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Sophia Damiani

Sophia Damiani was born in Kavala, Greece a while ago (she’d rather not say how long). How she came to America is an interesting tale. Anthony Damiani went to Greece in the early 60’s to marry a woman with whom he corresponded for years. When he finally met her, he realized that she was not the woman for him. He decided to spend one more day in Greece to sightsee and hired a taxi to take him around. He told his story to the driver, who concluded that Anthony would be a perfect match for his cousin, Sophia, and took him to her house (this was Thursday). Anthony spoke no Greek and Sophia spoke no English, but it was love at first sight and they were married three days later, on Sunday. Her new husband headed home to America on Wednesday and Sophia followed him three months later.

Sophia’s grandmother was sad her granddaughter left for America, but she knew it was destiny. She has promised Sophia’s mother who lay dying after giving birth to Sophia that her new baby would be okay—she’d make sure of it. She promised her that her daughter would end up in America—a land of promise and plenty. Her grandmother tried to fix Sophia up with three different Americans, but Sophia was not interested. Only when she met Anthony was her grandmother’s promise fulfilled.

Sophia and Anthony were married until his sudden death sixteen years ago. Together they had three children and now five grandchildren. Sophia is a master seamstress and was recruited to work at Nordstrom because of her amazing needle skills (apparently everyone at Nordstrom knows Sophia).

While Sophia left Greece in her early 20’s, she returned every few years to visit her family and learn traditional Greek cooking from her grandmother. She remembers how she and her grandmother would stretch the phyllo dough over a clean sheet on the bed—it was the only surface large enough  to be able to stretch the dough as far as it needed to go. Sophia made appoint of learning how to cook her grandmother’s food and she happily shares it with us this month. Kali Olexi! (Enjoy)

Lunch/Dinner

Mezze Platter

assortment of greek appetizers served with warmed pita, including: Melanzanasalata roasted & pureed eggplant dip with olive oil, lemon, garlic & parsley, Sophia’s Greek Salad cucumber, red onion, tomato, kalamata olives, feta, oregano, vinegar & olive oil Hummus chick pea & tahini dip Tzatziki with cucumber, yogurt, herbs, garlic & olive oil

Lunch

Chicken Souvlakia Sandwich

grilled marinated chicken breast, skewered with tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms & red onions, wrapped in a pita with greek salad, served with a side of tsatziki & french fries

Dinner

Chicken Souvlakia Platter

two skewers of marinated chicken breast with tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms & red onion, grilled and served with rice, pea & pine nut pilaf & a side of tsatziki

Moussaka

a traditional casserole (like lasagna) of eggplant, all-natural “Strawberry Mountain” ground beef, red wine, spices, parmesan cheese, tomatoes & a béchamel (white) sauce, served with smashed red potatoes

Dessert

Galatoboureko

a creamy custard-filled phyllo pastry drizzled with a light syrup