Whereas Christmas is celebrated in Greece in much the same way as it is globally (Christmas trees,presents, blinking lights, stuffed turkey), Easter is, for us, a unique feast of special foods, traditions ,and most of all, huge, noisy, and long anticipated family gatherings.
Sweet breads flavored with mastic (tsourekia) and Easter cookies, (koulourákia) are the most popular treats every housewife makes annually for the family and to give away to friends. Of course everyone has this or her own recipe for those special treats. Well, almost everyone did, because in my home town we all shared the same ‘’secret” recipe. It was very common in small towns during the 80’s and 90’s, before the big super markets arrived, to buy all food supplies from the local grocer. So, during the week leading up to Easter, we would simply ask for the ingredients needed to make 3-4 kilos of Easter cookies.
Home produced eggs and milk were used if available but the exact quantity of the other ingredients for the recipe like fresh butter, sugar, vanilla and special cookies flour were known by the grocer and handed out according to the kilos required in each case.
We became so attached to that recipe which was followed during all of my childhood years, that before the store owner retired, we made sure to get that foolproof recipe written down and have used it ever since.