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.