So I'm just going to link to the tag "soup" and you can browse it because, really, there is some very good stuff there.
Enjoying our time with friends and family, of course. But the food...oh, the food. The constant parade of fantastic things I would never in a million years cook myself, the occasional walk in the olive groves to work up an appetite, lounging in the sunshine with a glass oloroso, and all those dolce far niente things.
Happy New Year, everyone.
There is a lot going on today. We stuffed our bird yesterday. It had apparently been deboned with a sledgehammer and had to be sown with extra care. For the first time my daughter took part in the proceedings, pointing out where feathers had to be pulled out, and cutting the thread. We made a pot of stock, for the gravy, and in case anyone wants a cup of broth at some point.
I also made jelly with some tangerines my father brought, sent from Valencia and picked that very morning.
This morning it's been custard, to top the jelly, and two batches of the pearl (onion) jam. Done in a bit sautee pan this time and much better for it.
Dried chestnuts have been simmered in syrup. Apples were supposed to be made into sauce but I forgot about them and they are now caramelized (ahem).
We only have to roast the bird and then the potatoes. There is a jar of goose fat waiting.
And because the kitchen is run over, lunch is every man for himself. Anyone not going out for tapas can find ham hock rillettes in the fridge, made last Sunday.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I have some cañas to catch up on.
I hope you have a lovely holiday, rain or no rain.
Well. Not "have to" so much as "have to". I mean, I want to do it, but it's given me a bad case of blogger's block, and if I don't get it out soon it's going to dry up lobstersquad completely. Not that anyone would care, but still.
The thing is, a couple of months ago (!) I received a sweet email from someone who not only gave me a really good recipe for cabbage salad but also offered to send me some samples of Puro Fairtrade coffee to review.
And I blithely said "yes". Like I had any idea how.
And have I enjoyed it? Of course I have. Of course. It really is lovely coffee. Fairtrade is really the only quality that I can't ruin with my coffee making methods, which are on the rough and ready side. The whole Puro coffee story is wonderful, and you can check it out on this video, which tells you the whole story much better than I could.
The best news in all this? Puro Fairtrade coffee only sells to coffee shops and other professional outlets. So it's not up to me (or you?) to ruin a good cup . I have recently found that a small café in my neighbourhood serves it, so I can get my fix in a much more convenient and delicious way.
I wish I could make an informed critique of the differences between the different coffees I received. The thing is, I like coffee very well, but I tend to think of it the Spanish way. For us "un café" is as much about the social occasion as about the drink. You can meet friends "for coffee" and end up drinking Coca-Cola, orange juice or hot chocolate, and nobody is a bit surprised. And at home I usually drink tea. So it isn´t up to me to detect how Puro Organic, with its 100% Arabica content, has a touch of citrus. I have never, ever, not once, detected a touch of citrus in anything other than oranges and lemons. Sad, but true. (Are you thinking about pearls and swine by now? I'm not surprised)
Likewise, Puro Fuerte, is a dark roast and makes me think that Puro Noble is "medium" in this whole new universe. Like Tall Grande and Venti, except, of course, NOT, because in every way superior to that chainy mermaidy stuff.
There was also a sachet of hot chocolate that my children pronounced top notch. They are actually conoisseurs and can tell Cola-Cao from Nesquik a mile away. Perhaps they should have done the whole review?
So there you are. Watch the video, browse Puro Fairtrade Coffee, save the rainforest, see if you can find a place nearby that serves it because it really is good in every possible way.
And if you're really good and I get permission one day I'll post the recipe for the cabbage salad.
Brits are different from every else. They love to make a point of this in every possible way and so here we are, with a two week school holiday in October. It is mysterious and not all that convenient, but on the other hand, it's a holiday, so let's not complain.
I'll be flying home to Madrid, of course. And I'm already daydreaming about all the things I want to eat there. I won't manage them all, but I will try. Having the kids along will be a great excuse, because it's all a part of their cultural education, see?
Here are a few, in no particular order:
Pinchos and champagne at Cuenllas.
There is non-cooking, almost non-cooking, and then there is get-out-of-jail-free-card cooking. By which I mean, tin opener cooking, or twist of the wrist cooking, which is, in fact, not doing anything cooking. Dolce far niente.