Greek Kourambiedes – “The” Christmas Cookie

Ingredients

Beat on medium speed until lightened in color and creamy:
3/4 pound unsalted butter, softened & 1/4 teaspoon salt

Beat until very fluffy and well blended:
2/3 cup powdered sugar & 1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons brandy & 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

And then gradually add and stir until well blended and smooth:
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1 cup Ground Almonds (optional)

Instructions

1. Cover and refrigerate the dough until firm enough to shape into balls, about 1 hour.

2. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease cookie sheets.

3. Pull off pieces of the dough and roll between your palms into generous 1-inch balls. Space about 1 inch apart on the sheets.

4.  Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until the cookies are faintly tinged with brown, 14-18 minutes; rotate the sheet halfway through baking for even browning. Remove the sheet to a rack and let stand until the cookies firm slightly. Gently transfer to racks to cool completely.

5.  Sift over the cookies until evenly coated: 1/3 cup powdered sugar.

6.  If desired, 1 cup ground almonds may be added to this recipe. If you do add the ground almonds, stir in after you have added the vanilla or almond extract, then continue with recipe.

Makes about 4 dozen (1 1/4 inch) cookies.

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Ottawa Mayor proclaims Oxi Day

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His Worship Mayor Jim Watson officially proclaimed October 28th as “Oxi Day” for the residents of Ottawa. The proclamation states:

 

Whereas, each year on this date, people of Hellenic heritage around the world celebrate the anniversary of the infamous WWII response “Oxi” by a besieged Greek Nation to the aggression of the Axis powers; and

Whereas, this triumph of human spirit over tyranny, demonstrated by Greeks in their hour of darkness, has endured as a shining example for all free people and nations in our world to stand and defend the ideals of freedom, justice and liberty; and 

Whereas, in the Ottawa Region, the AHEPA Ottawa Chapter promotes the recognition of and appreciation for the values of Hellenism, as so profoundly captured in the Greek response of “Oxi”;  

Therefore, I, Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa, do hereby proclaim October 28, 2016 Oxi Day in Ottawa.

Oxi Day in the Nation’s Capital

Today Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson recognized Oxi Day with a delegation from the AHEPA Ottawa Chapter. Below is the release issued by AHEPA Ottawa. (To mark this special day with the Mayor at City Hall By George is posting background articles on the significance of Oxi Day for Hellenes in Canada and around the world.  Click: 1. A short history of Oxi Day. 2. Quotes and Memes by world leaders.)

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Mayor Jim Watson officially proclaims Oxi Day for City of Ottawa

AHEPA Ottawa Chapter thanks Mayor for recognizing ideals of Hellenism

 

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson met with a delegation from AHEPA Ottawa this morning to recognize “Oxi Day” honouring the courageous deeds of those who fought for all of democracy in Greece in the early, dark days of WWII.

 

This day commemorates the anniversary when Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas said, “No” to an ultimatum made by Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini. In response to this refusal, Italian troops attacked the Greek border. On the morning of October 28th, the Greek population took to the streets, shouting “oxi” in defiance.

 

His Worship Mayor Watson officially proclaimed October 28th as “Oxi Day” for the residents of Ottawa. The proclamation states:

 

Whereas, each year on this date, people of Hellenic heritage around the world celebrate the anniversary of the infamous WWII response “Oxi” by a besieged Greek Nation to the aggression of the Axis powers; and

Whereas, this triumph of human spirit over tyranny, demonstrated by Greeks in their hour of darkness, has endured as a shining example for all free people and nations in our world to stand and defend the ideals of freedom, justice and liberty; and 

Whereas, in the Ottawa Region, the AHEPA Ottawa Chapter promotes the recognition of and appreciation for the values of Hellenism, as so profoundly captured in the Greek response of “Oxi”;  

Therefore, I, Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa, do hereby proclaim October 28, 2016 Oxi Day in Ottawa.

