Galician Bica (Sponge Cake)

14 Galician BicaAs I sit here and write this article, Spain is again suffering the consequences of the Corona Virus. Cases are supposedly rising rapidly, there is also an increase in virus related deaths. Given that no base-line information is reported, perhaps even maintained, I have no real idea whether there are more cases now, or whether it is just an increase in testing bringing more cases to the fore.

The reported number of cases affects a large part of Spain’s income, as it affects the tourism and leisure industry. Internally, restrictions are now in place affecting bars and discotheques, restricting their opening hours. Externally there are several countries that recommend not travelling to Spain, or impose a lengthy quarantine on people returning from holidays here. Without the 85 millions tourists who normally flock to its shores, Spain is losing out on a lot of revenue.

99 Benidorm

Benidorm

Drinking alcohol till the early hours then sleeping it off on the beach, has long been the mainstay of the Spanish tourism business. Mass cheap tourism, unending lines of beach hotels and over-exploitation of coastlines, is all too common.

 

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

 


2020 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Porrusalda (Leek and Potato Soup with Cod)

10 Porrusalda

Porrusalda

I love fish. In fact there is nothing I like better than to visit some seaside village, find a nice restaurant, and order fresh fish from their menu. But is it really fresh these days? In spite of my love of fresh fish, here at home we are actually looking to buy less of it. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • Although we are no longer in lockdown, the virus is still out there and we are encouraged to visit the shops less frequently.
  • Anisakis nematodes are infecting much of the fish we eat.

For those who have not heard of the dreaded anisakis, let me explain…… or rather show you a picture. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words:

01 Anisakids

These little worms are known to put some people off eating fresh fish, and why wouldn’t it? 

 

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

 

 


2020 Lincoln W. Betteridge

 

 

Liebre con Setas / Hare with wild mushrooms

It is all so easy to be misunderstood, or for others to assume something based on one’s name or appearance. I know the problem well, as it has frequently happened to me!

I remember one example from my teenage years in Colne, something a female friend related to me some weeks after the event. When she mentioned to her parents she was bringing somebody home called Lincoln, they immediately thought I was black. On arriving at their home, they thought I was a Mormon because I drank neither coffee nor tea.

Some years later, and now mobile in my old, but trusty MGB, a good male friend and I would drive for miles looking for a quiet pub with a good video game. We found the perfect place on the outskirts of a town near where I used to live. We often went there, and we started to notice there was something strange going on. The pub would be full for a while, then everyone would disappear. Like the tides of the sea, the patrons would flow in and out of the bar a couple of times during the evening. 

Colne, Lancashire

Different to the majority of the youth at that time, my friend and I both had our hair cut short and we both wore shirts. Mine often came from a friend of my parents who worked in the ambulance service, they were a blue colour and of similar shade and cut to those worn by the police……..

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

2020 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Chocotarta

17 Chocotarta

Much of what we do these days is directly or indirectly affected by the virus. Some restrictions are still in place in many countries, even if it is only something as simple as having to wear a face-mask. There are also changes in how we choose to live our lives, from more on-line shopping to a reluctance to be in close contact with others on, say, a holiday flight to Spain. As a result, more and more people are thinking of a staycation this summer.

The word might be new, entering the Oxford English Dictionary around 5 years ago, but the concept certainly isn’t. For those of you thinking of a staycation, let me pass on to you what a work colleague, Roberto, said to me about 30 years ago! Roberto, the king of staycation, had some valuable advice, that is possibly even more valid now than it was all those year ago:

  • Tell your family and friends you have gone on holiday to a distant destination.
  • Tape off, like a police crime-scene, the doorway to the kitchen so that you can’t get in.

 

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

 


2020 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Ensalada Campestre

09 Ensalada Campestre

Summer holidays are just round the corner and I have a main course salad for you that is quick and easy to make. From statistics in the news it would seem that many people are opting for a staycation, thinking of spending their summer holidays at or near home. If you are at home and cooking, then there’s nothing better than a quick and easy meal, particularly if you have had a difficult last couple of months due to the virus.

We have clapped, and rightly so, for the medical staff treating those affected by the virus. Other collectives have been mentioned from time to time too, but I have seen little with regards to the efforts of our teachers, who have tried to continue educating our often recalcitrant youth. Here in Spain it has been a very difficult time for teachers, and not just because of the restrictions in place due to the virus.

99 PISA Maths

Many might think that with the schools being closed then the teachers would have less work, far from it…….

 

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

 


2020 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Arroz con Leche Asturiano

05 Arroz con Leche Asturiano

Let’s start with the recipe itself for a change……. it is DELICIOUS. Even those who don’t like rice puddings are going to like this one. I rarely use superlatives, but this is the BEST rice pudding I have ever eaten. The secret?…… it is all down to the long cooking time. This concentrates that creamy flavour and the rice grains almost disappear creating a rice “cream” more than a “pudding”.

