Greek Village Cooking with Mihali and Katholiki Pizimolas.
Living the Traditional Self-Sufficient Lifestyle.
Greek Village Cooking hosts Mihali (Mike) and Katholiki Pizimolas whose friendly kafeneio, Kafe Bar O Mike, in the small, hilltop village of Mesanagros was well patronized by locals and tourists from all over the world.
Mihali and his wife Katholiki base their cooking on local ingredients because they regard garden-fresh fare direct from their fields provides the highest quality and freshness that reaps nutritional benefits.
For Katholiki, the food of her village is a part of her tradition and identity and includes the traditional ways of their making.
Food cooked by Katholiki at her famous little kafeneio in Mesanagros was fresh and flavored with the herbs from the Southern Rhodes countryside.
Mihali and Katholiki help to keep the past alive living the traditional, self sufficient village lifestyle.
They are people who are closely tied to their traditional values, their family and their Orthodox faith.
Katholiki learned to cook, to sew, to knit and to embroider as a young girl beside her mother Koula and, in turn, has passed on her traditional skills to her own daughters.
Her family has always come home to the smell of a home-cooked meal that is healthy and tasty because the food that graces her kitchen table comes almost exclusively from the bounty of her garden, fields and pastures.
Mesanagros is like a step back in time and both Mihali and Katholiki accept their simple and natural lifestyle.
Mihali is also involved in the inspirational ministry of chanter and is a dedicated and faithful psalti chanting the beautiful Byzantine hymns of the Orthodox Liturgy in the churches and monasteries of Mesanagros.
Both he, and his wife know the land and have spent a lifetime of toil and labor working their fields, harvesting their crops and tending to their livestock, orchards and olive groves.
Kafe Bar O Mike was a simple little kafeneio in Mesanagros with just a few tables and chairs and a pleasant atmosphere where the locals and tourists enjoyed a coffee or a meal indoors or outdoors under the shade of the old platano tree.
It was located at the entrance of the tiny village and next door to the historic 5th century AD church, Koimisis tis Theotokou.
Many of the foods cooked at Kafe Bar O Mike were those that the proprietors, Mike and his wife Katholiki have sown, nurtured and harvested to the peak of perfection.
From Mike’s fields, patrons enjoyed the best seasonal fruit and vegetables, watermelons, honeydew-melons and freshly picked tomatoes.
Fresh eggs came from his chicken coop, thyme honey came direct from his beehives, and the comforting aroma of freshly baked bread made the traditional way in an outside beehive-shaped oven and heated by a brushwood fire.
Greek village cooking uses the simple rustic foods the rural villager could cultivate, gather or rear.
Most of it is seasonal and generally prepared following the Greek Orthodox Calendar of religious events such as Christmas, New Year, Easter or important Saints’ Days.
Greek village cooking is old fashioned rural cooking with meals that are nourishing, satisfying as well as delicious.
The traditional village woman is very proud of her cooking. Just like her mother and grandmother, she continues to create the wonderful village recipes she learned as a young girl and which she aspires to pass on to her own daughters and granddaughters.
Just like her mother and grandmother, the village woman continues to preserve the tried and trusted recipes from generation to generation.
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