Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Recipies for Costak | Mount Athos Soup

(Left: Food: Kitchen Xeropotamou 1942 Source)

Recipies for Costak

Petri must have enjoyed it during his stay in Mount Athos during lent. Greek Orthodox Christians fast from meat and dairy, so they were always looking for something vegan to eat.

Mount Athos Soup
7-8 Tbsp. Tahini
1 cup rice
juice of 1-2 lemons
2 medium carrots finely grated
a few parsley sprigs finely chopped
10 cups water (approximately)

Boil rice in water and salt until tender. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. In small bowl mix Tahiti with enough hot liquid from boiled rice to make a smooth paste. Pour mixture back into soup stirring constantly until liquids are blended. Add grated carrots and parsley and stir well. Serve. Note: Adjust amount of lemon juice according to individual taste.

The secrets of monastery cuisine are unveiled in the cookbook "The Cooking of Mt Athos" written by Mt Athos monk Epiphanios Mylopotaminos.

It includes roughly 130 recipes for fish, seafood, and ladera (vegetable, legume (pulses), and other non-meat dishes cooked with olive oil). Monk Epiphanios cooks in the fireplace or a wood stove, and uses only olive oil and no preservatives.
" The monks live by a harsh Byzantine routine that bears no relation to our normal views of time. Their day begins at 2am with a four-hour church service. There is no breakfast - the meal they have at 6am is called lunch. After this, they work till 2.30pm; each monk has a special job, whether it's cleaning, working in the kitchens or tending the vegetables.

Then it's back to praying, with an hour's service at 3pm, taking them to dinner at four. After that, they will talk until 7pm, when they retreat to their cells for bed. Except, this is, during the big festivals, dedicated, for example, to the Madonna or St George, when they must forego sleep altogether and pray from 7pm on one day to 7pm the next.

They keep body and soul together during this routine on a spartan diet. For most meals they have vegetable broth with chunks of homemade bread. They're allowed no meat, and fish only on Sunday. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, they eat just once and are forbidden olive oil. Wine is allowed only on special days and when they have fish."

Source: Tradition - On Holy Mountain