In the old days, with no other distractions such as TV or a radio, a common practice women had was to sing as they prepared the food. Songs kept them company and the more women were in the kitchen the more singing was going on. Music and lyrics are innate love of the Greek people and the size of the Greek song anthology is mind blowing...and it is an anthology of music of importance. In a small village of Glyfada, counting only 200 inhabitants, which is situated in Messinia in the Peloponnese region, there is a group of women (Gogo, Katerina, Georgia, Emilia, Dina, Maria and Maria...) who besides being neighbors are also very good friends and who besides being very food friends are also very good singers and who besides being very good singers care about the traditions deeply enough to recreate this custom in a form of a very special event. As they sing they prepare a simple yet very tasteful Messinian dish called "boukies" which literally means "little bites". It is a pasta dish which resembles the Italian gnocchi but it is prepared only with the use of flour, milk, egg and olive oil.
Their event can be enjoyed upon request at the "Museum of Folk Art and Local History" which is located in their home village, the tiny "Glyfada", in a gorgeous area surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and mountains. The event is occasionally presented at Costa Navarino Resort as a part of the resort's Messinian Authenticity Program (where the photos were taken) and at "Bread, Wine and Olive Feast" held annually in Kalamata,
The recipe for the tasty "boukies" is very simple yet they do become divine when accompanied by at least 20 songs sung a Capella...Messinian "boukies" recipeIngredients:
- 1-2 eggs
- 2 kg flour
- 200 ml milk
- 200ml water
- olive oil
- grated myzithra* cheese (can be replaced by similar tasting cheeses such as parmesan or pecorino romano)
- Beat the eggs. Pour 1 kg of flour into a bowl and add beaten eggs, milk and water.
- Knead the dough. Add slowly more flour and continue kneading till the mixture is smooth, soft and does not stick to your fingers
- Once the dough is ready rub your hand with olive oil and start making long thin sticks by rolling the pieces of dough.
- Cut the sticks into 1 inch/2.5 cm pieces and press them with a finger in the middle hard so a groove is formed. The edges of the piece should fold around by itself
- Sprinkle the ready pieces with flour so they do not stick together...
- Refrigerate, freeze or cook them
- Cooking requires a boiling water with some salt and a spoon of olive oil
- Boil for about 20 min until soft
- Take them out of the water, sprinkle with some grated myzithra or any hard white cheese
- Heat some olive oil, put 3 spoons of myzithra into the heated oil till it turns a little "blushed" and pour the mixture of scorching olive oil flavour with myzithra over the boukies
** Do not forget to sing as you cook and dance after the meal!!!