Sunday, June 29, 2008

1st Octopus of the Season

I think that a lot of my readers were thrilled with my first octopus post from last summer so I owe it to all of you to share the news of our first octopus of the season. This octopus was speared by Kosta on June 15-Father's Day. What a great present for him! He was only in the water for about 10 minutes when he emerged with his catch. I find that amazing. I've snorkeled a lot and I've still never seen an octopus hiding under a rock or swimming. I've been trying to spot one for 18 years. Maybe one day I'll see one but I'll leave the spearing to Kosta and in the future, Foti.

It was interesting to see how the kids reacted to the octopus this year. Izabella seemed a little apprehensive to handle it this time and Foti wanted to take it from Kosta as soon as it came out of the water. He's definitely a future octopus hunter.
He even volunteered to slam the octopus on the rock in order to tenderize it. I'm glad because I didn't really feel like doing it since my designer sunglasses were stolen and it wouldn't look quite right unless I was wearing them. Look at how seriously Foti was doing his work!

The kids also listened intently while Kosta explained where the tooth of the octopus was, how the suctions worked and why the octopus squirts ink.

This one was a fighter and was trying its best to get away. Although it's delicious I have to admit that sometimes, just sometimes I'm not thrilled watching the process. I forget quickly though because I love to eat them and I think that my husband is a master at handling them.

I think that we all posed with it this time. Here's one of Izabella's poses. She slammed the octopus on the rock a few times but it was too hard for her, she said that it was too heavy.

After we were finished tenderizing the octopus a little boy that had been watching us came over to show us the starfish that he found. I thought that it was sweet but my kids weren't impressed after having handled an octopus. I still think that it was sweet and I told them to be kind to him. I assume that he was vacationing with his parents since he didn't speak Greek or English.

When we finished at the beach we were ready to make dinner. We brought fish with us that we had planned on grilling and we added the octopus to our menu. It took longer on the grill but it was worth the wait...and I can't wait for the next one. There's nothing like fresh seafood in the summer!

***I'd like to thank our new friend Phivos Nicolaidis for featuring a picture of Foti on his travel site. His site is extremely informative, beautifully descriptive and he has great music also! Check it out! Thank you Phivos!***


  1. Love the water wings - a very cute accompaniment to octopus bashing! Grilled octupus - one of the world's best foods. Congratulations Kosta!

  2. Amazing! and congratulations on your 10,000 hits. I enjoy following your story.

  3. excellent catch - hope there are many more of them - so it was your son on phivos' site, wow!

  4. THANK YOU Cherryl for your so kind comments on my blog. I reciprocate and say that your thoughts written in your blog are interesting and valuable.

    The photos of the kids are just beautiful and lovable. They reminded me, my two sons when they were in the age of Fotis and Izabella.
    Warm regards from Cyprus.

  5. Laurie, I agree! Octopus is one of the world's best dishes. The kids already love it and I'm glad. I've never heard the expression "water wings". It's hilarious.

    2 Bears- Thank you. Kosta is amazing! We can't wait until come to visit!

    Maria-Yes, excellent indeed. We hope there are more of them also! We were at the beach last night but he left his spear at MIL's. Bummer. But, we have a whole summer ahead of us.

    Philip-Again, you are so welcome.
    I understand how you are reminded of your sons by looking at the children. I see younger children than mine and always think about what they were like at the younger ages. My "baby" is 22 months tomorrow and I already miss her "baby" stage. She's talking now! Take care!

  6. I was just about to leave a comment chuckling at Fotis's safety-first method of octopus pounding, wherein he leaves his water wings on, but I see Laurie beat me to it.

    (Yes, that's what they're called.)

  7. Lulu, yes-Foti was so excited about the octopus that he didn't even think to take them off...neither did we.
    I guess that I didn't know what they're called because as kids, we never used them. I think that I called them "arm floaties". Now we call them "brachakia"- of course.:)

  8. I just found myself here luckily, and wanted to say Hi before returning to home:)

    ~N at CrossRoads

  9. Nihal, I'm glad that you stopped by. I had a quick look at your site and I love the vibe!

  10. Brilliant idea to teach young kids how to brutally kill and beat animals. On top of murder being illegal, so too should be the procreation of people like this.

