I miss summer. More specifically, I miss the feeling of sea-salt scrubbing my mildly sunburned skin, sitting in the shade of olive-trees, squinting my eyes against the glare of the sun on water so clear I can see fish swimming 5 meters deep, the air full with the scent of rosemary and the sound of cicadas.
I miss the swaying wet metal deck of the car ferry, the drone of the big engine numbing ear and mind, the smell of diesel fumes and of the sea, wind ripping through my hair.
I miss floating underwater, the clicking sound if a million pebbles moved by the waves, swimming among a school of fish a thousand strong, meeting a Sepia and watching it change colour. I miss sitting at the quay, drinking Nescafé with sugar and ice cubes, or sitting on the hill above the beach at night, seeing the lights of fisher-boats in the ink black void beyond the gaudy coloured lightbulbs of the tavern. I miss Greece.
MR S’S BAKED FETA
- 2 blocks of feta cheese
- 4 Roma tomatoes
- Olives for garnish (pitted and sliced)
- 4 tbs olive oil
- Mediterranean herbs of your choice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: warmed ciabatta or baguette
- Tin foil
- Suggested music: Aphrodite’s Child “The Four Horsemen”
Heat your oven to 425ºF (220º C), or if you’re camping or grilling outside, get your grill/fire hot. Slice the tomatoes, and put half of them on two separate tin foil squares. Try to make them match the footprint of your feta, be it round or square. Put the feta on top of the tomato slices, and cover the top with more tomato slices. Add some salt and pepper, and fold the tin foil over up around the sides of the feta.
Next come the olives (I prefer dry green olives with herbs and plain black ones). Sprinkle herbs over generously. Any herbs you like will do, I suggest sage, thyme, rosemary, basil and those nice smelling plants you found on a cliff and have no idea what they are. Pour some olive oil over everything and close the tin foil. You should have two little feta packages.
Bake the feta packages for 20 minutes in the oven or 10 minutes on the grill, or if you’re camping, put them very near your campfire till you just can’t wait any longer to eat them.
It is nice to have a fancy ciabatta or baguette on hand to dip in the glorious delight. You will have to pretend it tastes half as good as old stale mediterranean bread that fell in the sand.