One of the things I remember about my mom was how the folklore, traditions and customs of her homeland were interconnected with her faith and how much food played a role in that.
Every year on August 27th she would make a “Fanouropita” or a cake dedicated to St. Fanourios, the saint of “lost items.”
She also made the cake at other moments throughout the year when she would lose or misplace something. The tradition from Crete (or at least how she learned it from her family) was to stick a needle into the carpet or wooden floor and repeat “May God forgive St. Fanourios’ mother.”
(There are varying legends about the saint’s mom and why you’re supposed to pray for the forgiveness of her soul, depending upon who you ask and what part of Greece they’re from)
After this ritual, you’re supposed to make a Fanouropita.
Last week I shared my mom’s handwritten recipe book with Maria Loi. The book was a collection of recipes that she had gathered over the years, written/scribbled on sheets of paper and all placed in a three-ring-binder.
At one moment Maria stopped flipping the pages and got very emotional.
From a cookbook my mother must have found years ago, she had transcribed in her own handwriting “Φανουροπιτα Μαρίας Λόη – Η καλύτερη” (Maria Loi’s Fanouropita – the best one)…
My mom made Maria Loi’s Fanouropita years before I would meet Maria. What a coincidence. In my mom’s own handwriting… “Maria Loi’s Fanouropita – the best.”
With St. Fanourios Day being tomorrow, August 27th, I figured I’d share Maria’s recipe so you had some time to gather the nine ingredients that you need.