For a couple of dozen women from St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, these past few weeks have been a camaraderie of sisterhood in the church’s cafeteria as they prepare numerous treats for the Philoptochos Fall Food Festival next week.
On Tuesday, they were rolling out the phyllo dough for Diples, a Greek pastry that features thinly rolled dough that is fried and rolled at the same time then covered in honey and nuts. It literally melts in your mouth and you’re left with the sweet taste of honey and nuts.
“We not only have Greek people come to the festival, we have people from all over the community,” said Diane Harig of Round Lake, as Dina Stergiou of Grayslake and Vickie Elias of Antioch ran the dough through a machine that is also used for other pastries and noodles.
“It’s something a little different,” said Harig, noting that people like to try new things. On Thursday and Friday, Nov. 21 and 22, the Greek festival will offer foods that will tantalize your taste buds including Galatoppuriko, a baked custard dessert that barely holds together when cut with a fork; Melos, a spice cookie with honey and nuts; Kurembethes, a powdered sugar butter cookie; and Koulouria, a butter cookie. And, of course, the Mediterranian powerhouse of desserts: Baklava, phyllo dough stacked with honey and nuts that most people recognize.
The main food items will be roast leg of lamb and Athenian chicken. At last year’s event, they went through 60 legs of lamb and 300 chickens. There is also spinach and cheese puffs, stuffed grape leaves, Pastichio, Dolmades and a dish called Plaki.