onsdag 31 augusti 2011

Spanish melon. Toad (or frog) skin melon!

Here in Spain when you say melon you mean the green "Toad skin melon" in Swedish "Grodskinnsmelon".
If you mean any other type of melon you have to describe it as Cantaloupemelon etc. It is a very sweet and juicy melon, perfect with Serrano Ham!! Usually it is the man of the family who cuts it. And this in a very special way. Here you see my husbond at work, cutting a very nice melon.

It is a art in itself!! In Spanish the name of the melon is: Piel de Sapo. Piel de Sapo (family Cucurbitaceae, Cucumis melo, Inodorus group) is a type of melon widely available in the Northern Hemisphere, with a green blotched skin after which it is named. (Piel De Sapo translates as "toad skin"). With the same shape but with yellow skin there is another type known as "Amarillo" or "Yellow Canary"" melon. Piel de Sapo originated in Spain where it is widely grown (about 30.000 hectars are grown every year). La Mancha is the main region in Spain producing this type with 12.000 hectars. They grow outdoors full season with plantings starting in May and running until June. Production starts in mid July and ends in September. Another important area is Murcia that has specialized in growing early crops. There, they plant mainly in Mid March and harvest from mid June to mid July.
It has a white sweet-tasting flesh and flourishes in slightly acidic or neutral soil. Large quantities are imported into Europe, and it is also grown in Brazil and Central America, to supply produce to Spain during autumn, winter and spring.
It is delicius by itself really cold or with ham. Perfect on a hot day like today!

tisdag 30 augusti 2011

Kyckling, rosmarin, pasta, pesto och sallad! Riktig Medelhavsmat!

Nu i värmen äter vi mycket sallad och det här är en av favoriterna. Jag använder gärna de färska orter jag har i trädgården som rosmarin och basilika. Riktig smalmat dessutom!

Per person beräknar jag:

1 kycklingfilé, salt, rosmarin, 35 g okokt valfri pasta, 1 tsk röd pesto (om du inte gör din egen pesto finns det många färdiga att välja på), valfria grönsaker så som: isbergssallad, bladspenat, röd paprika, gurka, majs, tomat, salladslök och mm.

Gör så här:

Börja med att skära kycklingfilén i lagom stora bitar. Fräs det i lite matfett och krydda med salt och lite färsk eller torkad rosmarin, och låt kycklingen blir genomstekt långsamt. Koka upp lättsaltat vatten och koka pastan enligt förpackningens anvisningar, passa tiden så att du får en pasta som är al dente, det är inget skoj alls när den är överkokt. Skär under tiden dina grönsaker och lägg upp fint på tallrik. Häll av vattnet när pastan har kokat färdigt och blanda direkt ner den röda peston väl. Strö kycklingen och pastan över grönsakerna och hugg i! Den här salladen är god både varm och kall och perfekt till picnic eller matlåda!

onsdag 24 augusti 2011

Hot? Angry? Stressed? Just one minute makes the difference. Try it!!

For example in the heat of the Spanish summer you can cool of very easily with a picture to begin with and then 1 minutes breathing!

Now you are relaxed like this:


I love peaches. Do you? It is a delicius fruit and just now
we have a lot to choose from.

A Little Peach History

Peaches, native to China, have been consumed by man for at least 4,000 years.  The geographical itinerary that brought them to America is similar to other Asian fruits.  It goes like this:  From China they spread to Persia.  From Persia they went to the Mediterranean, (with a little help from Alexander the Great). The Greeks and Romans spread them throughout Europe while the Spanish explorers and English colonists introduced them to America.

Commercial production in America began in the 19th century.  California is the top US producer although they are grown in many other states.  China, Italy, Spain, Greece and India are the leading producers outside of America

A very nice way to enjoy them for a delicius dessert is Peach Melba!

The other day Franks cousin Josep came with a whole basket of lovely peaches. Of course we had them fresh but they were so many that I decided to boil them in water, sugar, a stick of cinneamon and a stick of vanilla. Just wash them and cut them into quarters and boil until tender and the juice thickens a little. It depends of the peaches how long. About 10 minutes. Let them cool and leave them in the fridge for the night.

Now they are ready to eat as they are or with some whipped cream or vanilla icecream. Or as we did as Peach Melba.

Dame Nellie Melba the operasinger

The syrup can be used for other fruit, ice cream, pancakes, etc.  You can simmer it further, sans peaches, to increase its thickness.

For Peach Melba you need to make some rasberry sauce to top with.

Raspberry Sauce

6 oz. fresh raspberries
¼ cup sugar
Splash of Chambord (can be left out)
Rinse the raspberries and whiz them in a food processor until pureed.  Scrape them out into a small saucepan.  Whisk in the sugar.  Bring to a simmer and cook for five minutes, a little longer for a thicker sauce.

(You can finish by whisking in a splash of Chambord and simmering briefly. Chambord is a delicious raspberry liqueur from France).  Work the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl to remove the seeds.

