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Throughout the winter, the streets in Greek towns and villages are very often deserted and quiet, although the markets still operate on their prescribed days of the week.
The summer visitors would no longer recognize the Greek islands, which now seem eerie and almost abandoned.
Greek life has definitely moved indoors.
In the summer, it was the kitchens that were kept cool, while the weather outside was often incredibly hot. Now the reverse applies.
As the temperature drops, kitchens become havens of comfort. This is the season when saucepans simmer quietly on stoves for much of the day, slowly transforming tough pulses into tender, tasty dishes.
Dried beans, split peas, lentils and chickpeas are all used in this way, creating the casseroles that provide nourishment for the body and warmth to the house.
Cretan cooks aren't content to use just one type of pulse, but combine as many as they can find with whole grains of wheat to produce a simple, but magnificent, casserole with the wonderful name of pallikaria.
The name means "brave ones", but whether that applies to the cooks or those who eat the dish is not clear.
The rest of Greece will almost certainly be devoting themselves to making the national (and extremely robust) bean soup called fasolatha, which has nourished and sustained Greeks for centuries.
Essentially a frugal dish, fasolatha is traditionally accompanied by a plate of olives, quartered raw onions or garlic.
For a special meal, it can be transformed with keftethes (fried meatballs) redolent of the aromas of the hillsides. Alternatively, fasolatha can be a prelude to the preserved fish that the Greeks love: lakertha (pickled white tuna) or salted anchovies.
These are taken from huge tins, with the glistening salt flakes still clinging to them. After being rinsed, filleted and (if a milder flavour is preferred) marinated in milk for a short time, they are dressed with olive oil and a little lemon juice.
Bean Soup (Fasolada)
Pork With Chickpeas
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