About Me

A Greek lady from Constantinople from a late 19th century postcard. In the mid-1980s I met a British guy on the island of Crete where we were both working on archaeological projects.

Since then, my life has been a series of moves – from my home on the East Coast of the US to the American Midwest where that British guy became a University Professor, then to Britain (first to the dreaming spires of Oxford, later to a red brick University in the north of the country), and now to Athens. Meanwhile, we’ve raised our son, done a fair bit of travelling mainly to the Mediterranean – much of it exploring interesting history, landscapes and, of course, good local cuisine wherever we found ourselves. Now that we are based in Greece – at least for the moment – I have time to explore the country’s diverse regions (and its food) in all the seasons.

This blog chronicles bits of my evolving life. Enjoy!

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100 comments

  1. Just topping by to thank your for today’s visit and “Follow.” One good turn deserves another and I’ve “Follow”ed your back. Can’t wait to take a tour of your archives.

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  2. This sounds like my life only I married an Italian history professor!
    We lived in Chicago for 7 years and I I have such fond memories of the food and markets. Thanks for stopping by my blog

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    • I really liked your blog (and I also remember my own family holiday trips to Williamsburg – many of them since my father was a fan of anything colonial!). Look forward to hearing more about colonial cooling.

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    • I’m hoping to learn more about India – obviously a passion of yours. Most of my travels (apart from the US) are in Europe – wonderful, but so very different. I really love your spectacular photographs and am looking forward to seeing more.

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      • Well I have discover there are two kinds of people when it comes to India, nuts like me and others who can’t even fathom a visit there! There seem not to be anyone’s who are like warm! If it is your first developing countr, it is startling. I had previously been to Ghana, Egypt, Belize, Guatemala. But for me, it is all about the people and Indians are amazing, so warm and friendly taking such joy in simple pleasures in the midst of suc challenging lives.
        We have done most of Europe and it is wonderful but different ! Sorry for the epistle! Namaste

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    • Thanks for the follow and the lovely comment. Leaving the US was traumatic, but I try to look on the move as part of a great adventure. We moved from Wisconsin to the dreaming spires of Oxford before relocating up north to Yorkshire near the Peak District. I love all these places – each has a special place in my heart!

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    • I loved Madison. We lived there for 12+ years and really enjoyed the restaurants (particularly the “hole-in-the-wall” sort) and the delis, the pick your own farms, the farmer’s market in the square, the sometimes bizarre ice cream experiments from the Ag department at the University, sitting on the lake front terrace of the Student Union eating burritos… 🙂 I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences! But, life moves on and I’m here in Britain, really enjoying new food experiences and always eager to learn more – either virtually by following others’ blogs or in “real” life. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  3. Hi, I’ve nominated you for a Liebster blog award. I’ve only recently started seeing your recipes, but I like what I see, & I’d like to get to know a little bit more about you! Hope you accept… & have a great weekend!

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    • Wow! Thank you so much. I’ve only been blogging a short while, but am really loving it – particularly getting to know (albeit virtually) fellow bloggers. I’m really enjoying your blog as well and look forward to more posts.

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    • Thanks! I’m really glad you like the blog. I admit, I am not the world’s greatest photographer. But, there are actually two reasons I keep the size of the images down – 1) the theme I use is a basic one that is relational to the device you are viewing it on – that is, computer screen, iPad (or similar tablet), smart phone…and isn’t really geared to the “featured image” setting; 2) I resize the images before uploading to take up less storage space on the server. Hope that explains things! 🙂

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  4. I think your blogs are great! You’re definitely in sync with me on cookbooks, cooking history, etc. and you really have a knack for writing. I look forward to many more blogs, especially about food in history…..now do tell. How did you end up in UK from US (I ended up in US from CAN!)

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    • I agree, cookbooks are a wonderful source of social history (and anthropology!). I really enjoy your blogs, too. You always have something new to say, culled from your vast collection of recherché cookbooks. To answer your question…I followed a British guy (by this time, my husband) to the U.K. where he was offered first a teaching position at Oxford and then a professorial chair up north.

