I am going back through old newsletters looking for material. I apologize to those who have already read this.
Another notable happening was keeping a close eye on a couple of almond trees. Being a city girl most of my life, I was under the assumption that almonds only came in packages or roasted in pretty gift cans! This year, I actually got to eat green ones right off a REAL tree in my own garden (as shown me by a Greek friend). The soft, small and unshelled bud tasted "green" and was not, in my opinion, very tasty. I secretly worried they were having a joke with me, but found out that Greek woman actually make a marmalade at that stage. YUK.
By mid August the tree was ready for picking. The husk opens in the sun while still on the tree, exposing the almond shell inside. We picked them off, took the almond out and let it dry for a day or two in the sun. They were ready then to be cracked. I did not think to put my handy-dandy nutcracker into my suitcase last spring, but we found that a pair of pliers from the tool box worked just as well! So many guests have sat around the patio table cracking nuts and sipping the drink of their choice while holding a huge pair of bright red pliers in one hand! Yassis!
Since we are on the topic of almonds, I also learned that the Greeks pick them directly off the tree, and serve them over ice with a little bit of salt. I just could never seem to coordinate that, so we served them our way: dried. I have heard we might not get them into the United States due to environmental laws so now we are pushing them onto friends here. I had hoped to put a few small bags into Christmas stockings!
Photo modeling by Yolanda, Ric and Tim from Amsterdam.
More adventures chronicled in our Newsletter Archive . . .