Archive | October 2012

The Blueberry Fiend

In the rest of the world I do believe it is blueberry season right about now.

Back in Canada I was the Blueberry Fiend, I used to gobble a ton of blueberries every day during the season and we’d freeze batches of them for the long, cold winter. We always had blueberries on hand, fresh ones, or frozen. We lived in the country, so we also went to gather them. They were the most luscious, juicy, delicious things…… and enormous too, in Canada the blueberries are humongous!

But now I haven’t seen a single fresh blueberry for the past six years or so, since we moved here to southern Spain from Barcelona.

In Barcelona you could still get blueberries – at exorbitant prices – at the exotic market La Boquería on the Ramblas (oh phooey, it didn’t occur to me to take a photo of it when we returned to Barcelona for a visit last year!), where they would sell you a teentsy tiny little basket of very small sized fresh fruit, which you would then guzzle whole in one sitting, for perhaps 4€. Preposterous! But at least you got a chance to taste blueberries again.

Now, these are the blueberries that I get:

Blueberries and Blueberry Jam

Once upon a time I was able to find one of my favourite brands, a French one, Bonne Maman, which was truly luscious. But these are just as tasty, and I always always always have a jar on hand. I eat them with everything: with yoghurt, with pancakes, with waffles, croissants……

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Foray Into Black and White

I was just thumpin’ around today with the nigglin’ itch to keep blogging even though I’ve already beaten my record for frequency of posting these past couple of days. Didn’t know what to do, though, so I thought I’d flip on over to Patrick Latter’s photography blog and browse around for some inspiration. So here is the inspired blog that follows.

I was so totally entranced by Patrick’s black-and-white photos that I decided to try a hand at black-and-white as well. Obviously, there’s no way I can compare to Patrick. As you can see, it’s clear I’m just a fooler-around, definitely not an expert or a professional like Patrick is. But come on, give a girl a break! After all, these are the first black-and-white photos I’ve ever made!

Park Pond

Although it’s quite clear that this is a park, most of the photos in this post were taken in private gardens belonging to friends.

Private Garden Tree

Private Garden

Well, this isn’t exactly a “private” garden, since anyone can visit it and if you live ’round here I’m sure you’ll recognize this very famous park in Torremolinos which, as I mentioned in a previous post, is one of my favourite towns anywhere.

Parque de la Bateria Torremolinos

Now back to gardens again. Wild, overgrown and definitely not very English orchards dominated by orange trees.

Orange Tree and Cat

Nature is very beautiful in black and white, too.

Lone Surfer

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Fried Aubergines Lite

Well, it was about time I finally got around to the recipes! I love cooking, and with two big, hulking boys around, one of whom claims to possess four stomachs – and acts accordingly – I have to do a lot of it, too. The only thing I can say is: Hurray for restaurants!

If you happen to be celiac, if you’re allergic to gluten or wheat, or you just simply want to hop onto the New Age bandwagon and avoid wheat in general, now there are some very easy-to-find, cheap alternatives.

More and more, people are trying to avoid eating wheat and products containing wheat, because even if you are healthy and have no problems with wheat, supposedly it causes some sort of inflammation in human beings, as well as making you feel full and heavy.

I like to use a combination of arepa corn flour, masa arepa, and garbanzo, or chickpea, flour.

You can get arepa flour at Latin food stores or sometimes in major supermarkets. I prefer the yellow variety, but the kind carried by the Eroski supermarket across the street from me is white.

There’s no difference between the two, other than the colour. But yellow just looks more like corn!

Garbanzo Chickpea FlourGarbanzo flour might be a bit harder to find. Now it is sold in Mercadona here in Spain, so you can get some no matter where in Spain you live. Before, I had to buy it in the Pakistani neighbourhood, the Raval, of Barcelona. When I first came to Malaga I couldn’t find it anywhere, so you can imagine my great joy and delight when I discovered it sitting unobtrusively on the shelf in Mercadona!

Here is an example of a dish I like to make using this combination of flours. These sticks look like French fries, but in reality they are sticks of fried aubergine. Now, fried aubergine is one of my favourite foods in the whole wide world!

Fried Aubergines Lite

It’s easy to make. All you need to do is peel and cut up an aubergine in long sticks. I like to cut up two, because I’m crazy about them!

I dump the flour combination in a bowl with salt and pepper. You can add spices if you like. Garlic powder, chilli powder and parsley are nice additions.

Place the aubergine sticks into a bowl of water and then draw them out one by one and stick them into the bowl of flour. The flour should stick to the sticks nicely with the humidity on them. Then you can just transfer them to a (hot) frying pan with lots of oil, preferably olive oil and not sunflower oil. (I once fried with sunflower oil and by the second batch it had turned BLACK! Never again!)

If you are lucky enough to get virgin unrefined coconut oil at a modicum price, supposedly that is even better than olive oil for frying. I am not lucky enough to get coconut oil at a modicum price here in Spain, so I use olive oil. (If you are in Spain, Fitovitalia now sells coconut oil at high range jewellery prices. They have a shop here in Malaga but will ship to anywhere in Spain for a very very reasonable shipping rate. Vamos, let’s just say, it costs less for them to ship the package to my door than it does for me to pack up my two kids onto a city bus to and from the store.)

These aubergines coated in this gluten-free combination come out light, crispy, delicate. They don’t leave you feeling fat and full and like you need a nap urgently, the way wheat flour does.

My youngest son loves anything that you can put into your mouth, so we usually share this plate together. My oldest won’t look at anything that comes from a plant or grows from the ground, so he usually passes.

Eggplants

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Photographs From a Typical Day In a Life

I was thinking today, about how long it takes me to put up a post, and yet I literally have THOUSANDS of photographs sitting around here taking up room in the computer, and which no one was ever going to see, because I never put them up.

Restaurant Garden TorremolinosSo then I thought, why do I need to write a one-thousand-word post every time I upload a round of photos? No wonder I never put anything up. Who has time to write a thousand words every few days?

I am always taking photos wherever I go. So here is the start of a round of photos with varying themes…… but with very little text!

Restaurant Garden Torremolinos

These photos are from last year, from one of our routine strolls about Torremolinos, which is one of my favourite towns.

Mansion Torremolinos

I’ve always wondered what building this is, dominating prominently over Torremolinos as you walk along its seaside promenade. Elegant but decadent-looking mansion from another era.

Night Sky TorremolinosNothing spectacular, just the moon soaring high over the nocturnal landscape of Torremolinos.
Tower by Night Torremolinos

Tower by Night Torremolinos

Two views of an impressive tower, just another one of those unnamed and unmarked historical traces scattered anonymously about town.

Venus Torremolinos

It’s nice to know that this quaint and lovely town is being watched over by angels (as well as by St. Michael, their patron saint). Well, maybe not angels, but a beautiful goddess will do.

Tropical Plants Torremolinos

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