Sea Grapes: Part II

Sea grape trees give lovely grapes to make jelly with, but they have some other very clever uses.  Our beloved family friend, Dr. Nune, showed us the most ingenious use of the sea grape leaf… plates and bowls!  Her family used to make these in India when she was a child.  We were so intrigued. 

Dr. Nune picked a palm frond to use to sew the plate together.

After she picked the palm frond, she stripped all the leaves off it and used the center strip of the frond.  When the leaves are stripped, it is a long, pliable stick.  She used scissors to cut the long strip into short sticks.  

Dr. Nune stripped the leaves off the frond by pulling them and cutting with scissors.

She used the center palm frond strip sticks to hold the seagrape leaves together.

This is one part of the plate sewn together. We tried staples too, but they didn't work as well.

She connected several leaves together with the palm frond sticks.

Finished seagrape plate.

The leaves are pliable when they’re freshly picked and green.  They could be sewn together and left to dry but they won’t be pliable anymore and crack easily. 

We also made bowls with the leaves.  I imagine these would be a hit at any party and they’re easy to make. 

Grayson making a bowl from a seagrape leaf.

A seagrape leaf bowl sewn with a palm frond center stick.

A seagrape leaf bowl filled with a bite of Tortuga Rum Cake.

Oh yeah, this is the life!

Come grow with us!

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3 Responses to “Sea Grapes: Part II”

  1. Lis -

    I’ve also heard it makes a good jam. I was thinking the Keels may have a recipe. Chuck remembers from his childhood that their parents were excellent canners and jelly makers.

    My Mom tried to make some last year but the smell of it cooking over the stove was not pleasant, so I concluded that it probably wouldn’t taste too good. Sadly, I left town before I actually got to try any. Who knows, it could have been good…

    At any rate, I like them just fine right off the bush when they’re ripe. Sweet with a touch of salt since they usually grow by the sea.

  2. [...] turned me onto Indian yogurt, curry leaves, soap nuts, neem, gongura, drumstick soup,   seagrape leaf dinnerware  and numerous other cool [...]

  3. [...] The live leaves won’t snap, so they open up a whole other realm of craft possibilities.  First I found this how-to blog post on crafting the leaves into plates and bowls.  Then I saw a Q and A in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune with local Master Gardener Jane Smith: Q: [...]

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