Showing posts from October, 2014

Discovering Spain

We had never been to the Spanish coast before (well a brief sojourn in Majorca doesn't seem to count).  Our preferences have always been to seek out of the way places but this time we took a well trodden path and headed for Salobrena on the Costa Tropical. the view from the bathroom window was one of my favourites. It reminded us of seaside visits to Devon and Cornwall from our own childhood and when our children were little.  We hadn't expected that.  Our daughter's new house was still very much a work in progress but we don't mind that sort of thing.  It nestles into the hillside on a very steep winding road with views out over the sea and across the coastline where you can see the remains of the sugar cane plantations which feed the last remaining sugar processing factory in Europe. The sugar cane factory  the fluffy stuff is sugar cane We walked past the slowly deteriorating buildings with the air full of the smell of treacle and imagined them

Do Farmer's Get Holidays?

Well these farmers do!  Next week we are off on holiday.  But before we can do that we have a really busy time preparing for our Finca Sitters.  We can't simply lock the door and go away.  There are geese and chickens and cats to think about and they don't appreciate holidays (ours or theirs).  So we put the word about that we needed someone to come and watch the place (and play at being farmers) while we are away. And Maggie and Katie rose to the challenge, booked their flight and a hire car and will be arriving on Sunday night.  We shall spend a day and a bit with them showing them where everything is and how everything works and the routine for the animals... and then we are off on a road trip to the coast to visit our grand daughter and Maggie and Katie will be enjoying the farmer's life (albeit just a taster). Katie is only 5 years old so this will be a grand adventure for her.  Finca La Reina is a wonderful place for children who enjoy playing outside. For

The Hunting Season

The glorious 12th.  Here it falls in October not August.  The day dawned a bit wet and dreary after torrential rain the night before.  But the hunters will not be put off so easily and barely was the sun up than we heard the sound of gunfire echoing around the hills. Our finca is registered with the local council as Terrano Cercado... Closed ground... no hunting allowed, no hunters allowed on our land.  Previous owners did this because before the fence was built the hunters would simply walk onto the land and chase and kill whatever they wanted and it was perfectly legal for them to do so.  Now that it is registered as closed it isn't, but that doesn't stop them trying to scale the fence if a crafty partridge has sailed across it in plain view. I don't mind the hunters.  I have no objection to the killing of wild game for the table.  I have no objection to the hunting of the fox, I keep chickens so how could I?  What I dislike is the gang of barely under control, ver

The Michaelmas Goose

Earlier in the week we culled one of the geese.  It wasn't too difficult a task but having done it, we felt that the goose deserved to be made into something special.  I didn't feel bad at the time about the killing of the goose but a couple of days later I definitely didn't want to do it again.  I've changed my mind about that once more and I would do it again, but only for a special occasion.  If we had to kill all our own meat we would be mostly vegetarian, only eating meat on high days and holidays.  Well perhaps we ought to be thinking about living like that anyway.  Just a thought. The goose rested in the fridge for a few days and then the day before it was cooked it I rubbed it all over with Chinese Five Spice and a little olive oil, Some salt and a little pepper.  I stuffed the inside of it with some cut oranges and grated ginger and some crushed sage leaves. Then it was roasted, very slowly, for several hours, basting frequently. The table was se