an unintentional dearth of life drawing…

At art school we did hours and hours of life drawing at least 3 times a week for years. It got to be second nature and it was easy to take for granted and to realise how much it helps you with the backbones of a great observation and drawing technique. The ensuing years have been paved with good intentions and some drawing but never life drawing, probably last did this around 2000 -2001.

bty

half hour pose

So i found a great non teaching class (3 hours, great space, no pressure!) and plucked up my courage to get on with it. These are not anything special, but it’s a big deal for me as i was kind of scared of doing it again. Will endeavour to do more and get MUCH better!!

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hour pose

 

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whiteout descending…

It is indeed white out for most of us, on Thursday, in the midst of sporadic whiteouts the lure of Arthurs Seat was too strong to resist…for me and a lot of other intrepid Edinburgers it seems.

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I decided to walk around the base of Arthurs Seat and the Crags, a walk that normally takes a leisurely 40 mins or so. Took me a good 2 hours or more, as once round the first “bend” exposure whips drifting snow into my face and blizzardy white outs occur every 5 minutes or so. The snow is dry, powdery and soft under foot, reaches my ankles, but is much deeper in parts.

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Am delighted that again once around the first “bend” there are almost no people at all so i kind of get the place to myself.

IMG_20180301_150830_resized_20180301_063607852Dunsapie Loch deserted, no people and no birds, a thick porridgy sludge of ice forming on the surface.

Worth every frosty minute though, as it is so beautiful trudging through pristine snow with the occasional cross country skier passing for company and the world briefly muffled as only snow can.

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Round the base heading back southwards again, people and all the birds in the park seem to be congregating on St Margarets Loch. An over enthusiastic bird feeder (in my opinion), chanced his luck on the slippery banks and thankfully does not fall in!

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the joys of leftover sauce…

By the way, referring to my previous post…the potatoes in any kind of carne asada are not so great the next day as leftovers, so try to eat all the tatties on the first sitting.

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The sauce and the meat however remain delicious. If you cook some pasta, (preferably spaghetti or linguini) al dente, drain it and then add it to the original pan of meat and yummy sauce, give it a good mix, you will get a whole new dish and it’s absolutely fantastic!!! I really recommend doing this.

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other foody posts on this blog:

the joy of leftover sauce pollo de corral asado nadars coffee and general stores upgrades like buses and a lot of food fabada con almejas/beans and clams preserving wild garlic tortilla de maiz y chicharrones fabada asturiana lemons mrs beeton and colombia merluza-a-la-cazuela lebre con castañas callos a la gallega ossobuco vs xerrete in praise of colombian food restaurant still lives few flowered recipes first forage of the season nose to tail and farajullas flloeira cocido gallego albariño wine genius chorizos returning to the matanza chocolate con churros pani puri sunday cicchetti tea-break baracca empanada revelations in a milanese restaurant further adventures in foraging cooking the haul foraging2 foraging nose to tail (s)light relief pulpo a la gallega the matanza morcilla and dying arts jamòn serrano

pollo de corral asado*…

*…free range chicken casserole…

Time for another of my Mum’s classic and timeless recipes, honed to perfection over nearly 60 years as a professional chef.

Carne Asada is a classic Spanish dish, a kind of meat casserole if you will. You can adapt this recipe to pretty much any kind of meat but for today’s purpose we will be using pollo or chicken. This recipe also works well with lamb, beef, veal and rabbit. The meat should always be portioned into big chunks and it should always be on the bone. No weights and measures in this recipe, just use your common sense. The chicken we use is our own, corn fed, organic and free range, but if you can’t run to that, this recipe will make a regular supermarket chicken taste pretty darned good…

THE RECIPE

The night before:

Marinade your chosen meat in some good olive oil, black pepper, plenty of garlic, fresh chopped parsley some decent white wine or dry sherry and even a splash of brandy if you are feeling fancy. No salt tho, that will be added later during the cooking process.

The next day:

Remove meat from the marinade and brown it in a large frying pan. You should take your time with this process and really get the meat good and brown all over as this caramelisation is where a lot of the flavour will come from.

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Meanwhile in another large pan, start to gently fry some roughly chopped onions and red pepper and garlic. When your meat is good and brown you can add it to the onions and pepper pan. Deglaze the frying pan with some good meat stock and add this to the chicken along with some saffron, dry sherry, a splash of brandy and more stock till the meat is just covered with liquid, simmer for a few minutes and then add salt to taste.

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You can then put the pan with a lid into the oven (or keep it on the hob) and allow to simmer gently till the meat is tender, depending on the cut and type this could take anything from 45 minutes to a couple of hours. Add a little more stock if you need to during this process.

When the meat is cooked remove it from the sauce and keep it warm in a dish. Meanwhile. Add some peeled potatoes and carrots (both cut into big chunks) and add them to the delicious meaty sauce. Simmer gently till they are cooked. The potatoes will take on a lovely golden colour from the saffron and will be super tasty. 10 minutes or so before the veg is cooked you can add some thick slices of red pepper for garnish and colour. Once your veg is cooked put the meat back into the pan and make sure it is thoroughly warm.

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Serve with big hunks of bread to soak up all those lovely juices. This is an absolute Spanish staple and is really worth the trouble. As ever thanks to Carmen, my mum, a genius in the kitchen and semi legendary round these parts for her cooking prowess!

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other foody posts on this blog:

pollo de corral asado  nadars coffee and general stores upgrades like buses and a lot of food fabada con almejas/beans and clams preserving wild garlic tortilla de maiz y chicharrones fabada asturiana lemons mrs beeton and colombia merluza-a-la-cazuela lebre con castañas callos a la gallega ossobuco vs xerrete in praise of colombian food restaurant still lives few flowered recipes first forage of the season nose to tail and farajullas flloeira cocido gallego albariño wine genius chorizos returning to the matanza chocolate con churros pani puri sunday cicchetti tea-break baracca empanada revelations in a milanese restaurant further adventures in foraging cooking the haul foraging2 foraging nose to tail (s)light relief pulpo a la gallega the matanza morcilla and dying arts jamòn serrano

merceria*…

*merceria = haberdashery

Beautiful old school neon haberdashery sign in Arzua, Galicia:

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More lovely graphics in the form of the sign for Trigas Ferretería (Ironmongers) that also doubles as a tourist shop as Arzua is for many pilgrims the last stopping point before the day long trek and culmination of the Camino de Santiago (into Santiago de Compostela)

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