 

The AHEPA Ottawa delegation was pleased the Mayor marked this anniversary recognizing Hellenic values and the significance of man’s struggles for liberty, justice and freedom. AHEPA Ottawa Chapter President Nikos Hatzitheodosiou said, “This day is a shining example in our modern history of a defiant stand against the evils of tyranny and aggression. The bravery displayed in Greece in 1940 gave all democratic people hope and resolve to fight for their values and ideals.”

 

“Much has been sacrificed in our collective history so that we can enjoy our freedoms in the western world. We can’t forget this, nor take it for granted,” said Mr. Hatzitheodosiou.

 

The AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association) mission is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of education, philanthropy, civic responsibility, and family and individual excellence through community service and volunteerism. AHEPA is the largest and oldest grassroots association of citizens of Greek heritage with over 400 chapters across the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.

 

The AHEPA Ottawa Chapter is active in its philanthropic and educational activities and has a history of donating to local causes, most recently to Ottawa Heart Institute and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). It also raises money for children’s organizations in Greece and last year organized the donation of hospital beds from CHEO to a Greek hospital in need. Each year the Chapter provides scholarships for post-secondary pursuits to students of Greek heritage as well as financial support to scholastic and cultural activities within Ottawa’s Greek community.

 

~ Chris George, AHEPA Ottawa Chapter Secretary

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Quotes & Memes honouring Oxi Day

On Friday this week, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson will be receiving a delegation from the AHEPA Ottawa Chapter to celebrate “Oxi Day”. To mark this special day at Ottawa City Hall By George is posting background articles on the significance of Oxi Day for Hellenes in Canada and around the world.  Yesterday, read a short history of the day. Today, what world leaders thought of the Greek efforts in 1940 and what the resistance meant for democracies threaten by Nazi aggression.

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Here are quotes and a selection of memes by some of the world leaders of that time as the Greek army withstood the Italian and German forces as well as the armies of neighbouring Bulgaria and Albania. (By George encourages you to right-click on the memes, save and share via social media on October 28th.)

 

“The word heroism, I’m afraid, does not reflect in the least the Hellenes’ acts of self-sacrifice that were the defining factor of the victorious ending of all the nations’ common struggle during the 2nd WW for human freedom and dignity.” – Sir Winston Churchill

 

“If it were not for the bravery of the Hellenes and their courageous hearts, the ending of the 2nd WW would not have been clear.” – Sir Winston Churchill

 

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“Until now we were saying that Hellenes fight like heroes. Now we will say: Heroes fight like Hellenes.” – Sir Winston Churchill

 

‘The Hellenes” in fighting against the common enemy will share with us in the prosperity of peace.” – Sir Winston Churchill

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“As a matter of historical truth, I must ascertain that only the Hellenes, of all the adversaries that confronted me, fought with daring courage and the highest disregard to death… ” – Adolph Hitler

 

“I fail to give the most needed gratitude that I feel for the heroic resistance of the people and the leaders of Hellas.” – Charles DeGaulle

 

“Hellas is the symbol of martyric, enslaved, bleeding, but live Europe.  Never has a defeat been so honorable for those who underwent it.” – Maurice Schumann (French Minister of Foreign Affairs)

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“I’m sad because I’m getting old and I will not live much longer to express my gratitude to the Hellenic people whose resistance deter­mined WW II.  You fought unarmed and won, small against big… You gave us time to defend ourselves. As Russians and as fellow humans, we thank you.” – Soviet Leader Josef Stalin

 

“If the Russian people man­aged to raise resistance before the gates of Moscow, to contain and reverse the German hurricane, they owe it to the Hellenic people who delayed the German divisions that could have beaten us. The gigantic battle of Crete was the peak of the Hellenic contribution.” – Georgy Joucov (Marshall of the Soviet Army)

 

“… the war in Greece proved that anything can be shattered, with respect to the military, and that sur­prises always await us.” – Italian Prime Minister Benito Mousolini

 

