Turkey was wonderful. The weather was hard, clear blue skies every day. I believe we did see one cloud, but it was small and clearly lost. One of the things I love about coming back from holiday is digging out old recipes and experimenting with recreating the foods we ate whilst we were away. One of my absolute favourites are dolmades.
In the interest of minimalist living and using up everything I cast my eye over the grape vines in our garden. Why on earth had I not thought to use them before? For somebody who can make a pretty reasonable meal out of foraged or caught food you would have thought I would have spotted that opportunity before.
The dolmades were delicious, even more so I think because they came from my own vines. Before we went away I was furiously foraging and drying flowers and leaves, soon I shall start canning and preserving. But now I am freezing vine leaves for the winter.
Like all leaves you only want the young and tender ones. The rule I found which seems to work for me is count three leaves down from the tip and pick the next three leaves. Clearly this isn’t hard and fast but it gives you an idea of the size of leaf you are looking for. In my case it is larger than my palm but smaller than my whole hand.
As our leaves have come from our own vines I know that they haven’t been sprayed but they do need washing. Then make a pile of leaves. There are five of us in our family and we eat about three each so I made piles of 15 leaves.
Then roll them up and secure with string.
Finally blanch in boiling salted water.
Leave to cool and freeze. I’ll let you know how they turn out.
In the meantime every cook needs a good apron. I made this yesterday with some leftover upholstery fabric. I feel very cool 🙂