Monday, 23 May 2016

'Té, Earl Grey, Frio' Cubos de Hielo

'Tea, Earl Grey, Cold' Ice Cubes.
Following from The 'Tea, Earl Grey, Hot' Cake the other day, I had a little think, now, a few years ago I made Chai Ice Cubes, fuckin' lush, but from scratch took many ingredients and time, so thought I could do something similar with the teabag milk thing from that recipe...
So, simply.

The stuff:

  • 450ml (or 3 times as much as 1 ice cube tray) leche/milk
  • bolsita de té Earl Grey/Earl Grey tea bags
  • 2 bandeja del cubos de hielo/ice cube tray

The how:
  1. Bring milk to the boil (keeping an eye on it 'cos it will go quick and go over).
  2. Plonk in teabags. Let cool.
  3. Pour in trays and, without spilling, put in freeeeeeezer.
  4. Give it about 24 hours then put in milk, give it a few mins and enjoy.

(Not my photo, so not with cinnamon and star anise, probably from a Chai version)

Because I didn't take any... photos from:,

Photos funked up with: using settings: Tony/Local/Round

'Té, Earl Grey, Caliente' Torta

'Tea, Earl Grey, Hot' Cake.
It was Mrs. Fox's birthday the other week, I made cake but forgot to take ANY these are pilfered from FB...
The idea stemmed from wanting to make a Star Trek themed cake (both geeky fans), I genuinely considered crafting the Starship Enterprise out of cake, but just didn't have the time, so settled for Captain Picard's favourite drink, 'Tea, Earl Grey, Hot', in cake form!
Recipe tweaked from here: (thanks!).

Putting the candles in was the easy bit, lighting them was a slight fire hazard, but hilarious.

The stuff:
  • 125ml leche/milk
  • 4 bolsita de té Earl Grey/Earl Grey tea bags
  • 115g manteqilla sin sal, blanda/unsalted butter, soft
  • 225g azúcar granulado/granulated sugar
  • 2 huevos/eggs
  • 250g harina con levadura/self-raising flour
  • 1/2 lemon, juice and zest of
  • 200g of icing sugar
  • decoración/decoration
The how:
  1. Heat the milk, but watch it, it'll heat quick and boil over if you don't! Once off the heat bung in the tea bags and leave for 40 mins to cool.
Once cool crack on with the rest:
  1. If you're an organised type, pre-heat the oven and line your tin (I went with a loafer, rather than the minis from the original recipe).
  2. Smush the already soft butter (or if not soft ding-box it for like 10 seconds) with the sugar, I didn't have a whizzer, whisky thing, so went manual labour about it and wooden spooned it until pretty mixed.
  3. Add eggs and half the flour, more mixing (it was like an arm workout, so, to ensure even muscle tone swap arms every now and again)
  4. Add rest of the flour and cooled milk, mixy mixy mix.
  5. Plonk in tin/tray/cooking receptacle, Cook. 180 degrees for about 25 mins or until no longer like molten liquid and a bit brown.
  6. The cake will need to be cooled before the icing is put on, so don't, like me make the icing and then wait for about 45 mins. The icing is easy, squeeze the lemon into a bowl and slowly add the icing sugar, mixing as you go, try not to chuck too much in at once as it'll look like an sugary atom bomb and decorate your surface with a super fine sugary dust. Mix until thick but runny enough to dribble down the sides of the cake...mmmmmm. Apply to cake, decorate with shiney things if your friend is particularly partial.
  7. Give it some time to set (as you'll get that lush crisp when you cut into it), tin foil it and take it to your friend's house in a rucksack via bicycle, hope it doesn't slide off the chopping board en route and present, re-telling the story of why you made this cake.
  8. Restrainedly eat dinner and wait for dessert time, decide that you should put the exact quantity of candles in the cake, that isn't normally necessary for an adult, but hey, when you've got them...
  9. Light candles, don't burn the house down,
  10. Birthday girl blows candle out, don't set the smoke alarm off.
  11. Eat cake!
Mrs. Fox valiantly blew them all out in ONE, massive blow!

