Tuesday, April 28, 2009

38 ~ The Lady of The Night

Dama de NocheCarried on evening breezes, she appears after sundown, subtly creeping in...
through windows ajar, under doors, through trellises.

Softly enveloping the senses in her evocative mantle, she teases with the nostalgia of warm Mediterranean nights, strolls in dark fragrant air.

Rekindling memories of red skies and rising moons,
And barefoot sand cooling after hot afternoons.

Listening to waves and sensing the beguiling presence of The Lady of the Night, La Dama de Noche, Cestrum Nocturnum.

Modest tiny green buds opening at dusk,
transformed into seductive night ladies, irresistible to the passer-by.

Who is that, where does she come from, what is that wonderful perfume?
Ah, that is La Dama de Noche,

Enjoy her now because with the dawn she will sleep again.

Memories of Mallorca.....where I first met this beautiful, exotic, night-blooming flower.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

37 ~ Canary Island Biodiversity

Here is a beautiful High Definition film clip made by Pedro Felipe and his crew of Alas Cinematografia, as a introduction to his eight-part series on the biodiversity of the Canary Islands.

"Canarias Reductos de Biodiversidad" shows the Canary Islands as a stronghold or redoubt for many species of flora and fauna. The series is being coproduced with Television Canaria and the Canary Government. Pedro Felipe is a producer of nature documentaries and is director of Alas Cinematografia. Here is this magnificent film clip which has lovely music, no narrative and beautiful imagery.
Turn up your volume and click on full screen.

Canarias reductos de biodiversidad from Pedro Felipe on Vimeo

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

36 ~ La Cuadra de San Diego

spinach saladSpinach Salad, Bacon & Pine Nuts
(click photos to enlarge)

As a change I'm going to take you to La Cuadra de San Diego, a lovely little restaurant in La Matanza, Tenerife, where my friend Anne and I have been several times, she always being the one to introduce me to new places. A 16th century estate and formerly a stable area, this is a charming place to dine in or outdoors under the immense drago trees. We haven't been there since some reforms were made so it will probably have changed since our last visits when these photos were taken. Here is what it looked like in 2006 and 2007.

Anne approaching door
main house View of Main House

Here they make their own wine. Looking down at the vineyard and wine storage tank on the estate.
collageHere is the food we tried on three visits. It was all so good that I attempted to reproduce their spinach salad with bacon bits and have had a pretty good result. I'll put my recipe below. Meanwhile....here are some of their dishes:
mixed saladMixed Salad

pork tenderloinPork Tenderloin filled with fruit, nuts and bacon

conejo Rabbit in Salmorejo Sauce
pork in puff pastryPork in Puff Pastry

lemon tart Lemon Tart

chocolate cake Chocolate Cake

caramelized pearCaramelized Pear with Toffee

chocolate fondantChocolate Fondant with Crème Anglaise

Here is their spinach salad on another day:

spinach saladAnd here is my version of a similar creation. I have not yet put the finely sliced sauteed leek on top of mine.

my spinach salad


baby spinach & ruby-edged lettuce for 4 servings*

For 1 1/2 cups dressing, enough for 4 salad servings:
3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
1 TBS red wine vinegar
3 TBS grated orange peel
2 teasp brown sugar
1 teasp ground cumin
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste


2 TBS sultana raisins
2 TBS pinenuts
3 strips of bacon, diced

1. Fry bacon bits until crisp.
Drain on paper and put aside.
2. Put into a blender the orange juice and zest, the two vinegars, brown sugar and cumin and blend for a few moments.
3. Slowly add the olive oil while blending, then salt & pepper to taste
4. Put half the dressing into your salad bowl and add all the greens, mixing and turning with two large spoons until greens are well coated
5. Mix in the pine nuts, raisins and bacon bits
6. Pile onto serving plates and drizzle a little more dressing on top.

* Also good is spinach with red onion rings and mandarin orange slices.


Here is the website of La Cuadra de San Diego
It looks like they have new opening times:
Thurs. Fri. Sat. 13:00 - 16:00 and 19:30 - 23:00
Sundays 13:00 - 16:00
Phone: (922)578 385

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

35 ~ Plaza Del Charco

girl and birds (click to enlarge photos)

What could be more relaxing than a stroll down to the town's main plaza on a fine sunny day. Located just behind the fishermens' harbour, Plaza del Charco (Puddle Plaza) is a favourite meeting place in downtown Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife.

people at cafeThe name comes from the days when the plaza used to fill with seawater but that no longer happens and nowadays the area holds an open cafe with tables sheltered under parasols, a childrens' playground, park benches and a fountain where a giant Colocasia Esculenta or Ñamera (Elephant Ear plant) grows from the centre.

