Happy New Year, and Happy Nameday to my brother Bill! (I won't bore you with how he seemed to always "win" the quarter in the family vassilopita. Very fishy...)
Here in Barra de Navidad, Mexico, one could indulge in any number of food delicacies during the holidays, like the goat stew we had for dinner last night (Take Out, by-the-way), along with a Greek salad of sorts (w/avocado) and toasted bread.
Eating the bread, I found myself describing what we considered as children to be a great treat anytime the opportunity presented itself: "Rigani Bread." Yiayia Sarris made this for us using stale (as in rock hard) French bread, which might have gone to the birds in other homes.
In the Greece of 1920 or so before my Yiayia emigrated or during The Great Depression, such a staple was most likely due to getting by when times were tough. But throughout her life, she continued to make "Rigani Bread" -- wetting the bread, sprinkling it with olive oil and red wine vinegar, and finishing it with rigani (oregano). It was to die for...and we never got enough.
When my brother Bill and I visited Yiayia's hometown of Koroni, Messinias, circa 1977, we asked for some. Yiayia's sister Panayiota 'bout died of barely-disguised embarrassment, while ignoring our request and bringing out even more dishes of food. Did we think they were poor?
Lesson learned. But we still love "Rigani Bread...and anyone can make it, any time!
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