Annunciation Church Celebrates Greek Culture [VIDEO]
The 2011 Greek Fest included food, music and dance.
Pans of mousaka—a casserole layered with beef, eggplant and sliced potatoes with a cream sauce; souvlaki, skewered marinate beef or chicken; and roast lamb filled the serving tables Saturday evening inside a large room of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church.
Under an adjacent tent, serving plates were piled with desserts, including baklava, layers of filo pastry with cinnamon and walnuts, soaked in syrup; galaktobouriko, layered filo pastry with a custard center; and kourambiethes, powered sugar tea cookies.
A band played Greek music and people began to join hands in a Greek line dance.
The church held its Greek Fest 2011 this weekend, from Friday afternoon through Sunday night.
Church members, mainly women, make all of the food, according to several food servers. Church member Mary Barbas, one of the members of the cooking committee, who was also serving Saturday evening, said she helped make 30 pans of mousaka. The food is cooked in the church kitchen, she said. The festival is the church’s main fundraiser, Barbas said.
The servers dish up thousands of plates of food, according to Amelia Hoffman, another Saturday evening server. People eat at the festival and also buy Greek specialties to take home, she said.
“We love Greek culture, history and food,” said Elaine Siouani of Woburn, sitting inside the church building. She had been attending the festival every year, she said, for the past half-decade.
Dorothy Sheer came from Quincy with her friend, Sheila Profenna, from Everett. Neither is Greek. They and several other festival-goers said they look on line for Greek festivals. Sheer described the souvlaki at Annunciation Church as “the best.” She also enjoys the music, she said. Sheer likes the items for sale around the perimeter of the room. Last year she bought a book about icons, she said.
It’s “a treat” to get plaki, haddock baked in a tomato and vegetable sauce, said Rosemary Kennett of Burlington.
Sitting under the tent near the band, parishioner Mary Fries of Stoneham said she “grew up with this (culture) since I was a little girl.”
The Chinian family of Woburn, Sarkis and Mary and their children, Shaeleigh, a fifth-grader at St. Charles School and Garrett, a St. Charles third-grader, also went to the festival. Sarkis and Mary have been going, Mary said, for about 10 years, even before they had children.
“We love Greek food,” Mary said. They go just to the local Greek festival. “We love to support the Woburn community,” Mary said. As they were leaving, Shaeleigh and Garrett held souvenirs. Mary carried a bag of Greek cookies.