As I mentioned in my last post, I will be doing a bit of back-tracking through the year, trying to catch up with what life was like during the growing season in the vineyard and as a fledgling wine maker. Below is July’s post…
As I gather a tomato and cucumber for a Greek salad from the kitchen veggie garden, I don’t know where the time went. How did it get to be three o’clock?
-Didn’t I just put on farm clothes, grab the pruning shears and drop bunches of grapes to allow the remaining clusters to deepen their flavor?
-Didn’t I just spend a couple of “minutes” with Ted Medeiros, my mentor, trying to absorb his assessment…making mental notes of his laundry list of chores to keep last Fall’s vintage, now aging, on tract and hopefully, tasty?
-Didn’t I spend a mere half hour making the adjustments to the wine and topping off the barrels, which meant shifting one of the three gallon containers into two one gallons and three screw top wine bottles (all of which had to be cleaned and sanitized first?)
I guess a few more hours passed than I thought! Moments of “I absolutely can’t believe how much hard work this grape growing and wine making process is” warred with “I can’t believe how lucky I am to have the opportunity to learn these skills from an industry pro.”
It dawns on me that my body is screaming for some quality food. Around the corner I go, into the vegetable garden to rummage any ripe produce I can get. Thus, the Greek salad fixings for a very late lunch.
My Greek Salad Recipe
1 garden ripe tomato, fresh from your garden is best, of course
1 two-inch section of cucumber, again…garden fresh if possible
A bit of red onion, thinly sliced
6-8 GF kalamata olives (I have good luck with Trader Joe’s brand olives for being truly gluten-free)
A few chunks of Feta cheese if you have not tried Pastures of Eden feta, do anything to get your hands on it. My husband is not usually a fan of feta, but loves this one. He will even eat it plain as an hors d’oeuvre spread on crackers or French bread. I have never served this particular brand to any guest who has not loved it! I get it at my local Trader Joe’s.)
Huge dollop of Greek yogurt
Juice of 1/2 a lime or lemon
Two pinches of salt
Couple of turns of fresh ground pepper
Chop everything not in the dressing into bite size pieces. Mix dressing in a small bowl. Pour over chopped ingredients. Gently mix, just to coat all the chunky bits.
Enjoy the rich blending of these garden fresh ingredients that shriek…it is summer!
The good news!!! I have zero gluten reaction to our back yard wine aged in completely wheat free oak barrels, which come from Hungary. I can be tipsy with no stomach cramps, no brain fog, no sick exhaustion. After two years of abstinence from all wine aged in oak, I can at least drink this. The trick is learning how to make something I would want to drink. Hmmm.