Friday, March 24, 2017

What Could Possibly Be More Interesting?

Thursday afternoon I roamed the house and terrace trying to get pictures of the new and old plants The plants on the terrace are thriving and filling the space with color. Even the amaryllis is blooming again. But those pictures will have to wait.

Moose and Dudo assumed I was looking for them. Moose jumped to the top of their indoor tree, curled coyly on his back for a cuddle, and then gave me his best profile.

After paying the appropriate homage, I headed to the terrace. Dudo saw the camera and assumed I was there for him. So he jumped on their outdoor tree for HIS close-up. I gave up completely when Moose followed seconds later. It IS all about them, anyway.

MOOSE: "I'M IRRESISTIBLE, HUH?"
DUDO: "HOW'S THIS ANGLE?
IGNORE THE CROWN OF THORNS IN THE BACKGROUND."
BOTH: "WHAT ELSE COULD POSSIBLY BE OF INTEREST OUT HERE?!?"
(IT COULDN'T BE THE FLAME VINE BEGINNING TO CLIMB THE TRELLIS?)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Chocolate And Barrel Cactus

San Geraldo and I were back Wednesday at Viveros Guzman (the unbelievable garden center in Alhaurín de la Torre, about 30 minutes away). We bought more plants and pots for inside and on the terrace. Some things need to be transplanted, so for now I'll show you what we brought home. I'll share photos again once they're planted and positioned.

(Click the images. You won't believe how big some things get.)

FICUS MICROCARPA, BONSAI. ALSO KNOWN AS:
CHINESE, MALAYAN, OR TAIWAN BANYAN; INDIAN LAUREL; CURTAIN FIG; OR GAJUMARU.
FOR THE DRACAENA BEHIND IT,
WHICH MAY NEVER MOVE AGAIN!
A QUIRKY CENTERPIECE FOR THE TABLE ON THE TERRACE.
IT ATTACKED SAN GERALDO AT THE GARDEN CENTER.
OF COURSE WE HAD LUNCH AT PAPAS FRITAS Y HUEVOS.
DESSERT WAS NATILLAS DE CHOCOLATE!
NOTICE SAN GERALDO PULLING AWAY
BEFORE I COULD GET THIS OLIVE TREE IN THE CAR?!?
I WANTED IT FOR THE TERRACE [IN MY DREAMS].

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Oh My Sweet Torrijas!

I went for a 7.25km (4.5-mile) walk Wednesday to one end of the Paseo and back (it's become my short walk). A healthy walk is part of my daily routine. But yesterday it was especially needed to burn off the lemon merengue pie Chef Robbie insisted we try with our morning coffee.

San Geraldo arrived home a few minutes after I did. "I bought us a treat!" he said.

I saw bakery wrapping and thought, "Oh, crap. So much for my walk."

But then he unwrapped the paper. And I thought, "SO glad I took that walk."

TORRIJAS!!! AN EASTER TRADITION.

The first time I had torrijas was during Semana Santa 2012 (Holy Week) in Sevilla. I bought them in a local bakery. They were good, but nothing to write home about — so I didn't, and quickly forgot about them.

Last year, Elena made us some that were, as San Geraldo said, "to die for." (Click here for Elena's torrijas and a glimpse of the Easter Moose.)

This year's bakery torrijas, smothered in honey, were sweet and delicious but nothing like Elena's. And we still have Elena's to look forward to (hint, hint).

Recipes
If you're interested in making torrijas, just search "torrijas recipes" or "recetas torrijas" and you'll find plenty of versions (and opinions). Last year, I explained:
Elena's version consists of a thick slice of bread soaked in warm milk for an hour, and then dipped in egg batter and fried with olive oil before being sprinkled with cinnamon. The bread gets crusty on the outside and custard-like on the inside. Elena's torrijas are out of this world.
The bread is often soaked overnight and wine can be used instead of milk. Traditional recipes call for the addition of honey, which The Goddess Elena doesn't like. But we're not complaining. (She doesn't like raisins either, and calls them flies.)
In my opinion, if you only dip the bread in the batter, as some recipes suggest, instead of soaking it for an hour or more, the result is pretty much like American "French Toast." The extended soaking changes the consistency of the bread to custard. So much better (again, in my opinion).