Wild grasses

There are many types of wild grass growing here, some are escaped wheat and oats from the fields. Oats are my favourite, glowing a delicate pale gold, but all of them are lovely. They ripple in a light breeze, it reminds me of wind on the sea.

5 to remember
hay – there is/there are
escapó – escaped
candente – glowing
que ondulan – they ripple
me recuerda a – it reminds me of

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Wild grasses #Spain #nature via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-1OZ

What’s that?

It looks like it has been burned. Is it alive or dead? So delicate it could be a bead on a Victorian lady’s hat. It is one of nature’s beautiful contrasts: black/dead, green/alive.

#9 dead almond 14-4-155 to remember
¿Qué es eso? – What’s that?
parece que – it looks like
uno de – one of
un contraste – a contrast
muerto – dead

Answer: A dead almond, hanging on the branch. April 14, 2015

A cake to make on a cool afternoon

This is the sort of cake I like to make: all the ingredients go into one bowl at the same time, a quick stir, pour it in the cake tin and pop it in the oven. That’s it.

And this has glace cherries… a favourite of mine since childhood. a glace cherrycake, cutMakes one 20cm cake

200g glace cherries
275g gluten-free self-raising flour
75g ground almonds
2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
225g soft margarine
225g caster sugar
4 eggs eggshellsPre-heat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3. Lightly grease and, using greased greaseproof paper, base line a 20cm deep round cake tin

Cut each cherry into quarters, put in a sieve and rinse under running water. Allow to drain, then dry thoroughly on kitchen paper. cherries, rinsedMeasure all remaining ingredients into a large bow, beat well for one minute to mix thoroughly. This can be done by hand or in a mixer. in the mixerDust the cherries with a little flour to stop them sticking together, then lightly fold the cherries into the cake mix. ready to go into the ovenTurn into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for about 1½ to 1¾ hours, or until a skewer comes out clean. just out of the ovenLeave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Turn out, and leave to cool on a wire rack. plateful5 to remember
un revuelo rápida – a quick stir
las cerezas glace – the glace cherries
en curatos – into quarters
la superficie – the surface
dejar enfriar – leave to cool

mary berry's ultimate cake book 20-1-14


This is our gluten-free version of the English Cherry Cake recipe from Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book [UK: BBC Books]

October sunset

Quite what magic of light and chemistry takes place to produce a sunset as varied as this I don’t know. It changes from moment to moment, at one end of the valley the sky is pale pink. Look to the other end of the valley and it is that vivid orange colour, like the jelly inside a Jaffa Cake.

5 to remember
la magia – the magic
la química – the chemistry
tan variados como – as varied as
de momento a momento – from moment to moment
la jalea – the jelly

Aubergines of many colours

Until we started to grow them, I had no idea aubergines varied in colour so much. Most of all I like their purple glossiness, hanging heavy amongst large green leaves. I could do without the prickles though! No matter the colour, the taste is the same.

5 to remember
hasta – until
me gusta – I like
entre – amongst
las espinas – the prickles
lo mismo – the same

Yellow autumn

What colour do you see when you think of autumn? For me, here in Spain, it is all shades of yellow. The first leaves to take on a hint of yellow are the walnut trees. The delicate fronds in the asparagus fields turn next. Then suddenly every tree has yellowing leaves, fading golden, falling to dust. The wind has the last say.

5 to remember
para mi – for me
delicado/a – delicate
las frondas – the fronds
amarillamiento – yellowing
el viento – the wind

A September visitor

This, I think is a grasshopper, not a cicada. Why? Because he has short antennae. grasshopperHe lives on the ground and avoids his foes by leaping using his powerful hind legs. He is a plant-eater and generally stays out of harm’s way because of his camouflage colouration. This one, though, did not blend in with the terrace tiles.

5 to remember
creo – I think
una antenna – an antennae
poderoso/a – powerful
el camuflaje – the camouflage
la coloración – the colouration