The Marathon Begins

14 Apr

The first spanakopita of Greek Easter 2012 has just gone into the oven, which gives me a second to pause and think about why I spend an entire weekend every year covered in olive oil and spinach.

There are two main reasons that keep me looking forward to this time each year.  The first is that Orthodox Easter is usually 1-2 weeks behind Roman Easter, which reminds us that Jesus was, in fact, a socialist and that he ascribed to the more relaxed lifestyle of the Southern Mediterranean and took his sweet time rising from the dead (I mean, wouldn’t you?). The second (and more legit) reason I so look forward to Greek Easter is that it brings back all the Keftastic memories of the times my family was less scattered across this green earth.

As a kid, we would squeeze into the Camry (JetSet Kef on the driver’s side with his GameBoy, BabyKef in the middle annoying the living bejesus out of her siblings, and yours truly trying desperately not to get car sick on the passenger’s side) and drive to New Jersey.  There, we would find a diner that had been transformed from a bustling business to an inviting living room–the tables were rearranged to accommodate what seemed like every Greek in New Jersey, and for that one day, traditional Greek music played louder than the Whitney Houston coming from the juke boxes.  It was always nice to see my grandfather’s friends and eat something other than the diner’s famous “Chicken in a Basket”–but what I REALLY looked forward to was what we called “the red egg game.”

You can read more about the game here— I gotta go get the spanakopita out of the oven.  I leave you with a picture of my grandfather on one of his happiest days, when my brother convened the first KefiFamily Greek Easter in years.  We’ll miss my grandfather this year, but I know he is watching with approval and ranting about Barack Obama the Communist from Heaven. Σας αγαπάμε, παππού!

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