“The great struggle of Hellas was the first big detour for the 2nd WW.” – King George VI

 

“It would not be an exaggeration to say that Hellas overturned all the German plans forcing Germany to delay for 6 weeks its attack on Russia. We ask ourselves what would have been the position of the Soviet Union without Hellas.” – Sir Harold Alexander (British Marshall)

 

“Regardless what historians will say in the future, what we can say now is that Hellas gave a memorable lesson to Mussolini, that she was the reason of the resistance in Yugoslavia, that she kept the Germans on the soil of Ipiros and Crete for 6 weeks, that she changed the chronological order of all of the German Major Generals’ plans and, thus, brought about a general alteration in the entire war’s journey and we won.” – Sir Robert Anthony Eden

 

“For Hellas there was granted a delay of 3 hours on the 28th of October 1940 so that she can decide on war or peace, but, even if a delay of 3 days or 3 weeks or 3 years was granted, the answer would have been the same.” – U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt

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“The Hellenes have taught dignity throughout the centuries (history). When the entire world had lost all hope, the Hellenic people dared to doubt the German monster’s invincibility fighting back with the proud spirit of freedom.” – U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt

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“The heroic struggle of the Greek people to defend their liberties and their homes against the aggression of Germany after they had so signally defeated the Italian attempt at invasion has stirred the hearts and aroused the sympathy of the whole American people.” – U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt to the AHEPA Supreme Lodge in 1941

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(ed. – Click here to read more On the Order of AHEPA.)

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Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Celebrating Oxi Day

On Friday this week, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson will be receiving a delegation from the AHEPA Ottawa Chapter to celebrate “Oxi Day”. It will be a special day at Ottawa City Hall! Over the next three days, By George will post background posts on Oxi Day and what it means for Hellenes in Canada and around the world.  Today, the significance and genesis of Oxi Day.

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Oxi Day is October 28 on the calendar, a national holiday in Greece and recognized by Greeks around the world as a day to remember Hellenic values and the courageous words and deeds of those who fought for Greece and all of democracy in the early, dark days of WWII.

 

AHEPA Ottawa Chapter wishes to raise the attention of this day to Ottawa residents, those of Greek heritage and all of our community’s citizens. Oxi Day is a day to reflect on the strength of the human spirit when confronted with an impossible situation; and to appreciate the price that, at times, must be paid to stand up for one’s principles, values, rights and freedom. (More on the Order of AHEPA.)

 

On the Genesis of Oxi Day

 

Oxi Day commemorates the anniversary when former military general and Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas said, “No” to an ultimatum made by Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini to allow Italian forces to occupy strategic locations in Greece. In response to Metaxas’s refusal, Italian troops attacked the Greek border. On the morning of 28 October, the Greek population took to the streets, shouting “oxi” (pronounced O-hee).

 

The superior Italian army had initial success but the Greeks pushed the Italian army back into Albania.  This was the first land defeat of the Axis forces in WWII, and it provided a ray of hope for democracies worldwide.  Churchill wrote “Greeks do not fight like heroes; heroes fight like Greeks.” Mussolini was embarrassed and had to call Hitler for help. Greek and British forces continued to fight and decimate German troops, until Greece surrendered six months later.

 

This stand against the Axis Forces was truly remarkable and is recorded as the greatest resistance against Nazi blitzkrieg in WWII. Greek and later British forces withstood 219 days of invading forces. In total 13,696 Greek soldiers died before the Nazis raised the swastika flag over the Parthenon. (In comparison, France fell in 43 days; Poland in 30; Belgium in 18; the Netherlands 4; and Norway in 7.)

 

Hitler observed: “For the sake of historical truth I must verify that only the Greeks, of all the adversaries who confronted us, fought with bold courage and highest disregard of death.” The extent of casualties in Greece caused Hitler to delay an attack on Russia, thus subjecting his troops to harsh winter conditions and contributing to the defeat of Germany.

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.