Give it a final stir and cool.

Peach Melba was invented by the famous French chef Georges Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), in honor of the popular Australian opera singer Dame Nellie Melba (1861-1931).

tisdag 23 augusti 2011

I like being old. It has set me free!!

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving

family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become

kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own

friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not

making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need,

but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be

messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they

understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4

AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes

of the 60 &70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost

love ..... I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging

body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite

the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful.. But there again, some of life is just

as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not

break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when

somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what

give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken

is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray,

and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my


So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could

turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about

what other people think.. I don't question myself anymore. I've even

earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I

like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while

I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been,

or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day

(if I feel like it).



måndag 22 augusti 2011

Gör din egen glass snabbt utan glassmaskin! Barnsligt enkelt!!

För att tillverka glass behöver du två Minigrip-påsar (en mindre och en större), krossad is, salt, vispgrädde (också laktosfri fungerar), socker eller honung som sötningsmedel samt bär, frukt eller annan slags “fyllning” som du gillar t.ex. kakao eller vaniljessans.

1. Häll grädde, socker eller honung och fyllning i den mindre påsen.

2. Stäng påsen och placera den inne i den större Minigrip-påsen.

3. Fyll den större påsen med krossad is och salt.

4. Kasta omkring och pressa samman påsarna ett par minuter. (Om det finns för mycket grädde i den lilla påsen tar tillverkningen längre tid. Ca 10 minuter. Men tålmodigheten belönas!) Vill man ha magrare glass kan man ta mjölk i ställer för grädde!

Här kommer en video som visar hur du gör. Den är på finska men för dig som inte pratar det vackra språket räcker det utmärkt att förstå genom att läsa receptet och titta på bilderna! MUMS! Gå genast och pröva!

Habaneras in Torredembarra!

Saturdayday 20/8 at 11 o´clock at night Frank and I went down to our
beautiful beach to listen to "Habaneras". Music that originated
in Cuba in the nineteenth century when Cuba was a Spanish colony.
Habaneras comes from Havana and are songs with a special rythm
sung by sailors telling of their going to Cuba from Catalunya and
longing for the homeland among other things. It can also describe a seagull coming over the sea with love from a boy to his girlfriend. The most internationally famous "Habanera" with the very special rythm is perhaps that from Bizet´s opera Carmen.

The night was warm and a lot of people had come to listen. We sat down on the sandy beach and looked up on a fantastic starry night. Some persons had evan taken their own chairs with them.

This night there was an orchestra called "Ultramar" who began to sing one of my favorite songs "El meu avi" (My grandfather).It is a sad song about a boys grandfather who went to Cuba on the warship "El Catalan" which was sunk. Here you can hear the typical rythm of a Habanera:

"Ultramar" is a good orchestra and it was very suggestive to sit in the warm night and listen to all the songs. After an hour there was a pause and we were served "Rom cremat" It is Rum flambé that is prepared by some of the people living in the town. This time from "our" part of Torredembarra "Els Munts". Mmmmm, it was really good!

Strengthened by this drink the orchestra came back and played all the songs we know and everybody sang with all the heart. The whole of the beach promenade was full of people in all ages and small children were playing in the beach and some "grandfathers and grandmothers" had to get up and dance!! It is a very catching music. To finish with they played "La bella Lola". This is a MUST!! It is about a girl called Lola who stands on the beach and waves to her boyfriend who comes with the ship and he waves back of course. Everybody had their hankerchiefs prepared and in the black night you could see an ocean of white hankerchiefs waving and everybody singing. Well, that was a night to remember!

Thank you Ultramar and Torredembarra!!

This is how Torredembarra looks in the winter. Then I have the whole beach for myself!! I painted it some years ago just before a storm coming up.

fredag 19 augusti 2011


If this doesn't make you laugh, you are truly humour impaired!

The Navy found they had too many officers and decided to offer an early

retirement bonus. They promised any officer who volunteered for retirement a

bonus of $1,000 for every inch measured in a straight line between any two

points in his body.. The officer got to choose what those two points would


The first officer who accepted asked that he be measured from the top of his

head to the tip of his toes. He was measured at six feet and walked out with

a bonus of $72,000.

The second officer who accepted was a little smarter and asked to be

measured from the tip of his outstretched hands to his toes. He walked out

with $96,000.

The third one was a non-commissioned officer, a

grizzly old Chief who, when asked where he would like to be measured


'From the tip of my weenie to my testicles.'

It was suggested by the pension man that he might want to reconsider,

explaining about the nice big cheques the previous two officers had


But the old Chief insisted and they decided to go along with him providing

the measurement was taken by a Medical Officer.

The Medical Officer arrived and instructed the Chief to 'drop 'em,' which he

did. The medical officer placed the tape measure on the tip of the Chief's

weenie and began to work back.

"Dear Lord!", he suddenly exclaimed,

''Where are your testicles?''

The old Chief calmly replied, '' Vietnam !''.

He got a lot of money!!

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