Friday, July 30, 2010

spicy fruity pork

Not sure what to call this dish, not very Arabic if it's pork now is it?!
I guess you could substitute the Pork for Chicken thighs, but not breast as it would fall apart in the slow cooking method and shred.

Cooked this yesterday and it was delicious.

You will need

CUBED PORK, NOT TOO LEAN
1 LARGE ONION SLICED INTO LONG STRIPS
4 CLOVES OF GARLIC CHOPPED
HALF A RED PEPPER, OR A WHOLE SMALL ONE CUT INTO LONG STRIPS
6 SMALL SWEET YELLOW PLUMS, I GUESS APRICOTS WOULD DO TOO
2 TEASPOONS RAS EL HANOUT
FRESHLY MILLED BLACK PEPPER AND SALT
TABLESPOON OF FLOUR
BALSAMIC VINEGAR
2 GLASSES OF WHITE WINE OR FINO
HALF A LITRE OF STOCK

FRY THE ONION AND GARLIC IN SUNFLOWER OIL, WHEN SOFT ADD THE FLOUR AND THE SPICES, THEN ADD THE MEAT AND SEAL.
(I FIND IT BETTER TO FLOUR THE ONIONS, IF YOU FLOUR THE MEAT IT STOPS IT FROM SEALING)
THROW IT INTO A CASSEROLE DISH, ADD THE PEPPER AND PLUMS AND 1 GLASS OF BOOZE, DRINK THE OTHER ONE.
ADD SEASONING, THE DASH OF BALSAMIC HELPS TO CUT THE FLOUR, AND THE STOCK, STIR WELL.
ADD TO A PREHEATED OVEN, COVERED, 200 DEGREES, AFTER HALF AN HOUR TURN DOWN TO 150 AND LEAVE FOR 4 HOURS, 5 IF YOU'RE IN THE BAR AND HAVING 'JUST ANOTHER ONE'
I ADDED SOME POTATOES IN SKINS TO THE BOTTOM OF THE OVEN AT THE START AND HAD THOSE WITH IT, I GUESS RICE WOULD BE NICE TOO....

ANOTHER SLAP DASH RECIPE, I'LL NEVER BE A FOOD WRITER, BUT TRY IT, ENJOY.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

To olé or not olé....An end to bullfighting?

So yesterday Catalunya announced a decision to ban Bullfighting in the province.
They became the first Spanish mainland region to do so and based their argument on grounds of animal cruelty.  It was just one area and won't actually make any difference for at least two years, however...
Animal rights activists were out in force to celebrate, and their opposition were making just as much noise, so what do you think?

Now as you know already from following this blog, I enjoy living in this part of Andalucia and am quite used to a Sunday afternoon beer in local Bar Pinche, where the resounding slap of dominoes competes with the omnipresent very loud TV usually screening (or screaming?) a bullfight from somewhere in the province.

I'm really not shocked by it and when you consider you will only find the reviews the next day in the culture section of the papers, then you cannot argue that it is a bloodsport.
Sure, it's not pleasant to see a bloke in pink tights tormenting a drug induced bull, who in this case probably is a defenceless creature, but there are plenty who find it exciting, flamboyant and not a little gladiatorial.
So, in addition, we live here and have no intention of NOT accepting - if not always agreeing - to all things Spanish, including their fantastic culture.

Secretly, I think all this hoo ha is just another mark in distancing 'them up north'  from the rest of the peninsula.........another story.

And a footnote to all the cultureless teeth grinding foreign residents here in Spain....just before you go and have a nice bowl of oxtail soup - I'm sure that beast died perfectly happily - take a moment to consider fox hunting...........

Your reading material for this week is Death in the Afternoon - Hemingway!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

España 2010

Okay....so I'm a little late on this one, but have various excuses including waiting for Miriams camera - didn't have one on the night.
So yes we won the World Cup - did you really ever doubt it?!


We celebrated every match with the locals - including the England ones, that didn't take a lot of time.....