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  5. What a great story! I never thought about food shopping in England. My daughter has lived in London for almost 4 years, and I have shopped for food at harrods and selfridge’s, but not at a regular grocery store. Just the different names alone are so confusing. I just found out recently that a stove is a hob! But England is so beautiful. Not sure if I would have gone threre if it hadn’t been because of my daughter. Now we’ve explored most all of the UK. Have to go to WAles next…

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    • Thanks! I’m not sure it is a coincidence or not, but I just uploaded a post on supermarkets and cultural identity – Supermarket Sociology (shortlink: http://wp.me/p3Uj0i-wc). And, differences in food and cooking terminology is only the tip of the iceberg! I’ve now been here in the UK for over 16 years, but married a Brit over 25 years ago and consider myself “bilingual”. When my son was young, the words cookie and “biccie” (short for biscuit) were interchangeable even when we lived in the US.

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  6. What a great story! I just found your blog from another and the title got me! I cannot imagine moving to another country and not having the brands that I’ve come to know and love, especially now that I’ve gone 100% organic (though in other countries, the food is of much higher quality from what I’ve read, due to the higher standards). I look forward to reading more!

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    • Thanks! Moving countries is a great challenge, but I did have the advantage of already having a British husband! Also, because of our work as archaeologists, we travelled extensively and worked in different countries on multi-national archaeological projects abroad. It opens your eyes to live in foreign places and work with people from different nationalities. Yes, the food is different and so are the traditions. It is great fun researching recipes and associated folklore!

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  7. Thanks for visiting and following my blog which has led me to yours! I had totally forgotten what an alien experience grocery shopping was when I first moved here from Canada in the mid 80’s! I used to go to the Harrods food halls just to re-assure myself that I hadn’t been living some sort of parallel existence in another world!! Whenever I go back to visit my family, I invariably come back with huge bags of chocolate chips and large bottles of maple syrup. There is now a great supplier/website called American Sweets Online (http://www.americansweets.co.uk) who stock a huge range of nostalgia indulging goods at reasonable prices too. Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

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    • I saw your blog when reading a post put up by Elaine (@ Foodbod) and I am really glad I checked it out. I moved to this country permanently in the 90s, so about 10 years after you. But I go to know the country from the early 80s during extended visits. Thanks for the tip about the American Sweets website. I do miss chocolate chips and Baker’s chocolate. My sister usually sends “care” packages to me with these precious items, but it’s always good to have a backup!

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      • I have a few American and Canadian friends living in London who have been sooo pleased to find out about that site! Had a lovely day wandering around Borough Market with Elaine yesterday!

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    • Crete is a very special place for us. Our house is filled with old maps of the island – most are very good reproductions – and we have a very good collection of Cretan lyra music. (My husband has a thing for old maps as well as music.) So many reminders of the place we both love!

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      • That is wonderful to here. Greece is beautiful and it is the home of my father. Kind of my home too as I use to live there. 🙂 🙂 Have you travelled other islands? I love the Lyra! 🙂 🙂

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      • We’re archaeologists, so have “lived” in various parts of Greece for fieldwork – mostly a month or two at a time. So, mainly Crete, Messinia, Kythera and we have many friends up north, particularly Thessaloniki. I also love the lyra!

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  8. Found you via an intriguing comment you left on Cottage Grove House about the book My French Kitchen. I come from Yorkshire originally but now after being here and there for many years, live in Canada. Enjoying your blog very much!

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    • Thanks very much! I’ve had a look at your blog and can return the compliment. Interesting that you’ve moved to the “new” world from the “old” while I’ve done the reverse. We lived in Oxford for our first 6 years in Britain, but then moved to Yorkshire where my husband grew up (even though his parents were Scottish). I have to say that I like Yorkshire very much, but sometimes I miss the wild landscapes of the Americas.

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  9. I really enjoyed your story, so interesting. I grew up in the Midwest in Minnesota and now I have lived in Finland for already fourteen years. Really, you never know where life will bring you.

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    • Thank you, what a nice compliment! My photos are improving as I continue blogging – there are so many really beautiful amateur food photographers out there in the blogosphere to emulate. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  10. Suddenly this morning reading your blog I wanted to ask you, like a friend, some gardening questions…. Then I came to this “About.” and discovered: Philly! Soft Pretzels with that outrageous yellow mustard! That was my childhood (I grew up in Center City). I have been noticing the spread of soft pretzels in bakery sections of places around us (well, our Co-op and the Lidl) and feeling their inadequacy– same as bagels, just too mediocre for words, but creating a kind of longing…. Sorry for this rambling comment. Have a lovely day!