The cake was lush and almost entirely devoured! I would definitely make it again, trying to make it a little less brown, first time in a new oven, to be expected really.

Happy Birthday Mrs. Fox!

Photos funked up with: using settings: Greg/Rainbow/Round

Pesto de Espinacas, ñam!

Spinach Pesto, nom!
We've got tons of Perpetual Spinach up the allotment at the moment, and after the toasty spell we had the other week, and us not getting up there to water, it meant it's bolted, bugger (I didn't think we'd ever kill it). So I took a bunch of the bolted stalks, in an attempt to stop the bolt (it hasn't worked), and thought I'd fashion a pesto.
After some goggling, I found a couple of recipes online to bastardise, they're rarely exactly what you after. So, the recipe is adapted from these 2 sites:, The latter is hilarious and is like you're in the kitchen with MissBossLady herself.
My recipe is a little boshed together and I didn't really weigh stuff and that which I did was using scales that are, well, shit...

Trying to weigh spinach with shit scales

The stuff:
  • 375g (ish) hojas de espinacas/spinach leaves (washed, chunky stems and nasties removed)
  • 2 paquetes (140g) de albahaca fresca/fresh basil
  • 4 puñados/handfuls (250g?, it looked about half of my 500g pack) nueces orgánicas/organic walnuts
  • 4 dientes de ajo/garlic cloves
  • 200/250ml aceite de oliva extra virgen/extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pizcas/pinches sal/salt
  • jugo de 1 limón/juice of 1 lemon

Half of the stuff in the djzuzzer
The how:
  1. Well, this should be very quick and easy, however, if you've acquired your spinach from an allotment, which needs cleaning, de-stalking and de-nasty-bits-ing, then this will add at least an hour and a with your spinach all beautiful-like, and I guess depending on the size of your 'djzuzz-er', blender thing, shove everything in your chosen device, if it'll fit, or half as mine was a tidler: spinach, basil, nuts, garlic. oil, lemon.
  2. Biltz, pulse and generally abuse the mix until it is somewhat less big and more smushed, it gues until it resembles pesto... huh, who knew. If the mix isn't blending or little-ing, then it might need some more liquid (oil or lemon juice), or a good shake to get the chunky bits down to the blade.
  3. If you need to, do the same to the other half, dumping the first in a bowl, trying not to loose the blade in the mix...! Repeat and add to first batch.
  4. When all ingredients are pesto-like, taste, add extra things: more salt/lemon/oil, it's your batch, flavour as you like.
  5. Shove into sterilised jars, poke to get rid of any air bubblies and top with a bit more olive oil. Store/give away/devour.

Aerial shot of the goods, giant to keep, littles to give away

Nom, nom, nom

Eat with:
So far I've had it: on pasta, with tons of cheese; taken it to work and gave everyone lunch (fresh bread, mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes); and just smeared on bread.

I'd love to know if anyone makes it, did you change it at all?

Photos funked up with: using settings: Sara/Shine/Round :)

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Las cucharas, la última noticia

The Spoons, an update.
Well, last time I posted it was frickin' Jan! Cor heck!
After our housesitting stint in Extremadura, we headed on to Andalua, to Órgiva, where we volunteered for some loverly peeps, the reason for a lack of posting was that we were off grid, simply enough, we had no electricity or internet readily available, like we did whilst housesitting. We had to walk an hour with laptop in tow to get it, that is without imposing on our hosts. So our time spent internetting was not, unfortunately blogging, but keeping in touch with family, or in my case a spot of designing. There's lots to fill you in on...I'll try and keep it brief.
We went out with a hope that we would return with a plan, and we actually did!

