Cardamom and White Chocolate Biscuits

00 Cardamom and White Chocolate Biscuits

There has been much said about the quality of information on the Internet, or perhaps I should say the lack of it. They often talk about deliberate false news, miss-information and even election meddling by foreign powers in a modern day “cold war”. Unfortunately it is also true that there is much fallacious and poor quality content out there that was posted with the very best of intentions. A Spanish author stated relatively recently that it is not that there are more idiots out there than previously, it is just that they now have a platform that lets them express their often dubious ideas to all and sundry.

While the author in question is no doubt quite right, what I suspect has also changed is that people have become less worried about making a fool of themselves in public or, more worryingly, they actually believe that what they are saying is correct. I have even seen completely erroneous statements being espoused as true in quality journals targeted at the more intelligent segments of society!

Perhaps this quote, possibly from my namesake, should be heeded more often:

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

99 98% Americans distrust informatioin

99 85% Statistics are false or missleading

A contributing factor might be the immediacy of communications these days. Young and old alike are feeling the pressure to respond immediately, slaves to their mobile telephones and their instant messaging applications. A hurried response is likely to be less well thought out and therefore more subject to errors. I like to think long and hard about what I write. No doubt it is just my semi-illiteracy, but these more or less weekly articles of mine take me a full week to write, as I go from initial draft to a (supposedly) polished final version. Even then my brilliant editor invariably uncovers some mistake or other.

 

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

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge

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Coney (or Chicken) and Bacon Pie

28 Coney (or Chicken) and Bacon Pie

Yes, me and my coney again. You will have seen that I use it quite a lot of rabbits, but then again I get them free. I can understand those that don’t believe in eating meat, and although I am not one of them, I do try and avoid animal suffering and any meat or indeed fish that has been intensively farmed. These rabbits are as free range as you can get, having lived their lives in the hills around where I live.

Here hunting the rabbits also provides a very necessary function, helping to keep their population in check. Unfortunately it is not actually working, as we still have a plague of them. Those who live in large towns or cities, might be unaware of just how much damage an out of control population of rabbits can be. It is rather sad to see local farmers planting new vines only to see them devoured before they have had a chance to grow, or the fields of wheat decimated to satisfy their hunger pangs. Many other countries suffer from voracious rabbits too, including Australia where the animals were unfortunately introduced in the 18th century.

31 Vines just planted

Young vines with rabbit protection sleeves

Introducing animals to a new area, or indeed reintroducing them to where they have become extinct, is not without risks. I read that many rewilding initiatives are underway to bring species back yet I wonder if we have really thought it through………..

 

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

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Mackerel in Piri Piri Sauce

09 Mackerel on Barbecue

As I mentioned last week, my sister and husband were over here for a short visit. I think Spain is a great country and always like to show them around when they are over. We went to many nice towns, some at quite a distance, but I also wanted to show them some places of interest much closer to home.

The village I live in is around 2,000 feet above sea level so the main crops here are almonds, cherries,  olives and grapes; with the olives they make olive oil, and with the grapes they make wine! The hill behind where I live is riddled with traditional underground bodegas, so I thought it would be good for them to see how wine was traditionally made. Although we did view a bodega here, in the village where I live, I had also arranged to see another larger one, 3 miles away in the town of Almonacid de la Sierra.

The bodega in question belongs to Manuel Moneva and their installations consists of an 18th century traditional underground structure, as well as a more modern one in the centre of town.

01 View of barrels

The traditional bodega really has to be seen to be believed. Firstly the tunnels themselves, that are both large and long, were carved out of the rock by hand. Not only was the work arduous, taking them years to complete, but it had to be done in their spare time, after a hard day working in the fields.

The barrels you can see in the photographs are enormous, so much so that the coopers had to assemble them  inside the bodega, like a ship in a bottle. They are still there, the original barrels, many still filled with wine.

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

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Skrei in Romesco Sauce

22 Skrei in Romesco Sauce

Some of you may have noticed that I published no article last week; my excuse is that I was back over in England for a few days. As is often the case, I noticed how expensive everything was over there. As I no longer live there, I guess I notice them more, the price increases from one visit to the next. I was amazed to find myself paying £4.50 for a bottle of cider or £2.50 for a hot drink in a café, the latter being the only way to stave off the inclement weather we “enjoyed” whilst over there!

