I know it has been a bit quiet on the blog lately. It is because I have had a few doubts about it. First of all I really disliked all the ads and secondly I wanted to write more about our new adventure PatríaPura. So here we are, the new blog from Patría: http://patriablog.es/
“I don’t really have anything to show you! Just a lot weed!”was the first sentence Andrés uttered. Thomas and I looked disappointed at each other. “Really, just weed??” Through our chef, Nino, we had been introduced to Andrés and had arranged a field trip to see his ecological vegetable garden, orange- and lemon plantation. Excited as we were, we had invited our friend fotografer Kelly to shoot lots of photos of the produce. Was it all in vain?
But luckily it didn’t take long for Andrés to warm up, and soon his passion for the “garden” became very clear. It also became clear that his first allegation was very much an understatement. He showed us from plot to plot; peas, artichokes, medlars, cabbage, carrots, laurell, cauliflower, red cabbage, spring onions, chard, oranges, lemons, – and we tried it all. Even the limes; handpicked and halfed we drank the juice directly from the fruit. I wouldn’t normally drink lime juice, but this was so refreshing and tasty. He picked some nuts from a tree, opened them and we were enjoing the most full-flavoured pecan nuts ever. He pulled up vegetables, handpicked fruits, cleaned those that needed it and gave us piles and bags filled to the limit for us to bring home and try out. I tried guyava fruit for the first time and was gobsmacked!
Even though his land isn’t that big, it is a lot of hard work. The place was so well kept and the produce standing so healthy and fresh. And the weeds? – well, nearly nothing; that just shows how utterly modest many Spanairds are. I for one, know how many extra man hours you have to put in to grow ecological produce. Being a daughter of a farmer, I never forget the endless days in the sugar beet fields… My dad was determined that to hoe the sugar beet fields manually was the best way to get rid of the weeds. One of our neighbours even mocked him about it: “Why use all that time hoeing the beet fields, when you can kill all the weed by spraying in less than half the time? Man, you are too oldfashioned!” I hated helping out in the beet fields, – it was boring and very hard work. But it has also made me aware of why organic produce has to cost more than the industrial farmed produce.
Walking around with Andrés in his “huerta”(vegetables garden) on this warm, sunny February day, you could feel his pride and joy about his work and we just can’t wait to get his vegetables into our kitchen and serve them for our guests, – and off course make organic juices and lemonades of his fruits.
We eat a lot of fruits, but sometimes the bananas get dark brown/black real quick, which doesn’t really encourage anyone to eat them. But instead of throwing them out, here is a easy recipe for a delicious banana cake:
170 gr sugar
100 gr butter
125 gr flour
1 teaspoon bakingpowder
2 teaspoon vanille sugar
Whip the sugar and softened butter well in a bowl, add the eggs one by one until the mass is white and fluffy. Combine the flour, baking powder and vanilla sugar. Then add it bit by bit to the sugar mass, while you stir it gently.
Mashthe banana(s) well and add it to the rest. When everything is mixed, pour it into a greased baking tin. Bake in oven for appr. 55 minutes at 175 degrees C (350 degrees F).
Since we moved to Spain we have bought and thrown out a lot of plastic bottles, and I mean A LOT!! The tap water has a distinct taste of chlorine and it’s not recommended to drink directly from the tap. Becoming more and more aware how much plastic we consume every day, we decided to try to make a small difference. To bring our own shopping bags and always decline the plastic bags in shops, supermarkets etc. Three months ago we stopped buying plastic bottles, but only glass bottled water. Now this week we took it a step further and invested in a water decalcification system (our tap water was measured to contain 35% calc). Futhermore we have had a reverse osmosis water system installed to remove large majority of contaminants from our water. Now we can drink water directly from the tap and tastes great.
I’m so happy that we finally had it done! But the big question is: “Why didn’t we do it years ago!?” I don’t know, but videos like one in the link below, made us realize it was time to make a change. Even though it is just a small drop in the sea, it’s better than doing nothing. And I enjoy my water more today than I did a week ago!
When you move abroad you find yourself missing out on many of the special Christmas traditions of your home country. In Denmark; Christmas time is also the time of darkness, cold weather, snow and staying indoor. Therefore it can be a bit difficult to get into Christmas spirit living here in Southern Spain. This year even more; we still have temperatures between 16-22 degrees, blue sky and the sun is shining bright. Is Santa going to wear shorts this year? But we do our best and have keep the traditions that suit us the most: We bake Christmas cookies, decorate the Christmas tree, watch the yearly Danish Christmas television serie(one episode every evening until 24th of December) and the kids get a small gift every Sunday of Advent.
But we have also adopted some Spanish traditions. Celebrating the Three Kings on 6th of January, visiting nearby villages when they “dress up” as ancient Bethlehem. And from this year adding one more: ZAMBOMBA! A zambomba is an instrument, made out of a clay pot, fabric and a stick, that is used to keep the rythem while hords of people sing Christmas carols.
Zambomba is also the decription of the sing-a-longs you can experience in Spain, and especially in Jerez de la Frontera during December. If you vist the town during the weekend you can’t avoid bumping into the Zambomba choirs on every corner of the bigger squares (Plazas). Young and old join in on the singing, clapping and even flamenco dancing. It is joyful and you can’t help yourself joining the party.
Visit Jerez de la Frontera and zambomba your way into the spirit of Christmas.