Another year is almost over, and I am grateful for our good health and good luck to be with people we love and to get so much love back. It was a year of happiness, as babies came into our circle of family and love. It was also a year of sorrow, as dear friends from many years left us for their next journey. We will miss them and our thoughts will be with them often. To celebrate the change of the year, I want to share with you my recipe of Meatloaf with sweet dry fruits, to make and enjoy with your loved ones, to create happy memories.
Changes at Odyssey
In 2019 we have continued with the improvements and renovations at Odyssey. We are very happy that these changes were received with enthusiasm and positive comments. This also goes for our glamping on the olive farm. It was great to witness how much our glamping guests loved being with us on the farm, surrounded by the olive trees and enjoying our new swimming pool! We were very happy to see old friends returning to Odyssey and meeting new guests that have become friends already.
Photography: George Gkionis
The Odyssey crew
My daughter Dora has taken over the management at Odyssey and she is doing an excellent job. This year she did even better than last year! Maybe I am just a proud mother, but I also hear all these positive stories about her and her boyfriend Vangelis from friends and guests. Our Stella, Roula and Michelle were with us again and I am so happy and grateful to have these beautiful people around us at Odyssey. New blood came into the team with Vagia, our new cook in charge of the kitchen and with Alexandros, her son. Anastasia, Christina and Dimitris were also great assistants and we all loved Antonia and Petros. I am very happy to have them in our team and hopefully we will have them with us again in 2020!
Photo: Toni Brown
What else happened in 2019? So much! So many wonderful and exciting things, visits and experiences. It’s impossible to mention them all, so I will share some of the highlights with you:
There is nothing nicer to me than having people over for a week to cook with me, and the cooking weeks in 2019 were just fantastic! I love spending time with my guests cooking old, traditional Greek dishes, but also giving these a twist and experimenting with new recipes. It makes me really happy to talk about and share so much of our recipes, traditions and love. I enjoy looking for fresh ingredients and rediscovering what our area has to offer during different times of the year.
Easter on Poros
This year we had a fantastic Easter at the farm with live music and all the Greek traditions, like dancing a lot, drinking a lot and eating too much. Some guests arrived on the farm by taxi boat, others came by motorbike. I hope to have more of those Easters on the farm, it’s just such a magic time in Greece!
Always great fun are the kayaking weeks of Brian Gibbons, our Scottish sea kayak instructor. A lot of his jokes had us laughing on the floor this year. Also hilarious is Lynnette’s (owner of Flying Olive Weeks) ‘Brian Gibbons day’, that we ‘celebrated’ again in September.
The yoga weeks with Suus (our Dutch yoga teacher) were just fantastic. Such a joy to have all these happy souls coming (and returning) to Odyssey. Some people are made to be a part of our Odyssey family and Suus and her guests are such people. The same with our yoga guests from the USA that come with Kristie, a wonderful person that became part of our family. How fun is it to do kayaking and yoga in one holiday! In 2019 Despina Learmont organized a mindfulness & yoga week for the first time at Odyssey. We had a sweet, warm and very nice week with Despina and her guests.
Olive picking week
My olive picking week once again was super! I loved having all friends around me at that special moment of the year. It was so rewarding to pick olives with all of them and very hard to get enough of it. The olive oil we made together this year was super!
We had our dear Mary Horner organizing her Meraki Expeditions at Odyssey and Poros again this year. “ Meraki” is a Greek word meaning love for what you are doing. She shares all her love and passion for Poros which has become her second home (or maybe her first?).
Flying Olive Weeks
The Flying Olive Weeks with our lovely Lynnette were as full of fun as she is, when playing her Ukulele and teasing all people around (Lynnette is a born teaser). At the same time she also has become an expert in local history and will be able to tell you the latest gossip. Such a passionate explorer and great friend.
My tennis friends from Holland came once more to Odyssey in 2019. So special and wonderful to have them with us again; it felt like my sisters came to visit! My favourite New Zealander Al also came to Odyssey again, even for just a small visit. And then there were my beautiful girlfriends ‘The nurses’ from England that visited again and I had so much fun with! I loved having them. How lucky am I to have such great friends in my life!
Making plans for the future is nothing more than looking at the past, getting strength from it and making new plans from there. I am sure 2019 has been a year in which we learned new lessons, and I hope received good and positive energy to continue and make these new plans. I keep my fingers crossed that 2020 will be a great year. We actually have a lot to celebrate: 25 years of Odyssey! A milestone that we will be commemorating every week, and we are looking forward to celebrating with you and the entire Odyssey family.
Photo: Toni Brown
Meatloaf with sweet dry fruits
I hope you will feel inspired to make my meatloaf with sweet dry fruits. It’s delicious and has a festive look for your New Year’s party. I came up with this recipe thinking of all the dried fruits that I love so much and that I am not using enough in my recipes. This is not a typical recipe that you will often find on Greek tables for the change of the year, but it will certainly be on my table! Having created the recipe for this blog, I can’t wait to share it with my friends and family.
I, and the entire Odyssey family wish you a very happy New Year!
If you like a good wine to go with your meatloaf, I recommend this wonderful dry red wine from Domaine Skouras: Megas Oenos.
Food photography: Annette Spaan
Do you want to cook with Katerina at Odyssey?
Click here for more information!