Thinking of this recipe, my mind wandered off to my schooldays. At the time, when we returned from school, my mother would give us something to eat that was usually a piece of bread with something on top. I realize that this topping would nowadays make us laugh. Nowadays in Greece, what mothers think is good or bad for their children would conflict completely with what they thought in the 60’s and 70’s. Their standards would be unspeakable today. This leek bruschetta is one of the most delicious examples.
Let me tell you what else could be on the menu after school; A thick slice of bread, a bit wet, with a thick layer of sugar on top, was the commonest thing to eat. This ‘recipe’ changed in the Summer to a thick slice of bread with tomato, or the remains left from the tomato sauce from the day before. Sometimes, when my mother was really in an expensive mood, she used the famous concentrated tomato pasta of Kyknos. Other times she applied just the leftovers from lunch, like with this leek bruschetta. I loved it and often asked her to make it again.
Usually we were too busy playing with children from the neighbourhood (sometimes up to 40 kids) to realize what we were eating. Other times we requested certain snacks that we remembered and loved. Lately I have been asking my mother for the recipes of those snacks from those years, and that gives her so much amusement.
Actually, she recalls those memories a little bit differently to me; She remembers that she had to stop everything that she was doing when we were demanding (not asking in her memory) for something to eat before we would go out to play. How she loved it that sometimes something simple and basic made us smile and jump out of love for the taste of what she had improvised.
Fooling my mother
I remember those carefree and playful days full off fun and extremely tasty, wonderful things to eat, that I secretly shared with my friends. I remember always sending back my brother to ask for more. My mother, as every Greek mother, would take very good care of her son; She would always give him a second portion because he was rather skinny. I was not skinny so she would never give me any second portion. Looking back, it is so funny that she would always say that her skinny son always asked for a second portion but was never putting on weight, while her daughter eats half of what he eats but so easily gains extra kilos. This was a real mystery for my mother. I am pretty sure she never realized that I was eating and sharing my brothers second portions with my friends. Maybe it’s time to tell her…
With the recipe for leek bruschetta I have tried to recreate a very special food memory from my childhood and a yummy snack or starter. I loved making it together with my daughter Dora. The leeks we used and you see in the pictures are so sweet and tasty, their aroma filled the entire kitchen. Dora said the aromas and tastes reminded her of her childhood. Try to find nice wholemeal flour bread if it is possible, made with sourdough so that it will give you a wonderful taste as it complements the sweetness of the topping. Enjoy and let me know what you think of this recipe!
Photos: George Gkionis
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