Oct 28: Make stuffed grapevine leaves

Make stuffed grapevine leaves!

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Below are some talking points and activities to pass the time, all relating to today’s story.

Talking points

Discuss the ideas presented in the story with your family—at home or over video conferencing. Find ways to involve as many people as possible, especially those who you know are isolated by the lock-down.

  • Looking through the photos, does it look like fun to ride through the forest? Do the trails look like something you’d want to ride on in the daytime? What about in the dark?
  • The 1886 eruption of Mt Tarawera resulted in a layer of tephra being deposited on the ground that is now the Whakarewarewa forest. If you don’t already know, find out what tephra is. Why do you think it made a good base for forest to grow from?
  • Adam King started helping to dig trails in the forest when he was 10 years old. Why do you think physical work like this can sometimes be enjoyable? Would it change the way a 10 year old felt about riding the trail if they had helped to build it?
  • The original Moonrides were held in July – the “coldest, baddest month of the year… the meanness of it was part of the attraction.” Why do you think that in a strange way the cold, harsh weather made the ride more popular?
  • One rider says the competition is “meditative…When you’re riding the trails you can’t think about anything else.” What does he mean by ‘meditative?’ What activities have you experienced that allow you to experience the kind of feeling where you can’t think about anything else?

Activity: Make stuffed grapevine leaves

At this time of year, grapevines are sending forth massive amounts of new growth. Their edible and nutritious leaves can be harvested to make a Greek dish called dolmades.

You will need:

  • Grape leaves (about 30)
  • ½ cup rice
  • A chopped onion
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 lemon
  • A frying pan or large pot
  • A dinner plate

Step One: Gather some leaves from a grapevine. At this time of year there will be baby bunches of grapes. Pick any of the leaves that are growing beyond the bunch.

Step Two: Rinse and blanch the leaves (cook briefly in boiling water.) Saute the onion in olive oil. Add the rice and saute for one minute. Pour in the warm water and a squeeze of lemon juice. Once the rice has absorbed the water you can add some salt and pepper if you want to. Set aside to cool.

Step Three: Place a teaspoonful of the rice and onion mixture on a blanched grape leaf and fold the bottom ends of the leaf up over the rice. Wrap the sides in over the rice one at a time. Roll from the bottom up until you have neat parcels. Put all your dolmades into a frying pan or large pot and cover them with water and a drizzle of olive oil. Place an upside-down dinner plate on top of the dolmades to hold them in place and bring them to the boil. Let them simmer for 30 minutes then drain and let cool. Drizzle with more olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice and enjoy as finger food.

Step Four: Fold the sides of the grape leaf over, one on top of the other. Roll the dolmade up from the bottom to the top.

Send us a picture of your stuffed grapevine leaves!