In Arboleas I buy the canary and hen feed from a very good store which sells many items required for Spanish rural life. Earlier this year I bought two pimiento picante plants with a plug of roots; I planted them in a terracotta pot placed in the courtyard.
With fairly regular watering the plants have flowered and the chillies have grown and appear to be turning yellow, I researched the internet and found a Jamie Oliver recipe for pickled chillies.
I was keen to try these, as I had recently bought a jar of sliced chillies and enjoyed topping chilli con carne and fahitas with them, unfortunately the supermarket had not restocked the supply.
The recipe was quite simple, sadly I didn’t have enough chillies to fill the jar, they have to be stored in the refrigerator and can be eaten after two weeks.
The hens continue to provide hours of entertainment and eggs most days. Today I sat in the garden sharing out a ripe banana in the chicken run, firstly, Ginger greedily jumped on my lap, then Babs jumped up, keen not to miss out. What struck me was how hot their feet were, Ginger became bored with the banana and began to peck the buttons on my blouse, banana eaten they jumped down.
We obviously make the most of a supply of lovely eggs, I have become quite an expert at Spanish style tortilla, we enjoy it with salad. I try to keep a supply of cakes, we have a slice with a cup of tea in the afternoon.
Holy week, a time when many Spanish homes hang purple or black banners from the windows; processions and parades with bands are planned for Good Friday or Viernes Santo. The holiday period is also an opportunity for families to get together for picnics or meriendas, in the countryside.
This morning I set out to make Hot Cross Buns, they take hours of proving, so I did some ironing in between time. I followed Paul Hollywood’s recipe, I used cranberries instead of sultanas and mixed peel, orange zest from oranges from the garden and one of Babs’ eggs; I also glazed them with home made marmalade. They turned out brilliantly, the best I have ever made.
The swallows are back, one even flew into the courtyard and up to the ceramic lamp, I like to think it’s “our” male, hope he finds a female to mate and nest with.
We have serins nesting in the garden and looking forward to the return of Bee-eaters and rollers.
We spent two and a half hours for three days picking olives from our old tree in the garden.
We took these olives to the olive press on the industrial estate Arboleas.
Lorries packed full were queueing to discharge the green/black globes into the hopper, which by a series of conveyor belts takes the fruit into the press. Controlled by computer, they are weighed and the lady gave us a receipt for 90 kilos.
We could have exchanged the amount for oil, but we have 4 smaller trees to pick so we will wait until we have had those weighed and added to the tally.