Friday 12 October 2012

Saving daylight

Hello Daylight Saving! You snuck up on me this year, and it doesn't feel quite warm enough for you yet (its snowing in the mountains today!) but I love the idea of longer days and warm nights in the garden. The kids all planted a different vegie crop way back when we turned over more of our garden to vegies and we are starting to harvest some at last for homegrown salads. Mr J has been watching his broad beans closely for the last month and finally last night some pods were big enough for harvest. New baby broad beans are so delicious, especially compared to the sometimes bitter older beans. A's radishes were perfect too, this is our second sowing after we finished D's crop.

I was thinking the other day as I walked out of the library with a haul of great books, and a happy feeling inside, about the simple things in life that make me happy. Eating our own produce is high on that list, so I'm really glad I got round to making it more of a priority this year and using more space in the garden.

Another plant we grow and use is our ornamental grape vine. Inspired by my Greek sister-in-law when those beautiful new leaves come out each year I make a batch or two of dolmades. These are so simple to make, just collect the new soft leaves before they harden up. Blanch them for four or five minutes and then fill and wrap your raw mix of short grain rice, tomatoes, onion, cumin, mint, salt and olive oil. Arrange them closely in a pot seam side down and then cover with a plate to keep them flat. Fill the pot to slightly over the plate with water or vegetable stock and simmer for half and hour. The rice cooks inside the little parcels. So moreish!

I'm still sewing away, up in my cosy attic with the rain beating against the window, listening to podcasts and drinking tea, more simple pleasures!


  1. Isn't it great to be enthralled by a simple life! How wonderful to harvest your own dinners too. I had no idea that you could eat ornamental grape leaves.

  2. that sounds like bliss! hoping to do a bit more sewing again once school holidays are finished, I helped my 5 year old make her own bag today which she loved so that was fun, have a list a mile long of things I'd like to make!

  3. I love dolmades and you make it sound so easy! No one else in the family likes them so even if I had access to vine leaves I still wouldn't make them but I might treat myself to making the filling somehow!

  4. Yum... those dolmades sound so delicious and easy to make... how excellent that you can use and eat the things growing in your garden... Love it! We are growing a few things on our balcony... cucumbers, parsley and we have a little tiny veggie patch in the communal garden growing some peas and carrots (poor carrots aren't doing so well :( looking forward to eating the ones that survive :)


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