Something I don’t like or understand in Greece are strikes. Today is a big striking day. Almost all public services (including schools, all means of transportation, military, church officials, government offices, ect) are closed because the people want a change and striking is a desperate attempt to get some change. Unfortunately, at least from where I am standing, this is just a lose – lose situation. You see, the government has AGAIN made salary decreases. For us this means about 300 euros less each month, basically a whole month’s rent to put it into perspective. But it doesn’t stop there. We are also awaiting an emergency property “tax” that will be around 200 euros each and the worst thing of all, it makes no sense, it is simply the government reaching into our pockets yet again. And on top of that, the government is suspending 30,000 public servants, some of which may be teachers. So, people are striking, not show up for work. And if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Unfortunately though, the actual chances of the government changing its mind because you missed work are slim to none. A total lose – lose situation!
I hate what is happening in this country, it is more than not fair – it is getting nearly impossible to survive. I am so thankful to be working, it is such a blessing and lifeboat for us. But what about those single income homes with families? I honestly don’t know how they manage to put bread on the table some days. I understand that the government here is having to take drastic measures to keep from defaulting on their loans, and I understand that money has to come from somewhere. But the well is not bottomless, rather the water is nearly depleted altogether! I also understand that there is a very real and similar situation going on in the States right now with a bad economy, but it just doesn’t seem as extreme as here. Maybe it is because I actually live here day to day, or maybe it is because Greece is so much smaller, or maybe it is because Greece really is drowning and the government seems to just be making it worse. I don’t have any better answers than they do, that is not my niche of knowledge, but surely there is another way?!
Regardless, life in Greece is getting tougher and tougher and the feeling of insecurity is increasing tremendously with the unknown future. People are so nervous and confused on what to do, it seems that the only option now is to take a stand and strike, even if that means hurting themselves financially – at least they will be doing something. Although I am not in favor of strikes or protesting (especially violently), I can very much understand not wanting to just stand by as austerity measures get worse and worse. Sometimes just doing something helps you from totally loosing it. For now, this seems to be all anyone can do, who knows, maybe it will make a difference?! Stay tuned for what will become in these difficult times, as my husband says, “We are living history”.
Something I can be happy about though, is potatoes. A simple pleasure in life – really good food! And I really love potatoes. I like ‘em baked, I like ‘em fried, I like ‘em mashed, I like ‘em scalloped, I like ‘em cheesy, I like ‘em in chips, I like ‘em just about any way you can think of. I now also love them Greek-style and oven baked! This recipe couldn’t be easier yet is loaded with such flavor that you (and your guests) will want to know the secret. And the secret is a combination of olive oil, lemon, garlic, and oregano!
Greek Oven Potatoes Recipe:Printable Recipe 8 potatoes, peeled and wegded 3-4 garlic cloves 1/2 cup olive oil 1 cup chicken broth (or water with some bullion) 1 T. dried Greek oregano juice of 2 lemons (or sometimes I substitute half an orange and 1 lemon) sea salt and fresh ground pepper If time permits, cut and soak potato wedges in a bowl of cold water for at least 3-4 hours, drain and pat dry with paper towels. Heat your oven to 420° and lightly oil a large baking dish. Gently toss the potatoes in oil and then mix the stock, lemon juice, and oregano all together and pour over potatoes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, then toss the potatoes around in the dish to make sure each wedge is coated well. Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes and stir well, flipping the bottom potatoes with the top ones. Continue baking another 30-40 minutes until golden brown and falling apart at the touch of a fork, adding more water if needed to cook longer. The larger the baking dish and spread apart the potatoes, the quicker they will cook, and visa versa. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary. Don’t undercook though, you want the potatoes to be well done and very tender. Serve with some of the oil from the pan and your favorite meat dish or simply a Greek salad.
You can’t really ever go wrong with potatoes, they are just so versatile and hearty. This recipe is so easy to make too: just prepare everything, put in the oven, and about an hour later you have some really wonderful taters.
Not much else to say except that you should try these asap and I would love to hear what you think!
Even during times of crisis one can and should enjoy potatoes!