Thursday, July 13, 2017

Dolmas, Recipe Emails, BB Creations, Elephants,

Wednesday, Denise of My Life in Retirement posted pictures of grapes and leaves. In the comments people we  talking about stuffed vine leaves. Dolmas in Greece. It reminded me of many years ago when Matt was working in a young offenders prison in the UK and one of his inmates was a Greek Cypriot. One day his mother visited and brought a whole casserole dish of Dolmas for her son and because her son liked Matt, he offered some to him who thoroughly enjoyed them. He was full of praises for them when he came home and I was jealous. A week or so later she visited again and brought a large casserole dish of them especially for Matt. They were delicious. We have made them ourselves a number of times but Matt always used to roll them, my fingers just don't work on something like that. I am not good on the fiddly stuff.

I was thinking last night about the emails I get which offer me "the best 36 chicken recipes" or "16 ways to cook fish" etc. etc. I mostly ignore them. If I want to plough through lots of recipe for something I can do it through Google, but mostly I don't. Please, present me with one or even two recipes a day, and that's quite enough thank you. Got one today for dozens of ways of cooking pork chops. Grrr.

I was delighted to see that Birgit of BB Creations tried the curried shrimp recipe I posted a few days ago. She said it was very good. She also said some very nice things about me. Thanks Birgit.

Just watching a programme about elephants, had to leave, getting to stressful. There is a group of orphans being led by a very young matriarch - 16 I think. All 7 of their adults were killed by poachers. One elephant is killed every 15 minutes. I could kill the poachers with no hesitation, it really upsets me.

Of course I had to include a recipe for Dolmas didn't I? Including a link to the website from which I copied the recipe. This has some good pictures of how to actually make the dolmas.


Dolmas or dolmades are very versatile; they can be eaten cold or warm. Traditionally dolmas containing meat are eaten warm with a yogurt sauce that is lightly flavored with garlic. Rice filled dolmas are served cold with a drizzling of lemon juice and olive oil. Dolmas usually have a combination of spices that are both savory and aromatic, a culinary practice of Arab origins.

8 oz grape leaves 1 jar, preserved grape leaves
1 1/2 cups rice
1 Tbs olive oil
1 onion medium, diced
2 Tbs pine nuts
1/4 cup currants dried
1/4 tsp allspice
1 Tbs mint fresh, chopped
1/2 cup parsley fresh, chopped
3/4 cup water
2/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp sugar
4 Tbs lemon juice, fresh squeezed

1. To make the sauce: Mix olive oil, sugar and lemon.

2. In a bowl place cooked rice, currants, mint, parsley, and allspice. Mix well.

3. In a small skillet saute the onions and pine nuts in the olive oil until onions are translucent. Remove from skillet and add to rice mixture. Mix well.

4. Rinse grape leaves and pat dry.

5. Place leaf flat on a large cutting board.

6. Place a heaping teaspoon of the rice mixture near the bottom of the leaf.

7. Fold the bottom of the leaf over the rice, and bring the sides inwards following the guide you created.

8. Roll tightly to form a cigar shape.

9. Place seam side down in a skillet lined with the grape leaves.

10. Pour olive oil sauce mixture and water over the dolmas, and weigh down with a plate.

11. Cover and cook on low for about 40 minutes.

12. Allow dolmas to cool in the pan.

13. Transfer to a serving platter and refrigerate for about 2 hours before serving.

Yield: 40

Author: Analida's Ethnic Spoon

Have a great day


  1. One advantage of having a high Middle Eastern population here is the number of restaurants. I've made stuffed cabbage, but not stuffed grape leaves. I go out for those, lol. Thanks for the mention.
    I saw a story about an orphaned elephant years ago and the woman who has a sanctuary in Africa for them. It was heartbreaking.

    1. We do have Greek restaurants round here too so buying Dolmas is no problem Denise.

      This was a group of 6-8 orphans (or more) and the leader was a young inexperienced female. Some of them were mere babies. Because of her inexperience she crossed a river which was raging in flood and nearly lost a couple of the babies. Luckily they made it to shore downriver.

  2. You are so welcome! I love these Greek delicacies also. I amd right with you to off these poachers because one day these mighty animals may be gone and then what?? I am just so sad to hear this.

    1. Me too Birgit, you have lots of restaurants in your area don't you? Yes, that is the problem, some 3,000 elephants a year are lost to us which is dreadful to hear.

  3. I saw that Birgit tried one of your recipes!
    I don't think I've ever tried dolmas.

    1. You need to find a Greek restaurant or maybe Turkish. They really are delicious Alex.

      I think other people have tried my recipes but not posted about it which was nice of Birgit.

  4. Poaching is awful. They only do it for one little part of the animal, too.

  5. Hi Jo - I'm glad Birgit tried your recipe - it looked good ... while I loved dolmas ... and if I'm ever in the right place I'll have them or buy some ...

    Poaching and life - we need to protect all life ... sadly it doesn't happen - people are greedy ... yet we're destroying peoples who perhaps lived this way for 40,000 years ... the Hadza people in Tanzania ... if we could live peacefully that would help. Cheers Hilary

    1. The problem is Hilary, that the peoples of Africa are being paid, generally a pittance but more than they can refuse, to kill these animals simply for the ivory. They don't feed of any of the animals they kill nor do they use the carcasses for anything else.

  6. I love dolmas, too, and because we have several grape vines they're easy to make and freeze when the leaves are young and tender.
    The continual killing of elephants is heart breaking. I understand why people might be tempted into it with many people in Africa living on the verge of starvation but that reason only makes sense if they actually eat them instead of just taking the ivory.
    I suspect that most of the poachers are in it for the money only.

    1. I expect fresh leaves are easier to use than canned Helen. The canned tend to tear when rolling (or they do for me).

      It is all money as you say.

  7. I agree about getting stressed out about seeing what is happening to the elephants. Dolmas are quite tasty but I have to be in the mood for them.

    1. Terrible isn't it Pinky? I cam see what you mean about being in the mood for them.