Rosquillos de Soria

We have a “Special Military Operation”, aka “War” in Ukraine at the moment. War has hit parts of Europe again, when most of us hoped, even thought, that it would never happen again. The Ukrainian people are suffering terribly, but many others around the world are also feeling the effects. The conflict is highlighting the problems with globalisation. It might not be the panacea it was believed to be. 

According to my mapping programme, it is 3,453 Km from here to Kyiv. This little mountain village where I live would seem a long way from the conflict, but we are still feeling the economic pinch…….

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

2022 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Buñuelos de Calabaza

The restaurant, the one and only in the town, has just closed down. The owner, Mariano, has retired and it would seem that nobody else is willing to take it on. It is a great shame, but every cloud has a silver lining does it not? Mariano is a friend of ours, and he now has time for other projects. He wants to start making wine!

The local growers now sell their grapes to the local cooperative, which collectively makes and sells the wines. In general they get a better price, but it also means that each farmer has a maximum amount of grapes he can produce. Any overproduction is in fact thrown away, as their own wine-making machinery has fallen into disuse. Any system where food is thrown away always disappoints me. Whilst we have starving people in the world, throwing away good food should be considered a crime. 

An afternoon of cooking with Miami, Mussels in Spicy Tomato Sauce

We live in a small village. Everyone knows what everyone is doing, and half the people are related, quite often to the other half! I get a bit lost to be honest. My wife is good with these genealogical relationships, but even she has found the need to build a family tree for the inhabitants of the village. Anyway……

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

2022 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Tostada Estudios

I am sure I have mentioned before just how important food is to the Spanish in general. There are some excellent restaurants in Spain, many have Michelin stars, with some of them being rated the best in the world. The Azurmendi Restaurant in Spain is currently classed as one of the best 16 restaurants in the world. Their recommended dish might surprise you, it is their salad! The secret is in the freshness of their produce, this restaurant even has its own allotment and greenhouses.

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

2021 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Many years ago I went on a course. I was told that to get a message across one has to say it three times. Apparently you have to tell people what you are going to talk about, give your talk, then tell people what you have been talking about…… so let me start by saying “GOODBYE”!

I started writing these articles back in 2015. Many things have changed over the last 6 years, some of which have contributed to my pulling the shutters down on the on-line window into my cooking life……

The tool I use to publish my articles has changed considerably, and in my opinion for the worse. I used to prepare my articles on a word processor, have my editor review the document, then simply post as is to my blog. This is no longer possible.

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

(C) 2021 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Double Chocolate and Cardamom Muffins

Double Chocolate and Cardamom Muffins

A few days ago I was in my mother-in-law’s house. She is a music lover, and was playing an old vinyl record of a collection of songs by Judy Garland. The conversation turned to her music collection in general, and the records she could no longer play as she had lost her vinyl record adapter. I decided to make her one when I was back home.

I also have records that required an adaptor so I decided to use one as a template for the new adaptor I had to make. I have multiple large boxes holding my collection of 1,727 vinyl records, CD’s and DVD’s. I chose a box at random and pulled out a vinyl record at random, it was a Judy Garland album.

Now what are the odds of a coincidence like that happening? 

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

2021 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Quick Dulce de Leche Ice-Cream

The Spanish government has restrictions in place on travellers coming from India, given the more potent Covid variant endemic there. They have just opened up the country to British tourists, in spite of this same variant being rife in the north of England. This is just one of the many inconsistencies in the Spanish government’s ever changing Covid policies. With an economy based on tourism, one can see why they have done it. They have taken other decisions though in which even I, with my superlatively imaginative mind, have been unable to detect even the most minuscule smidgen of logic…….

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

2021 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Flapjacks

Flapjacks

First I guess I’d better explain what a flapjack is? The answer to this essentially simple question would depend on when and where you are.

The word has been used to describe a dessert from as early as the 16th century, but it would seem to have referred to something like an apple flan originally. It wasn’t until around 1935 that it became a baked oat-based bar of goodness. According to Wikipedia, in other countries these bars are better known as cereal bars or oat bars. Conversely in some parts of the United States and Canada a flapjack is a pancake. 

For clarity then, the recipe of today are cereal bars, made from rolled oats and glued together by sugar, syrup and butter. They are delicious and can, given their content, be used as an energy-boost bar.

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

2021 Lincoln W. Betteridge

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