Happy endings in the kitchen episode 3: Spanakopita

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My name is not Dolores Jones

Are you suffering from dating exhaustion? Tired of swiping right to disappointment? Kissed too many amphibians in princely clothing?

Well allow me to introduce you to NoAdonis.

Yes, NoAdonis.  An online connection, I first saw him in his European speedos, honey coloured skin glowing, a grinning Greek god stretched across the unspoilt sand of some exotic paradise, the waves seductively lapping at his groin.  Another profile picture captured the moment he stepped off a yacht in a freshly pressed suit.  Wanker alert!  However, upon reading…and reading…and reading his rather wordy self description I decided to ignore my reservations and a conversation began.  After a few cheeky interactions he insisted on taking me out to dinner at a swanky inner city restaurant.  By Zeus, he moved quickly.  But I conceded politely, my Achilles heel revealing itself, and the date was set.  He was 40 years young, was a bit of a babe, had traveled the world and lived in Europe for a spell, enjoyed the arts and the finer things, knew good coffee, fancied himself a builder and part-time sketch artist, and lived in his own apartment in one of the most desirable suburbs in Melbourne.  Note: He also used the word ‘meretricious’ within the first five minutes of our date, corrected my pronunciation of a word within the first ten minutes, laughed a lot(!) at his own jokes, revealed almost immediately that he had closed his online profile and expected that I would do the same, talked over the top of most of what I attempted to contribute, and at the end of our short-lived date looked at me rather resentfully when he mentioned for the second time that he would get the bill and it was his pleasure.

And so, it was hate.  I said no to the offer of a coffee catch up and thought the worst was behind me. But I couldn’t have been more wrong.  After a period of time away from the internet dating scene I decided to reactivate my account to see if things had improved in the world of endless choice.  Within a day I had an inbox from NoAdonis.  And it wasn’t a friendly hello.  It was a character assassination.  According to him I was a fraudulent, physically and emotionally unavailable, jaded harpie that was just looking for a free meal.  After responding with a perhaps unwise question as to where cocks like him were manufactured I blocked NoAdonis, hoping to silence his attempt at a Battle of Troy.  But unfortunately only the next day I received a message on my phone from an unknown number.  “Hello, I saw your profile and would like to spend some time with you.”  I promptly rang unknown number to enquire as to how he had contrived my contact, only to discover that an online profile had been created under the username of Dolores Jones, advertising the services of an Escort/Masseuse who shared my real name, recent photo and mobile number.

My heel twitched and I knew immediately that NoAdonis was responsible.  If only I had listened to the voice of Apollo, ie reason, and avoided this miserable mortal.  I decided that I wasn’t going to waste any more energy on such a meretricious, self-important, psychopathic, long-talking, misogynistic, speedo wearing muppet.  To Hades with him.  Retribution would be by food.  Victory in creation.  And so it is to the κουζίνα I escort myself, one true Aphrodite, to massage nothing more than a spinach leaf or two.

Further note: If someone degrades you, bullies you, attempts to threaten your dignity, or harass you in any way it isn’t of course as easily solved by cooking up a delicious meal.  In this case the best action is to report the offender to the police.  Because it’s not ok.

A taste of Greece

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Spanakopita

Ingredients:

Filling:

2 lb. fresh spinach, washed, dried, trimmed, and coarsely chopped
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped                                                                                                                                                              10 spring onions, white and light-green parts only, finely chopped
2 cups feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

15 to 20 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1 tbsp milk

 

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade.

Mix it: Heat a 10-inch pan over medium heat.  Cook the spinach in batches until it is wilted and bright green in colour, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the spinach to a colander and squeeze out the excess moisture.  Now heat the oil in the pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until transparent.  Add the spring onions and cook until soft.  Stir that spinach in and then leave the mix to cool.  Once cooled stir in the remaining ingredients and season with salt to taste.

Assemble it: Lightly coat a baking dish with olive oil.  Place your first sheet of filo in the dish and lightly oil it with the pastry brush.  Layer the filo to cover the bottom of the dish and continue to lightly baste each sheet top with olive oil.  Continue to layer, using up to 8 sheets of filo, with a concentration towards the centre of the dish.  Top with the filling, spreading evenly over the filo base.

Finish it off: Now place remaining filo sheets over the filling, continuing to brush the top of each sheet lightly with olive oil.  Enclose that treasure of a filling in by lightly folding the edges of the filo pastry down the sides of the dish with the oiled basting brush.

Score the top of the pastry with a sharp knife into the size of the pieces you desire without cutting through to the filling.  Brush the scored edges with milk and it’s ready to bake.  Cook in pre-heated oven until the top is golden.  Cut out as scored and serve with fresh salad.

Eat that cheesy green goodness.  Bad taste gone.

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