Ubeda & Baeza

On Tuesday we spent the day at the campsite, and with no walking or cycling it felt like we were finally going to have a proper day off to relax. Then I discovered there was a mountain of washing to do, that’s hand washing, and so any thoughts of taking a break went out the window! The chemicals in the washing powder must have got to me as I then decided to wash the motorhome. It was getting a bit grubby now we’d clocked up a few miles. Meanwhile Lisa did a great job cleaning inside, nothing to do with the chemicals, she’s just a tidy freak! Those jobs done we could relax for the rest of the afternoon and were able to leave early the following day for our next stop, Ubeda.

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Ubeda

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Losing Weight

If you’re thinking of going off in a motorhome it’s worth considering the weight of stuff (the payload) you can carry. I knew this was important but I’d only really thought about how much cheese and wine we could bring back with us!
Being sensible, well mostly, we decided it was a good idea to get the motorhome weighed before we go. Hence the pile of jars, we’ll save a good few kilos by bagging up our spices. Yes we really are taking that many, and a few more, actually!

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Do we really need to take these?

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Laab – Spicy meat salad

Many years ago I was ordering a Thai takeaway, one of the items (number 22, maybe), was called Laab. I had no idea what it was, but that was why I ordered it. A random selection.

It was amazing, like nothing I’d eaten before. But blimey, did it blow my head off!!! I’m someone that sweats at the thought of a chilli, let alone eating one. Just picture my face when I once ate a curry full of green beans… they weren’t green beans! Anyway, despite every mouthful of the laab blowing my head off I ate the lot. However, it was so hot I had to eat it slowly over the course of an evening. The flavours were amazing! So now I’ll share this recipe. Please try it. Adjust it to your taste. Every time I make it it’s different. Often because I’m sure I remember the recipe but still forget some of ingredients when shopping… Doh! Traditionally it’s served with raw pork or beef mince, but please don’t do this unless you want to get ill! 

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Ingredients for Laab

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Braised Beef Short Ribs

Another meaty braising recipe… it’s that time of year.

I’ve had the ribs in the freezer for a while, they need the right day to be cooked. An afternoon in, when it’s cold outside, when I can start cooking early afternoon as they need a long time in the oven.

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Back to Basics – Pasta Sauce

Last night’s impromptu trip out in the new motorhome meant a quick easy meal needed. A tomato based pasta sauce was perfect.

Very few ingredients are needed for a basic tomato sauce, but the recipe can be easily adapted and added to.

You could use fresh tomatoes, but we just grabbed what was in the cupboard and left – no time for shopping!

Here’s the basic recipe, for 2 people, with some suggestions along the way.

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Sunday Dinner – Braised Pig’s Cheeks

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I don’t often see pig’s cheeks in the butchers, so when I did I had to buy them. I looked through our books for a recipe I fancied cooking but when I couldn’t find one I turned to the internet and found this one. It’s by Nigel Slater, although marinading the cheeks in wine beforehand is a twist I’ve added, that inspiration coming from a Tom Kerridge recipe.

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Breakfast Tomatoes & Mushrooms

How many of you enjoy fried tomatoes and mushrooms, especially with a cooked breakfast?

Just chuck them in the pan with some butter, lovely…

How about cooked in the oven?

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The sniff test

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Have you ever sniffed a tomato plant?

Have you ever sniffed a tomato from your supermarket?

Did they smell the same?

Probably not!

If you want any chance of buying good tomatoes, which is difficult this time of year as they are out of season, give the different types a sniff. Trust your sense of smell

Freeze chilies / cheese / ginger / basil

Most of us have a freezer. Most of them are probably full of leftovers or food that was getting near its use by date, but there’s plenty of ingredients that freeze well.

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Here’s 4 ingredients I freeze and a recipe.

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