Sunday, October 31, 2010

Gofio With Almonds

Gofio with almonds

Since early times gofio has been a healthy food of Canary Islanders.

I have written about it before (here's a link to a previous post with details about gofio)  but I have tasted it myself on only a  few occasions. It's made of toasted grains ground into a flour which is then eaten by mixing the flour with milk or broth.  Canary Island mothers often mixed gofio with milk in their babies' bottles and today gofio is still eaten as a breakfast food with milk or as a thick paste served on the center of the dinner table, eaten with spoons by family members. 

I had a chance to buy some gofio amasado con almendras the other day when I visited a food and craft fair here on the island. It's a fudge-like mixture of gofio and almonds, probably together with some sugar, formed into a fat sausage shape and as I have tried it before I know that I like it.

Here's some gofio amasado that I saw at a food market tasting table last year.  
It was soft, nutty, fudgy and delicious with a wholesome taste that reminded me a little of peanut butter!

For the past week there has been an artesanal craft fair in town, and apart from the displays of handicrafts, there are also local homemade Canary cakes and sweets.  When I saw this sign on one stall I could imagine that what was being produced by this bakery in Vilaflor, (one of the highest villages in Spain, and here on the island of Tenerife) was going to be interesting.
Dulces Artesanales Chasneros means handmade sweets from that area, made by the lady whose name is underneath....Doña Isidra Dorta Fumero.

Here is the net-covered display of baked goods, some familiar to me and others not:

At one side I noticed the log-shaped roll of gofio with almonds set in a tray with an interesting looking pumpkin cake topped with walnuts. 
These are in the tray at the right side.I had to take home some of that gofio.

I also bought a piece of that pumpkin cake - tarta de calabaza was good!

Well that's a little about the local food and next time I'll be showing what else I saw at the craft fair.
There were hundreds of stalls from Africa, South America, Mexico and Tenerife.

For now, have a safe Halloween evening.  Thanks for your visit and hasta la vista!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

October Sunshine

Garden Through a Glass Ball

Although this above photo was taken in August, the weather here at present is still beautiful and warm.  Temperatures are in the 20s Celcius which are 70s and 80s Fahrenheit.

Some photos from today and the past week:

La Paz area of Tenerife North

Lookout in La Paz over Puerto de la Cruz beach and town

Near Botanical Garden Puerto de la Cruz

Mount Teide on a Clear Morning

The Garden is Beautiful Now

Thanks to the night rains and the warm days, everything is blooming and the garden is full of roses.

Although it's the end of October, it looks like May, and we even have the white flies coming in swarms to settle on the newly sprouted shoots.  Guess I'll have to mix up a soap solution and wait for a sunless day to spray it on!

Have a good and safe Halloween!
Thanks for dropping by, and hasta la vista!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Uphill Downhill

                                      Moon rising at 8 pm yesterday evening.

 I've been posting daily weather reports on a local forum and so it has encouraged me to get out and have a little walk most mornings.  Something which has always been on my must do list of things.

                                                  The Teide this morning

 My sister in Canada gets up around 5 am every morning and walks over a mile around the perimeter of a golf course.  She stays slim and looks much younger than her age!  So here in this wonderful climate I have only one excuse for not doing the same every day....the whole island is shaped like a pyramid so walking anywhere is either uphill or downhill.

The downhill is easy...although they say it's not so good for your knees.
Sometimes the downhill is in the form of stairs.

But in order to get back home after walking has to face the uphills....or jump on a bus. 

So I try to find the flat bits.  Here a childrens' playground where one can sit on a bench and read or rest.

And then for a walk through the Canary Center where white roses are still blooming and the magnificent pruned Plumeria Alba (frangipani)  gives shade to people sitting outside the deli eating tapas.

 Plumeria Alba...also known as Frangipani

And passing the German bakery window, Doris tried to tempt me with fresh Berliner jelly doughnuts!

I resist and choose instead a raisin Danish was in that empty space at left.

Well that will teach me to walk past the bakery while out for my healthy morning walk.  Next time I'll go in the other direction, as long as it's not up a steep hill!

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a good week and hasta la vista!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October Garden

I have been out of time these past weeks and have had a house guest arrive this morning.
So I'm again saying sorry for such long delays between posts.

But I did want to show some of what is in flower today in our garden.  Weather is warm and sunny and after some rain, everything is growing wildly.  Here are some photos I took just a couple of hours ago.

I hope everyone has been having a good weekend.

Like most people I know I was also glued to the television watching the miraculous rescue of the Chilean miners.  What an unbelievable feat of faith and determination combined with the engineering expertise of all involved and the leadership of the head man in the mine who kept the men alive with his belief that they would be rescued and his knowledge of survival procedures.  It was such a happy ending to what could have certainly been another tragedy and more sad news for the media to report..  Sometimes miracles do happen!

Thanks for dropping until the next one...hasta la vista!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

La Greixonera

This is my favourite cooking vessel.  It's an earthenware casserole or cazuela which I bought many years ago in Mallorca, where it's called a greixonera.  (Pronounce it more or less as GRAY-shon-ERA.)  It has given rise to a dessert by the same name from the neighbouring island of Ibiza where it is made in such an earthenware casserole.

The dessert consists of ensaimadas which are a day or two old mixed together with egg, sugar, cinnamon and milk to make a sort of firm pudding which is sliced and served on a plate.  I use mine for making stewed dishes, meatballs and slow cooked meals which can sit on the back of my gas stove on a low flame until the contents are tender and flavourful.  It was customary in the Balearic Islands to use a cabbage or lettuce leaf to act as a lid for whatever was cooking inside.

Here are some more items from my collection of earthenware cooking vessels.  It amazes me that these cooking utensils cost so little - most of them under ten Euros, and they can be found in most supermarkets and hardware stores.  Although they will break when dropped or banged on a hard surface, my greixonera is over 25 years old and if I'm lucky it will still last for years.  I don't use a ceramic cooktop, and I don't believe these earthenware dishes could be used on them.  But they will go in the oven for baking and only need a little careful soaking in warm water for a few minutes before the first use.

I swear that anything cooked in them tastes superior than it would if it were cooked in a casserole made from another material.

Here is yet another of my cazuelas de barro or earthenware casserole dishes, together with another useful wooden mortar and pestle which I use for grinding dry spices.  Both can be found in supermarkets here and are inexpensive.

And how I love my little olive oil can,  I keep it beside the stove and use it every day for a fine drizzle when cooking. This one holds half a liter but I recently found another one which holds one liter of oil.

Here is another supermarket find.  I was so pleased when I saw these individual earthenware soup bowls that I bought a couple and although we've had soup in them, I also tried them out for baking individual chicken pot pies in my toaster oven.

They turned out perfectly!

This morning we had beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures.  When I saw the sun lighting up my Phormium I had to run out and take a photo.  I brought this one with me from Canada one year and enjoy looking at it through my computer room window as the colours seem to glow in morning sunlight.

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


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin