No you're not mistaken darlings, I've been burping honey all morning, the reason being that mean, son of a gun Christmas sweet we here in Greece savor, Melo-makarona !!! It's almost imperative that each household makes them, offers them, stuffs everyone's mouth with them, so it's up to one's defensive mechanisms to refuse those honey-dripping (and shit, I'm being literal) invitations of... "oh come on, have one more".
Many sociologists have attempted an interpretation of that typical Greek mom err, how can I put this... habbit (?) to insist on that we have more to eat... as the Greek more means neither one more nor two more , but thousands more.
The sociological lucky guess, I guess, is that our grandparents, and parents had suffered from the sentiment of hunger during the W.W.II a little too much, so their post-war approach to food has been more is more ever since. The truth is Greeks adore food; Let's not forget that even in ancient times (which were, well ancient) they'd organize all these feasts and roast meat sacrifices to the gods of Olympus in order to have a better excuse for it.
Anyways; back to my beast of burden... Melomakarona !!! While my mom has already made 3 different types this holiday, and I mean plain ones, sugared and walnuty ones, and all of the above + chocolate ones, it was my duty as a nice daughter to try them, and like them; No, I have no problem liking them; My mom is one hell of a cook and pastry chef. My problem is stopping. And as the Pringles ad says, once you pop you can't stop - as simple as that ! So I had two in the morning, say one in the afternoon (or was it two?) and three at 3 o' clock at night... which makes 6-7? They are so easy to chew, but so fucking difficult to avoid - right now there's a mountain of Melomakarona on our living room table, and at least ten packs of them ready to be shipped around, or given to friends and family, or to any unsuspicious poor fella that happens to cross our doorstep. Even if you're not a fan, you'll be obliged to have at least one bite at some friendly house, because it's not just my mom who makes them... everybloodyone makes them.
So it started with a minor burn, and soon as I had my morning workout, all hell broke loose. Top this with a slight bending over the pillates rubber ball (I suck at it) and what in the Saint Alexander McQueen... Is this the end of Setty? You see honey-overeating (this sweet is submerged into honey syrup and remains there for at least 8 hours until there's no syrup left) is not like say... mapple syrup overeatting... it won't go away easily, no matter how much water you drink... Actually, water makes it worse, because then your burp is also a bit wattery, and okay...okay you've got the picture. My point is, should you come across this evil sweet, do not - N O T being the opperative word here- have more than two. Unless you want "dragon" spelled all over your chest. Okay maybe you can have three... or four if they're small, oh shut up already !!!
Now just in case you're up for it, I got you this recipe by Stelios Parliaros, one of the greatest Greek pastry chefs e v e r !
The recipe and pictures were borrowed by Foivi Geller's blog http://donkeyandthecarrot.blogspot.com/.
Foivi thank you in advance for this. Do check her blog out it is absolutely delicious !
MELOMAKARONA (Greek traditional honey cookies)
by S. Parliaros
Ingredients For the melomakarona
400 gr orange juice
530 gr sun oil
1.200 gr all purpose flour
30 gr icing sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/6 teaspoon cloves
50 gr melted butter
Zest of one orange
walnuts roughly chopped
Ingredients For the syrup
500 ml water
700 gr sugar
1 orange cut in half
2 cinnamon sticks
100 gr honey
In a large saucepan, add water, sugar, orange and the cinnamon sticks. Bring to boil, let it boil for 1 min and then take it off heat. Add the honey in, let it cool.
In a large saucepan, add all the liquids and the butter. Add the icing sugar and all the spices. Mix well using your hands, and add slowly the flour. Knead with your hands, from the middle to outside (don't knead too much because we don't want a hard dough). Make oval-shapped cookies. Take each one and make one side rough by rubbing it slightly on a grater. Place the melomakarona on an oven pan with parchment paper and bake them for 30 min (until golden brown) at 180 Celcius degrees. Remove melomakarona from the oven pan and put them directly into the cold syrop. Turn them both sides (gently) for about a min. Take them off, and let them strain on a rack. In a platter pour some honey with walnuts. Place the melomakarona on them. Do the same procedure with honey and walnuts (make layers of melomakarona-honey-walnuts). Let them cool and... enjoy!