Thursday, 14 July 2011

Ups and downs and out of control.

A lot happens in a week doesn't it.

We have had a rollercoaster type couple of them.....bit exhausting really.

Two weeks ago we got a new puppy to join our 3yo Basset- Polly Jean.
Polly Jean
He is a rescue puppy-a black lab cross. Judging from his size at 20 weeks he is crossed with a dinosaur. He is H U G E!!!!
 But sooooo unbelievably gentle and divine.

If any of you are familiar with the Story of Ferdinand- well Leon is the Ferdinand of the canine variety.

It has taken PJ a little getting used to. But we can see already they are good friends. 

Which is what we hoped for.  We all need a special friend.

All was going well and then Polly Jean got sick- sick with a ghastly and very scary illness.

My reaction took me by surprise.

I didn't cope very well.

We have had a tough year and I just didn't have the strength to deal with it.

But happily I have excellent vet care and beautiful support from my gorgeous family and Polly was looked after well in doggy hospital and is now home with her new best friend as if nothing ever happened.

Pets are so good for us.

And we become soooo attached.
Two of my handsome fellas.
It broke my heart to think something bad was happening to my lovely hound.

But like everything in my life at the moment I am learning to cope with the ups, the downs & the out of control.

It's not easy.

In fact it's R E A L L Y hard.

But I am lucky that around me I have some fine people with big hearts who are happy to share and give support.

We are still on holidays and it's still cold and a bit miserable.

We have been enjoying having hot lunches.

Today's was Spanakopita- Greek Spinach & Feta pie.


This pie is really simple- the layering of the filo is the most fiddly.  As long as you keep it moist you should be ok.  You do this by placing a damp teatowel over the laid out filo while you assemble.
When buying it- try to buy it from the fridge section as it will be easier to manage than if frozen.

I like to make my last layer a kind of zhoozhy organza looking mess just for fun- i'm not really into perfection- in life or in cooking!  And I reckon it looks really pretty too.
I do this just by scrunching up pieces of filo and placing them in clumps on the top. 

  • 5 organic eggs
  • 500g fetta
  • a bunch of silverbeet (or about a kilo of spinach)
  • 1/2 cup of Grana Padano or Parmesan
  • a packet of filo
  • 2 brown onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch dill, chopped roughly
  • white pepper
  • nutmeg
  • EVOO
  • 100g unsalted butter (melted to baste pastry)
  • sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 175C.

Cut onions into dice. Chop garlic finely.

Take stalks of silverbeet, wash and drain.

In a pan add a tablespoon of EVOO and fry onions and garlic until translucent.

While this is frying off you can assemble the other ingredients.

In a large bowl add eggs and stir till amalgamated. Crumble the fetta & grated grana padano into this mix.  Grind a generous amount of white pepper (you could use black but I think white is best for eggy things) and also a liberal amount of nutmeg. I am not shy with either of these.  I don't add salt as the fetta has enough to season the pie.

Once the onion and garlic is translucent add the silverbeet and fry for a minute or so.  Then turn off heat and allow to wilt in the steam for about 5 minutes or so.

Now add the eggy mix to the silverbeet and add the dill.  Stir through so mixture looks something like this:

Grease a large rectangular dish with butter.

Open your filo pastry and unfold.

Place the first piece of filo onto oven dish and brush with melted butter. It is not necessary to completely cover the filo. Just a dob here and there will do. (Kids love this job as it is like painting!)

Repeat this with 10 sheets of filo.

Now place all of the silverbeet & eggy mix on top.  Smooth it out across the dish.

Now repeat the filo layers until you have about 5 left.  I scrunch these ones into the chiffon puffs.
Brush with butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Place in oven to bake for 45 minutes.

If top is getting brown too quickly place some alfoil on top to protect it from burning.

It is delicious served warm but also fantastical as a cold dish.  It is great for school lunches too!

I love it served with a salad of cos lettuce, cucumber, loads of fresh dill and a zingy vinaigrette.

This week in my dramatic state I have been listening to lots of Opera.  Did you know I loved Opera?  Well now you do........and I may have been shedding a tear to this:


  1. OMG I also loove OPERA. Seriously Soula. LOVE U ALWAYS

  2. Pets are so important. They bring us so much. I'd be utterly lost without them. I still get teary over our old dog that died a few years ago. I still miss him.

    Life can be such a funny thing sometimes... and some years seem better than others, some months, some weeks... I hope you have some peace soon.


  3. So happy Polly is okay now. So scary when our furry ones are ill.
    And by the way.... the handsome Leon is going to be a giant!! Just look at those paws! What fun he'll be!


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