I have spread myself too thin. Somehow I have ended up with 5 Facebook pages, 2 Twitter accounts and 2 blogs, none of which is currently well attended. So, in an attempt to simplify my life, I am cutting back! Read more
I spotted a small group of red deer stags in the woods and was fascinated to find that they were without their antlers!
A red deer stag with a massive crown of antlers is a very impressive sight. And indeed, that is part of their function – to make the stag look more impressive to the ladies. It takes a lot of testosterone to grow those antlers and it takes a lot of food to nourish them, so large antlers are a good …
Crispy chicken wings are one of those foods that seem to be universally loved. A hot wing, fresh from the frier or oven and ready for dipping into your favourite sauce, is a wonderful thing. The crisper the better for maximum crunch and all those little nooks and crannies to grab on to the sauce. Read more
Around this time last year, I found out I was in with a chance to win a two-week bloggers’ trip to Kerala in India. Lots of you voted, but I narrowly miss out. (A guy with one vote more than me got to go!) This year I have entered again and would really appreciate your help. Read more
I can’t believe it’s December already. The year seems to have just flown by. I squeezed a lot into the year but at the same time, there are more things I wanted to achieve. There’s still some time left, I suppose – more I can get done before the fireworks go off and the new year begins. But it looks like some dreams will be carried over to next year. That’s not a bad thing – chasing down dreams keeps life interesting! Read more
The veg patch has been ploughed, the clocks have rolled back and the flocks of geese and cranes have ceased their noisy flyovers on their way to warmer parts. A cosy space has been prepared in a shed for our beautiful goat, Julė, to spend her nights protected from the cold and rain, and with the feast of Samhain, we enter the dark half of the year. Read more
The sky is grey and the air is damp. The evenings are getting shorter. The storks are gone. Hay has been cut and is being brought in by the tractor-load. Around the village fires are being lit, the smoke from chimneys barely distinguishable from the grey clouds above. Almost without warning, summer is over and autumn is upon us. Read more
Next on our European Food Tour – Spanish Tapas!
Tapas bars are ubiquitous in Spain. A bit like the “chipper” back in Ireland, even the smallest towns and villages seem to have at least one tapas bar. Not only that, but they tend to be good quality. While some are undoubtedly better than others, I did not encounter a single tapa that I didn’t enjoy on my recent trip through Spain. From San Sebastian to Santiago and Seville to Antequera, all of our investigations met with positive results.
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In the next installment from our European Food Tour I explain why I haven’t been blogging as much as I’d hoped, and give a taste of what posts I will share in the weeks ahead.
You never know who you’re going to end up sitting beside on a plane. You could be stuck beside some armrest-stealing leg-spreader who doesn’t understand the concept of either deodorant or earphones, or you could get a like-minded soul with whom you can chat effortlessly for the whole journey. Read more
On the second day of jamón ibérico school we visit an organic pig farm and see the jamón being produced.
We returned to La Posada the following morning for an enormous breakfast, full of Lucy’s homemade Andalucían delights, before setting off with Angel to an organic pig farm nearby. The farm is set in a huge oak forest (known as a “dehesa”) and has goats, ducks, geese and chickens as well as over one hundred black Iberian pigs.
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A two-day course at an Ibérico ham school was one of the highlights of our European food tour. In part one, we tour the Jamón Ibérico Museum in Aracena (Huelva province), get a lesson on carving jamón correctly and eat a delicious traditional Spanish meal featuring Ibérico pork.
Sometimes things work out much better than you’d hoped. Having driven for miles through areas of both Portugal and Spain that are home to the famous black Iberian pig, I wondered if we would ever get a glimpse of these wonderful animals. I’ve dreamed of someday owning an Iberian pig farm in Andalucía and really wanted to experience them in their natural habitat. Alas, they proved elusive.
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