Coney in Pale Ale

Well as we can’t really travel anywhere at the moment due to the virus, some of us look for adventure closer to home. In our case we decided to cover the roof with a number of solar panels! Environmental issues and reducing our energy costs are leading others to consider a similar move, so here is what I have learnt so far…….

There is an inherent problem in the idea of people installing solar panels, and that is what happens to those who don’t? Who will pay for all those wires, pylons and power stations in the future? As more people start to produce their own electricity, fewer people remain to pay the maintenance of the general infrastructure and the more each would have to pay. In countries where most people live in flats, with many neighbours sharing one relatively small roof, this is not necessarily a problem. Where many people live in houses though, and everyone can install their own panels, it certainly will be at some point.

I am not saying I have the answer to this particular conundrum, but the answer is not what the previous government in Spain did, make it uneconomical to install solar panels. Thankfully that particular law here has now changed.

To read the rest of the article and to view the recipe please click here.

(C)2021 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Arroz Meloso de Borrajas con Longaniza

Here it is the hunting season again. Many people in the village here have a shotgun and tramp the mountains on the weekends in search of coneys, hares and the occasional game bird. Once a fortnight or so, the spare ground in front of our house is full of yapping dogs and their owners, as they prepare to head out in search of larger prey.

Recently I signed a petition against a mega-farm in Navarra, that would host 25,000 cows using intensive farming methods. I am against its construction because I think it would be environmentally damaging and unhealthy for the animals. I am not against hunting though, as far as I am concerned it is a natural use of the mountains here. It puts meat on my table and helps to control the wild animal populations. As far as I am concerned, it is either that or we bring back wolves.

© George Steinmetz/National Geographic

As I have said above, I am against intensive animal farming methods. That does not mean however that I believe that farming animals and eating their meat is bad for the environment, as many proclaim with their facile arguments.

To read the rest of the article and to view the recipe please click here.

(C) 2021 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Lemon Yoghurt Cake

Well here I am again, talking about the virus. My only excuse is that it has been going on for so long, and looks like it will continue for several more months it is obviously a topic on my, and many people’s minds…….

Here in Spain it is difficult to know just how bad the infection rate is, or whether as they suggest the contagion rate is falling. Every day the news reports use different figures to represent the number of cases. Sometimes they use the percentage of positives versus the number of tests conducted, sometimes it is simply the number of positives in a given day, or the running seven-day total of positives. My wife things it is a deliberate disinformation, I on the other hand believe it is something worse, a general lack of mental acuity. 

From the 18th February 2021

Just a few weeks back, these same news sources blamed the lack of vaccinations on the local authorities’s inability to plan and resource an adequate vaccination plan. Now it would seem that the real problem is a lack of vaccines, with many regions having run out. It would seem that bureaucracy in Europe has led to the purchase contracts going in late (what a surprise!). I must say I am not in general in favour of Brexit, but only a month in, and using football parlance, I would call it one nil to Great Britain. 

To read the rest of the article, and to view the recipe, please click here.

(c)2021 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Granary Loaf – Hovis Copycat

Today I have a copycat recipe, an attempt to recreate a good old North of England classic, the Hovis Granary Loaf. I think I have got it spot on, but living here in Spain I can’t actually buy a loaf to compare. I sometimes think about other things from back home, particularly from my youth that are no longer available to me here, or indeed to most people back in England……

Whatever happened to the airing cupboard? For those of you who have never seen one, these cupboards held the hot-water tank and often had racks for airing and warming clothes from the residual heat. They were also the perfect spot to ferment beer or help rise homemade bread dough!

I still recall a friend of mine that used to avail himself of his father’s supply of home-made beer. He often would turn up to our secondary school discos with a bottle or too. I remember having a tipple myself, then us getting caught by one of the teachers. He asked for a glass then left us to enjoy the rest. I am sure the teacher kept his eye on us to ensure we didn’t do anything silly, but he didn’t intervene…… different times, different attitudes I guess. 

Winewall

Gone, and hopefully soon forgotten, are the none-flush toilets still in existence in my youth…………. 

To read the rest of the article, and to view the recipe, please click here.

(C)2021 Lincoln W. Betteridge

María Biscuit Puddings (Microwave)

In the film “Contact”, one of the key players asks whether the world is fundamentally a better place. He is talking about whether the advances in technology have made the world better, do we live better, happier lives? My own thought is that technology is distancing us from each other and from nature….. so for me I would have to answer in the negative.

I suspect old fogeys like me have always thought the world was better in their youth, that they are seeing the past through rose-tinted glasses…… but are the elderly for once seeing clearly, are they right this time around? What about you, what do you think?

To read the rest of the article and to view the recipe please click here.

