Although we love our life Up the Mountain, sometimes it´s good to get out. Last night a new friend organised tickets for a group of us to go the theatre in Malaga to see a show at the Instituto Andaluz de Flamenco. As you´d expect from the name of the venue, it was an evening of dance – Flamenco fused at times with ballet. Very lovely, and certainly nothing like some of the dreadful “shows” some venues put on to keep the tourists happy. I´m sorry I can´t show you any photos as some of the costumes were spectacular.
After the show we were not quite ready to go home, you may recall that the Spaniards believe the night is for fun and partying, so we headed over to a the development, recently opened at Málaga port, where many of the large cruise ships stop.
It reminded me a little of Sydney Harbour with lots of shops, bars and restaurants and I hope that as the warmer weather comes and more people learn about it, it will be a huge success.
We went to a Cervecería, a beer “tavern” where they serve buckets of beer…
And then a final stroll back to the car, giving us the opportunity to enjoy views of the Cathedral and the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro – a Moorish fortification overlooking the city.
Wearily we made our way home, only to find out this morning that an earth tremor had been felt at 4am in the next village. Clearly the beers had done their work and we had slept through the whole thing!
Last year I posted a recipe for a similar dish, this is a variation. Two pork shanks here serve four people in a very warming winter casserole.
500g of large white beans (large cannellini or butter beans would be good) soaked overnight in water with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda
Two large tomatoes, quartered
1 large leek, roughly chopped
4 sticks of celery and some of the celery leaves if you have them
2 large carrots
1 large onion peeled and quartered
4 large cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
A dried chili (optional)
Approx two cups of water (enough to cover the pork and beans)
Four slices of smoked bacon, diced
Salt and pepper (don´t season until the beans are cooked)
4 whole cloves or a ½ a level teaspoon of ground cloves
Put all the ingredients into a large pot with a lid and cook very slowly for about 2 or 3 hours (or longer) in a low oven or on top of the stove. If you have time, it´s best left overnight before eating to allow the flavours to really develop.
When the beans are soft, strain the liquid off (reserving it) and take as many of the vegetables out from the meat and beans as you can and put into a blender jug. Blend the vegetables with a little of the cooking liquid then stir into the remaining liquid. Add the beans and meat (which will have fallen off the bones) into the thick soup, check for seasoning, reheat and serve with a drizzle of olive oil over the top.
So in 2016 I turned 50. I was in Italy for my 21st, 30th and 40th. To keep this birthday tradition going I always knew I'd be in Italy for my 50! This blog starts with my 5 week adventure in Puglia but my love affair with Italy continues.....