Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dolmathes for Dinner

    I fixed dinner the other night with the assistance of my grand daughter, Annika.  I had a craving for greek food so we made dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves).   My goats keep trying to remind me that grape leaves can be pretty tasty. Whenever Black Jack escapes from his pen, the grape vines are one of his first stops. When I made dill pickles this past weekend, one suggestion for crispier pickles was to add a grape leaf or two to the bottom of the jar. The fact that the grape vines keep trying to block our entry onto the back deck is also a reminder that maybe I need to put that excess vegetation to a better use than snacks for the goats. I thought they turned out well, other than the fact that we made them a little bigger than was convenient to eat in one bite. Also we could have wrapped some of them little tighter.

    The grape leaves are supposed to be blanched before using them. I'm not sure what the point of that is as you still cook the dolmathekas in a broth for a while.  Maybe that gets rid of some fo the tannin in the grape leaves.  The tannin was the whole point of using them in the dill pickles. I used a filling of meat and rice for most of them. Since I had made more rice than I needed and a definite surplus of grape leaves, we decided to experiment with a vegetarian option that used chopped nuts and various herbs. We are well supplied with two of the suggested herbs, parsley and mint.  I thought they turned out pretty well. Most of Lia's kids ate them. Jonnie ate the fillings but wouldn't eat the grape leaves. When I told him that goats love grape leaves, he wanted to take his uneaten leaves out to goats.

Stuffed Grape Leaves

      A few days ago I was tidying the grape vines on the arbor over the back deck.  As the vines grow larger, some of the lower leaves are shaded from the sun to the point that they eventually yellow and die.  I was simply picking out some of these dried and yellow leaves from the underneath of the clustered vines so as to make things look a little more attractive. As I was collecting dead leaves I ended up with a little green tree frog on my hand. I didn't grab him or pick him up. He simply hopped onto my hand as I was picking out dead leaves. He even stuck around long enough for me to take his photo.

Is a tree frog on the hand worth two on a bush?

       Three or four years ago, my daughter Rachel lived with us for a while.  When she moved out and moved to Oregon she left her cat behind, Captain Jack Sparrow.  At that point he was already a definite "outside" cat so I started feeding him in the goat barn. I figured that was one way to insure a daily inspection of the goat barn for rats and mice.  Sometimes I don't see him for a few days, but the cat food in the goat barn is always eaten,  As I went out to feed the goats a few mornings back, I was greeted by the sight of Captain Jack patiently waiting out side the goat barn for his breakfast. He isn't particularly friendly. I think he has only stood still to be petted once in the past three years.  Based on his markings I strongly suspect he is the father of Miss Buzz Saw's kittens. I've included this because I'm sure Lance and Luna would be happy to know that Captain jack Sparrow is still alive and well.
Captain Jack Sparrow awaits his breakfast

1 comment:

  1. Funny. James was craving Greek food the other day, too. But he just wanted to go to the Greek restaurant in town. Your grape leaves look delectable!