So, What DID I Cook At Home On Saturday Evening?

Going from the sublime to the pedestrian, on Saturday evening I looked at what was available that needed eating up, and then condiered how to turn it into a meal. The majority of what are considered traditional Spanish dishes are based in a history of poverty and frugality which comes in very useful on such occasions. I had a couple decent sized potatoes, some onions, garlic- obviously, half a red pepper and a fennel bulb. There were other things as well, of course, but these were the ingredients I chose.
So off I went; garlic peeled and chopped, one onion peeled, cut from top to bottom then sliced in half moons, ditto the fennel, and the red pepper cut into strips. Now a generous quantity of olive oil into a deepish frying pan and gently fry the onion, fennel and pepper. Then add the garlic and slice the potatoes into rounds about half a centimetre thick, lay them on top of the other ingredients and then just cover in chicken stock (nothing fancy, just a stock cube dissolved in boiling water), pop a lid on and leave to simmer gently for half an hour. Finally, remove the lid, turn up the heat and reduce the liquid by about three quarters and then season with salt and pepper, serve and savour - and that is Patatas a lo Pobre, poor man's potatoes.


Fine Dining In Frigiliana

I have "borrowed" this photo from the FaceBook page of El Mirador, Frigiliana. Today I had intended to write about what I cooked at home yesterday evening. Then, this morning I changed my mind and thought I would write about how the rain washed out the Easter Sunday procession. Then - in that same rain - we walked up through the village to our favourite restaurant for an Easter Sunday lunch.
So now I have to tell you that this restaurant has a new chef, with a new menu, and has raised its game to a whole new level. My starter, a carpaccio of scallops dressed with chili amarilla (from Peru), Japanese Kombu and served with an Asian salad was astoundingly good. It was topped only by my main course - seared red tuna sashimi. My wfe was equally impressed by her warm chicken salad, followed by duck breast with foie gras.
On Trip Advisor, El Mirador usually trails in at around 12th out of forty plus village eateries, which is hugely misleading; the majority of visitors to the village are looking for either a) typical everyday Spanish food, b) a decent children's menu, c) reassuringly English food and/or d) modest prices. El Mirador offers none of these and so scores low. It offers a standard of food, service and location that you will rarely encounter outside Spain's major cities, and a wine list to match. I can't think of anywhere outside possibly Málaga where you would find a Vega Sicilia listed. El Mirador lists three, 1995, 1996 and 1997. For meaningful comparisons you have to look much wider than Frigiliana; this is now one of the top restaurants in the Province of Málaga, and it's worth travelling to.


Family Time

Mummy and Aunty Nicky have gone for a proper Spanish meal, so Grandma and Grandad have the pleasure of our granddaughters' company.


Una Pregunta

Hace seis años empezé este blog principalmente para mi interés personal, observando como me encontraba viviendo en un pueblo de Andalucía, pero también para hacer conocer a mis amigos y amigas en el Reino Unido algo de la gente, la cultura, las costumbres y tal de mi nuevo hogar. Actualmente la cifra de visitas a mi blog ha pasado 7.500, la mayoría desde el Reino Unido, los EE.UU,y España, pero una menoría de diversos países por todo el mundo.

Un cambio profunda y personal durante estos años ha sido como ha crecido mi dominio del español. Al principio intentaba escribir dos blogs, uno en inglés, el otro en castellano; muy ambicioso, pero fuera de mi capacidad. El blog castellano murió antes de cumplir su primer año.

La pregunta que ahora dirijo a mis lectores españoles es, ¿pensáis que es hora para dar luz otra vez a un blog en español? y si sí, ¿de qué debería tratar? Me alegro de antemano de recibir vuestr@s respuestas.


Home Thoughts From Abroad

People sometimes ask me what I miss about England now that I live in Spain. There are a number of food items which I like and can't get over here, but they are something to look forward to on my visits. So usually my answer is that to be honest, I don't miss anything. But a couple of days ago I was sorting through my files of photos and came across this one, and there was something staring me in the face. You do not get these vibrant, spring-like greens in Spain; Spanish greens are all much darker, more muted and frequently dusty. I was struck by Robert Browning's famous lines, which now that March is over, I reproduce here along with the photo. Oh, to be in England Now that April's there, And whoever wakes in England Sees, some morning, unaware, That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf, While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough In England - now!