Thursday, August 6, 2009


Yaya (YaiYai) is Greek for grandmother (and in my mind, it should also be Greek for Absolute Culinary Genius). Papoo (Papou)is Greek for grandfather. Needless to say, I grew up in a Big Fat Greek Family! If you have ever seen the movie, Big Fat Greek Wedding, it is a pretty accurate depiction of Greek family life. Every time we go to Galveston to visit Yaya and Papoo it goes something like this......

-We call Yaya to tell her we are about 30 minutes out. She asks if we are hungry. We say no....
-We get to their house and are greeted with hugs and kisses and love.
- Yaya says, "Are you hungry?"
- We reply, "No...we ate a little while ago...huge dinner...not hungry at all."
- Yaya, "Good...then I will feed you. I have a roast, gravy, rice, pie, cake and icecream. Would you like a little of each?"
-Us, ", really...we aren't hungry...."
-Yaya, "No, should eat something before I put it all up..." (She then goes to serve up massive helpings of food)
-Us, "Ok- are right. We are hungry."
***and with food like this it is super hard to not lick your plate clean, so then we go to bed nice and full and bloated and HAPPY***

I have learned so much from Yaya. She can cook anything! She knows so much about cooking and is the best cook in the world, hands down. I would like to see Barefoot Contessa try to take on my Yaya...Ina doesn't stand a chance. You see, Yaya has lived all over the world. Her cooking is influenced by all parts of the globe and she has had lots of practice. She raised 3 kids, 9 grandkids and has a husband with one very refined palette. The food that this woman makes is D-I-V-I-N-E! I have watched her and used every opportunity to soak up some of her knowledge. The only problem is that I now only know how to cook for a small army, not just 2 people! My proportions are always way too large because when Yaya cooks it is for the whole family, neighbors, friends, etc. Luckily Ross doesn't mind eating leftovers :)

This is why I love Yaya's cooking so much. She cooks with love. She cooks to tell you that she is happy you are there. She cooks so that you feel welcome. She cooks so that we will all gather around the tables (yes, we have to have 2) and spend family time laughing and catching up. Yaya's food is like the glue that brings the family together, because when Yaya cooks, it says, "I love you."

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