Category Archives: Malaga

Pour & Pair!

Standard

‘Is it sherry ‘o’ clock’ I would hear on a Sunday as the hand passed the yard arm.

A phrase I would cherish and recognise as a sign of relaxation, comfort, families, and feasting. Steamy windows as the roast and veg cooked away, mum in her pinny, with flushed cheeks.

Even from a young age, I loved the sound of that cork pop, and the first glug into the schooner, because yes back then it would’ve been a cream sherry. I have by coincidence my children’s long lost great, great, great ……Grandfather 😉 Sir Francis, to thank for that after he and his crew famously stole 2,900 barrels of Sherry and delivered it up to the British Court after the Spanish Armada. Soon after in late 1500’s, it became the most fashionable drink in England.

Many people still have this stereotypical idea, that Sherry is what ‘Old ladies’ drink, maybe they do, but that’s because they have taste ;). To dive deeper into this world of Sherry Wines, to share the love and tastes and versatility of a wine for every dish and occasion, is a joy. Thanks to Sherry.wines.com the renaissance is alive, Sherry is being enjoyed all over the world, the ancient, historical and natural process to create these wines with complexity is spellbinding.

sherryweek-logo-bota-2017

 

I have been a great follower and promoter of International Sherry Day and Week from the start, each year wherever I have been in the world, either on my mountain with a group for supper club and tasting of a flight of sherries, or enjoying privately with my ‘Charge’ or virtually with my Mama. Just introducing friends and visitors to a new taste sensation, something out of the box for them.

 

It is with great delight that I have been chosen out of many bloggers, to create a ‘Pour and pair’ recipe and hopefully a winning dish for the competition, to celebrate this years #Sherryweek 2017. I have been given a wonderful bottle of Cruz Vieja, Palo Cortado en Rama, from Bodegas Faustino Gonzalez . This special sherry has got my culinary juices flowing for the dish I think compliments this wine perfectly.

 

My thoughts and a little about the sherry: CRUZ VIEJA, Palo Cortado en Rama.

Palo Cortados have legends written about them. This sherry wine is fermented in the cask and bottled ‘En Rama’(raw). A wine of complexity and a rare variety, starting life and aging under a veil of flor to become a Fino and then mysteriously losing its veil, thus starting aging oxidatively.

The result is a wine with the delicate bouquet (on the nose) of an Amontillado and the velvety pallet ( in the mouth ) and body of Oloroso. Only a very small percentage of grapes naturally process into a Palo Cortado. The name ‘Palo Cortado’ (cut stick) comes from the markings on the sherry casks, as the sherry was originally destined to be a Fino or Amontialldo, It would have a single line marking /, later when the sherry maker was testing the wine and notices the change, they would mark a cross or strike the line.

This Palo Cortado is definitely to be enjoyed with food, perfect with a main dish so it can be appreciated slowly. The dark amber colour with copper lights, has strong aromas of caramel and vanilla, tastes of Autumn roasted chestnuts, and bitter Seville orange.

My recipe …

Cruz Vieja can take deep flavours, so taking both the attributes of Amontillados and Olorosos my dish is a feast of the Montes de Malaga where I live and harvest of Autumn. Rich earthy ingredients from locally made embutidos, comforting flavours, a hug on a plate, together with the Sherry wine, this dish should be enjoyed with friends around the table, sharing tales, anecdotes and making memories.

sherrywines-sherryweek-2017-ifitswims-ifitflies-ifitruns-horizontal

 

Huerta, Granja y Montes

Roast Quail with braised lentils, chorizo & butternut squash with a  morcilla scotch quails egg.

IMG_3604

INGREDIENTS: Serves 4

FOR THE SCOTCH EGGS

IMG_3563
Quails Eggs
100 g Sausage Meat
50 g Morcilla
Fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg beaten
2 tbsp Plain flour

Bring a small pan of water to the boil, and add quails eggs for exactly 1 minute 50 seconds. Then immediately put the eggs in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process for 5 minutes.
Mix the sausage meat and morcilla together, I used a hand blender.
Put the Breadcrumbs, egg, and flour in 3 separate bowls.
Carefully peel the quails eggs.
Take a spoon of morcilla mix and carefully wrap around the quail’s eggs.
Dip the covered quail’s egg in flour, egg wash then breadcrumbs.
Refrigerate until later.