This rice pudding is a traditional recipe from the region of Asturias in the north of Spain. On my first visit to the area I was amazed by the beautiful countryside, quaint villages and excellent food. I unfortunately also had a bit of an adventure……..

Leaving the family at the beach, I took my trusty two-wheeled steed inland towards the famous cycling climb of the Lagos de Covadonga. Often featured on the Tour of Spain, it is a spectacular but hard, twisting climb from the Sanctuary of Covadonga to the glacial lakes above, some 1,000m of climbing in just over 12Km.

07 Lagos de Covadonga

Lagos de Covadonga

My adventure actually started on the way down. On a twisting mountain climb, a bicycle can often go down faster than a car……………….

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

 


2020 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Kadhai Chicken

00 Kadhai Chicken

I read somewhere over the last few weeks that the virus outbreak will not necessarily create any new trends, but it will almost certainly accelerate many existing ones…… company consolidations, the temporary, or indeed permanent closure of shops and restaurants, and an increase in on-line transactions, especially shopping. There will be less face-to-face contact in the future. Staff are more likely to be in remote locations, even international lower paid ones. 

For much of my career I have been involved in the move of work to low cost locations. First it was from Northern to Southern Europe, more recently to more distant places, like India. The earlier moves were more about improving client satisfaction, and less about cost savings.    

99 Amazon share price

Amazon Share Price Over Time

When I was at University one of the lecturers asked the class what Ford made. We said the obvious, cars, vans etc……….

 

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

 


2020 Lincoln W. Betteridge

 

Patatas con Asadura (Spanish Liver and Onions)

00 Patatas con Asadura (Spanish Liver and Onions)

The last few weeks have been glorious ones for cycling in the region where I live. Due to virus-related confinement, people here have only been allowed out to buy essentials or for exercise. Cycling along the narrow country lanes here, with little or no motorised vehicles, really has been a pleasure. All good things come to an end though, the lockdown is being relaxed.

Many experts are expecting not just a resumption, but a rise in motor car usage, as people avoid public transport due to virus contagion risks. One wonders whether this will be a temporary phenomenon or a permanent one. Flights too might be affected, as people refuse to be packed like cattle on low-cost airline flights. Should we then be thinking about delaying or cancelling many of the large scale infrastructure projects, be they new high-speed rail links or large airports extensions and new runways?

Rather than talking further about the aforementioned major infrastructure projects, I thought I would discuss one that is nearer to home, and my heart…… a project to reopen a railways line between Colne and Skipton, in the area where I was born.

The original line opened in October 1848 at a cost of  £67,000. No doubt a large part of the cost was due to the magnificent viaduct on the entry into Colne.

99 Colne Railway Station

Although not listed for closure under Dr. Beeching’s “The Reshaping of British Railway’s” report of 1963, it was nevertheless axed in 1970. The line stops, abruptly, in Colne…..

 

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

 


2020 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Perrunillas de Cheles

01 Perrunillas de Cheles

I have been watching a series on Spanish television about traditional cooking. Each episode is in a different village with a local recipe cooked in a traditional manner. It normally involves elderly women and an open fire. It is a far cry from current cooking methods and tools, multi-function kitchen gadgets and modern ovens. The recipe I have for you today comes from one such episode, and the dough was mixed together with just the lady’s bare hands. Traditional biscuits made in a traditional way.

Exploring Spanish villages and culture on the television is interesting, but very different from doing so in person, getting to know local people and their cuisine. It can be a rewarding and sometimes moving experience……

Around fifteen years ago I was touring the Teruel region of Spain with a family member and her partner as they explored the idea of perhaps buying a property in the area. They were looking for an abandoned masía. The word here is used to describe a farmhouse in what was the Kingdom of Aragón. They are large, multifunctional farm buildings with their corresponding land. Nicely done up, they can be almost palatial.

99 Masia

There were no shortage of abandoned masías, the problem was finding anyone to talk to, let alone finding the owner of one such building.

 

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

 


2020 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Marmitako

14 Marmitako

As I write this, Spain and other countries around the world have further extended their virus confinement period. Here in Spain, where I live, we will be stuck indoors  for another three weeks. Many doctors are advising about the negative effects of being unable to leave our homes, about the problems of social isolation and depression. I therefore thought I would do the opposite, buck the trend and focus on the positives…… I mean there have to be some right?

Here in Spain, at its strictest, the rules forbade us leaving our abodes unless you had a dog, were ill or hungry. Unfortunately we have four freezers at home and I feel fine. I have therefore been looking for a stray greyhound so that I could go for a run in the hills. Unfortunately it has been to no avail, and here I am, incarcerated like everyone else.

I have of course been watching the news and seen the shortages of toilet paper, then wine and beers, and then flours. My lateral-thinking mind had me wondering what products we were buying less of, as this is never mentioned in the news. Also, why are people stockpiling toilet paper but not washing powder or deodorant for example?

01 Aguilón - Road into town

 

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

 


2020 Lincoln W. Betteridge