Cabbage Soup

09 Cabbage Soup

Today I have the simplest of soups for you, a cabbage soup. Simple, quick, healthy and delicious, what more could one ask?

Cabbages, here at least, are a winter crop. Although I don’t dislike winter as much as I once did, it is still a shame to see the end of summer, the long warm days and all manner of summer fruit and vegetables. Although the temperature today is in the low 20’s, relatively high for where I was born, it is starting to feel a little chill after the high 30’s we have had until recently.

In my allotment here the cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower and sprouts are already in the ground and growing well. My planting them a couple of months back was another sign of winter’s encroachment. It seems wrong somehow, planting winter vegetables in August at the hight of summer. I always plant them under nets to keep the Cabbage Whites off their tender leaves.

Why is it that all the wildlife in the area attacks my allotment and orchard? Just down the road there is a large agricultural farm with many thousands of cabbages planted, why don’t all the butterflies go there?

01 Cabbages

I also have to watch out for cats……. the freshly tilled and planted ground acts as a magnet to these furry pests. They take delight in digging in the loose soil, unintentionally destroying whatever I have just planted, and intentionally burying their waste products for me to find at a later date.

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

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Advertisements

Semolina Pudding

15 Semolina Pudding

Semolina pudding, one of the most common puddings in the 60’s and 70’s in British schools! I suspect that it left nobody indifferent, and that although some hated it, others loved it. For some it was like eating frogspawn, for others though it was a delicious milk pudding to be enjoyed time and again. I love it, and must admit to being something of an expert, having eaten so much of it in my early years at secondary school…….

When the school bell rang for the end of the morning classes the majority of my schoolmates rushed out to be the first in the dinner queue. They wanted to eat as quickly as possible to be out playing with their friends. In spite of me being quick enough to get to the front, or indeed big enough to push my way there, I was invariably one of the last to arrive…… being one of the last was good, if one were more interested in filling up one’s belly.

As the queue dwindled the dinner ladies would give out bigger helpings. Better to let us have it than throw it away. If there was still food left when the last voracious sprog had been fed, then one could go back for seconds, or thirds, or fourths….. and I took full advantage of it! I would have pudding after pudding until I was fit to burst! I was methinks a tad podgy during my first years there.

01 Park High School

Park High School

Time goes by of course and I started to have other interests. I wanted to spend more time with my friends. We would wander around the corridors, mulling over our thoughts on life and thinking of the opposite sex……..

 

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

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Melting Moments

21 Melting moments

My article today was inspired by my birthday and two photographs from a couple of “old” friends from back home, Sandra and Trevor………

I don’t know about you, but on or around my birthdays I tend to reflect on life, past and future, what I have done and where I am going. Doors that have opened along the way, and those that have closed. I also reflect on people that I can call friends, some of whom I am still in contact with, others not.

The first photograph of note, from Sandra, shows a group of my friends from when I was at secondary school. Although the image quality isn’t perfect, the photograph exudes energy and joie de vie. There is a vibrancy and life that generally only the young exhibit. They depict a time when the future is an unknown and everything is still shiny and new.

1995 12 Christmas in England -0018 - Walk around Whalley

Cromwell’s Bridge, near Hurst Green

I was once told that people are like nails stuck in a piece of wood. When we are young the nails are bright and upright with just the tips imbedded in the wood. As time goes by, the hammer of life hits the head of the nails, driving them deeper and deeper into the wood………….

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

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Pumpernickel Bread

19 Pumpernickel Bread

I wrote previously about Berlin, some time ago now, in my article “Hasenkeule in Rahmsauce” (Hare in Cream Sauce). I wrote about when I went through Checkpoint Charlie, back when there was still a separation between East and West Berlin, back when the wall was still standing.

A couple of weeks back I was in Berlin anew, for a long weekend away, to immerse myself once again in the German culture and language, and to see how things had changed during my 30 years of absence. The wall had obviously fallen, but what else had changed?