What I always notice is that fish too is very expensive. Given that Britain is an island, the exorbitant price of fish has always surprised me. The fishermen blame Europe for many of their woes and pin their hopes on taking back back control of British waters with Brexit.

What I see from my distant offshore location however is that if Brexit does indeed happen, it will not be as envisaged by many of the leave voters.

Before you all mentally switch off, this is not a Brexit rant, enough has been said on whether it is the right thing to do or not, I actually wanted to talk about voting and who has the right to decide what happens in a democratic country. So let’s have a look at the history of who has the power to affect the decisions taken, who in fact can vote?

 

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

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge

White Chocolate Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

22 White chocolate dulce de leche cheesecake

As I write this I can hear the band playing here in the village. It is not yet 9:00 a.m., but they have already started the festivities for their special day, but more on that later……….

I can feel the yearly cycle turning, the arrival of Spring feels imminent. Today promises to be a nice sunny day, the light mist is already being burnt off by the weak yet strengthening sun. The air is still chill, but the afternoon will be warm and pleasant. Of course in these modern times we put specific dates to the changing of the seasons based around the fixed points of the sun’s yearly cycle. Mankind can now count time to an incredible degree of accuracy and can exactly fix the sun’s solstices and equinoxes.

Being semi-retired I no longer have work to mark my hours, days and weeks. I no longer have to be in a specific place at a specific time for some work-related activity. In this timeless state I have to use other signs as a guide to the passing of the seasons, and these natural markers, the trees and birds, are telling me we are moving into Spring.

99 Almond trees

Around here the almond trees are in flower and the cranes are flying overhead. The latter in particular are a visible and audible sign of Spring as around 50,000 fly high above, from a nearby lake, on their way on their yearly migration north. They fly high overhead but their call can be heard from over a mile away. So for me then it is time to start sowing the hardiest of Summer vegetables and remove the cloches from my already growing winter pea plants.

2018 02 24 Cranes over Cosuenda

And so back to the music I mentioned at the top of the article and another sign of time passing; in this case the cycle of life. Today they are celebrating the “Quintos”, the coming of age for a group of teenagers here in the village that are passing into adulthood.

 

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

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Sweet Cheesy Blackcurrant Biscuits

13 Sweet Cheesy Blackcurrant Biscuits

Firstly let me give my thanks to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and Juan for this week’s inspiration. At times I get my inspiration from many sources, ideas that entice my warped brain into movement and the words flow. Unfortunately my thoughts tend to the  eclectic, sorry….. well I’m not really, if the truth be known that is just the way I am, you are going to have to live with it!

So firstly the OED, as at this time of year I like to look at the words that have been added to the dictionary in the previous year, in this case 2017.

There are always some I dislike, so let’s start with some of those. As usual there are numerous words that are just a shortening of existing words. Why we have to continually shorten words I just don’t know. Does it really take so much effort to pronounce an extra syllable or two? Or even write them, although few people do actually write these days? New examples this year include “froyo” for frozen yoghurt, and “fitspro” which is an abbreviation of “fitspiration” which in its turn is an abbreviation of fitness inspiration, i.e. anything that inspires you to fitness…… perhaps next year it will be just “fitsp”?

Then there are those that I personally have already been using for some time. One that stood out was to ride “shotgun” a word I have been using since my teenage years. My best teenage friend used to come round very late at night, or even in the wee hours of the morning, and we would drive around in his car, aimlessly really, with the top down, the heater on maximum and the music even higher. We would cruise for hours, flipping a coin at each road junction to decide the direction of travel. My friend would often drive and I use to ride “shotgun” in the passenger seat.

99 MGB

Then there are those that made me think, like “herd-mentality” and “craptacular”. Herd-mentality because we really do act like sheep much of the time. At the same time it is so refreshing to see that some people still try to be different and cut their own paths through life……………

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

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge

A Year in Review II

2017 Image

Yes, another year has gone by and I find myself writing a second “Year in Review” article; with my second full year of writing this blog is drawing to a close. My heart tells me it has been a good year for the blog, at the very least I have enjoyed preparing the food (and eating it of course), and writing the articles…… but what does my brain tell me? Well, let’s look at the statistics to see how well the blog has done:

(And as per last year’s statistical review, let me just repeat that the tools I use give me no personal information at all. I can see no names nor addresses. The tools just show me the number of people, from which countries, have read what!)

And the winners are……..

……… to read the rest of the article please click here.

 


2018 Lincoln W. Betteridge