Cooking class today, with an emphasis on fish. Husband and I are mostly vegetarians who eat fish occasionally, but when you’re in one of the seafood capitals of the world, how can you not try (and try cooking) lots of it?

Despina was our delightful instructor. We started at the market, where we picked up fresh vegetables and, of course, seafood. Everything was so fresh and there was no fishy smell, at least not one my sensitive nose could detect. The prawns were still wiggling, which was a bit much for squeamish me. That was before the fish monger put the snail on my hand, gave me a very-much-alive-what-I-would-call crawdad to inspect, and Despina had me pick out calamari and an octopus.

The morning reminded me again how open and friendly everyone I’ve encountered here is. The economic situation is still dire—many closed businesses and unemployed of all ages—but I sense a cautious optimism buttressed by an attitude I’ve heard expressed more than once: “Greece will survive. She always does.”

We toted our purchases back to Despina’s kitchen and she put us to work. In short order, we had a seafood feast fit for a dinner party: Spicy orzotto with prawns and calamari, caviar dip, poached mussels, steamed greens, and halva for dessert.

Husband and I barely made it back to our hotel before we both collapsed into a nap. Which, Despina informed us, is how all good Greek lunches end. 🙂

I’m happy to share recipes with anyone who is interested. Message me your email and I will send them when I return!