Published on July 14th, 2014 | by Ann Rickard0
Ouzo With Your Creamy Prawns?
After almost a week of lying flat on my back on the beach (on the padded sun lounge, let’s not forget) from 10.30am to 7pm, and then sitting on my (ever expanding) bum from 7.30pm to 11pm on our balcony overlooking Psarou Bay on the gorgeous Greek island of Mykonos, then lying flat on my bed from 11pm to 9am the next day, I thought it time to move a bit. Just a bit. Nothing too dramatic.
Maybe it was all those fab fast trains we travelled on in Switzerland the week before, maybe it was a case of magnificent mountain lag or lovely lake overdose, (so much beauty in Switzerland you are prone to a bout of over-dazzle), but something ailed me when we got to Mykonos and for six days I have not been able to move. The same went for the Man Geoffrey.
The most I could manage was a feeble walk from our delightful white-washed villa, down a tiny meandering path (about six metres) to the sun beds on Psarou Beach where I would flop and then not move for the rest of the day (although there was a small but enthusiastic stirring when the Man Geoffrey followed me down to the beach around midday complete with little esky filled with ice, a bottle of gin, a frosty glass and even..yes…limes.) (An icy gin and tonic at lunch time on the beach would get you stirring too, no?)
Anyway, last night we decided it was time to peel ourselves off sun beds and chairs and beds and actually walk over the hill from Psarou Bay to another charming bay (not so charming as ours, but very lovely) where there, laying in wait just for us were many lively tavernas all in a row right on the beach.
So, up the brown hill we went, looking down on the now empty beach and the people partying on the expensive big yachts anchored in the bay, wondering if we should go down, swim out, and gate crash. Sure, we hadn’t been able to move for a week but there was many a Veuve Clicquot cork popping on those yachts and lots of leggy ladies in bikinis dancing with their champagne glasses in the air. But no, we battled on and up, over the hill, trying to pretend we weren’t panting as we hadn’t done any exercise for over a month (lazy, so lazy…and to think I brought my running gear with me) and then we rounded a corner and came upon all the tavernas.
You have to walk along a narrow board walk between the sand and the tavernas and traverse a person outside each tavern whose job it is to entice you in before you are tempted by the enticer next door.
Every enticer brandishes big smiles and long menus at you with heart-felt promises of the best Greek salads and souvlaki on the island.
We, being the greedy types we are, fell into the first taverna in the row. Yes, we are easy prey when it comes to anything food related, but we also liked the look of the handsome young enticer doing the enticing.
What a hard job, I thought as I sat down at the nearest table and watched the enticer entice a constant stream of passers. You have to have a thick skin to cope with all the rejection. Most people he enticed passed him without so much as a ‘no thanks, not tonight’ wave, but he kept on smiling and enticing.
Within ten minutes of watching him, I had developed an unwholesome old-lady crush. He was so charming and smiling and young and lovely and took the rejection so cheerfully.
Then came the food and I forgot my old-lady crush immediately: a big fat whole squid, a plate piled high with fried zucchini, baked feta with chilli oil, and…wait for it… prawns in a creamy Ouzo sauce.
The Man Geoffrey quickly got stuck into the big whole squid scenario while I hogged the Ouzo prawns. To be honest, the prawns were overcooked and not juicy, but oh my…that sauce! Rich, creamy and silky, with the strong and unmistakable aniseed hit of Ouzo flowing through it, it was so out of this world I forgot the prawns, tore up a warm bread roll (sadly the Greeks can’t do good bread, but I forgive them) and mopped up every little drop.
I’m going to make this sauce when I get home. It can’t be that hard, no? Just reduce cream, season and add Ouzo? (Best I find out a bit more and seek a recipe before I invite you around to my place for prawns in creamy Ouzo.)
Once my attention was drawn away from the Ouzo prawns I could focus again on the lovely young enticer at the front doing his enticing and taking ceaseless rejection with a big smile.
Well of course I had to talk to him…I’m a writer after all…we do that.
So leaving The Man Geoffrey to the big fat squid, I chatted to our enticer and well, he was more than delightful. He told me he didn’t mind the rejection at all, he loved his work. Imagine that? How would you cope standing outside one taverna in a sea of others all vying for the same business, all with their own charming enticers, and you had to entice, lure, persuade, inveigle, attract, tempt and charm (yes, I have been at the Thesaurus) people who were spoilt for choice? And do it for hours on end?
Well, my crush grew on this lovely young man who acted as though he was interested in me even though I was old enough to be his grandmother, and then the Man Geoffrey left his squid for a minute and came out and took a photo of me and the enticer.
So – a handsome and dashing young man, prawns in Ouzo, a magical Greek Island…I think that’s enough story for today.