Dentistry and roast pork…

As everyone knows by now, Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States, his second term.  I, for one, and happy although the victory is bittersweet for me.  This is the first major election in which I have not participated.  My absentee ballot for New York State never reached Paros.  I checked on-line and I am still registered.  Obviously a mix-up somewhere.  New York went thoroughly blue, so it wasn’t a huge deal (my absentee vote probably would not have mattered) but I feel it is still important to participate.  Enough of that subject.

During the fall break I was on Andiparos.  One evening while enjoying the satisfying crunch of potato chips, I bit down on something much more crunchy than the crisps and, thinking it was just a fried chunk of spud, swallowed it.  It turned out that the side of one of my lower molars had sheared off and that is what I ate.  It did not expose the root, so there was no pain or sensitivity but it did necessitate a visit to the local periodontist–a Greek word, by the way.  After short research I was given a choice between the authentic, mad Greek dentist full of charm and local color or the modern young fellow up the street who had been recommended by another ex-pat.  I chose the less colorful, more practical path and made a visit to Panagiotis Hondros, DMD, Msc.  He took one look and booked me in at the beginning of the next week.  Long story short, he re-built my tooth for 60 Euros (last week) and this week cleaned my teeth for another 70.  In the USA this would have cost me hundreds of dollars and I would have had to have waited a month for the first appointment.  I was very impressed.  I was so impressed I have booked him for some cosmetic work on a tooth that has become discolored following a root canal in my mid-teens.  It will be a simple procedure and we start bleaching next week.

As I write this post in Pebbles Jazz Bar, overlooking the bay of Paroikia, I am also roasting a bone-in pork loin.  Some would call this multi-tasking.  Here they call pork loin ‘pancetta’, not to be confused with the Italian bacon of the same name.  Here is the recipe:

1 bone-in pork loin, approx. 1.5 kilos

4 small onions and three carrots, sliced in half, both from Dimitri, the old man who sells vegetables here in the streets.

7 cloves of garlic, chopped

fresh rosemary, gathered from the hills just below Marathi

fresh oregano, gathered on a hike along the Byzantine Road above Aspro Chorio

sea salt/ fresh cracked black pepper

200 ml extra virgin olive oil, from olives grown near Boutakos

Mix the olive oil, salt, pepper, chopped herbs and garlic in a bowl to make a paste.  Place the halved vegetables in the bottom of a roasting pan to create the ‘rack’ on which to rest the meat.  Pre-heat the oven to 190C (375*F).  Smear the pork, all over, with the paste and place in the pan, on the onions and carrots.  Roast until done, about 1 1/2 hours.  Take out of the oven and let the roast rest for about 10 minutes, then dig in.  I plan on gnawing on this for the next few days.  Below is a photo, before cooking, to give you a visual of what it should look like after it is prepared.


Parian roast pork



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