FOR THE LENTILS

 

Glug of Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 red onion diced
2 sticks of celery finely chopped
100g Chorizo diced
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1 sprig of rosemary leaves finely chopped
1/4 small Butternut squash diced
200g cooked Pardina lentils
Sploosh of Palo Cortado

In a pan add olive oil and gently saute the onion, celery, and butternut squash until tender.
Add the chorizo, rosemary, and garlic – saute for 5 minutes
Add the sherry and bubble down for 1 minute.
Add cooked lentils and stir through to combine all ingredients.
Keep warm and set aside.

FOR THE BUTTERNUT PUREE

1/4 Butternut squash in chunks no need to peel.
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Sherry Vinegar

Place the butternut on a baking tray and drizzle with Olive oil and season.
Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes until tender.
Place in a bowl and blend to a puree add sherry vinegar and glug of olive oil.
Keep warm.

FOR THE QUAILS

IMG_3575

4 Quails
Olive oil
Butter
Salt & Pepper

Season the quails, inside and out.
In a pan melt the butter and olive oil and heat to high.
Add the quails and brown on all sides.
Roast in the oven 180c for 15 minutes.
Leave to rest in warm place.

 

Whilst the quails are resting, the lentils are being kept warm, time to fry the scotch eggs.

Heat a small pan of vegetable oil to 180C, then gently lower the eggs in and fry for 3 minutes.
Take out of oil and place on a plate with kitchen paper to absorb the oil.

NOW TO PLATE

Spoon the lentils onto a warm plate, place the roasted quail on top & drizzle with Olive oil.

Spoon on some puree and add the scotch egg cut in half to allow the oozy yolk to be seen.

NOW TO POUR

Cruz Vieja, Palo Cortado en Rama.

IMG_3613

Buen provecho todos y Salud !

I hope you all enjoy my recipe and fingers crossed it’s a winner.

 

Viva Jerez !

 

 

 

SaveSave

Advertisements

Hot footing !

Standard

I smashed it !

Woohoo, 1000 miles in the bag, muchas gracias 😉

IMG_2779

Some of you may remember my #Walk1000miles challenge I started on Janaury 9th this year when then it seemed a very far off, most inconceivable goal for me.  Many of you have been following my progress, with my regular shout outs of my distance, places walked and mountains climbed, on social media, FB & IG, even though I know it’s not the done thing, according to the Huffpost UK FB rules 😉 :

Realise no one cares how far thou hast run (unless it was from a tiger or bear)

Well, I’m pretty chuffed and amazed, I’ve just plodded on, walking further and further.  The summer temperatures gave me a serious battering, I don’t think I’ve actually ever been this brown, I’m certainly wethered that’s for sure.  Walking at dawn, was the only answer, but with the fierce heat this year, even then temperatures were in the high 20’s.

There were only a few moments when I thought, ‘Lynsey, this is just too far’ and yes talking to myself has helped, keep me sane ? Not sure about that, but it’s got me up the hills at point of collapse.

Things I’ve learned along the way :

  1.  You always need more water than you think.
  2. Don’t look up when going up a big hill.
  3. Stretch.
  4. Don’t get your hopes up when you think the end is in sight – It’s further away than it looks.
  5. Stop and look at the view.
  6. Remeber your € for your café con leche.
  7. Look for ants nest before taking a peepee.
  8. As Baz Luhrmann says ‘Remember the sunscreen’
  9. Exhaustive, hysteria is a thing.
  10. This girl CAN !

