CULTURE

Daily life in the kitchen

You don’t have to be a graduate chef in order to cook says culinary expert Evi Voutsina. All it takes is a little heart and a bit of time to get acquainted or re-acquainted with your pots and pans. To prove and promote her point, the author and food columnist has come up with a new series of cookbooks focusing on (more or less) simple, delicious recipes for every day. Published in Greek by Kastaniotis, the «Apli Mageiriki tis Aghias Kathimerinotitas» (Simple Cooking for the Sanctity of Daily Life) series features three separate books focusing on meat and poultry dishes; vegetarian and other dishes; salads, sweets, soft drinks and other homemade concoctions. Greek culinary traditions feature prominently in the new series – including platters with fresh vegetables, rich pies and regional dishes, such as Corfu’s sofrito. In Voutsina’s words, the most basic recipes sound like pure delight, such as the case of fried eggs topped with tomato sauce and (optional) feta cheese, for example, or mashed potatoes given a surprise onion twist. The author also takes a look at other food cultures: From chicken Creole with peppers to cool gazpacho and traditional Viennese strudel. (How about cheese and asparagus filling for a change?) Every recipe begins with a story. Where the recipe comes from, where the author enjoyed it on one of her countless journeys or how she prepared it with a friend. Cooking instructions follow, with the author rendering every instruction and idea easy to follow – the texts’ chatty mode is due to the fact that the majority of the material in the books had already been broadcast on Voutsina’s short daily radio show. Low-key, humorous, straightforward and visually refined (no photos but charming illustrations), the series promises to be a valuable, new kitchen pal.