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    • From one Philly girl to another – I was born in the city (near Chinatown, actually), but grew up N of the city and didn’t return until grad school. I think I appreciated it more by then. I did notice the spread of soft pretzels here, but nothing like those from “home”.

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  11. Hi, I discovered your blog via the Garden Share Collective. Interesting to read your back story – I’m UK born and bred but lived a few years in Key West, Fla when young. I remember the trauma of returning to UK in the autumn, cold, grey, no barbecues, cold swimming pools, no Tootsie Rolls, Hershey’s or marshmallow fluff and the peanut butter was dire. All the stuff that looms large in the life of a 9 year old! I loved working in upstate New York a few years ago and felt right at home in the supermarkets and malls. Hope you’re now enjoying UK a bit more!

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    • Hi, I’ve certainly become more British than American over the time that I’ve lived here (more years now than I’d like to count). Although I do miss some of my native landscape now and then – a wildness that you just don’t get in the landscape of England – I have become accustomed to all the lovely produce from the EU that we get in our local supermarkets. So, yes, I am enjoying the UK!

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  12. I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs very much….your interests are similar to mine and we both love cooking and cookbooks. I thought of you yesterday (because of your website name!), when I came across a used cookbook entitled “A Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook” by Patricia Telesco, published in 1994…I haven’t read it yet, but it looks intriguing and includes folklore (like why most people stir things clockwise)…..You might enjoy it!

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  13. Thank you so much for your “Follow” whiich in turn has brought me to The Kitchen Witch where I feel I have stumbled upon a kindred spirit in so many ways! I shall be sniffing around your site regularly from now on 🙂 … And am already hatching plans to make my own Kitchen Witch based on your own wonderful example!

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    • You are very welcome. I found your blog through one of your comments on Hilda’s blog (Along the Grapevine) – and so glad that I did. Your descriptions of Franconia seem idyllic, and (of course) being an expat like me, I bet you have a unique view of the land. Looking forward to your posts as well. By the way, I bet you could easily find a kitchen witch as it seems to be a Germanic tradition.

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      • Indeed – being an expat does sometimes give you a local perspective that the ‘locals’ miss! And yes… I am on the trail of kitchen witches now, be they Scandanavian (love Scandanavian culinary culture as well :)) or Germanic 🙂

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    • I do really understand what you must be going through when you stand in the grocery store aisle and just stare at the unfamiliar brands wondering if you’ve made the right choice. All I can say is that it gets easier as time goes by. At least after a lot of trial and error! I’ve been in Britain so long now that it is the US that seems foreign to me. Do miss the chocolate chips, though!

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      • I think it is harder because the packages not only look different, but are in a foreign language! It helps that I speak better Swedish now, but it is so bewildering at first! You can buy chocolate chips in the UK – I used to get them in the baking aisle. However, I don’t think they are anywhere near in abundance as in the US!

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  14. Love your story and your blog. How fortunate for you to be stationed in Greece where scenery and food seem supreme to one who has never been there. Greece is definitely on our bucket list! Thanks for following Oh, the Places We See. Hopefully, you’ll find some of our adventures interesting, too!

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    • Loved your story as well – how wonderful to lead a wandering, adventurous life. I like the type of travel that allows you to station yourself somewhere and have the time to explore an area in depth and go where few tourists go. You see so many things!

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  15. Hi, I just came across your blog by accident, I think I saw your ‘shine’ photo, which was lovely. Interesting that you are based in Athens, I love Athens! My husband and I bought a yacht and sailed it from England to Greece. We spend six months of the year sailing round the greek islands then we go back to the UK over the winter. I look forward to following your blog.

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    • Sailing around the islands for six months sounds marvellous! For the moment we are based in Athens most of the time, but we do get out and about. I really enjoy exploring different places in the country. We also travel back to the UK periodically. Eventually, we will come back to the UK permanently, but Greece will always be a spiritual home for us.

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  16. Hi Debi, and Happy New Year! I enjoy your blog a lot, and I was wondering whether you’d like to write a guest post for mine when you have a moment, about living in Athens. A foreigner’s viewpoint, what you like/don’t like, anything you might want to say. No obligation, of course, and no deadline! I thought it might be fun. Best wishes, Marina

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