IMG_2780

Thanks for all those who have supported me, my amigas and family that have whiled away a fair few miles with me. Those who have tooted as driven passed, offered a lift when I look lost or done in, or just slowed down and shouted ‘Nearly there’ or ‘Surely you haven’t walked from there’ I thank-you. I will be plodding on, I best do, as I have more walking boots and trainers than killer heels now, not quite, but how times change.

Living in the mountains has often made me crave of flat roads and no hills to climb.  Coastal walks have been included in my total and country lanes with time spent in the U.K, but the bonus I get is that I can proudly say I have climbed equivalent to 5 Everests – 45,011 meters of elevation. The local ‘Cabras’ have nothing on me 😉

#wheresyoureverest

Next stop, a week on the Camino de Santiago, back-pack loaded, pilgrim here I come.

Oh BTW – lost 18kg in total, never had a summer before without gaining, thumbs up for calorie burning walking.

 

Buen Camino !

 

 

 

 

Mountain high !

Standard

For 13 years, I’ve looked in awe at the mighty ‘Maroma‘ standing majestically above the lake. The highest mountain in the Axarquía in Southern Spain at an altitude of 2069m. La Maroma meaning rope was named after the rope used to descend to an ancient ice house located near the summit.  I always hoped one day I’d be fit enough and brave enough to climb to the summit, well yesterday was that day!

17862659_1523856124299801_6589431526839017056_n

I felt fit enough, after my last few months of non-stop hiking, but the bravery part was a more challenging aspect.  You see I suffer from a crazy level of acrophobia, heights, and edges, push me over the edge literally ;).

Over the years I have been paralysed to the spot, clinging to any solid object, building, tree or person trying to escape the magnetism & pull of the edge.   During my career as an overseas tour guide, I would create little white lies to tell clients when we arrived at monuments, towers, and bridges, that as their guide I must stay at the bottom for safety and their security, so they always knew where I was.    One time we visited the Gran dune de pilat in France, the family and I and hundreds of other tourists, started the trek up the dune, and half way up I knew I was just not going to make it, the single file line as far as the eye could see, had to stop, reverse and trek back down, with a sobbing me, erratically bumping down on my bottom, until  I could reach the solitary oak tree to hug and hang on to.  On occasions, I have this sudden bout of Tourette’s style shouting at strangers who are near edges too, all very embarrassing for anyone with me and totally debilitating to me.

So I think you get the picture, this climb wasn’t to be taken likely, I had researched, I knew there were parts that would push my buttons.  No way did I want to trek for upward miles, only to not get to the summit.

So yesterday arrived, our rucksacks were packed, heavy with litres of water and high energy snacks.  I was already awake and had been most of the night, when the alarm went off, going over every situation in my mind, and trying to inject a PMA, along with positive affirmations, “cool wet moss’ that I used for my Tony Robbins ‘Fire Walk‘, years ago, wasn’t going to cut it, but ‘Onwards and upwards’ might help.

We had decided on taking the route from Robledal, not the shortest but most picturesque. The weather was perfect, not too hot, clear skies and the season too, springtime in the mountains is stunning, wild flowers, butterflies, grasses and lush vegetation, make the long journey so pleasurable.  Once parked, we started the trek, firstly winding away up through the oak and pine forest to the first vistas looking to Sierra Nevada and the lowlands of Granada.  The track then steeply ascends, on rocky paths some very narrow with steep downsides.  Watching our footing constantly, it was best to stop often for quick breathers and a moment to take in the views.  The path is easy to follow, and when the signposts fade out, piles of stones have been made to show the way.

The journey was as hard physically as I’d expected but doable, especially for regular walkers.  Walking poles were a godsend, especially on our descent.

