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Greek Food Festival is this weekend

The fourth annual Greek Food Festival sponsored by the St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 9426 Little Road, New Port Richey, is scheduled Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The chefs and women of St. George have planned a menu to please all

appetites. Traditional foods, pastries and other refreshments will be


George Hatzis is general chairman.

A variety of Greek foods including Athenian chicken, lamb, rice pilaf, moussaka (eggplant and ground meat topped with a cream sauce), pastitsio (ziti and ground meat with a cream sauce topping) and spanakopita (a spinach pie with feta cheese topped with a filo pastry) will be featured among the entrees.

For those looking for sweet things, there will be several types of baklava, diples (honey rolls), finikia (honey dipped cookies), koulourakia (butter cookies) and kourambiedes (wedding cookies with a powdered sugar topping).

A special prize will be a four-day cruise. A variety of homemade arts and crafts will be for sale.

A cherry tree with more than 4,000 cotton cherries (individually wrapped balls of cotton, some colored) is a favorite festival event.

The colored cotton cherries indicate a prize-winning find. Fran Kendal, committee chairman in charge of the cherry tree, says there should be about 600 winning cherries.

Hours for the festival are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

James Pappi, publicity director, said this is one way the church helps to support itself and its building projects.

The public is welcome. Admission and parking are free.

Other committee chairwomen are Bette Kordis, prizes; Adele Bravakos and Penny Zarras, co-chairwomen of the arts and crafts committee;

Helen Pappi, boutique; and Dena Hatzis and Ann Apostol, chief pastry makers.

Hatzis said many women are reluctant to make baklava because they think it is too complicated. But she thinks it is the simplest and easiest Greek pastry to make. Here's the recipe: BAKLAVA 1 pound of filo pastry (available in super markets) 1 pound of ground walnuts 1/2 pound ground almonds 1 pound sweet butter (unsalted) 1 Tsp. cinnamon

Mix nuts and cinnamon together. Butter a 13-by-9-inch pan. Place 8 sheets of filo pastry in the pan after spreading melted butter on each pastry sheet.

Sprinkle top sheet with nuts, then place two buttered sheets of filo pastry as next layer. Sprinkle nut mixture on every second sheet and continue until there are 6 to 8 layers of nuts. Place 8 or 10 layers of filo sheets as top layers buttering each sheet. Cut baklava into small diamond shapes using a sharp knife.

Bake in 400-degree oven for 10 minutes, lower oven to 300 degrees and continue baking for another 30 minutes or until layer is golden brown.

SYRUP 1 cup of sugar 2 cups of water 1 cup of honey

Boil together for 20 minutes. Pour cool syrup over baklava as soon as it is removed from oven. Syrup must be cool before pouring over hot baklava.

National VFW commander to visit

Walter "Wally" Hogan, national commander in chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars from Greenfield, Wis., is making an official visit to the Veterans of Foreign Wars posts in the area.

He will meet from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday with Ronald Lee, District 21 commander of Safety Harbor, and Peter Puentes, commander of the Department of Florida and member of Spring Hill VFW Post 10209, at the VFW Post 6180, 11511 Osceola Drive, New Port Richey.

Hogan also will visit Hudson VFW Post 4412 at 8517 Bolton Ave., Hudson, at 5 p.m. Friday. Cmdr. William L. Olenik requests all VFW members and members of the Ladies Auxiliary to attend. Members of other posts in the area also are invited.

Past Matrons-Patrons set installation

Past Matrons and Past Patrons Club of Michigan will install officers at a meeting at 11:30 a.m. today at Sunset Point Family Restaurant, 2328 Sunset Point Road, Clearwater.

For reservations, call Mary Chornabny at (813) 797-7842.