  11. You are kidding, right? This is all just a sick, cruel joke?

    Because really… octopus bashing? How about instilling the love of all living creatures into your children instead of turning them into murderous little monsters?

    You and your family should be ashamed of your behavior. And I agree with the above, there should be a decree for mandatory sterilization of people like you.

  12. Jaci and Meghan,

    You two are ignorant. Where do you think the kalamari (or any meat) in your store comes from? A sterilized, humane, painless commercialized non-murderous process ending with Styrofoam and plastic?

    Further, slapping octopus on rocks is a way to tenderize it, much like a factory or fishmonger does for you when you're turning a blind eye. It's not bashing, and people like you need to educate yourselves before passing judgment. But then ignorance is bliss, isn't it?

  13. OMG!! Where do I begin with this? Jaci and Meghan, I truly hope for the sake of mankind that the two of you are childless...there are enough completely ignorant fools in this world (as you have demonstrated with your comments) without you two contributing to the idiot masses. As for you Cheryl, I think maybe you should put an IQ test into your comment box to filter out the mentally handicapped...just a suggestion. ;) Oh and BTW, you and K are the best parents I know. The world would be a better place if there were more parents like the two of you.

  14. Jaci,

    As Cat has mentioned, slamming the octopus on the rock is part of the process of preparing it to eat. The octopus was speared, which isn't illegal in Greece, and was not alive during the tenderizing process. Spearing octopus is a skill that is passed down through generations in Greece and I'm proud that my son is already learning this skill from his Greek father. More importantly, our children have nothing but love and respect for all living things. I'm also proud that they are learning about how the food that they eat is acquired and prepared, instead of having it handed to them in a box.
    Your comment about my beautiful and intelligent children and the fact that we've actually procreated is unwarranted and cruel...and you preach love?
    Please don't visit my site again if you can't handle witnessing the practices of other cultures. Also, you might not want to visit Greece since hunting octopus happens daily and they're usually left to dry in public spaces. It might throw you over the edge.

    Mehgan, please read my comment to Jaci. It's not a sick joke, it's life. I am not ashamed of anything that I do, nor anything that my family does. It's like fishing, do you know anyone that fishes? How about meat? Do you eat meat? I think that your comments, both yours and your friend's are immature and as Cat has pointed out...ignorant.
    Please don't visit this blog again, hate is not welcome here. It's bad karma.

  15. Cat & Christie...

    Thank you both for your support.

  16. the discussion clearly shows that some people have no idea where their food comes from and how it is produced.

    i truly wonder - if someone fed jaci and meghan dog meat and told them it was chicken, would they realise it?

    i watched my ancestors strangling chickens and slitting the throats of goats to kill them so they can could be cooked and eaten. i must admit i dont do this myself - i just buy dead animals pre-killed for me

    but i do kill snails:

    teaching children to love all living animals does not entail teaching them to become vegetarians

    in fact, in can have reverse effects: new zealand sends parents to prison if they smack their children, even though new zealand still manages to have a high rate of child molestation (explain that one in a politically correct climate - new zealand's still trying)

  17. Thank you Maria!

    Being PC isn't always what's best for society--I agree. Thanks for the link to your snail stew, now I'm not the only one that needs to be sterilized because of my eating habits. ;)

  18. Do not feed the veggie trolls. It's good to see two young idealists, probably pale from the lack of iron show up on your blog. In some sort of bizarre ritual while consuming soy sausages without chewing, these wanton harpies have given an internet equivalent of a drive-by shooting. In summation, these sex-less malcontents, obviously between Free Tibet rallies, really do want kids to parent. Unfortunately they've found themselves in an ethical conundrum as they cannot purchase a turkey-baster.

    Move along, nothing to see here.

  19. That's repulsive. Octopuses are one of the smartest creatures in the sea and can feel pain. I don't understand people who think its okay to kill animals.