So the mental part….there were many moments when I thought OMG, and couldn’t bare look and when my pace and stride were slightly comical as I shuffled over various rocky crags.  I knew THE challenge was near the summit , a 10 meter long very narrow precipice with a sheer drop to below a 1000 + meters below !!!!  I’d asked my group not to mention it, and when they saw it before me not to comment, but I was constantly saying “Is this it ? are we there yet ? do you think that was the worse part ?” . Then there it was no mistaking THE EDGE OF DOOM.  Palpatations, heart in mouth, hot sweating, I focused, clinged on to the Other Half, ‘C’mon Lynsey it’s only 10 large steps’ I said to myself.  Slowly, slowly I edged across, I’m not sure where I looked, not up, not down, I may have even had my eyes closed, not recommended. The other issue that now dawned on me, half way across, and why I hadn’t thought about it before, I was going to have to do it again on the return journey.  Get across I did, did I enjoy it ? NO, but the relief was enormous and once I’d regained some sort of composure and fought back my tears, I realised of joy.  I was bloomin’ well proud of me !

FullSizeRender 13

The summit was breathtaking, views of snow laden Sierras, the lake below, boats at sea, Malaga port in the distance, white washed villages and our hamlet over yonder.  The temperature had dropped and the air was crisp,  we snuggled together in a low huddle for our picnic, reveling too with other climbers of all nationalities and ages.  We enjoyed a celebratory tipple, which helped calm my nerves and give me a little dutch courage for the descent.  Photo opportunities were taken and Maroma captivated me.

FullSizeRender 14

Making our way down was as hard if not harder, muscles and feet took the brunt, but our minds were jubilant and our conversations were cheery.

6 hours 45 minutes it took us, including pit stops, the last part seemed to take forever, us all thinking we must be nearly there, but then sure enough the car came into view and we knew the bar was only a short drive away 😉

Have I conquered my fear, definitely not totally, but I felt the fear and did it anyway.

Toot, Toot as I blow my trumpet, and while I’m at it another big red tick as during my hike I hit my 500 miles of my ‘Walk 1000 miles in 2017’ challenge.  Go me, who’d have thought.

 

 

Best foot forward.

Standard

 

I daren’t look when my last blog post was, they’re all in my head you see, I never seem to have the time, here we go again …

“All or nothing” that’s me. I don’t often do things by halves. Rockbottom or flying high, up or down, no wine or the whole bottle, couch potato or?

Well, that leads me to this blog post …

January saw me at another chubby, yo-yo, clothes going up in size stage. I had been recognising the signs, but ignoring them, as I do, for the past 12 months, then that dreaded Christmas photo !! I looked well, frumpy. No-no good. I also was in constant pain, with diagnosed degenerative disc disease, a pinched nerve and a spine very badly out of shape. To add insult to injury, my Hashimoto’s (Autoimmune under active thyroid) was muddling my brain, disturbing my sleep and adding pounds to my person.

Rollercoaster life rock-bottom once again kicked me into touch. So I flung myself wholeheartedly, I ‘WAS’ in the zone, to sort it out. Weight, fitness, diet, and lifestyle. I decided to take on a few personal challenges that I could focus on throughout the year. Poco a poco, little by little. Goals that I could put a big red tick by as I conquered them.

They’re work in progress and they are as follows:

  • Dry January

To refrain from Alcohol for 31 days.

COMPLETED – SAVING …17,000..CALORIES & …403….€ ( hides in shame !)

Miracles do happen, who’d have thought 😉 coming from a bottle of vino a night girl, plus a few!

THE FOLLOWING STARTED 9TH JANUARY 2017

  • Loose 15 kgs

Following the 5:2 Fast plan. Restricted food intake calories 2 days a week, and eating well 5 days a week, including indulging when called for at weekends.

PROGRESS TO DATE: DOWN 13 KGS 🙂

  • ‘Where’s you Everest’ Challenge

everest

To climb the height of Everest 8823m wherever, whenever you’re in the world. Set by Trail Magazine.

PROGRESS TO DATE: 6 weeks to climb my first Everest, onto my 2nd …15,424…m Elevation in total.

  • Walk 1000 miles in 12 months

walk1000miles2017poster4

Challenge set by Country Walking Magazine, with an online FB group and following of ……people. A positive and inspiring group of people, from, excuse the pun all walks of life, all over the world. Some folks counting every step they take, some counting ‘Boots on’ miles.

PROGRESS TO DATE: 350 ‘Boots on’ MILES, On target and banking a few!

