The next morning we both took showers in the aqueous environment of our little bathroom, which did a perfectly competent job of containing all the water.
Our breakfast delighted not only ourselves, but a crowd of flies and wasps, who descended on all of its sweet components. As their numbers grew, so did our anxiety (mostly on Dorothea’s behalf, as she’s allergic to bee-stings). But after we'd emptied a couple of jam packets, we pushed them to the other side of the table. Some of the insects went to frolic undisturbed in their sticky residue, and there were fewer intruders left to shoo away from our food.
After the salad, our tastes diverged, as they often did. I had a plate with a tomato and a pepper, both stuffed with rice and meat; Dorothea had moussaká. With the usual rakí, we were served vanilla cake soaked in honey and sugar water.
So the day passed, which, apart from Dorothea’s walk, was blissfully untouched by any sort of activity other than eating good food and reading good books. (I was deeply into Trollope’s Palliser novels at the time.) Our reward for all the effort we put into this frantic agenda was yet another good meal at 7:00.
Once again, we sat as close to the gently lapping sea as one could without leaving the tavérna’s dining area. Our shared appetizer was a plate of dolmádes. This word, like the food it applies to, comes from a Turkish original meaning ‘stuffed.’ In Greece, dolmádes are usually stuffed grape leaves, but they can also be stuffed cabbage leaves or even zucchini blossoms. The ones we got were half grape leaves and half zucchini blossoms, and were the appetizer version, which is always meatless and generally no longer than one’s little finger. The entrée version, stuffed with a mixture of rice and ground meat, is bigger and rounder. (Either type is sometimes called dolmadákia, with the added -áki suffix that means "little.")
I ordered fish again: a variety of sea bream called sárgos. (This is very similar to its name in Spanish and Portuguese.) If memory serves, I enjoyed it a bit more than the previous evening’s mullet, because of its greater proportion of meat to bone. Dorothea had keftédes. We shared a vegetable dish of green beans and potatoes, cooked in tomato sauce—a method known as yakní (more Turkish borrowings, both the cooking method and the name). It’s a favorite in our house, where it’s made in the mainland style that Dorothea learned from her mother, the sauce being flavored with spearmint. But in Crete they use cumin instead. (“Cretans really like cumin,” she remarked in her notes.) We did encounter that herb in quite a few dishes during our trip, and it was always a friendly encounter. The yakní was good, though neither of us thought there was a need to change our family style. Dessert was a reprise of the cake we’d had after lunch, which was still both good and free of charge—who could complain?