In Greece we love to make teaspoon sweets. On Katerina’s Kouzina you have seen them with lemon, quinces and tomatoes. The choices for the ingredients can be quite interesting. This recipe for grape teaspoon sweets is one that my mother taught me how to make. The story behind it is unusual. Let me fill you in on one of our family secrets…
Pergola of grape vines
To me grapes are so much more than just a fruit. The sweet green, red and dark blue grapes appear in all my memories growing up at my parents tavern. My father planted his grape vines in a clever way. During the hot summer days they created a pergola that gave a cool shade to all the guests that came for lunch or dinner. By the end of the summer the grapes were so plentiful that my father collected them to make his own wine.
Grapes in the soup
Then trouble started. Although the grape vines on our pergola looked very pretty, on more than one occasion our guests would find grapes in their dinner. When this happened to be chicken soup, they would curiously ask whether there were supposed to be grapes in the soup as well.
At some point one of our English guests asked why the ‘dish of the day’ was so much nicer yesterday. My mother was trying to understand what she had done differently, until her guests said that the day before it was sweeter and had grapes in it. Realizing that the ‘dish of the day’ was beef in red sauce, she then understood what had happened.
Suspicious look at the grapes
Such a thing would never happen with our Greek customers, as they all knew very well that there should not be grapes in this dish. When talking to my mother or father, our local guests would give a suspicious look at the grapes that were covering their table, hinting at the unwanted enrichment of their dishes.
Grape Teaspoon Sweets
This is how my mother started to make grape teaspoon sweets. She would cut the most ‘dangerous’ grapes the moment they were ripe, to avoid them falling on peoples plates and before my father would cut them to make wine.
Wherever you get your grapes, you will love making and eating this teaspoon sweet!
Start the recipe by removing the grapes from the stem; wash and dry them. Place the grapes and sugar in a pan and let them stay overnight.
Boiling the grapes
The next day you bring the grapes, sugar and juice that came out to a full boil over high heat for 20 minutes or until the syrup is thicker. Do not cover the pan during boiling. Let them stand for 24 hours. Bring them to boil again a day later and add the lemon geranium and the lemon cut in half. Boil for about 40 min or until syrup coats a spoon. The grapes must be firm without any scratches or discoloration.
Invite your friends, get out your pretty plates and serve up your grape teaspoon sweets with pride! You have made yourself a real treat and a great Greek tradition!