Monthly Archives: April 2013

an evening at the observatory…

An evening at the observatory at Blackford Hill, Edinburgh…unfortunately it was too bright to see any stars…but we got fantastic views of Edinburgh from the roof…

At the planetarium, they recommended this fantastic piece of free sofware “stellarium” that tells you exactly what you are seeing when you look up at the sky, you just enter where you are. Its multi platform and definitely worth a look.

architectural details of the observatory:

P1180017The copper dome: it rotates and each panel can open to allow the telescope a view of the sky, it’s like Victorian James Bond…

P1180032the moon and the gargoyle

P1180038guttering!

P1180059 P1180060 P1180062the stairs to the telescope

blackfriars…

…and speaking of food (see previous post)

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Blackfriars on Blackfriar St, Edinburgh used to be Black Bo’s…i used to drink there and i even ate there once in the adjacent restaurant…had something veggie and foul made with blue curacao…ughhh NOT a good ingredient… i still remember it…not nice. HOWEVER, it’s not Black Bo’s any more, it’s Blackfriars…and foodwise things have gotten a heck of a lot better.

Have not tried the restaurant but the bar food is pretty darned good…high quality, with almost everything including the bread made from scratch…

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Special mention to the delicious barbecue beef roll with coleslaw in a home made bun which had a faint aniseed taste that was delicious with the smoky beef…yum and chips with béarnaise…what’s not to like?…don’t judge me, i walked 22 km that day… i wanted carbs!!!

Please note i did not eat the following all by myself…

P1170999…our table runneth over with the addition of salty, garlicky sprouting broccoli with goats curd and cured salmon with fennel and horseradish…

Am going back!

other foody posts on this blog:

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 filloeira 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

fabada asturiana…

Been a while since i posted a recipe…this is a good one… P1170621

Am lucky as my mum has been a professional cook for 55 years and i know most people think their mum can cook but really, my mum really, really can!!! As my folk are from Spain, Spanish cuisine is her forte, :

Fabada Asturiana is an incredibly delicious hearty Asturian bean casserole which is very popular in Spain and is often served (believe it or not) as a starter…which gives you some idea to the countries appetite capacity…mum’s version is second to none…

Ingredients:

Fabada
2 Litres meat stock (plus a little extra if the beans get dry)
4 chorizo sausages
(optional) 1 morcilla (black pudding) sausage
1 piece of salted pork belly (anything up to 500g)
(optional) 1 salted pork bone
Half small onion roughly chopped
1 big clove garlic roughly chopped
*1 kilo dried haricot beans (pre soaked for 24 hours)
I sachet of saffron
Quarter teaspoon cayenne/chilli powder
olive oil
salt to taste (at the end of cooking)

Refrito/Rostrido
200 ml good olive oil
1 large clove garlic sliced
half tablespoon sweet paprika (spanish if possible)

*any kind of large dried white bean will do as long as they don’t have tough skins. My mum uses “fabas de Lorenzà”. Note you should soak them overnight, then you can add hot stock. If you have dried beans that don’t require soaking, you must add COLD stock and then bring to a gentle boil.

Pour a generous glug of oil into a large pan with a lid, Add the chorizos, morcilla, pork belly, bone, onion, garlic, saffron, chilli powder, soaked and drained beans and 2 litres of stock, cover with lid and bring to the boil.

Meanwhile make the refrito by heating the 200ml of olive oil in a frying pan and adding the sliced garlic. The oil can’t be too hot as it will burn the garlic. When the garlic just begins to take a little colour, take the pan off the heat and wait a minute or so till it cools a little and quickly stir in the sweet paprika (if the oil is too hot the paprika will burn).

Add the oil/garlic/paprika mixture or refrito immediately to the now gently boiling fabada (bean casserole). Replace the lid and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. At this point you can fish out the chorizo and morcilla sausages and keep them aside for later. Leave everything else to simmer away till the beans are cooked which could be anything from another 40 – 60 minutes depending on the hardness of the beans. By then the sauce should be nicely reduced and thickened. Don’t add any salt till the end as it will make the beans tough. You may find you don’t need any salt at all as the dish will be seasoned by the stock, salted pancetta/pork belly and salted bone. However adjust to your own taste at the end and even add a little more chilli if you want the dish to have more of a kick. Add back the chorizo and morcilla at the end to heat through.

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Fabada Asturiana is even better on the second day when the flavours and sauce have had time to really develop. My photo at the start of the post is of a little tapa but normally they serve the beans in a soup plate along with a couple of thick slices of the chorizos, morcilla and pork belly and mop up the copious amounts of sauce with lots of crusty bread…it does not need anything else.

other foody posts on this blog:

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

industrial landscape and encroaching weather…

North West Spain, Galicia:

Storm rolling over a wood processing factory, the smoke from the factory mixes with the fast moving clouds. I find it beautiful…

some more muggu…

Some more muggus (hindu chalk/powder drawings of welcome) from the village of Ajjampudi, because i love them…

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other muggu/kolam posts on this site

ajjampudi-muggu-artists

end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it

more-indian-beauty-indian-beauty-parlour

live-kolam-action

kolam

puja