Category Archives: Book Club

Teasing tasters.

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Seems the weather keeps teasing us and giving us a taste of what’s to come – A day of glorious sunshine in between the dull & rain, is enough to lift the spirits , time to fling open the windows, lunch alfresco and the drudgery of the daily homework routine somehow seems all more bearable done in the afternoon sun.

Yesterday we we’re singing with the birds, everyone was cheery, flowers were picked to add a springtime bloom and the children gathered their boots & walking sticks and returned once more to their Swallows and Amazons lifestyle, trekking and exploring their mountainside with dogs & cats in tow.

My main vegetable patch is in need of resurrection, I’m trying to build the enthusiasm to to tackle it head on, what I have done, is create a little mini herb & salad patch in the border at the back of my house, just by the kitchen door & yesterday we enjoyed our first pickings of leaves & herbs & edible flowers in a fresh green salad.

salad leaves from La rosilla

We are down to one hen at the moment 😦 but soon her new friends will be arriving, I think she is enjoying eating solo and not having to share, and bless her she lays an egg everyday for us, good job really, as I often start a recipe or dish and then think …’bloody hell’ have I got any eggs ? . Yesterday was no exception, scouring the fridge for inspiration & decided to rustle up a red cabbage slaw, Oh no no mayo,- no worries I’ll just whip some up – Oh no, no eggs – Off to Henny Penny I trudged , she hadn’t let me down.

Today we’re back to wet & grey, with even talk of a ‘Red’ alert on weather warnings !  So I’m feeling the need for comfort food and sharing.  Luckily this afternoon is my ‘Book Club’ and we going to chat about The Kasmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas , a tale of The Raj, Colonial India & Wales, so I’ve baked a spiced Tea Bread & Victoria Sponge, hopefully sweet tastes to match the beautiful tale.

The Kashmir Shawl

SPICED TEA BREAD RECIPE

250 gr of Sultanas soaked in 300ml of cold tea, leave overnight.

 I use a Moroccan tea, flavoured with cinnamon, chicory, liquorice, orange & mint.

Mix with :

2 beaten eggs

250 gr of SR flour

200 gr of Brown sugar

2 tsp of mixed spice

Stir well together – then pour into a lined 2lb loaf tin – bake at 175 c – for 1 hour until risen and dark golden.

Spiced Tea Bread recipe from La Rosilla.

Enjoy with butter and jam and of course a lovely cup of tea.

 

 

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The Next Big Thing !

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The Next Big Thing is a huge round-robin initiative of writers, bloggers, authors and journalists who share what they are embarking on next. The format is a set of questions, which can be varied depending on whether the current baton-holder is an author of books, or an online blogger.

I was passed the baton by Tamara Essex a new friend of mine, who I met after reading her wonderful blog ‘A foot in two Camps’ based around her life spread between rural England and rural Andalucia.  When I  first read Tamaras blog posts about my local town Colmenar in the montes of Malaga, they had me chuckling to myself.  I think it is great to see & read another fellows perspective on our life here, albeit if she is a ‘Townie’ 😉

So this is me @lynzinthesun, blogger, recipe writer, cookery & culture class giver,  local book club  & ‘ Views from the hills‘ ladies group founder . Phew, no wonder my life is manic !

I will be passing the baton on to two great virtual friends of mine, who have kept me inspired, supported & amused with their tales from their corners Andalucia & who I very much hope to meet in the flesh in 2013 !

Here are my questions & answers ;

What is the working title of your project? I blog at La Rosilla lifestyle & food , writings and tales of our family life, in our rural Finca on a mountain in Andalucia. I like to think of it as a harmony between food & nature.

Where did the idea come from?

I started writing a personal diary from the day we left Blighty ,lock, stock & barrel.  Many friends said ‘Lynz you should write a book’ but I thought they are two a penny now.  Although Driving over lemons &  A parrot in a pepper tree had inspired & whet my appetite  to take the plunge into a new life , I wasn’t sure our roller-coaster of a Spanish life would fit into a book, so I took to blogging instead.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your blog?

Life on a mountain in Spain, experiences, memory moments & food, glorious food.

How long do you spend writing posts for your blog?

I seem to be forever online, researching, tweeting but actually writing I think probably 2 hours a week.  I enjoy the time, it makes me reflect on what we’ve done as a family, and also makes me grateful of what we have achieved or experienced.  I try to keep my blog as positive as possible, and at times when things get too much, I can loose myself in writing.

To what book would you compare your blog?

Not sure about a book ; for my children it would be ‘Swallows & Amazons’, the tales I write about them, and the wonderful things they get up to on the mountain, sure give them a life of adventure.  For me, probably a T.V series ‘The good life’ I live a life of cross between Margot & Barbara , we’ve done the pigs, allotment, self sufficiency, but I do like a glass of bubbles in my hand 😉

Who or what inspires you to write?

I never take for granted my view or breathtaking location I live in , day to  day happenings inspire me to write.  Nature, plants, the weather, fiestas, traditions & lifes happenings – Just this morning, on a December day crisp & bright the bees are buzzing and busy collecting honey from our Passifloras & the Cooker repair man is busy in the kitchen doing the necessary to ensure the La Rosilla kitchen stays open at the vital time – Real life !

La Rosilla Terrace Dining

What is on your agenda in the next month or two?

