I have to be honest, I never ate Afelia when I lived in Greece. I think it’s actually a Cypriot recipe and I found a recipe for it in the lovely Falling Cloudberries book by Tessa Kiros. It’s one of my favourite cookbooks – it’s very personal and contains the author’s recollections of her childhood growing up in different parts of the world – Greece, Cyprus, Finland, Italy and South Africa – and, of course, the food she ate in each place. Her writing is very evocative and includes some lovely details about how she used to eat leftover slow-cooked lamb with oregano for breakfast when she lived in Greece or likening the hills in Italy to the curves of a voluptuous women wearing skin tight green velvet and corduroy.
Anyway, Afelia is basically pork slowly cooked in red wine with coriander seeds and it sounded so simple, delicious and cheap that I thought I’d better give it a go.
Well, mine couldn’t have been duller.
It was quite watery and not very flavoursome – in fact I added quite a bit of salt at the table to try to make it taste of something! Very disappointing.
In an attempt to save the evening from the culinary doldrums I did something almost never do – I made a cake. It was a bit improvised (I didn’t have much sugar…) based on what I had in the cupboard… so I ended up with a ground almond and clementine loaf cake. Here it is:
Honestly? It wasn’t a triumph. It needed more sugar, more clementine zest and had it a freakishly crispy and bread-like crust on it.
Ah well. Best to forget about this one and look forward to tomorrow’s project – the super-frugal Breast of Lamb.