(C) 2021 Lincoln W. Betteridge

A Year in Review

It has been a difficult year, what with the deaths, suffering and disruption caused by the virus. Many parts of the world are also suffering from additional issues, be it man-made disputes, wars or terrorism, or forces of nature like droughts, deluges, heatwaves or storms. Yes there has been a great deal of depressing news this last year, so I thought I would focus on some positives, at least in my eyes.

I grew up in the space age, I saw the first rockets race skyward and I saw the first men land on the moon. The future looked glorious, the planets there for the taking. The flames of this space fever were further fanned by the many television series and films of the time. Who didn’t watch “Star Trek” or “Space 1999” as the moon shot off into outer space? Or perhaps you were entranced by “2001 A Space Odyssey”? Unfortunately though it all came to nought, and NASA not only lost the ability to travel to the moon, but even the ability to get a spaceship into Earth’s orbit. 

My illusion was re-ignited watching Elon Musk’s rockets shoot skyward, and in particular by his “Starship” spaceship test flights.

To read ther rest of the article, and the most viewed recipes of the year, please click here.

(C)2021 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Rhubarb and Ginger Cheesecake

Rhubarb and Ginger Cheesecake

When I was 15, I walked the Pennine Way. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular jaunt, it is a long distance path, 268 miles / 431 Km long, that follows the Pennine range of mountains. It starts in Edale in Derbyshire and ends in Kirk Yetholm in Scotland. It was organised by my High School and I went with 7 other students and a couple of experienced guides. It was some time ago, and one might ask what I most remember from the walk?

I remember that the hardest day was day three. Not because it was any more strenuous than the others, it was “just” the day we passed very close to where I lived. Around the third is often one of the make-or-break days. The legs are starting to ache and there is still a long way to go, it can be depressing and being so close to home…… My best friend left that day, he couldn’t take any more. 

High Force Waterfall – Attribution David Dixon

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(C)2020 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Dorset Apple Cake

Dorset Apple Cake

Brexit is on the minds of many people over here in Europe, it will after all be a humongous change. As an Englishman living in mainland Europe, it will no doubt introduce numerous complications to my otherwise tranquil existence, here in my isolated village home. 

As I write, one of the biggest issues is the trade agreement, or lack of, between Britain and just about the rest of mainland Europe. Although not quite as urgent perhaps, Britain is also pursuing trade deals with other international countries and trade blocks.

Many people in Britain are vociferous in their rejection of many products and farming or manufacturing methods, whether it be chlorinated chickens, hormone injected beef, genetical modified crops or exploited factory workforces. They are looking for the British government to agree trade deals that exclude all these, at least in their eyes, questionable products or practices. Irrespective of whether this is really possible for the government to achieve, I would question whether we have really lost the plot here.

To read the rest of the article and to see the recipe please click here.

(C) 2020 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Papas con choco (Potato and Cuttlefish Stew)

Papas con Choco (Potato and Cuttlefish Stew)

Some time ago I wrote an article on Cádiz, at the time I promised to return to the city, with another article and a recipe. Well as we enter winter, I thought the time was right to remind myself of the joys of sitting outdoors at a small restaurant in some sunny city in southern Spain, a city like Cádiz. We frequented one such restaurant, just off the Cathedral Square, a few times during our stay there. The food was excellent and provided at a very reasonable price. 

Cathedral Square

One of the typical dishes from Cádiz is the “Papas con Choco”, a simple stew of cuttlefish and potatoes. It is one of those dishes that really goes to show that a few choice ingredients, simple but well cooked, can really be a delight to eat. But before I get too involved with today’s recipe, let’s talk a little more about Cádiz.

The city really is a beautiful place to visit. It is not overly large, so it is easy to walk from one place to another. It has some magnificent old buildings, churches and a cathedral as well as numerous towers. In fact one could easily say the towers are, and please forgive the pun, the highlight of any visit to Cádiz, as the best way to see the city is from their lofty heights. 

To read the rest of the article and to view the recipe please clisk here.

(C) 2020 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Mishti Doi

Mishti Doi

Today’s recipe requires a yoghurt. I like to use one of those “bio”, full-of-living-bacteria ones. They are supposed to be better for you, cure all ills and promote health. At least that’s what the bumpf on the carton says, in multiple, long, scientific words, but is it true?

Do you remember the margarine from a few decades ago, that everyone bought because it was high in polyunsaturates? I often wonder how many people actually know what they are, and whether they have any inkling on how one’s health can benefit from their consumption? I sometimes wonder if we are being duped by white, smock-clothed television sales people and long-worded medical terminology. Unfortunately one would need a university degree to be able to understand much of what is being promised us. What to me is more worrying however is when we are tricked by information that we really should understand. When people are fed, and believe, all manner of fake news. 

Although not actually fake news, in a fairly recent Covid-19 intervention by President Trump, he suggested that doctors should investigate whether injecting people with disinfectant would be a possible cure. 

To read the rest of the article and to view the recipe please click here.

2020 Lincoln W. Betteridge