I didn’t intend to go to Spain ever, but I was dragged along to Valencia, Barcelona and then to Madrid by an ex boyfriend and I’m so glad that I was.
In Valencia I first tried deep fried baby octopus, pulpo, in Madrid I had a beautiful platter of cheeses, seafood and cured meats and in Barcelona I had an amazing paella.
My first guest blog/recipe comes from Emily Hendren-Allwright and is perfect for this time of year when ripe British strawberries are coming into their own. It makes a great alternative to scones or sponges and I’ll be trying it out when I get back to England.
The British do wonderful cakes, with loads of cream and jam, but I don’t often see strawberry shortcake. In America, it’s one of the high points of summer. A lot of people buy little ready-made sponge cakes in the supermarket that are specially marketed for strawberry shortcake, but to get the proper texture, you really have to make them yourself. It’s somewhere between a scone and a cake, a rich, crumbly, eggy bite.
A ginger cake is good, a double ginger cake is better, but a triple ginger cake is fantastic. It can be served warm or cold and fits just as well with tea on a summer afternoon as with an autumn evening by the fire. And it doesn’t need icing.
The first tasting
Ok, so technically I was never in the W.I., although I did intend on joining.
When I lived in Newcastle and broke up with my boyfriend I was sharing a one bedroom flat in a former convent with him and he was an alcoholic. He was sleeping in the sitting room, I had the bedroom. I didn’t feel like I could have friends round, as there was nowhere for them to sit and I didn’t want them to see him in that state. Neither did I want to deal with the hours of talking that would inevitably follow over many, many days if someone came in and had upset his personal space. We lived like this for 6 months before he moved out.
I had to find things to do to occupy my time. working shifts as a careers adviser I couldn’t really commit to regular classes or activities in the evenings, unless you count the night shift activities of ‘Sing the lyrics of one song to the tune of another’ or ‘Read out song lyrics in a sort of Radio 4 voice for other people to guess’ or, my personal favourite, ‘How long can I try to talk like Reeves and Mortimer being Geordie Otis Reading and Marvin Gaye sitting on the dock of the bay before I begin to sound like Sarah Milllican?’. They don’t really count as activities. Fun, yes, getting me out of the house for something other than work, not so much.