Tuesday, 1 July 2014

You call that a conference?!?

Again I find myself reflecting on how stinking lucky I am.

Seriously, who gets to go to an exotic Greek Island for a conference?

A few weeks ago I flew off to Crete, Greece to go talk about tornadoes (and maybe relax a bit on the beach). I won't bore you with the tornado stuff, but instead focus on my true love: food and drink! (Sorry, Richard!)

First of all, the structure of all the dinners included many bottles of local Cretan red and white wine (which were all fantastic!) dotting the tables, which were seemingly bottomless. I swear, we must have each had a bottle or two of wine every night, but magically never got drunk.

Dish after dish after dish of almost tapas style delicacies were delivered to the table in a 2-3-hour long banquet. One constant was the local traditional "dakos" (confused in name only with tacos), which was basically bruchetta...a crispy bread topped with tomatoes, olive oil, and local soft cheese.

(Dakos are the top, center dish above)

The rest of the dishes heavily featured real Greek yogurt, stuffed grape leaves, cucumber, octopus (YUM!), eggplant, bacon, sautéed greens, and cheese. No complaints from me!

Then the main dish would come right around the time we were ready to burst. Almost always, it was roast lamb and potatoes. Dear Lord the meat melted off the bone and right into my stomach. Makes my mouth water again just thinking about it.

There was dessert every night with a side of fresh fruit, sometimes flaming fruit.

And what dessert would be complete without another alcoholic beverage? We got raki with every meal. It's similar to grappa, distilled from the remains of the grapes from the wine making process, and tastes similar to a plum gin. Absolutely delicious. Great use of spent grapes AND it apparently aids in digestion too. Bottoms up!

But I think the best part of the food and culture of Crete was seeing the food growing all around us. One night, we dined underneath lemon and orange trees. Another night, we sat on a balcony overlooking endless olive groves. Definitely a treat for this Colorado girl!

So would I go back? Most certainly! And even if all I ate were gyros, I'd be a very happy girl.

Oh yeah and the conference was good too.

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