It was England matches at our house, Spain matches at their house, starting with just 4 of us and growing every kick off-ending up with the quarter and semis in our new renovation www.andalucia-holiday.weebly.com together with our visitors all having the best time.
The Irish contingent were delighted with the Spanish party attitude, and the semis ended with Ronan making the village bread in the Panaderia!
Salou the baker had first brought his enormous TV down  - as you do, 5 pizzas, and a TV -  We arranged the final in the Panaderos (Bakers House) as a street party.  This also grew in number as the rest of the village heard about it and we settled down on a balmy summers evening, sitting in the street with Pizzas from the wood fired oven and an ocean of beer.
We shouted, whistled, clapped and cheered our way through 90 mins, then extra time, and finally.........well you know the rest!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cloud sitting!

This morning at 10am, view from our terrace - all the clouds are below the level of the village, down to the coast below....The mountain in front is Mt. Gador......if you would like to wake up to this view, come and stay!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

MY PURE PRODUCTS

Those lovely folk at My Pure have been sending me products again to try out and review, of course I am only to happy to oblige - it' s hardly difficult to treat myself with delicious products every month and then let you all know what I think of them, now is it?!!

The fact that all their products are organic, and they have a policy of no animal testing is all the better, I am just miffed that I did not discover their website earlier....

This last month has been a bit of a race for me, we had barely time to take a breath between working, finishing the renovation and guests, so it meant that a little 'me time' was all the more precious and I was thrilled to open the box and find a wonderful body lotion and a fabulous conditioner. The weather here in Las Alpujarras, Andalucia has also notched up into The high thirties so skin and hair are suffering as a result, taking time out to go to the pool with the kids means chlorine, not the best for my over bleached hair.....

http://www.mypure.co.uk/akin-hair-care-b2/jojoba-lavender--conditioner
p13                                                                                                                                                                       So first I got a chance to try out the conditioner in it' s sleek black bottle, I had just washed my hair after a pool visit, it was like straw. I love the intoxicating mix of Jojoba and Lavender, and applied it liberally. A bit worried it might not be intense enough, as it's labelled for Normal, Fine and Oily hair, I probably used a bit too much, but loved the result - easy to comb, sleek and my scalp felt soothed, probably the effect of the Lavender Oil. It's paraben and sulphate free too, no nasties here, just a real treat to use, highly recommended. The slim bottle makes it ideal for holidays too, go buy some and slip it into your case....


http://www.mypure.co.uk/lovea-b136/tahitian-monoi-moisturising-body-lotion-
p1156



The body lotion was next up, after grouting tiles and breathing cement dust for ages your skin takes the brunt and dries out, so I get through tons of the stuff after showering, also I was a little sunburnt, so needed something soothing.
Another winner for me, easy to use pump dispenser and a light easily absorbed lotion soon turned the old elephant hide to silk again! My only gripe was it was a bit sticky but soon absorbed. Also seems good value, a little goes a long way and it has a new place next to the shower, just got to keep everyone else away from it!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

WHOO HOO AT LAST!!

Finally finally finally....
So here it is -  at last the photos of the beautiful refurbishment, our holiday rental, have a browse and a read......and add us to your wishlist of nice places to go!http://www.andalucia-holiday.weebly.com

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bread , Wine and Religon (football of course)

So the renovation finally finished at the eleventh hour, the visitors arrived, the sun shines on and all is well.

After an exhausting last run at it we finally completed the renovation for guests - pictures loaded to the website when the visitors have departed at the end of the week and hopefully we can book some guests for the rest of the year to this beautiful part of Andalucia. It's looking fabulous and due to the kind help from our friends and neighbours Steve and Geraldine it was all in the nick of time for our family members who arrived on Friday. They were stunned by the stylish transformation and the comfortable spacious accommodation, and have promised to do some hard marketing for me back in Ireland!

Saturday night brought the Spain match, and normally we watch 'home' matches with our Spanish neighbours, but as we are large in number this week we asked them here and we all watched it in the new place, along with Pete and Carole, our next door neighbours here, out for the weekend...
What a brilliant night we had,  lots to eat, local sangría from Jesús, Spain through to the semi final on Wednesday, we made a lot of noise into the wee hours, and were joined later by the Baker, Salou, who was working through the night as the neighbouring village had it's fiesta yesterday.

It ended with our guests making bread in the wood oven at the panaderia, and great plans for Wednesday, where we'll do it all again, but with more people, and Salou's HUGE tv which he is bringing along with his extended family. Help.

We still managed to make the fiesta yesterday, rounded off by a night of tapas and guitars, tuneless voices et al on the terrace - candle burning at both ends is great fun!!  Come and stay!