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Still time to get your Greek on — with pre-orders and walk-ins

MAKING BAKLAVA — Paula Riley, left, and Sophia Mastros were among volunteers from Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 300 S. Fourth St., Steubenville, who were helping to make baklava for “A Taste of Greece To Go,” the church’s fundraiser this month. A scaled-back menu of Greek food items can be pre-ordered through Sunday and picked up June 16 and 17 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the same two days when walk-ins are now being accepted also. -- Janice Kiaski

STEUBENVILLE — “A Taste of Greece to Go,” Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church’s scaled-back food festival this month, is continuing to accept pre-orders through Sunday for a limited menu featuring Greek food favorites.

And walk-ins will be welcomed now on June 16 and 17, the same dates for pre-order pick-ups.

The fundraiser is being offered in a different format this year because of a lack of volunteers and ongoing COVID concerns, but there’s still the opportunity to savor key Greek food favorites, according to Rikki Kamarados, who is serving as event co-chair along with Nick Demitras.

Patrons can place orders through Sunday online at bit.ly/greek2go or www.holytrinitystb.org or call the church at 300 S. Fourth St., Steubenville, at (740) 282-9835.

Pickups will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 16 and 17 with patrons instructed to enter behind the church in the bar room area.

“We have now opened it up to walk-ins on those two days,” Kamarados noted. “Pre-orders will be closed this Sunday and the pick-ups and walk-ins will be June 16 and 17, and we will accept credit, debit or cash for the walk-ins,” she added.

The menu includes: Roasted chicken dinner with rice pilaf and green beans, $14; rice pilaf (rice steamed in butter and chicken broth, $4; green beans (fresh green beans stewed in a special tomato sauce), $4; pastitsio (layers of macaroni, grated cheese, and sauteed ground beef topped with a rich cream sauce and baked to a firm consistency) $8; spanakopita (baked layers of filo dough filled with spinach, an egg mixture and feta, cottage and grated cheeses), $3.50; Dolmades (lemon-scented grape leaves stuffed with a seasoned mixture of rice, meat and herbs), three for $3.50; gyro sandwich (slices of gyro — spiced beef, lamb and veal — served in pita bread, topped with onions, tomatoes and cucumber sauce), $9; baklava (layers of buttered filo, walnuts and cinnamon with honey syrup), $3; Koulourakia (a buttery twisted shortbread cookie), 12 for $8; and Kourambiedes (buttered cookies rolled in powdered sugar), $2.

The festival helps raise money for the church.

“We do a lot of outreach in the community, and one of the big things we do every year is the Christmas dinner. The past two years we haven’t been able to do it the regular way, but the past year we had dinner and people walked in and got a dinner and left. We didn’t have any seating. Hopefully on Christmas day, we can actually have people eating in,” she said in a previous interview of what has involved as many as 500 to 600 meals.

Fewer volunteers means less food made, too, according to Kamarados, noting that instead of 12,000 grape leaves, for example, it’s more like 5,000 to 6,000.

Making homemade Greek food is time-consuming and labor-intensive as witnessed when volunteers recently gathered at the church to make baklava, a festival dessert staple.

Church member Don Kronstein offered some insight on the process that ultimately would involve making 24 trays of baklava amounting to 2,400 pieces.

“That’s about half of what we normally make,” Kronstein observed.

About 24-25 trays requires 150 pounds of walnuts which are ground with sugar and cinnamon added to it. Three pounds of phyllo dough per tray is used with each layer buttered. After it’s baked and cooled, a simple sugar syrup is added, according to Kronstein.

“We’re having all the biggest sellers the people identify with Greek. We’re still here. We want to show the community we’re here with our pastries and cooking. You can still get your Greek on, but not onsite,” she said.

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