Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Folklorama: Pasticchio and Gibanica


The Greek Pavilion is one of the must-see places during Folklorama.
In 1980 it took place, as always, at 2255 Grant Avenue, at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church.
The Ladies Philotochos Society of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, its sponsor, have never disappointed their visitors.

In the earlier years the entertainment and food were located in the church’s basement.
The experience was cozier - we’d browse in the church, where we’d see the gold leaf screen, as well as many works of art. 
Then we went downstairs into the basement, where we enjoyed the music, the dancers, and the food.
Nia Vardalos, of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame, has said that she had performed as a dancer there, as it was her parish and everyone volunteered. 
It was a fun-filled place, where the audience was invited to take part in the Zorba dance. Opa!!

The food at the Greek Pavilion has always been authentic and delicious.
We’d have a dinner of moussaka, souvlaki or pasticchio, then follow with dessert, baklava and kourabiethes, and a glass or two of Greek ouzo and Retsina.
Often people in groups would order one or two of everything and sample while enjoying the show.

As it was one of our favourites, we made sure to take my folks there when they here during Folklorama.

Since those early days the church has acquired an adjoining hall where the entertainment takes place. Now there’s a show on a stage and we can only watch the young men perform the Zorba dance.
Fun and well done, but I miss the old days when we could join in the dance.

Just north of Greece is Serbia, so let’s visit the Serbian Pavilion, which in 1980 was held in Sargent Park School at 1070 Dominion Street and extended a family-oriented Dobro Dosli to all.
The St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church congregation was the sponsor.

Classrooms were filled with cultural displays explaining the history, geography, customs, traditions and music of Serbia.
There were also short movies illustrating the way of life in Serbia.
The Servian Folk Dance Group, in national costume, performed folk dances.

The menu was hearty and delicious.
For dinner there was moussaka, sarma djuvech, barbecued piglet, and bean soup, with many desserts, including Gibanica.
Visitors could choose from Servian wines, Silvovica and Niksicko beer, as well as domestic and soft drinks.

Of course the Greek Pavilion is in the current Folklorama50 brochure, as well as two Serbian pavilions: the Serbian "KOLO" Pavilion and the Serbian Pavilion "Beograd”.  


The Pasticchio recipe measures with sticks of butter.
I assume each stick is 1/4 pound.

If you ever go to a Greek restaurant and see Pastitsio or Pasticcio, it’s the same dish as Pasticchio

In the 1980 brochure there was a note about Filo in the Serbian piece: 
Strudel; Ready made filo can be purchased in Greek or Italian stores.
Sure, you can still find it there, as well as any other major grocery store.
We’ve come a long way since 1980.


You’ll need a 17 1/2 inch x 11 1/2 inch x 2 1/2 inch pan
        or a combination of smaller pans - adjust the baking time

1 onion

Place in a large pot
1/2 stick butter
Over medium heat fry the chopped onion in the butter until golden brown.
3 pounds ground beef
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons nutmeg
Stirring regularly, cook 10 minutes until the meat is browned.
4 ounces tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Set aside.

In a large pot boil
1 1/2 pounds macaroni
Cook 9 minutes.
Drain, blanch with cold water in a large bowl, and set aside.

Cream Sauce

1 1/2 quarts milk

Beat in a medium bowl
10 eggs

Melt in a Dutch oven
1 stick butter
Add gradually and stir continuously to avoid lumps
5 teaspoons flour
Stir in the warmed milk.
Add the beaten eggs to the mixture and stir until it thickens.

Beat in a medium bowl
8 eggs

Drain the macaroni and return to the large bowl
1 pound Romano cheese, grated
3 Cups of the cream sauce
the beaten eggs
Stir well to combine.

Melt in the large baking ban (or divide among smaller ones)
1 stick butter
Place half of the macaroni mixture in the pan.
Sprinkle with
1/2 pound Romano cheese, grated
Pour the meat mixture over the pasta.
Top with the remaining pasta mixture.
Sprinkle with
1/2 pound Romano cheese, grated
Pour the remaining cream sauce over the pasta mixture.
Bake at 325º F for 1 hour and 25 minutes, if using the large pan.


To make Filo

Place in a large mixing bowl
4 Cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 1/2 Cups warm water
Mix with a fork.
Knead on a board for 10 minutes.
Divide dough into 3 balls.
Brush each with salad oil, cover with a cloth, and let stand for 20 minutes.

Using one ball at a time roll out about 12 inches x 6 inches.
Then pull gently over a clean tablecloth working on all sides evenly until the dough is tissue paper thin and hangs down on all sides of the table.
Allow the dough to dry a few minutes, then lift from the tablecloth.
Stretch a little more and cut off the thick edges.
Leave Filo on the table.

Cheese Filling

Place in a large mixing bowl
2 pounds cottage cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
5 eggs
2 Tablespoons sour cream
2 Tablespoons margarine, melted
1 teaspoon salt
Mix well.

Sprinkle salad oil on the filo.
Spread evenly 1/3 of the filling over the filo.
Lift the tablecloth and roll the filled filo in a sausage -like roll.
Sprinkle with oil and place in a greased baking pan.
Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Bake at 350º F for one hour.

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