Mom’s Dolmades Recipe

My Mom and Dad just had their 31st wedding anniversary, and she said she might make these for my dad as his present. If she does, I’ll post the picture. Until then, here’s her recipe from her Greek cookbook, which, oddly enough, does not include olive oil. Hmmm…

Dolmathes Avgolemono Me Kima (Stuffed Grape Leaves with Chopped Meat)

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Scones: Ginger-Lime-Orange; Chocolate-Butterscotch

 

The best thing about being a baking addict? When I travel to see friends, they want to bake with me! This is excellent since most of my baking happens between me and my KitchenAid (which I have to name, I think, as she…or maybe he…has become such a trusted companion). But otherwise, I’m generally alone. The Husband is wise and stays in the other room — especially when I’m ruining yet another batch of buttercream.

So it was with much delight that my friend Lisa in St. Louis announced upon my arrival that we were going to 1) shop, 2) bake, and 3) play music. Trifecta of Happiness!

What did we bake? Scones courtesy of the goddess that is Julia Child. I believe Lisa used her basic Buttermilk Scone recipe from Baking With Julia. Lisa, can you confirm this? It was dietetically criminal how easy they were to make. Just a little hand-mixing and patting together of the scones in a lumpy kind of scone-shape. The end product was far less dense than scones of my past; more like a heavy biscuit. But, oh, they were divine.

We made two batches: ginger-lime-orange for me and Lisa, and chocolate-butterscotch for Lisa’s chocoholic-studying-for-med-school-exams-and-therefore-should-get-whatever-he-wants-husband Jim. I much preferred the ginger variety. We used candied ginger chopped rough, and zest from a few limes and an orange to flavor the batch. I apologize in advance that we have no “finished” pictures. They simply didn’t last long enough for me to remember to pull the camera out.

See that butter? That’s gonna go on top. The sugar, too. Ohhhh yeahhhh.

The Jim-Scones

Two batches of British love.

 

Dolmades, How I Love Thee

I’m a country girl at heart, but if I had just one reason to love the city, it would be because I can step out of my office when I’m feeling peckish, traipse to the nearest Greek deli and order up a mess of dolmades the same way I might have ordered mozarella sticks back home.

God, I love dolmades: that sharp tang of lemon mellowed out by smooth olive oil, the bright-tasting, slick grapeleaf with its stems snapping lightly as you bite through to the rice filling. Oh, joy! Oh, escape! I can’t eat dolmades without feeling transported to some beachy town on the Med, brine and salt on the air and in my hair. Of course, I’ve yet to go to that beachy town on the Med.

My parents lived in Greece before I was born and it’s their stories, and not mine, that I conjure when in the presence of dolmades. It was my mom, who cleverly prepared dolmades for my first grade pot luck and therefore brought dolmades back home with us that afternoon, who bestowed on me this stuffed grapeleaf-inspired sensory vacation.

I’ll get to the real deal one of these days. And, oh, what a happy day that will be: me and Dolmades, happily lounging in some tiny Greecian, waterfront town. Perhaps he’ll bring his firend Grappa with him. One can dream.

I’ll give The Mom a call and see if I can get her recipe. I’ve found several online, but hers is my first love and so if she’ll share, so will I. Also…I prefer mine with tzatziki sauce, rather than mint.

Play in May

Sincerest apologies for the absence of posts in April. I assure you, I spent the time well. My husband and I finally made good on our Christmas presents to each other and signed up for CrossFit Boot Camp with Primal Fitness. More significantly, we completed Boot Camp. I tapped out having done 13 rounds of “Cindy” and ended with a “Fight Gone Bad” score of 162 (read: lotsa heavy lifting of both my own body and additional weights).

All this acquiring of “grrrr” left me little time to practice ye olde mando. I spent the month trading calloused fingertips for calloused palms. This month, I intend to find a bit more balance in my life, or at least in my hands.

Therefore, I hereby declare that May shall be a month of play. Playing mandolin and playing at Primal; getting both my music and my musculature in shape. By the end of May, my goal is twofold:

1) Play “Jolene” and maybe a few other tunes during an open mic at some lovely and forgiving coffee house, and;

2) Complete 14 rounds of  “Cindy” (5 pull-ups/10 push-ups/15 squats x 14 in 20 minutes)

I promise more on-topic posts in the future. I just needed this one to get back on track. Thanks for the indulgent read.