Olive lit

Kathleen, the math teacher, came home just as a loaf of Cypriot olive and cilantro bread was coming out of the oven. It’s a surprisingly basic white bread recipe (though I do one-sixth to one-quarter whole wheat flour in all my breads), only with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, rolled up with a cup of chopped black olives and a half cup of chopped cilantro.
So, the kitchen smells of Greece and not kitchen grease. And Kathleen enhances the theme with a request. A colleague who teaches high school Latin knows that I’m a former Latin student, and that my father was an internationally known Greek and Roman historian. She’s planning a Roman feast for one of her classes. Would I happen to have any Roman cookbooks?
I’d been waiting for such a request for 32 years. That’s how long its been since my own high school class had a Roman feast, and I last had occasion to use Romanae Artis Coquinariae Liber—The Roman Cookery Book, adapted from Apicius by Barbara Flower and Elisabeth Rosenblum (Peter Nevill Ltd., 1958). Suckling pig, anyone? I lend the book ecstatically.
I also held on to Cooking the Greek Way by Maro Duncan (Spring Books, 1964). But for now the bread is enough.

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