An organic culinary spectacle is happening in a modest unit in Moorabbin.
The octogenarian couple, Dimitri and Antonia Adaras are governed by a youthful enthusiasm, and a joy that challenges current notions of ageing.
The pair have created a world of food that would make the most exclusive farm-to-table aficionados jealous. They are a perfect example of a sustainable food ecology.
The pair grow tomatoes, peppers, garlic, beans, leeks, pumpkins, cabbages and even nettles. They grow enough to fill two large freezers.
“We have beans – for the next six months,” Antonia says.
“When we have a good crop of tomatoes, we make the sauce of the whole year.
“The pension doesn’t go far, but don’t go without,” she adds.
Dimitri was born in Neohori, in Karditsa Prefecture, and Antonia is from Karditsa.
When Dimitri and Antonia moved into the unit, they didn’t like it. The yard at the back was too small for them to grow foodstuff.
However, the large common area of lawn in front of the unit screamed potential so Dimitri approached the body corporate manager and asked if they could use it to garden. The manager agreed and since then Dimitri and Antonia have been cultivating an area of about 3mts X 7mts and produce enough for themselves, their extended family, and the neighbours.
They make trachanas (cracked wheat pasta), Greek spoon sweets, spinach, and cheese pites (pies), tomato sauce and sausages. Dimitri puts the success of the endeavour all down to love.
“We make everything together, with my love,” Dimitri says and winks at Antonia.
“I can’t complaint,” Antonia says nonchalantly, and returns a cheeky gaze at Dimitri.
“We have our routine, in the morning when we wake up, Dimitri makes me a coffee and then he goes for a walk. When he comes back, I then go for a walk.
“Dimitri gets busy with the garden, or he tinkers with something, and I work in the kitchen.
“Thank God, as we have healthy, and love, everything will work out.”
The hero – especially for winter – are the couple’s leek sausages.
“The ones that Antonia and I make – without wanting to brag – are the best leek sausages in town.”
“We have two machines. One for the minced meat and one for the sausages.”
Their love for each other is best expressed on their magnificent sausages.
“You need good pork meat and passion for making it,” Antonia emphasises.
LEEK SAUSAGE RECIPE
Natural casing usually made of pork intestines.
5 kilos of good pork
2 kilos of pork fat
10 large leeks
Salt, pepper, and oregano (to your taste)
Zest of an orange and nutmeg.
Mix them well then pass them through the casings. Hang them and wait three days. During this time, pierce the sausages with a toothpick to drain the fat.
After three days put them in the freezer in small quantities and they are ready to BBQ or fry them.