When the late Tess Mallos published her book,The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook, this was Mum’s main reference book she used for Greek cooking. This book has a good flaouna recipe that Mum used every year as part of our Easter tradition. This recipe is still made by experience and passed on to their families through hands on learning with no real recipe to follow. I’m still trying to work on a savoury cheese bread/cake that Mum used to make with haloumi cheese.
I recently bought Tess’s book via Amazon because I couldn’t find it locally, and this is my go-to book for Greek and middle eastern cooking. I’m so thankful Tess was able to publish this book in the late 70’s because it really is an complete reference book IMHO. She did a fabulous job for those of us who weren’t able to learn how their Mums and Aunties made the fabulous traditional food away from their homelands, while they made a life for themselves and their families in a new emerging country, like Australia.
Here’s one recipe that has to be made when watermelon is in season:
Glyko Karpouzi or watermelon rind preserve
1k watermelon rind
3 c sugar
2 small pieces cinnamon bark
strips of lemon peel
2T lemon juice
1. Remove all traces of pink from the watermelon rind. Peel away the green skin. Cut firm white flesh into 2 to 3cm cubes.
2. Places cubes in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour or until the rind is transluscent. Drain.
3. Place 3 cups water in pan with sugar, cinnamon bark, lemon peel, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and hone. Stir over heat until sugar dissolves and bring to the boil. Skimmy the residue out as it forms.
4. Add drained watermelon rind, return to the boil and boil gently for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and leave overnight.
5. Return to the boil over medium heat and boil until the syrup is thick when tested on a cold saucer. Remove cinnamon and lemon peel.
6. Add remaining lemon juice and boil for 1 minute, then ladel into warm sterilizes jars. Seal when cold.
7. Serve with a glass of cold water and some freshly made Greek coffee.