Now, I am very much of the opinion that birthdays are to be celebrated. Whether you´re 4, 24, or 94….life is a wonderful celebration and what better than to mark the start of a new year in your life than with a little something special.
Big Man came from a very large family, and once he and his siblings had gone beyond the age of celebrating with a small cake and a cup of hot chocolate all round, birthday celebrations became a thing of the past. Then he met a crazy English/Italian woman who wanted to live in Spain with him, and who loved to mark an occasion with a bottle of something and a cake. The poor dogs were “christened” so many times that they began to get over excited every time we opened a bottle of Cava.
Yesterday we took a day out for ourselves and went to visit a town I had not previously been to. About 100km away from us (albeit by some very twisty mountain roads) lies the beautiful Baroque town of Priego De Cordoba.
The day was hot and humid. This was unexpected as we had dressed for cooler weather. First we had a wander through the little alleys of the old town. For me, geraniums are the typical flowers of the Mediterranean and the people of the Province of Cordoba are rightly very proud of their patios and displays of flowers.
When the heat became too much we retired to the courtyard of a restaurant in the shadow of the old castle. While we tried to make our minds up over what to eat we dithered over ordering a cold beer or a glass of Gazpacho to quench our thirst. Oh well, “just order both” we thought, and what a great idea that was.
Cold glasses of wine followed with an amazing starter which was called “Sephardic Salad” on the menu. It consisted of a selection of vegetables slowly braised in olive oil and garlic and served cold with lots of bread and small local twisted breadsticks to dip and dunk.
Main course was Rabo de Toro, or oxtail cooked slowly with pink peppercorns and served with sauté potatoes. Delicious. When I can figure out how to do it I´ll add a link to my recipe for this. Sorry, I´ve tried but can´t seem to work it out!
We were too full for pudding but ordered strong coffees with a separate glass of ice. You add sugar to your hot coffee if you take it, then pour the coffee over the ice and wait a moment for it to chill your coffee. Perfect.
Suitably refreshed we headed into the castle and I overcame my fear of heights to climb to the top of the tower for some beautiful views of the city.
Then we headed back through the old streets to what used to be the “Royal Butchers and Slaughterhouse”. Sounds grisly, but it was a beautiful, shady patio with a fountain bubbling away in the centre of a columned courtyard.
We stopped a while and just soaked up the atmosphere. Big Man agreed that birthdays are most definitely for celebrating, it was a very special day.