Stuffed grape leaves – or what I did in my summer holiday, part the first!

It was a cold and rainy summer, so the grape vine was growing like a complete nutter… the way grape vines apparently do. I cut it down and thought the leaves looked super yummy, so I googled and lo. Turns out it is SUPER easy to make stuffed grape leaves.


Leaf blanching

You take about 70 good sized fresh leafs (remove stems) and blanch them briefly in boiling water till the colour turns. I did a few at a time so’s I could fish them out before they were boiled to bits.



Then it was time for the stuffing:

  • 4 dl of uncooked rice – that’s probably about two cups for you cup-people. I soaked mine while blanching leafs.
  • 4 dl of minced/ground lamb, (or other meat or vegan replacement)
  • 1 can/half a bottle of tomato.
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • A good handful of the best herbs the garden can provide (mint according to recipe… but anything you fancy), also chopped finely
  • half a chili… or more depending on how strong it is and how strongly you feel about it. chopped finely.
  • salt and pepper.

Season the stuffing more than you’d think you should…
I guess the rice and the boiling ends up taking a lot of the taste.

stuffing 1

stuffing 1

Mix all ingredients well in a bowl, and the stuffing can begin.

Prepare a pot by putting a few leaves in the bottom (they stick otherwise).
Then place a small finger sized roll of stuffing on a leaf, fold the sides and roll it over.

new stuffing 1

Place the stuffed leaves tight together in the pot. Put a few leaves between layers and a few leaves on top – to avoid stickage.

second layer top leaves

Cover it all with water, and place a plate with something heavy on top to keep everything under the water.


Boil at low for one hour, drain and serve.

Eat warm or cold, dip in yoghurt with garlic & salt or whatever takes your fancy.
They were delicious both warm, and cold the next day.

Urracá just went to bed. He’s not been feeling so well lately.


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The first Qin emperor’s soldiers were in town.

So, these dudes from ca 200 bc were in town, and I had to go see them.
They  (with about 8000 colleagues) were buried with the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, and finally found again in the 1970’s.

They are amazing! They are life sized.

Over 2000 year-old handsome dudes, and you can almost shake their hands. Every face is different.


Of course, I was super fascinated by the animals they had with them.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere’s a funny change from super fine details around the horse’s eye and mouth to more stylised jawline, mane and neck.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANot everybody were terracotta, these four horses were bronze (and it’s a copy, the original doesn’t leave China)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe cow has had wooden horns and tail. All their weapons, musical instruments, and other organic bits have been gone for ages, but the terracotta and the metal still holds.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPig, goat and dog… there were a whole bunch of geese too, but I guess I forgot to take pictures of them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a stove shaped as a turtle (the head is the chimney), with a big rice-steam-pot and two smaller burners for sauces.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome of these guys have really fancy hairdos – they must have had army hair dressers with them… or something.

Some of the figures are from later burials, and some are much smaller than life size, but the soldiers and one of the horses were the full size version.

Here are all the pictures as slide show – if you feel like seeing more of them:

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First World War

Today, we visited the first world war… it happened here: at Mosede Fort

Mosede Fort, built in 1914, to guard Copenhagen from all evil.

Mosede Fort, built in 1914, to guard Copenhagen from all evil.

The fort is part of the defences around Copenhagen. Built after the terrible war of 1864, a national trauma, where we lost a very large chunk of the country to Germany.

Signal canons...  or for shooting sparrows, maybe?

Signal canons… or for shooting sparrows, maybe?

Denmark was actually neutral during the first world war, but armed to the teeth apparently!


The fort has lots of rusty old structures for machine guns and powder. It overlooks the bay to the south of Copenhagen.

Sandrine en guarde

Today, there were soldiers in uniform, explaining the history of the signal canons… only one of these was an original canon from a ship.. the rest were mini-replicas…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But they could shoot!!!

The little fat canon who COULD.

The little fat canon who COULD.

The kids had to solve problems... the parents got to try the trumpet

The kids had to solve problems… the parents got to try the trumpet

It was a bit chilly compared to Panama…For king and country!!

so afterwards we had tea and pancakes to get warm again.well deserved tea-break

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We are still here!

Holy hopeless update-frequency batman!

We’re still here and all is well… most of the time. – So the short version of what happened since last is:

1) We packed up and moved may 20th! New flat is Great! New flat is not configured quite like old flat… although same size, it has one more room, and I am not satisfied with how I have fitted my old furnitures in here. Stuff must change! I am utterly stuck with my inability to take decisions… but eventually… I guess.. it will turn out right.

I tells ya it's, not enough boxes

2) There was (is) remodelling going on – kitchen.. windows.. painting.. My cousin-carpenter has been doing most all of the work, and he’s doing a great job.
Do we really need lamps and curtains? Urracá and Rusla say no, fud and sunbeamz are all that really matters. Rusla has spent all summer in the garden, but is now inside for the winter. She approves of the garden. The garden has looked after itself mostly. Next year, there will be garden projects.

Windows getting fixed

3) J&K visited from the Netherlands and we did many biologist-y things… zoo, walks in the woods, mammoth exhibition… exploring of the “tip”.



4) Behind new home is an area called the tip. It was/is a landfill site.. mainly building-materials it seems.. now it’s overgrown, and there are flocks of friendly sheep grazing it, and loads of wild animals and fruit-trees and berry bushes.. but surprisingly few people… given it is wild-ish nature and right by the coast in the middle of town. It’s LOVELY and unkempt.

walk in the woods

5) My parents both had a stint in hospital (they’re both home again and well), so I also spent some time with my mom talking to the oncologists and with my dad talking to the geriatricians – and cleaning his flat… where the ick had been enjoying itself a little too much.

Will you stop vacuuming already!

.. and now we’re having a break before next instalment of busy!Ah, finally relaxification

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New home – WOOT

Papers are signed,

I bought an apartment closer to town.

It has a garden, and I can’t wait to move in there. 

There’s a password protected picture post below this, and If you don’t have the password, just ask me.


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Protected: New home!! With pictures (Voxpeeps, you know the password.)

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

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Whaling mapped

Here’s an interesting map showing 25 years worth of American whaling. It shows the rise and fall of whaling, and how the ships had to go further and further out to hunt the whales as they became fewer and farther apart.
Data from the ships’ log books were used for this.

Of course there were whaling ships from all the other countries of the world as well as these American ones… so from the whales’ perspective it was a bit busier than this map shows.

This is what it looks like when we use resources unsustainably.
We keep doing this today. Everywhere and with every imaginable resource out there.

I think we need more cheerful songs to go with it  –  like this one:

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