Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

Mimsy Review: Popular Greek Recipes

Reviewed by Jerry Stratton, April 19, 2016

This is a collection of recipes retained in families of Greek descent for many generations, but now adapted to new ingredients and shorter methods. Along with these authentic dishes, we are presenting others which are special favorites of our contributors.

This cookbook contains the first rice pudding I’ve made that actually turned out as good as the stuff I buy at Trader Joe’s!

AuthorLadies Philoptochos Society
Length218 pages
Book Rating7

From the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society of Charleston, South Carolina, this comb-bound cookbook of Popular Greek Recipes is worth taking a look at even if you normally skip such organizational or regional collections. According to the copyright page, they first published this collection in 1957, it was revised in 1965, and my copy is from the sixth printing in 1970.

I picked my copy up last year at Half Price Books’s annual sale—the same one where I picked up the O’Donnell Angel Food Cookbook and I’ve been slowly going through it. My first attempt was Skordalia, a potato-garlic sauce. I made the mistake beating it with a food processor instead of an electric mixer as the recipe calls for, and ended up with potato goo. Until then, I didn’t know you could overblend potatoes!

After leaving enough time to forget what potato goo tasted like, I tried again, and it’s a great mix. Technically, it’s a sauce, but it’s very good on its own, and even fried into potato patties.

My real favorite recipe from this collection, however, is the rice pudding. This is a creamy, easy-to-make pudding that I’m already getting hungry for just writing about it. It requires standing over the stove for about fifteen minutes, but the result is worth it and I haven’t managed to screw it up yet. I have long been a fan of rice pudding, but my own attempts have been either grainy or runny. This version “cheats” with corn starch, but the result is very much like the rice pudding I used to pick up at Trader Joe’s.

There are also, of course, various stuffed vegetables such as stuffed grape leaves or cabbage, rice dishes such as lamb pilaf, filo candies such as baklava, seragli, and cigaretta. And there is a special section for Greek Lenten foods, which are interesting because the Greek Orthodox Lenten fast is stricter than the Catholic fast I’m used to: some days mean no fish as well as no meat, for example. But,

For occasions other than Lent, most of these foods may be prepared with butter and served with roasts and chops.

There are lots of meat dishes, such as an interesting pot roast where the sauce is used with spaghetti; as a fan of feta cheese, I’m looking forward to trying Chicken with feta stuffing. Many of the stews require “cooking slowly” for one to three hours—they would be perfect for a crockpot.

I keep this cookbook on the short shelf where it’s easy to reach. If you like Greek food, you should definitely take a look.

Sesame Paximadia

  • ½ cup butter or margarine,
  • ¾ cup sugar,
  • 1 egg,
  • ⅓ cup toasted sesame seeds,
  • 2 cups sifted flour,
  • 1 tsp baking powder,
  • ¼ tsp salt,
  • 2 tblsp orange juice or water.
  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add egg and toasted sesame seeds and blend well.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add flour mix alternately with juice.
  5. Knead slightly.
  6. Shape into two rolls, about two inches wide.
  7. Wrap in foil and chill until firm.
  8. Place rolls on greased cookie sheet.
  9. Brush with milk.
  10. Cut in ½-inch slices.
  11. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, until lightly browned.
  12. Slice again.
  13. Toast bars in moderate oven.

Popular Greek Recipes

Ladies Philoptochos Society

My cost: $0.50

Recommendation: Wonderful