My eldest daughter arrives home tomorrow for Christmas, so we will be together as a family – Can’t wait.  I’ll be cooking away, for guests and clients, busy with my Christmas orders for Buche Noel & shortbread .  As the New Year arrives, keeping warm is always high on the agenda, it gets cold up in these hills…I am planning new dates for my cookery & culture days & supperclub events.

What is your dream of a next big thing?

My Next Big Thing, is work in progress, I am slowly writing, compiling & planning my own cook book, which will be a compilation of recipes from family, friends and guests to La Rosilla. Favourite dishes, full of traditions & tales, from all over the world – the title ‘DELISH’ .

Well I need to get baking, so I’ll pass my baton on to two wonderful ladies;

Carole Byrne who writes a great blog Further south of Granada .  Carol keeps me entertained with her tales of even higher up rural Spanish life than me, way up in the Alpujarras.

Ann Larson is an extraordinarily busy lady, who writes about her life in Yunquera on her Olive farm, here she grows all her own vegetables, herbs & olives, which she uses to make the most beautiful natural products called Lujos.  Both ladies like me experience, all areas of Spanish life, warts and all.

So from my NEXT BIG THING to yours – Buen Provecho 🙂

 

 

 

 

Book chatter with tea & cake.

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The sun shone for a few brief hours, enough to raise my spirits, hang my washing on the line, and sweep the fallen leaves off the terrace, but it didn’t last long.

The rain clouds returned to the mountain and the afternoon sky turned dark & grey, but no worries…It was La Rosilla Book Club time, so that meant afternoon tea & cake and book chatter with friends.  After a spring & summer of book club alfresco, we’re back to snuggling up in doors, so candles were lit, tea poured & carrot cake enjoyed.

We were joined by Joan Fallon who was the author of our monthly read ‘ Between the sierras & the sea‘ an endearing read, about the troubled times of our area of Andalucia in the civil war.  So thought provoking, to read of places so near that were affected so brutally, and yet have survived and risen again from the ashes. 

Joan talked about people & books that had inspired her like ‘Malaga Burning’ by Gamel Woolsey published in 1939  and also her new writings she is working on.

Chat veered off course like normal, which is great 🙂 We discussed Jamie Oliver,  Fanny Cradock & Delia, our favourite cook books, tapas restaurants, bureaucracy, troubled teens, manners & discipline, coastal versus mountain temperatures , the weather, did we discuss the weather ? Can’t quite remember, but we must have , we’re British….I know one thing, I forgot my washing on the line, by then sodden ! hey ho, cake was good 😉

 

 

 

Last week of my 30’s

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So it’s arrived , knew it would, didn’t want it too – WHY ? because I don’t feel ready, surely I’m not old enough to be 40 ;), my dream plan hasn’t come to fruition, that is of being in control of my life, living in perfect balance & harmony, or maybe I should have taken note of what I called it my ‘DREAM’ plan instead of my goal.

Some things I achieved in my 30’s , others more than once, some that tried to finish me off !! –

  • I had my 3rd child,
  • I moved to Spain
  • I live on a mountain
  • I ate at ‘The Fat Duck’2
  • I had a breakdown …no I wasn’t invincible, my marbles went on meltdown
  • I beat my breakdown
  • I walked burning coals
  • I started my supperclub ,cookery courses & catering business
  • I lost 6 stone, put 3 back on, lost 3 again & put it back on, told you I achieved things more than once 😉
  • Fitness , there’s another- I achieved my ultimate level, running, kick boxing yoga & dancing – Since lost this fitness, not all my fault a back injury certainly hasn’t helped 😦
  • I started a book club, which is still going strong
  • I created a womens group ‘ Views from the hills‘ to share events, experience things together and give each other support, which is growing steadily….

Areas I need to work on, my OCD in bed making and cushion plumping , creating my ‘recipe’ book, sometimes saying no, oh yes and beating this financially challenging time in Spain  – Survival of the fittest and all that –  having a holiday, yes I might live in an idyllic place, with fresh air, blue skies, warm sunshine and cheap wine, but a holiday would be nice.

Well hey ho, I’m told 50 is the new 40, so that’ll give me another 10 years to work on my plan, but while I renew my goals or at least spend time thinking of them, I’ve got a party to plan – a big PARRTTYY , Mine 😉 so once again I digress.

Back to book club.

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After a summer of excess, including reading of course 😉 , I am trying to re-group well in my brain that is !!

It’s that time of year when school bags are being re-packed, stationary supplies are being bought & early Sunday bath & bedtimes are a welcoming thought.

With the slight drop in temperatures the endurance of cooking in the summer heat, will once again become a memory.  The endless changing beds from visitors , the beach bag emptying with sandy deposits , the never ending damp towels dropped from the pool too will be part of summer I don’t mind waving goodbye to until next year.

Summer 2012 like many others I have had in Spain has been full to bursting, candle burning at both ends stylee.

I LOVE IT.

Flamenco Malaga Feria

Rio Gordo Foam Party

Cooking in more ways then one !

Lazy days

Cartojal my fav summer tipple.

Routine will soon been forced upon me, but I won’t be shying away from it, but welcoming it with open arms. My mind & body are ready so bring it on 😉

Calendars at the ready, appointments being booked, meetings & events being planned, Big ’40’ birthday looming 😉 !

Adios Summer it’s been a great one – Hello Autumn looking forward to seeing you.

Back to Book Club‘ will start on 24th September with a great reading list for the coming months.