All healthy", Virginia reassures us.
You can imagine, there are lots of wonderful stories told about growing up in Greece and family life. Like the one about the farmer who had an ill donkey. The farmer left the donkey out to pasture believing that there was no hope for the donkey. But when the donkey was out he began to graze in a pasture of rosemary. The farmer went out after some time and found that the donkey was completely cured.
Layering the phyllo dough and a double blessing.
Virginia is from the island of Lesbos and loves to cook. Here she is very intent on what she is doing.
Scoring the layered phyllo dough and squash mixture - before and after!
Oh yum, it was delicious.
So was this!
Although we are learning to cook and bake, Greek style, the best part of the evening comes when we sit down to the meal. They've pre-cooked and baked for us so we each get a generous helping to eat and to take home. Each week features a different type of Greek wine as well.
See a need, fill a need, the motto of the Philoptochos Woman's Society certainly does just that because we share stories of our lives, our children, our struggles with cancer around the table. It is a table of blessing and friendship all because we love Greek food.


  1. You're right. It was absolutely delicious. Sorry I had to share it with you and Chuck! Make more of this, soon.

  2. Finally got around to reading it. Great photos again! Hope to see you at another cooking class this year!