Firstly I could not tell where the wall had been nor could I differentiate between the old East and West halves of the city. I loved all the new buildings that had sprung up. Many are in a way spartan and rectilinear, but the simple, understated clean designs are a joy to behold. I also enjoyed the parks and in particular the river and canal that add a verdant contrast to the glass, aluminium and concrete, as do the magnificent older buildings and squares that nestle comfortably amongst the new.

99 Berlin Cathedral

Berlin Cathedral

Towards the end of our stay we went in search of the famous Checkpoint Charlie, to see what if anything was left of the old passage between the two halves. The answer is not a lot. What there is left me somewhat bemused and I left the area with very mixed feelings…………..

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

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Courgette Soup

17 Courgette Soup

September is the month here when the kiddies go back to school, and some of the not so young go back to work to try and infuse them with a little knowledge. This means I am all alone at home here, which is absolutely perfect, as this is the busiest time of year for me in the kitchen. It is the main harvest month in our allotment and orchard and I try to waste as little of the vegetables and fruit as possible.

Although I don’t necessarily beat the drum that often, I do strongly believe that we should try and eat seasonal fruit and vegetables, preferably locally grown, and that we should really do our best to throw away as little as possible. With so many starving people in the world it would be unethical to waste food. If that were not argument enough, then it is fairly obvious that throwing away food means throwing away money too.

That said, what do I actually do with this seasonal overabundance?

01 Harvest time

My first recommendation would be to simply freeze much of the fruit and vegetables. Berries, both wild and cultivated can be frozen whole whilst larger fruit can be simply chopped up. In particular I use this method for stoned fruit, currants and blackberries……….

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

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Red Love Jam

22 Red Love Jam

Before I start, let me just say that you can use any variety of apples to make this jam, they don’t have to be the almost unheard of “Red Love” variety.

I have quite a few fruit trees in the garden here in Spain. I have tried to choose the varieties so that I have a continuous supply of fresh fruit from early summer to late autumn. I have also mixed in some unusual varieties to liven things up a bit, this apple variety is one such tree. This one is special in that the flesh of the apple is red! Getting hold of one of these trees though turned out to be far more difficult than I could ever have imagined……….

I saw the tree advertised on a gardening website in the United Kingdom and put in my order. It was rejected as they could not ship it to Spain. Not put off I put in a new order with a UK shipping address. This too was rejected as the credit card I had used was my Spanish one! Perhaps the company has something against Spaniards?

04 Red Love Apples

Others might have given up, but I was determined to have “my” apple tree. Eventually I called up a family member in the UK and got them to order it with their UK credit card and have it shipped to their UK address.

 

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

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Roast Aubergine Pâté

20 Roast Aubergine Pâté

This pâté is one of my favourite summer recipes. I love eating it, on some crisp toast, on a warm evening with a glass of red wine to hand. I also love to cook it, as the smell of the roasting vegetables, and in particular the thyme, fills the whole kitchen with rich summer aromas.

In our allotment the summer vegetables are in full swing and most end up in the kitchen for use in some recipe or other. We are also picking lots of fruit from our trees, yes summer is with us and we are enjoying it, and its bounty, enormously.

In spite of all this my thoughts turn to winter, as there are also many signs that this summer season is coming to an end, that the clock is ticking and that autumn and indeed winter is just round the corner……

21 Aubergines

Yesterday I was digging part of the allotment over to plant winter vegetables. Before the week is out it will be full of brassicas as well as chard and borage. The other big sign for us is the start of the school year as my wife is an English teacher. I can only hope that things are different this year, but I doubt it! The Spanish education system has unfortunately been infiltrated by legions of do-gooders. The problem is so rife in Spain that they too now have a word for it, “El Buenismo”.

The word was accepted into the “official” dictionary, the “DRAE”  (Diccionario de la Real Academia Española) in 2017. It is described as “thoughts and actions that although well intentioned are ingenuous, based on sentimentality, and have a total disregard for the actual results achieved”. A hard-hitting but unfortunately accurate definition!     

 

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

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge