Old Favourites and Favourite Gadgets

When we were in England, people asked us what we missed about Spain. Mostly it was the light, which sounds odd, I think people expected us to say “the sun”.  We missed family and friends of course, we missed the gatherings and fiestas. But we knew we’d be back and we were having fun too.

I missed being able to cook “properly”, I didn’t have all my gadgets with me, so being back in my fully equipped kitchen with my hand blender, my food processor and my terracotta bowls has allowed me to make some old favourites.

Salmorejo (do click on the link for the recipe and a “how to) is a summer favourite, and now that I can buy tomatoes without taking out a mortgage to do so, this will be made every few days.

Salmorejo (2)

Of course, I was able to make pil pil while in England, but it does taste so much better when cooked in the traditional terracotta bowl. And just to prove that you can “pil pil” so many different things, this week I did clams.

Almejas al Pil Pil (3)

And sewing…oh sewing. How I missed my sewing machine. We’ve only been back a week but that wasn’t going to stop me getting my hands on some fabric gifted to me, and a beautiful pattern from the very talented Steph over at 3 Hours Past and making up her wonderful Tiramisu dress pattern. If you fancy making the wonderful dessert instead of the dress, do head over to Karen’s fabulous post which tells you how!

Flowers (2)

Steph designs and makes patterns for real women – curvy ones, slim ones, straight up and down ones.

Flowers (3)

The designs and patterns are beautiful with excellent instructions and I’m thrilled with my new summer dress.

Flowers (4)

My sourdough starter, courtesy of Sawsan’s “how to”, is bubbling away nicely, so at the weekend the mixer with the dough hook will be put to work and I think I’ll really feel like I’ve settled back in again properly.


53 thoughts on “Old Favourites and Favourite Gadgets

  1. It makes all the difference to have your own “stuff” in the kitchen, doesn’t it? Whenever I go to my mom’s and try to cook in her kitchen, I feel so lost and like it takes me twice as long to do anything. Love this Salmorejo and I don’t think I’d seen that post, so am glad you revisited! Your dress and the fabric is gorgeous. And the light, oh yes, the light even in the photos is so lovely. 🙂

    1. I’m the same in my mum’s kitchen – it’s nice in your own to know what you’ve got and where it is and just reach instinctively for it! The light here is beautiful most of the time and I love the way the colours on the mountains change throughout the day.

  2. It’s always lovely getting back home after being away for a while.
    Right, I have just decided when I come visit one day, I am going to bring a piece of fabric with me so you will can help me make a pretty dress, if you don’t mind that is.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    1. It was made with some fabric your sister gave me! I think I’ll be wearing it a lot and making a few other versions – I have the pattern in your size too 😉

  3. I know that you are enjoying being home after so long away. Proper cooking, friends to visit and a new dress to wear to a fiesta…it can’t get better than that. Thank you for the shout out about the tiramisu. 🙂

  4. Both of my K-mixs are in the shop at the moment and I’m lost without them. An ancient handmixer doesn’t quite do it! And my blender recently died, so I’m stuck with a stick blender. Such first world problems….but I do miss the ease of good gadgets. In sewing news I do feel the sewing gods urging me to make my Tiramisu. I have some gorgeous fabric bought for me for Mother’s day and I’m longing to wear it. Yours is simply lovely.

    1. As a tapas it’s often served thicker with little bread sticks so that it can be eaten as a dip. Medium thick like this as it’s served as a “soup” in an our village they also water it down more and drink it like gazpacgo – one dish, three ways!

  5. I am off to my daughters home in town next week for a weekend of cooking and mum and daughter fun. I have to admit their lack of sharp knives drives me NUTS! My eldest is a bit of a klutz and doesn’t want to cut herself but seriously! Anyhoo…we will be cooking up a Korean feast. It is hilarious that the girls didn’t cook when we lived with them. The best Madeline (eldest and now cake baker extrordinaire) did was make purple mashed potatoes (using food dye) that had a most curious crunchy texture. None of us ever worked out how she achieved it (including her…) so we just talk about that event in hushed tones now. The girls are both amazing cooks now. They don’t even use recipes! They just bung stuff together and seem to have some kind of natural ability with what they source. They are on a Korean jag at the moment and so I will be getting some amazing food come next weekend (hopefully no purple crunchy mashed spud though…) I might take my icecream machine, my blender, my bloody sharp knife and a few other things suruptitiously in the back of the car though…I am getting pretty “mashed spud crunchy” in my old age and refuse to do without my comforts any more! Bollocks to camping…glamping all the way for this little black duck! Glad you are back amongst your accoutrements and can run your fingers over your lovelies :). Gorgeous terracotta and you have my envy and respect for being able to own and cook with it. Consider those recipes stolen and soon to be replicated and that dress is GORGEOUS! Summer in a frock 🙂

    1. Ooh tell me about knives. I am left handed so most knives I use are put slightly out of kilter for other people after I’ve been using them for a while and unless they’re amazingly good knives, I struggle with other peoples. I laughed so hard at the purple crunchy mashed spud….brilliant! The best Korean meal I have ever eaten (not that I’ve eaten many) was in Melbourne with two veggie friends and I was blown away by the flavours, textures and variety of dishes we had so I am envious of what you will be preparing with your daughters. I do think you should pack up the car with your creature comforst…they’ll love you even more for it I’m sure and I look forward to reading about your adventures with them 🙂

  6. Now you’re making me want to be back in Spain, which I don’t think will happen until August…
    I want some new terracotta bowls – I haven’t had a good collection in years.
    Great looking Salmorejo and dress 🙂

    1. Ooh, will you be in Barcelona (gosh it will be hot then…if summer ever arrives, that is)? When we had to clean out the despensa last week, I unearthed (excuse the pun) all my terracotta bowls and I have loads but the truth is I really do use them all. Big bowls for cooking beans in, tiny ones for tapas and all the in between ones for cooking regular portions or as serving dishes. They’re so cheap here, I’ve often thought about selling them in the UK but transport would be so expensive 🙂 The salmorejo was good, made it a bit soupier the other day as I was short on bread!

      1. El hecho de ser tan creativa , te vuelve especial…
        No necesitas ser Master de nada, cada día una Chica nueva !
        Un abrazo!

  7. You sound really content: have made me smile with all your ‘doings’. The gazpacho like dish looks moreish enough for look up immediately and I love your dress – hmm, I can embroider and love latch-hooking rugs, but am all at sixes and sevens with sewing 🙂 ! Envy you! And oddly enough have just come from Karen’s: oh my, the prettiest tiramisu I have ever seen 🙂 !

    1. Yes, even though we’re resting, we’re “doing” but there are some “doings” which make you feel rested and happy! I agree, Karen’s Tiramisu was so beautiful 🙂

  8. What a beautiful dress! I love the fabric and the design (and I missed seeing your beautiful tiles in the background of your dress shots 🙂 )
    I know what you mean about missing your kitchen and gadgets. I try to cook in my mum’s kitchen sometimes and it is just not the same! you miss things as simple as your favorite whisk and as big as your oven that you know inside out

    1. You understand completely! And funny you should mention the tiles…we have a little space in the garden in England where we have a tap and we are planning to take the tiles we had left over and tile around it so that we have a little “taste” of Spain in our English garden!

  9. Barely home and sewing already! That looks like a great dress which should be really useful for summer.
    Enjoy your ‘light’ – it is barely light this morning in the UK with no sign of the sun at all. Sunshine would be wonderful but just light would be good….

    1. I really missed sewing and have just had some great news – my best friend in the UK has found an old sewing machine she doesn’t use so it’s going to be mine while I am in the UK – so next time I’m there I won’t hve to stop sewing! Will send you some Andalucían Mountain Light 🙂

  10. Isn’t it nice to be back home to your own tools? I love that you’re back and at it again! Keep em’ comin, cause I will drool over your summer styles while it is still bloody freezing here in Madrid!

    1. It’s freexing here too – the sun is out but there is a cold, cold wind! I put my new dress on this morning when I saw the sun but had to get changed and put my jeans and a warm jacket on 😦 We got caught in terrible weather coming round Madrid the other week when we came home – mind you it was the Feria de Madrid and there was also a football match (a big one) that night and it took us two hours to travel 10km in the rain 😦

  11. Once your hands felt those terracota bowls and you heard the whirr of your sewing machine, I bet you “knew” you were really home. Good for you, Tanya!

  12. Oh welcome home – sorry I’m a bit slow on the uptake here lol.

    Love the dress – do we get to see it on you too? I have been thinking about the Tira for me but haven’t got around to doing anything about it. Now might have to wait until summer again …. there’s time I reckon.

    1. I imagine that one of these made by you would be amazing! I’m going to make another but a size smaller – the shape is great on me, very forgiving, but I was over cautious with the sizing which is good. Usually I make the next size up with patterns but I really should have believed the instructions and my tape measure!

      1. Well, it would’ve taken a year to make anyway if I did. When I make a dress I will be so surprised ha ha ha.

        Believing the instructions is something I don’t do very well either – that’s what the internet and books are for right? Believing my tape measure? I think I’m still learning how to use the darn thing.

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