Sunday, September 26, 2010

Spanish Kitchen Utensils

Mortero and Lebrillo

One can find some interesting and inexpensive kitchen utensils here. For many years the yellow earthenware mortar with painted green splotches and a wooden pestle has been used in Spanish kitchens.  Called a MORTERO in Spanish, the pestle is a PILÓN or MAZA. And matching them is the old fashioned mixing bowl, the LEBRILLO.  This useful bowl is now also found in antique shops, having been used just as often for hand washing the laundry as for mixing bread.  But I have seen these bowls still for sale in shops which deal in typical artesan ceramics and earthenware.  

When I lived in Ibiza and Mallorca, I remember seeing those mortars used as ashtrays in some bars and cafes.

The groove for pouring out the sauce, was used to hold a burning cigarette!

Well I use mine quite regularly, but for mashing garlic with flat-leaf parsley and salt, to make the beginnings of a sauce.  And the lebrillo....well it sits on top of a shelf as a decoration from yesteryear, as I now prefer a lightweight plastic or glass mixing bowl in my kitchen.

The typical yellow earthenware is also seen used for garlic pots as well as soup bowls:

Canary Chicken Soup...always topped with a mint leaf (hierbabuena)

Another curious object, with a very modest price is this cutting board for slicing crusty baguettes:

 Baguette Slicing Tray

 This useful cutting board is made up of a removable slat top and a tray underneath which catches the crumbs that fall from a crisp bread roll or baguette.  What a clever idea!  When finished slicing your crunchy loaf, just lift the top to collect the crumbs, to pass on to the birds or to sprinkle onto your soup!

Here is a closer look:

I will be back soon with more unusual items from Spain that I have adopted for use in my home.

Weather here in Tenerife North is warm with very high humidity - over 75%, which is high for us.

No sun today but we are happy for the few drops of rain that have fallen.  

Our weeds are growing well!

Have a good week and hasta la vista!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Autumn Began Today

Summer has ended! We had the first real rains in a long time here over the past couple of days but today the air has turned warm and muggy again. Not complaining though because the garden is lush and green. The weeds are growing at their usual fast pace and I can drag the loaded laundry racks out of the musty tool shed where I pushed them as the first drops fell and put them in their rightful place on the back lawn.

Just before it rained I took photos of the brugmansia in the front garden. I'm always tempted to run out with the camera and see if their upturned edges can be viewed from a new angle. Well I guess not this time but I'm happy to capture their clusters of pristine trumpets as long as they hang so gracefully in our front garden.

You see what happens when you have your sprinkler turned on for a morning.
It will bring on the rain for sure a few hours later!

Thanks for dropping by. Have a good weekend and hasta la vista!

Friday, September 10, 2010

More Garden Macros


It's always fascinating for me to see the world through a macro lens and discover the array of perfect miniature patterns and textures not always detected by the naked eye.

Here is what I found when wandering through my garden the other day.


Spider plantSpider Plant


cliviaSeed Pods of Clivia Nobilis

jade plantJade Plant


HaworthiaHaworthia Attenuata



And following me around, loving to hide in dark hidden corners is my ever present Minnie.


Thanks for your visit, and Hasta la Vista!


Photos taken with Canon EOS 30D DSLR and f/2.8 100mm USM macro lens.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Seen in Passing

Spider LilySpider Lily - Hymenocallis Littoralis

We still have lovely warm days here in Tenerife, many with high humidity, others with a little sea breeze blowing across my garden. Here are a few photos taken on recent walks around the town.

Passing by a Sunday flea market, I met and chatted with this gentleman from Madrid who was trying out a classical guitar for sale. He said he was on holiday and missed his own guitar so was happy to be able to sit down, borrow the guitar and practise for a few minutes.

guitar man

flea market guitar

Leather bags - real or imitation, are popular in flea markets here.

leather bag man

I bought a pot of thyme from this plant stall. It's one of my favourite herbs so I always have some growing year round in large patio pots.

plant stall

Headless models display summer dresses.


A stroll by Alvaro's newly furbished tennis and sports centre and Quintana restaurant. There is a well equipped gym, machine and mat Pilates classes and paddle courts as well as tennis and a soccer field there, located in the La Paz area of Puerto de la Cruz.

Alvaro' sports centre

Doris offers me some German cheesecake when I buy a loaf of bread at the bakery window.

Doris in bakery

A Canary palm with branches of tiny dates graces a small street garden.

canary palm

And overhead a paraglider floats into the late afternoon sun.


Thanks for dropping by and hasta la vista!



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