colocasia There is a sidewalk around the square's perimeter with kiosks where one can buy daily papers and magazines.
perimeter This is a popular place to walk a dog, bring children to play, read the newspaper or sit and watch people go by.
sidewalk It's also a place to stop after shopping and rendezvous with friends for lunch.
waiting for friend Nearby is a German bakery where quiches, tortilla and fresh bread sandwiches may be packed to take away and eat at home, at the beach or while sitting on a bench in the square.
tortilla window Or one can have a pleasant lunch at one of the many restaurants and cafes bordering the plaza.
cafe columbus
mariosIn warm weather one could sit for hours listening to the soft tinkle of the fountain and watching the birds fly around the overshadowing trees.
ñamera On Sundays, stamp and coin collectors congregate to display and trade their wares. It's also a day when chess enthusiasts meet to play.
stamps & coins coins & stampsThe perimeter of the square is bordered by stately Canary Island palms (Phoenix Canariensis), with their crown of feather-duster foliage.
palms One of the shady streets leading into the square is also lined with restaurants, so one has much to choose from when planning a lunch or dinner in the area. In the evenings the square is often a lively place, where music and dancing is held on fiestas and during carnival celebrations.
into plaza

Sunday, April 12, 2009

34 ~ Happy Easter!

Passion - Lito Brau (click to enlarge)

These beautiful photos were taken by photographer
LITO BRAU and published in TINERGUIA.

passion - Lito BrauTinerguia has kindly allowed non-lucro reproduction of the same. They depict the live enactment of the Passion of Christ, as performed by the people of Adeje, in the south of Tenerife, Canary Islands at Easter 2009.

last supper - Lito Brau The Last Supper.

passion - Lito Brau Via Dolorosa
passion - Lito BrauThere are many more photos on the
Tinerguia website (text in Spanish), showing this amazing living tableau, recreated yearly at Easter.

Friday, April 10, 2009

33 ~ Garden Centres

outside middle pot(click photos to enlarge)

This is just the right time to visit garden centres and pick up bedding plants and herbs to fill any spaces in the garden. It used to be that my car would automatically make unprogrammed stops at my favourite nurseries, just so I could have a look at what was growing there. I could never resist buying a few more petunias, more parsley, basil or a pretty hanging basket. There was always room to squeeze in yet another rose bush or bougainvillae.

el draguito But now I'm a little more cautious since more plants mean more work and I don't have so much time any more to spend in the garden every day as I used to. But today I went to visit Rosa and Macareña, the two young ladies from Venezuela who are always so friendly and helpful in their garden centre, El Draguito, which means 'the little dragon tree'.

pink hibiscusWith hugs and warm greetings of...'Hola Sra. Sharon...como està?' ....how are you? We greet like old friends since I've been coming here for many years. I even once needed their help in finding typical recipes from Venezuela for a cooking club. Have you seen the new plants in the 'invernadero', the greenhouse? I was asked. 'Not yet', .....so I went inside to have a look.

medinilla My eye was immediately drawn to the beautiful Medinilla Magnifica, a plant originating in the Phillipines which is so beautiful but which I fear needs special care in a bright greenhouse or indoor corner. I would probably not be a very good caretaker as I tend to get distracted and forget to feed and water indoor plants.

bromiliads A cheerful cart of bromiliads stands at the greenhouse entrance.
pots Lovely terracotta pots on volcanic gravel.
flowering bulbs Flowering Bulbs
cactii Rows of mini cactii
cactii & euphorbia Cactii, Red Euphorbia & Aloe Vera (behind)
cactii & soil More cactii and soil

Many of these will grow very large outdoors in gardens here.
indoor pots Pots and supplies in the shop.

I buy a couple of petunias, some rosemary and basil. That's enough for now as I have to check at home and see if I also need more parsley and thyme. If so I'll be back here again another day.

David A replica of Michelangelo's David watches as I leave and go to my car.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

32 ~ Sunday Flea Market

flea market 8(click photos to enlarge)

Every Sunday in the La Paz area of Puerto de la Cruz, there's a flea market held in the parking lot of Supermarket 2000 (now known as Spar) from 9 am to 2 pm. I arrived there a little late, when some of the stall owners were already packing up. But as the Supermarket is open all day, I wanted to combine shopping for a few things for lunch with a look at the flea market.
Here are some impressions:

flea market 2

flea market 3

flea market 4

flea market 5

flea market 6

flea market 8

flea market 1

flea market 7

flea market 10Well I didn't buy anything today, but maybe next time I'll look for a little shoulder bag just big enough for toting around my mini pocket point and shoot camera and perhaps a string of pretty purple beads to go with a new spring floral blouse. So I'll probably be back here again next Sunday.


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