Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nina's Watermelon Preserves

Fruit preserves are made by cooking whole or large pieces of fruit in a thick sugar syrup.
In Cyprus and Greece, these are called spoon sweets (glyko tou koutaliou) because the
y are served in small plates and they are eaten using small silver spoons. They are all kinds of fruit preserves, each season offers a variety of fruits, like cherries, almonds, quinces, watermelons. Fruit preserves are a very traditional sweet in Cyprus. There is absolutely no way that you visit a traditional tavern in the mountain villages of Cyprus, and not get the chance to taste this divine sweet. When I was a kid, my mother used to make watermelon preserves quite often in the summer, and I remember I used to take a couple of pieces, dip them in a glass of really cold water and eat them. She made watermelon preserve the other day, and trust me, it is not a coincidence that this preserve, is number one on my list of summer fruit preserves.
Making watermelon preserves usually takes the whole day, because there is a special procedure that you follow and the secret for making tasty preseves, probaly lies in the very last step, which is cooking them along with the syrup. So dear Saint followers, buy yourself a quite large watermelon and let the culinary adventure


  • 1 kg of watermelon rinds (they must be quite thick, so if the watermelon you bought is not the right one, keep buying until you get lucky)
  • 1 sachet of vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 100 g of confectioner's lime

Ingredients for syrup
  • 1 kg sugar
  • 500 ml water
Boil water, add sugar and stir well


Clean watermelon rinds of the green part. The rinds must remain white. Cut in medium size squares, wash them really well and put them in a large pot. Mix the confectioner's lime with water and pour it in the pot. (It must cover all rinds very well). The rinds must stay in the lime for about 3 hours. After that, pour out the lime and wash the rinds thoroughly and put them in a pot, covered with water. Let them cook over medium fire for about 20 minutes. Then wash them and make sure there is hardly any water left in the rinds.You might have to squeeze them in your hands to make sure all water is out. Afterwards, you prick them with a fork to make sure that the rinds absorb the syrup in the last stage. Put them in the pot, add the syrup and let it cook for another 30 minutes. Let it cool and cook again for another 30 minutes. Add vanilla and lemon in the last 5 minutes and stir well. Make sure you stick to the cooking time, it is extremely important. When it cools off, place in sterilized jars and store in the fridge.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kyri's Pasta Bolognese

This is another one of my wife's contributions to the blog. She was again experimenting the other day with pasta ( as you can see from the previous entry, she has a thing for pasta) and what started to be the traditional Italian pasta Bolognese, finally ended up as her her own version of Bolognese with fetta cheese and fresh rocket. Enjoy! It tastes amazingly good!

  • 500g of minced meat
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 250 ml of concentrated tomato juice
  • 2 green peppers
  • 4 large onions
  • 4 large mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 100g of fetta cheese mashed
  • bay leaves
  • rocket leaves
  • parsley (preferably fresh, but dry one will do)
  • basil
  • half glass of red wine
  • salt, pepper


Chop onions and garlic and fry them in a large pan. When they become golden in color, add the minced meat. Stir well, let it cook for about 5-7 minutes, and then add fresh tomatoes and concentrated tomato juice. Mix well, let it simmer on medium fire for another 3-5 minutes and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and let it simmer for another 10 minutes. In the meantime, bring water to boil, add any pasta of your preference, and let it cook for 10 minutes. Serve with red wine.