Tag Archives: Colmenar

Pride, passion and processions.


At 2.15 pm today, school is out for Semana Santa, Holy Week .  Andalucia is home to some of the most flamboyant, extravagant and breathtaking displays and processions.  Cities, towns and villages alike, bedeck huge Tronos (floats) with flowers, candles and statues of Christ & the Virgin.  These massive shrines, weigh hundreds of kilos and are carried on the shoulders of the Cofradías ( Brotherhoods).

The tronos are followed and walked with by Nazarenos who carry large processional candles or heavy crosses made of rough woodThey wear a penitential robe the navareno , this is a long tunic with a tall conical hood, which hides the face of the wearer.  The Navarenos can be seen to walk the streets barefoot, sometimes they may carry shackles and chains on their feet as penance. The robe enables the wearer to do their penance whilst concealing their identity.

The city of Málaga will be visited by 1000’s to witness this unique tradition,  Semana Santa in Málaga is very different from that celebrated in other Andalucian  or Spanish places, it is not watched and partaken with sombre feeling and like many a tradition in this wonderful city is is enjoyed with revelry, happiness & cheer.  Often you can hear spontaneous singing of Flamenco verses  saetas as the floats go by.

Colmenar our local town is no exception and their Trono, is being polished and adorned with flowers as I write, robes and regalia are prepared for their processions.  The children of the town are encouraged to be involved too, by creating in groups their own hand-made ‘mini’ Tronos, of which my Daughter Nell has been part of.

After weeks of sticking, painting and creating, her trono was ready, it took so long as at each craft time there was 10 minutes making and 2 hours debating and chatting, well this is Spain !

Semana Santa Colmenar

So last night with excited children in tow, we made our way carefully carrying the trono to the Cofraida in Colmenar ‘Cofradía Ntro. Padre Jesús Nazareno y María Stma. de los Dolores’ ,

Cofradía Ntro. Padre Jesús Nazareno y María Stma. de los Dolores

It was a wonderful experience as many groups of village children had too created with pride their tronos, some groups take on ‘Mini’ were questionable, but again this is Spain !

Warming the cockles.


Reading my Twitter line, it seems that the cold weather is sweeping Europe, well it’s certainly sweeping through La Rosilla, through all the window frames & door frames it’s blowing a whoolie. Our Spanish Finca (Farmhouse) perched in it’s mountain setting, was certainly not built to keep us warm, but to keep us cool in our hot summers climes, which today seem an age away, as temperatures plummet to the lowest of known here of -3.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining in fact I love the extremes, the weather is stunning, fresh, crisp and bringing with it skies clear and blue, all one has to be is prepared !! Ahem *note to self* .

This week-end sees our town pay homage to our saint, Virgen de Candelaria..we will all walk behind the majestic saint sat on her throne, through the winding & hilly streets of Colmenar, before the climax on Sunday evening of a grand fireworks display. With temperatures in the minuses, we will endeavor to keep warm , huddled with others, coated, scarved and gloved. Others will walk barefooted or blindfolded to give thanks to their Saint !!!

So to keep the cockles warm from the inside out, I’m creating some warming & hearty family favourites. I’ll serve these with hunks of home-made Rosemary and onion bread, with La Rosilla Olive oil for dipping. A hearty Rioja will fill our glasses too, and flush our cheeks.

 Have a great week-end , keep warm 🙂

 Carrot & Cumin Soup.

1 kg of Carrots peeled and sliced into rings

Olive oil

1 large onion – Diced

1 large clove of garlic – Sliced

1 tsp of Cumin Seeds

1 liter hot Veg Stock

Natural Yogurt to serve

Fresh herbs to garnish

  • Saute the onion & garlic in a large saucepan in some olive oil, until soften but not coloured, add the carrots and cook for a few mins.
  • Add the cumin seeds to the pan, and fry to release their scent.
  • Add hot veg stock.
  • Heat thru, and bring to gentle simmer and cook until carrots are tender.
  • Blend until smooth with a hand-held blender, or carefully pour into liquidizer to blend.
  • Adjust seasoning.
  • Laddle into bowls, and add a spoon of Natural yogurt & a sprinkling of fresh herbs, even a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is good.


This next recipe, I have adapted from a family favourite brought from Blighty, using local ingredients to give it an Andalucian flair you can of course use English sausages & beans .


Cazuela de Chorizo Criolla – Or Sausage Hotpot


12 Chorizo Criolla – Uncooked chorizo with herbs. Herby bangers

1 large Onion Sliced

4 large potatoes sliced into rings skin on

6 carrots peeled and sliced into rings

1 large tin of Chopped Tomatoes – Instead or Tin toms and white beans you can add, Baked Beans

1 Jar of white beans, drained & rinsed

1 litre of hot stock & a slug of red wine or you can add a tin of Oxtail soup

Oregano or Mixed Herbs

Salt & Pepper


  • In a large casserole dish, layer the potatoes, onions & carrots alternately.
  • Season & sprinkle with oregano
  • Pour over the Chopped Tomatoes
  • Pour over the white beans
  • Lay the sausages on the top
  • Pour over the hot stock & wine, and season once more.
  • Put a lid on the casserole & bake in the oven 180 c for about 40 mins,
  • Take the lid off the casserole , give a gentle stir and return to oven to brown the sausages for approx 10 mins.


Enjoy in large bowls, with plenty of crusty bread to mop up the juices.


On my doorstep !


Living in the Montes de Malaga, a daily spectacle we are fortunate to see are the goats grazing on the mountainside, and being ushered along by their faithful shepherds, leaving a trail of goat devastation about them. One of the first things my baby daughter learned to say in Spanish was ‘Cabras’ , often as we drive the mountain roads, and turn blind corners we are met head on by a herd of goats casually wandering and going about their hunt for food.


The benefits of the herds naturally wandering, means their food they consume, is full of wild goodness, thus resulting in milk rich and plentiful.


My local town of Colmenar, makes the best from this milk, in way of fabulous Goats cheese, and on my doorstep, the milk is collected daily from farmers of the co-operative and from the length and breadth of the Axarquia , to the ‘fabrica de quesos‘ the cheese factory in the town.


Yesterday I was fortunate to accompany the inspiring Axalingua language school on their tour of the factory and a behind the scenes view, of the cheese production. Hand made cheeses and a small factory keeping the local produce alive.


Donning my protective and hygienic robes, we were showed all forms of production, from the milk arrival to the storing & curing to the packaging.



After our visit of the factory, we were invited to sample the delicious cheese.

Four types of cheese are produced,

Queso Fresco, a soft, white young cheese, made one day eaten the next, ideal for aperitifs, and desserts, and used in salads. I love it cubed mixed with ripe tomatoes, olives sliced red onions, a sprinkle of salt & dried wild oregano and drizzled with balsamic syrup.


Semicurado – This is a cheese that is left to cure for 1 to 3 months, increasing in flavour and hardening, and ideal cheese foe everyday use.


Leche Cruda- A cheese of intense aromas and flavour, conserving all the natural properties of the goats milk.


Curado – My favourite a strong, hard cheese left to cure for many months to harden, it almost has a light spicy flavour. Enjoyed on its own in all it’s glory alongside a crisp cold fino.


I love to keep these cheeses in my fridge, along with some local membrillo (quince paste) , and if we have impromptu guests, we have the perfect tapa, and a real taste of our home in the ‘Montes de Malaga’.