  • Walk as many stages of the ‘Gran Sendero de Malaga’

A circular walking route around the province of Malaga 650 KM

GR walk

PROGRESS TO DATE :

Stage 1 & 2 complete, Malaga to Rincon de la Victoria to Velez Malaga.

Stage 3 & 4 complete, Velez-Malaga to Torrox pueblo to Nerja.

Stage 5 complete, Nerja through the Sierras to Frigiliana.

  • Climb Maroma

For 12 years since we moved to our house on the side of a mountain, with looked with awe at the mighty Maroma. La Maroma, also known as Tejeda, stands at an altitude of 2069 m, is the highest peak of the Sierra de Tejeda,  Spain. The summit is located in the region of Axarquía on the border between the provinces of Granada and Málaga.

PROGRESS – Date booked 7th May, praying for good weather and not too hot.

  • Camino de Santiago

To start my Pilgrimage on the famous St James way.

PROGRESS TO DATE: Pilgrim passport ready, flights booked, depart 28th September, 1 week.

EXCITED !

Well, that’s the diet and fitness sorted 😉 should give me something to go on, now to fit in the lifestyle, not sure there are enough hours in the day. Maybe as I walk I can virtually write my cookbook, keep my website updated and plan recipes and menus. Perhaps I need a personal assistant, note to self must work harder, money helps 😉

view

Once somebody showed me the ‘Wheel of life’ to balance all aspects of your life, work, rest and play, I even set diary notes for it to pop up to remind me to evaluate my ‘Wheel’ each month. Maybe just a tad unrealistic, or too perfectly formed for ‘real life’ and I know, I often would look at my ‘apple’ Pie Chart and think “ooh b********s”, I’m not that domestic, mantra chanting, chakra aligned, clean eating, goddess. But I’m ME work in progress, ‘watch this space Lynsey’ back on the waggon of self-fulfilment, having a little me time, slipping up as and when life bats me a curve ball, just trying to recognise the moment before it side swipes me to depths again.

So as I put my best foot forward I’m praying for no blisters, hoping my back will hold up and my pill popping will be less. I’m enjoying every moment, breathing in the views, stopping to stand and stare at the top of steep climb or mountain, learning to cope with the wandering of my own mind, ( yes I still think I’m crazy ), and I’m truly thankful that I live, where I live.

trekking

Buen Camino todos!

Malaga a must see !

Standard

Although living on our mountain in rural Andalucia for the last 11 years, I do have to travel back and forth to the U.K regularly for extra work.  Always on my plane journey the inevitable conversation starts by the fellow passenger next to me ‘ Going on holiday ?’ “no, I live here‘ I reply.  I explain my story in brief, and ask of their onward journey plans.

Most, probably 95% of them say they’re heading off to the Costa del Sol, or even say Malaga, when my eyes and ears light up, as this wonderful city holds a dear place in my heart and those that have visited, no doubt share the same enthusiasm for it , but they don’t actually mean Malaga the city, and have no plans to visit it, they either pass through, skirt pass or miss it altogether .

Maybe secretly in my thoughts , part of me feels this is a good thing, perhaps they’re not the kind of folk who would be held under its spell, of passion, history, art, architecture, cosmopolitanism, diversity and gastronomy.  The other side of me feels, don’t judge the place as an airport, be daring, take a detour, spend a few hours and explore, and get hypnotised by the power of this Andalucian treasure.

Go, Malaga is a must see !

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Even visiting regularly as we do, it always feels a special treat to take a day out in the city.  Luckily Malaga is on our doorstep well just a 30 or so KM’s away, but in the mountains nothing is too close.  We can hop on a bus from our local town of Colmenar, relax for the 40 minute journey, only costing a couple of euros and hop off the other end to explore, shop, eat,&  tapear (eat lots of tapas in lots of places).

This visit, we planned our itinerary around roof-top terraces, lazy lunch, cocktails and views to to die for.  Malaga even in 38 degrees did not disappoint .