Top: World's first 360-degree Panorama of Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia, Feb 24/2009, from 12 separate photos...

Friday, 26 February 2010

Sherborne, Dorset, UK, February 2010

Crocuses just emerging near our house, despite frost - I had to lie right down on the ground to get these angles

Monday, 22 February 2010

Cabbage Rolls, Georgian Style (Recipe)

By popular request. More recipes, perhaps, to follow.

Get a large pot of water boiling for the cabbage blanching.


1 kg ground beef, pork or other meat

300 g uncooked rice (long/short grain, brown/white, as you like)

200 g raw onion, grated or machine chopped fine

4-5 med. cloves garlic, minced

c. 250 g chopped tomato, fresh or tinned, or taste equivalent in paste

salt & pepper, dry basil, & dill, & ground coriander, all to taste

300 mL boiling or hot water

Mix these all in a large bowl & set aside.

2 large cabbages

Cut out the cores from the cabbages, & put 1 of them into the blanching pot of boiling water to cover, letting it continue to boil. As the outermost leaves soften, carefully remove them & put onto a plate, continuing thus until all leaves are done. Repeat with the 2nd cabbage. De-vein the leaves of their large, thick central vein with a sharp knife, leaving some behind so as not to cut a hole through the thickness of the leaf. Save this pot of water hot to use for boiling the rolls, if you like, but you'll need to put them into the pot & THEN add the water.

Stuff each leaf with a tablespoon or so of the filling, placing it near the leaf base. Fold the base over the filling; fold in the sides; then roll it up towards the "upper" edge of the leaf.

Place the rolls into a large pot. When they're all in place, just cover with the hot cooking water, to which you may add some stock cubes, seasoning, etc. Simmer for at least 1/2 hour, then check. Serve several rolls per person in a bowl with some of the liquid too, garnished with a sprinkle of the seasonings on top if you like.

You can similarly fill bell peppers, eggplant (aubergine), tomatoes, and even blanched grape leaves! The latter version traditionally has a sauce of cold plain yoghurt with plenty of fresh minced garlic in it on top. Gemrielia (= YUM)!