Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cookery corner

There are two vines growing on the kilmataria that provide summer shade. One ripens before we leave in August, the other will be left for the neighbours who will be in stripping the garden of its produce in the autumn. This year has been a fantastically productive one. There are luscious fat grapes by the score, as well as some very happy wasps, especially if they have been at the fermenting ones.

There are just so many you can eat, either raw or in flans and cakes. So, it was time to try and make some grape juice. It is dead easy. First you have to pick them, fighting off the wasps and throwing out the rotten or wrinkled ones (grapes not wasps, you understand). They all have to be removed from the stalks and then you can start. After washing, they need to be roughly crushed. As an alternative to the more traditional calloused feet of peasant women, a potato masher works fine. Soon you have this wonderful mess in a vast saucepan. Heat slowly and simmer gently for ten to fifteen minutes and then strain through a fine sieve or muslin cloth.

Finally, you have a delicious, sweet and refreshing drink … hold on … a delicious, sweet, refreshing, non-alcoholic drink. Ah. Wine making recipes next; means I would have to stay here to tend it though. Another reason, as if I needed one.

Stop press:

I have been given a recipe for making a delicious Greek sweet, Moustalevria, from the juice. It involves boiling it with clean wood ashes. Hmm …

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