Flashback six years ago. In 2007 was the year I decided to take early retirement. To fill my spare time, I started copying my old recipes as my scrap books were torn, greasy and falling apart. I decided that it would be better to copy them on my computer so that in the future I could give a copy to my children, as back then they were not so interested in learning how to cook, probably because they were content finding everything ready.
That year my elder son was working in Crete, so early in July we went on vacations there to visit him. In August, as in usual for Greece, it’s the month that 90% of the population take their annual leave and Athens was a ghost town. There was nowhere to go and nothing to do, television was showing reruns, out friends were on vacation,so I was feeling very bored.
My son had some days off at the end of August, so when he came to visit us, I was telling him how bored I was feeling. That’s when he popped the idea. “Mum, he said, since you love cooking and have tons of recipes to share, why don’t you create a food blog. This way you will have a hobby, you will start writing and sharing your recipes,which will be there for us to refer to in the future and you will also start communicating with people”.
I liked the idea and created a free blogger blog which was called “Ivy’s Household Recipes and Advice” with all those words in the URL!!!. I had no clue about blogging and how it worked but nevertheless I started a bilingual blog, in English and in Greek. In Greece there may have been a handful of food bloggers at the time but the first comments came from abroad, so that was the reason, a few months later I decided to separate it into two blogs, so that those reading my posts did not have to read it in Greek as well. I now believe that that was a huge mistake. My archives show that I started my first blog post in September and the English one in November but the fact is that at some time later on, I deleted a few of the first posts which seemed a bit silly and not totally food related.
After publishing my cookbook, I decided to created a blog for its promotion and then before moving to Assini I created another one to record the progress of our relocating there and when we finally moved, cooking with local ingredients. Blogging turned out to be very tiring and I can’t catch up. There are times I think that I should give up all the blogs I have created and just focus on one. I might do that soon but I am torn which of the two main blogs I should give up. This is something to think about in the future.
Well that was the beginning of blogging and only a few bloggers I know started earlier. The only obstacle of starting earlier was the high cost of internet charges at the time, apart from the fact how slow it was and nerve-racking. I had an internet connection many years before, but I just used it to check my business e-mails and then log off. It took hours to download a song from “Napster” (do you remember Napster?) and searching information was a torture, which in the end I would give up. During 2007 we had an ADSL connection so blogging was much cheaper and easier.
What a great tool was a blogging. So many new horizons were open to us. We learned so much about other cultures, we learned about recipes we never heard of and about ingredients that we didn’t even know existed and still until today I keep learning so many new things from my blogger friends. There was a time (innocent years) that we exchanged awards and played memes but blogging also evolves. Too many social networks have helped us promote our work and food bloggers now make money out of blogging. There’s nothing wrong about that, so long as it still remains a hobby and not hire someone to comment on your behalf and do most of the promoting jobs for you. Yes, bloggers of 2013 tend to do this as I’ve read this in a food group I am a member.
During these past six years I’ve made a lot of friends, some of which are from that period and even had the pleasure to meet them personally. Some have taken different paths, some have quitted blogging and some have unfortunately “left” us, but their memory is alive in our thoughts and through their recipes which are there to remind us how wonderful these persons were and we still enjoy some of their delicious creations.
I’d like to take this opportunity to say to my fellow food bloggers that I’m sorry if I am not visiting your blogs as often as I would like to. After three years since I self published my first cookbook, now three years later I am about to self publish my second cookbook. Real life isn’t easy and after the economic crisis and cut offs from our pensions, a little bit of extra pocket money is always welcome. That alone is a full time job (but only as regards time) with a few breaks to relax and get updated on Facebook. I hope that when the book is published I will be back to normal blogging habits again. I am also very grateful to those anonymous readers which I meet in my google statistics, who are looking for something to cook. Thank you for keeping visiting my blog, for taking time to read my posts and hope that I may have helped some people to love Greek food.
To celebrate this milestone, I have created a Greek cheese Tart with Fig and Peach Jam. Actually I wanted to make a tart with fresh figs but when a friend gave us all these figs, I already had prepared a dessert, so by the time we ate the first one the figs had to be preserved as they don’t have a long shelf life. I made the jam in which I also added some ripe peaches. To keep the jam low on calories, I added less sugar, some honey and stevia. It was not overly sweet but for using it in desserts it was perfect and I love it on toasted bread for breakfast.
When making the tart shell, I also prepared my second video. It wasn’t planned but a decision at the spur of the moment, I set the camera on the tripod, pressed the button and started talking. I know I have made many mistakes in the video (Alzheimer is beginning to show) but the mistakes are minor, except for the amount of butter mentioned but you will find the correct instructions in the post. I hope the third one will be much better
Fig and Peach Anthotyro Cheese Tart, recipe by Ivy
- 175 grams sugar
- 3 eggs (minus half egg white for brushing the tart)
- 200 grams Greek Yoghurt
- 290 grams anthotyro or myzithra (similar to ricotta)
- 50 grams corn flour (starch)
- 1 tsp masticha sugar
- 1 jar (450 grams) Fig and Peach Jam
- Bake the tart shell for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the parchment with beans.
- Whisk an egg white (half is needed) with a fork and brush the surface of your tart. Put it back in the oven and bake for 5 more minutes. (It should not be completely baked as it will still continue baking with the filling).
- Whisk the remaining eggs with sugar until fluffy. Add the cheese, yoghurt, corn flour and masticha sugar and whisk until incorporated.
- Stop the mixer and clean the sides of the bowl and continue whisking for 1 more minute.
- Empty over the tart shell and bake for 15 more minutes.
- Remove from the oven and add 1 jar of homemade peach and fig jam. Add spoonfuls to cover the whole surface and then gently spread all over.
- Bake again for 10 more minutes.
- When it cools, store it in the refrigerator.
- Serve with Kaimaki ice cream (optional).