Caravan Sweet Caravan

So, we planned to spend 2 weeks volunteering (Workaway, naturally), this turned into 7. We stayed at Cortijo Vera, with some right lovely peeps. We stayed in a caravan on one of their terraces, everyday we were cooked a big lunch and given copious amounts of tea and biscuits, and given food and could pick pretty much anything from the land for breakfast and dinner which we cooked on a 2 ring gas stove in the caravan, I will add that within about 3 days we did almost burn the caravan down. Advice: Don't, when pissed off with Mr. Spoon and the solar shower which after many hours of 'fixing' still doesn't work, when dressing only in a towel, put the kettle on without checking the gas pipe is out of the way, and burn a whole in the pipe, setting the whole thing alight, almost the caravan and maybe almost the gas bottle itself, no, don't do that, again, ever, please!

The Solar Shower totally worked, all about the timing

These 2 weeks were spent learning how to pick olives for about 5 days straight, getting to know the family, the area, the locals, who, to our surprise were almost all English, and obviously trying not to blow up the caravan, again. We soon realised that 2 weeks was not enough, we'd just begun to scratch the surface of what these guys do, stand for, believe in and all that. We had accounted for having a few days in either Granada or Sevilla before our booked flight, so we kind of just stayed and decided what to do. I contacted school to see if it was worth us making the flight - no contracts until March, that conveniently made our decision easier and, oh no, we missed our flight. We'd been told the place was 'sticky', and yep, they were bloody right!


The coming weeks allowed us to sow, sort and transplant seeds and seedlings, learn how to (re)build walls and roofs using traditional methods and, were possible, eco-friendly ones. We stayed long enough to see our sown seeds germinate and grow: peas, beetroot, potatoes. We had days off and went to 'town', walked around the markets, looked in the super cheap Chinese shops, went for walks and found beautiful orchids sheltering from the crazy winds. Fixed and re-modelled the shower enclosure after said winds, a few times.

Or kid / Orchid?

We got to go to Granada, as we initially planned, just a few weeks later, got very wet, while obviously it was not back in Órgiva. Saw the Alhambra and it's multitude of tessellating patterned tiled walls, floors, ceilings, everythings. I got a little excited about these and took MANY pictures...

Mmmm Alhambra Patterns

We made acquaintances and had dinners, went to fundraisers, made pizzas, lunches and I may proudly add: cake in a frying pan! Designed logos, got wet, got sunburnt, got backache, got massaged. We were there long enough to even see 3 of the 4 family members' birthdays. Culminating in a 60th birthday bash, where we performed a poem Señor Spoon had written and I'd adorned, our 1st actual anniversary and some early morning bonfires.


So we made our way down to Málaga, slept in the airport, after 3 months joined at the hip, went separate ways at Gatwick, but together returned with a plan!
We met loads of people on the entire trip, the majority of which were English, who travelled around, working either where they could, or spending some time back in the UK earning money which would fund the next bit of travel. We can see that there is so much more we can learn and we are super keen to learn it all. Workawaying offers us the opportunity to learn on the job, helping people as we go, learning techniques, uses of materials, theories and practical things and being welcomed into a community of like-minded peeps, it just suits our outlook and financial situation. Plus, we don't know where we want to be, apart from probably Spain.
So now back in the UK, the plan is (whilst being very open-minded and flexible):
Work, work, work to save pennies, live cheaply where possible, Señor Spoon learns to drive, buy a van to do up or part done up.
Next part of the plan:
My job (teaching English) finishes at the end of August, Señor Spoon's job (working on an organic farm) finishes in October, once the van is sorted and respective work contracts are finished, we set out on the adventure back to south Spain, visiting old and new friends in France and Spain, and volunteering: free accommodation and food as we go, with a van to exist in as we travel from one to the next.
So, let's go teacher about this:
To visit various locations to make an informed decision of where to settle/buy/stop.
To learn skills of how to live sustainably from people who are currently doing it.
To meet like-minded people and build our own network of knowledge and amazing people.
To decide if this is really what we want to do, seriously.


That's all for now, it wan't very brief really, was it?
More news soon!

Lady Spoon x