Passing on traditions

PRONIA community projects leader Sonya Tsakalakis. Photo: Supplied 229265_01

By Alesha Capone

Greek senior citizens from the west are being invited to submit a family recipe for a cookbook which will celebrate the traditional food and memories of first-generation migrants.

PRONIA, a welfare society for the Greek community, is putting the cookbook together.

PRONIA community projects leader Sonya Tsakalakis said people aged 65 and above, from a Greek background, who live in the Wyndham, Hobsons Bay, Brimbank, Maribyrnong, Moonee Valley and Sunbury areas, are invited to submit a recipe.

Ms Tsakalakis said that PRONIA has received funding for the cookbook project from the Western Region Aged Care Foundation, as part of its post-lockdown engagement programs to help tackle loneliness and isolation among the elderly.

The cookbook, to be titled Almonds in the Olive Grove, will include the personal stories of those who submit recipes.

Ms Tsakalakis said participants will also have their photos taken at Philhellene, a Greek restaurant in Moonee Ponds, which has offered its premises for the shoot at a discounted rate.

Ms Tsakalakis said that PRONIA is hoping to collect about 30 recipes for the cookbook.

“We are getting some really wonderful recipes, it’s great,” she said.

She said that many of the recipes submitted have a unique regional flavour, such as an orange cake with filo pastry called portokalopita; stuffed green peppers and moussaka.

Ms Tsakalakis said she enjoys talking to the Greek senior citizens who submit recipes.

“Just to hear the delight in their voices, that people are interested in their stories, is wonderful,” she said.

The closing date for submissions to the cookbook is Sunday, February 28.

Contact PRONIA on 9388 9998 or email for details.