|Yiayia X . w/me and
cousin Michael Pappas
I remember the good feeling when my father would come home with aluminum foil packages of Yiayia Xanttopulos' Banana Squash Pitta. Sometimes we were lucky enough to get a whole pan full! Yiayia X. was from Naousa and her pitta was different from and better than everyone else's, as far I was concerned...It was a special treat, now perpetuated by my cousin Helen Bertron, daughter of My Aunt Mary Hlebakos -- and occasionally my brothers George and Bill. Me, not yet, I'm ashamed to say.
Helen and Bob Bertron generously hosted a family dinner the night after Thanksgiving so I could see my Bay Area relatives, including Thea Mary and Helen's 2 daughters, Erica and Jennifer. Bonus guests included Ruby (née Hlebakos) and Dee Corids + their daughter Alexia, who I had not seen for way too many years. Thank you Helen and Bob!
The next day, Helen suggested we do what we had talked about for years: MakeYiayia's pitta together from scratch so I could learn. I had a similar lesson about 35 years ago in Naousa from my Aunt (of blessed memory) Alkinoy Lalas. This is no ordinary pitta with commercial filo, and I had truthfully never tried to make it before. It requires a dowel for rolling and lots of time among other things. The secret ingredient is generous gobs of Crisco, along w/butter, of course!
I am going to make one soon, seriously -- stay tuned!
|San Mateo 2014