Archive for August, 2012

Just Whose Idea Was It ….?

Having now lived in Spain for more than six years, my husband and I quite often come across things which appear stupid to us, different in a less ‘clever’ kind of way, or leaving us simply wondering ‘why’.  Well, the point I am going to  mention can be covered by all those three points!

Just whose idea was it to design oven shelves with its bars going left to right rather than front to back?  Whenever you try to slide anything onto the shelf, it jumps like a car driven by a learner driver on his or her first lesson (you know what I mean, yes?).

Which then results in spillage …….

Oh, my poor quiche!  These shleves should carry a warning:-

‘Not designed for use with quiches, rice puddings, casseroles or anything else that contains an abundance of liquid’!

Obviously the idea of someone who hasn’t used an oven before ….!


‘Can’t’ or ‘Won’t’ ….?

‘Can’t’ or ‘won’t’?  Now that really is quite a question to grapple with … .. 

For example, I would like to say that I can’t put air in the tyres of my car.  I tried it once and I didn’t like it!  It was like holding an argument with a very small snake and, well, I didn’t like it at all.  So I suppose the word I should use is that I won’t put air in the tyres.  And that’s that. 

I once had a very long snake around my neck.  It seemed quite happy there as it had no doubt carried out the same feat many times before.  On the one occasion I was passed a baby snake to hold, it acted just like that tube in the petrol station and confirmed that I will not put air in the car tyres!  I will not!  Illogical I know but, for me, it’s heart-pumping stuff. 

Now, I feel the same way about cleaning windows and polishing shoes.  I’ve got the windows down to April and August and maybe if my family are visiting from England. 

Shoes?  Nah!  If it’s important, I suppose I would but that’s never happened yet, so watch this space!


When Your Pet Pussy Leaves You a Present on the Doorstep …. .

Why couldn’t it have just been a mouse …. ?


I Must Admit …….. .

I must admit that, at the age of fifty nine and a big half, I have now succumbed to Jusrol.  I think that’s how you spell it, as I now live in the outback of Spain and am talking about an English product which I never ever bought there.

 It’s ready-prepared pastry.  You know what I mean – you buy it from the supermarket, bring it home, roll it out, make something and then wonder whether you should tell the truth when someone comments on ‘how lovely this pastry is’.

Well, let’s face it, flaky and rough puff pastry do take a little more making, so it’s that kind of pastry that I have succumbed to.  My short crust is still to die for, with a 2:1:1 of self-raising flour, margarine and lard (maybe just a littler more lard than margarine), so I would never contemplate cheating on that.

Yesterday, I rolled out the pastry and made pasties.  I filled some with tinned sardines and a small amount of finely chopped onion and then made others which included boiled onions which had been drained then dried up a little with a spoonful of seasoned flour, to which I added grated cheese to make those oh so wonderful cheese and onion pasties that Hubby and I miss so much.

One packet of this ready-prepared pastry contained only two rectangular sheets of the stuff, so I didn’t make a lot of pasties, though I did make sure that there were some little ones for our dog!

I’m not labelling this posting as a recipe, because I did cheat, didn’t I ….?

They are not burnt!  Just slightly over done ….. and no-one complained …. honestly!



See ….?

Recipe 28 – Corned Beef Pasta or Corned Beef Curry with Rice (just shove it all in there ….!)

I’ve decided that it is best to forget about all the famous chefs and their equally famous recipe books and for good reason.  When they choose the ingredients for a recipe, you quite often find that you have to run up a petrol bill in hunt of the ‘not on the shelf in my supermarket’ ingredients and that therefore takes the fun out of making that particular dish.

 So why not invent your own?  In truth, that is what my husband has been doing now for twelve years.  That ‘twelve’ relates to when I met him and, it has to be said, he quickly got sick of my normal dish of ‘divorced mother always on the run’ crisp sandwiches.  He started with a very nice burnt stir-fry and progressed from there.  Now, he shoves all sorts into the pan and we enjoy some beautiful meals.

Like pasta …. . 


 When we prepare pasta, I must have the raw onion in there but then my fella does all the rest of the choosing.  I’ve found banana in there, plus raisins, slithers of lemon peel (a must in tasty food), sardines, black pudding (yum yum), marmalade (yep, marmalade), honey, apple. pineapple, walnuts, almonds, sweetcorn, garlic etc., all of which will have been brought together with a little oil in a frying pan and a couple of tomatoes which will provide the liquid for the cooking process.  Instead of a tin of sardines, we’re now into putting a half a tin of corned beef (for two people, you don’t need the full tin) in there. Then there is the usual ingredient you would expect to be in a pasta meal … like pasta, yeah?  Bind all of those ingredients together with either fresh cream, natural yogurt, or mayonnaise and then mix your boiled and drained pasta into it. When it’s ready to serve, don’t forget the Parmesan! 

I haven’t prepared this in my normal recipe style because hey, if you can shove what you like in there, who am I to say what the ingredients are?

Corned Beef Curry with Rice.

You’ve guessed!  Make the mixture exactly the same as above but add a little bit of curry paste, or a spice like garam masala.

I have found that the best way to make rice is to put your chosen quantity  into a saucepan and add enough cold water to rise about one inch above the rice.  Bring to the  boil and then cover the pan with kitchen foil and then its own lid, to make a perfect seal.  Boil for only up to one minute more and then switch off the heat.  Fifteen minutes later, the rice should have cooked in its own steam and be beautifully fluffy.  If it isn’t quite cooked to your likeness, simply add a little bit of water (about a half a cup), bring to the boil again, put both lids on, then switch off again,  allowing the rice to steam a little longer.  This way, the rice is separate and fluffy every time.

Mmmmm … .

Doesn’t that rice look gorgeous?


Corned Beef (and tinned, at that …..)

When it comes to making food taste great, you can’t go wrong by starting with tinned corned beef.  I say tinned because it tastes so much nicer than fresh sliced corned beef, which can sometimes be very dry. 

In England, we make that famous corned beef and potato pie (with onions, of course), pan hagerty (often pronounced panacklety (a casserole of layers of boiled sliced potato, sliced onion and sliced corned beef) and, of course, good old corned beef and onion sandwiches with that all-important squeeze of tomato sauce.

But how about corned beef pasta?  Or corned beef curry with rice?

Coming next!