I’m spoilt ....yep, that’s right!
I can say it and admit it, although not in every sense of the word. Hear me out.... My name is Joanna, I’m a furloughed flight attendant. I have been flying continuously over the past 9 years but since March 2020, I’ve only managed to get on a plane twice in December to then be furloughed again until May 2021 ....and I really do miss my job.
Let me tell you why and how I found myself here, blogging about food.
Until last year, whenever I fancied sitting in the sun, topping up my tan, I would aim to be somewhere sunny and hot. Or if I wanted to dance in the streets of Rio de Janeiro during the carnival, I made it happen. Or to spend Easter with family in Australia, done. Visit orphanages in Kenya, visit the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, walk through Petra, drink a Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, done ....and not just once, but several times over. I’m not boasting here, I’m just painting you a picture of how my life was pre-Covid. Now don’t get me wrong, my job can be hard, demanding, relentless and I often found myself ‘missing out’ on events back home but the pros were too good.
My job taught me lots of things about life and about myself, that’s a big story to be told but for now I’ll explain how my job made me fall in love and appreciate good food. I always wanted to eat at Nobu, but could never afford the price tag to go with the experience. The exchange rate in South Africa Cape Town made this possible for me at The One & Only Hotel. If I fancied sushi, no problem, I headed to Japan. Best burger ever eaten was in Sydney. For steak & red wine, I would travel to Johannesburg, yes on a monthly basis. Korean BBQs, off I went to Seoul.... But when I needed to take my annual leave (yes, I had to take a holiday!), I chose to head back home to Cyprus to see family, friends & most importantly, to eat! If you’ve never visited the island, it’s well worth the trip, but let me warn you, it’s a place where your brain & stomach cease to communicate and food comas become a part of everyday life!
So, why am I writing this blog?
Back in 2002, I decided to collect recipes from both my grandmothers & my mum, for my own personal reference. The problem with Cypriot cooking is time. Years ago, people had time, and food being such an important part of our culture, people would spend many hours in the kitchen making delicious food for their families. Up until recently, we didn’t have the luxury of time but now ....well, I have.
I’ve tried every recipe passed down to me since lockdown last year and have now been persuaded (by my sisters & friends) to start this blog, sharing the recipes I have and exploring some more with you.
Before I begin, I must make a few things clear. You must know that every Mediterranean grandmother is the best cook! Yes, that’s right, no one’s food is as good as their grandmother’s, so keep that in mind.
Secondly, if you cook these meals for a Greek or Cypriot person, be ready to receive some criticism.
‘There’s not enough/too much salt, garlic, cinnamon etc....’
‘I don’t use ....in my....’
‘My gran does this different, she....’
The list is endless.
I’m sharing my recipes because it’s food I love, grew up with and enjoy making. I feel that now might be the right time for people to enjoy making something different for their families and friends. Not all these meals are time consuming and there are many options for vegetarians & vegans too. If there’s something that doesn’t work for you in a recipe, tweak it, but if you’re not sure, feel free to ask me the question.
Going forward, my first recipe will be my grans moussaka. I will provide a breakdown of ingredients, methods, tips, time & overall cost. My aim is to post a new recipe on a weekly basis, you can visit my website and follow me on social media for these updates.
I hope you & your families enjoy these as much as I have done & still do!!!
For now ....kali orexi, bon appetit (in Greek).
Joanna Constantinou - Food Blogger