So I'm tucked up in the corner of a very nice cafe and I am acutely aware that I have totally neglected blogland for a very long time. I still read my favourites everyday but I have stopped commenting, stopped posting and generally find myself at a loss for words. What do I have to say that is interesting?
Not a lot.
BUT I thought I'd force myself to post anyway, and see if it breaks my icy word prison.
So recently I decided to move back to England temporarily to spend the summer working as a language teacher. It was a choice between this or working in Pamplona, being with my boyfriend and getting to see San Fermin. I bet you're wondering why I chose England? Well... I can speak the language here a lot better, my best friend needed me for red wine and cuddles and the salary seemed a lot better. The whole idea just seeemed more... easy.
Oh how I have learnt that 'easy' is not actually the fun option! I ended up quitting my job here after two weeks, running off to work in a little countryside farm shop and cidery and now have to somehow afford rent, loan repayments and save for future trips planned this year. I feel restless again. The farm shop is absolutely gorgeous and my walk to work entails picking early blackberries and then rushing home to make cordial to put in my mojitos! I know it sounds fun, and it is, but I actually miss the solitude of Spain and the challenge of communication that I would face everyday. I miss the food. And above all, why did I decide to be away from my boyfriend?
So here I am. Treading the same old streets, struggling to make ends meet. If you're looking for a bargain or two you can check out my ebay (http://shop.ebay.co.uk/sallybean45/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=) ... I am selling numerous things, adding more everyday, and I have a few furniture restoration projects underway... involving really cute vintage sewing tables.
I've got crafts on the brain... I need to make some money. Maybe I'll start a little blackberry shop on the side of the road. Any fun money spinning suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Anything to stop this restlessness.
In the meantime, check out these cute scarecrows from my place of work (blog entry to follow soon)
Ok, so I'm probably about to commit serious bloguera crime but I have been pretty cheesed off all day.
What the fudge is wrong with people?
Basically, on a well-known blog elsewhere there was a competition to allow unknown blogs to post commentary and hopefully be selected as an 'up and coming piece of inspiring beauty'.
Just another whole bunch of girly girls writing about how inspiring a pretty picture they found of a vintage tutu is. Is anyone else completely sick and tired of reading about how the colour yellow brightened up someone's soul? Or people who simply take pictures off FLICKR and write a small comment about how wonderful and magical they are?
I'm not saying that I should have won. HEAVENS! I'm a lazy blogger with not a lot to say at the moment but at least I take my own pictures and refrain from writing tedious things about fairy dust and magical stars/inspiring cups of tea.
The kind of people that should be recognised are people who create their own pictures, prose, handmade items or delicious dishes.
So here is my shortlist for best, upcoming blogs that actually have some kind of character:
http://dear-soeur.blogspot.com/ (I think this one is private though)
http://soldierslady.blogspot.com/ (A lovely, different blog by a lovely lady)
http://mayallseasonsbesweettothee.blogspot.com/ (This lady is not up and coming. She has already mastered blog land but she is sweet, kind and honest)
http://www.littlebirdiesecrets.blogspot.com/ (Handy and helpful craft advice!)
http://www.littleoceanannie.blogspot.com/ (this girl is SO very nice)
http://www.leaving-the-seat-up.blogspot.com/ (Amazingly witty and well-written)
http://thecuriouscat.blogspot.com (My sister and dreamboat)
http://mother-leopard.blogspot.com/ (This girl is better than sliced bread)
Yes, I know. I have been away for a whole month. Quite frankly, I think it has something to do with the sunshine. I'm like a moth to a flame. As soon as Mr Sol winks at me, I am out the door and on a stroll. Plus, I made quite a visits to Pamplona to drink Martini's with the Ear. Excuses Excuses. But really, I never knew Martini's could be so good at 11am on a Sunday morning. I think he's onto something here... the sweet taste, the deep rust colour, the lemon and the little spanish olive with his sour taste. SO YUMMY.
I have also been to England to see the family and I am now trying to readjust to the Spanish life. But oh! How I HATE the supermarkets here. I nearly wept this morning as I pinched some asparagus and found it had little life left. Why? Why sell old produce?
Anyway, the good news is I am back and I have a secret to share.
Potentially the greatest and coolest recipe of ALL TIME.
The greatest and coolest recipe of ALL TIME, you say?
Well yes, it's no dish from El Bulli but I like it alot.
The colours are amazing, the taste is delicious and people just go crazy for it.
Look at the vibrant pink! The crisp green! The naughty slice of sour dough and little speckles of parmesan.
How did she make the pasta so pinky purple? I hear you ask.
Basically you must do the following:
Pop down to your local Tesco and grab a packet of beetroot. If it is organic, it is better. Or if you buy it fresh/pull it up from your garden and cook it yourself then it is INCREDIBLE. In fact, I would probably recommend the latter if you want serious results.
While you are there, pick up an onion, a bag of spaghetti, a lemon, some rocket, a loaf of sour dough, some hard Goat's cheese and some parmesan.
I'm assuming you have some veg stock in yourcupboard at home and some garlic. If not, buy some more.
OK. Down to business.
Take about 300g of spaghetti and break it into smaller pieces.
Chop your onion.
Puree or mash your cooked beetroot (about 200g, but who's counting?)
Now, heat your saucepan with some nice olive oil and cook your onion on a medium to high heat until it goes clear.
THEN whack in your spaghetti strands and BE CAREFUL... when dry spaghetti and onions get together in a pan it's like a passionate romance and they both do a little love dance.
After about two minutes of dancing, pour in your puree beetroot and enough stock to cover the lovers.
Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer and cover with lid.
I reckon you should occasionally peek under the lid and what you basically want to see is the spaghetti soaking up the liquid like a risotto and turning a wonderful purple colour.
When all of the moisture is absorbed you can then grate in 75g of hard Goat's cheese and stir into your pasta until it turns a lovely creamy pink.
Toast a couple of slices of sour dough, mix olive oil with lemon juice and crushed garlic, place slice on top of pasta, toss a handful of rocket on top, drizzle generously with the oil and shave some parmesan to finish.
On the subject of food, I have officially fallen out of love with prawns this year.
Primarily because in Spain, potentially one of the laziest nations on the planet (not that I'm complaining), they don't bother to clean out the black poo thread. This may sound fussy to some but when I eat them, all I can think of is the rancid stench of a very dirty fishtank.
ANYWAY, as my lifestyle here has generally grown increasingly horizontal, my laptop has pretty much become my best friend. So, despues a little google search it turns out that Prawns are farmed in a way which makes the life of a battery hen seem like 5 * accommodation.
Another set of photos from today's Sunday walk, mainly featuring animals.
There's a house near the Cathedral that is always surrounded by cats. You can tell that they're mostly feral so I don't get too close to them but they are very interesting to sit and watch in their little group. Some of them will sit and watch you too but mostly they pretend that I'm not there.
As for the storks... well, they are a very peculiar sight! In Zamora they are generally considered to be pests. There are dozens of them atop the oldest buildings, with HUGE nests and they make the strangest sounds... almost like a loud, ticking clock. No one really knows why they are here, but it is suspected that they migrate here because they like it.
As you can see, I have remodelled my page. I think before it was a little 'busy' looking. I hope you like the changes.
I am now also known as 'The Cosy Cat', to sister 'The Curious Cat'... keeping it in the family!