Authentic Greek Food Prep Underway
It’s getting close to festival time! Each year our festival is held the weekend after Labor Day. Mark your calendars for Friday – Sunday, September 9 – 11, 2016. We started as a church picnic in 1958, but as time went by, parishioners began inviting friends and neighbors, and here we are “58 years later”, a major festival in Dayton, Ohio, hosting over 20,000 visitors each year.
If you’ve ever attended our festival before, you know the key word is F-O-O-D! We want our guests to be able to experience true, Greek authentic food, which is why most of our items are homemade by our community. Many volunteers gather in the weeks prior to the festival in our commercial grade kitchen and prepare the food we all love.
The church kitchen has been in full swing preparing food since July! Parishioners recently finished 200 pans of pastitisio. What is that you ask? Pastitsio has often been described as the Greek version of lasagna. It is a layered casserole of ground beef, spices, macaroni, and instea
d of tomato sauce, it is topped with a creamy béchamel sauce that oozes down through the mixture and bakes to a golden crust on top. We’ll soon be making the moussaka (eggplant casserole) and dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves).
Hold on to your hat! Just to give you some idea what this means - we use 1,600 lbs. of ground beef, 4,000 lbs. of gyro meat, 800 lbs. of feta cheese and 20,000 spinach /cheese pies. That’s just for starters. Don’t forget the 200,000 pieces of pastry using 1,800 lbs. of flour and 2,200 lbs. of sugar. Baking tip for Greek pastries: always use unsalted, clarified butter!
Many of our visitors come well-prepared and bring plastic containers to take home to their freezers. Come join us in September to celebrate the best festival in Dayton September 9, 10 and 11.