Spring blossoming

The almond trees at the edges of the vineyards are still flowering – I hope the cold wind doesn’t blow the petals off too soon, before the flowers are fertilised.

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The apricot buds are about to open, but maybe they’ll take a week or so yet.

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And the daffodils are out, in good time for St David’s Day next week!

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It looks as though spring is on its way.

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Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant

It’s Saint David’s Day but our daffodils in the garden aren’t out yet because it’s been too dry for them and they’re not really suited to the Mediterranean climate.  I’ve bought some forced bulbs in pots for the occasion.  Happy Saint David’s Day to all!

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I know I’ve promised to give the recipe for cawl but that will have to wait until tomorrow when I’ll be cooking it for 40 people at our Cercle Occitan evening in the village.  In the meantime here’s the recipe for another Welsh speciality:

Welsh cakes

(makes about 20)

250 grams flour

125 grams butter

75 grams sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

a pinch of salt

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

125 grams raisins or currants

milk to mix

Mix the sugar, flour, spices, salt and bicarbonate of soda, cut the butter into small pieces and rub into the flour.  I do this in a food processor.  Add the egg and then the raisins and mix in.  I do this in a bowl by hand as the food processor would cut up the fruit.  Then add enough milk to make a dough that you can roll out like pastry.

Roll the dough out to a thickness of about 5 mm and cut in rounds using a glass or biscuit cutter.  Heat a cast-iron bakestone or frying pan, grease with butter and cook the Welsh cakes until they are lightly browned on both sides.

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You can serve them as they are, still hot from the maen or bakestone, or leave them to cool and dust them with sugar.  They can also be spread with salty Welsh butter…..although I can’t buy that here!  Although a thick frying pan will work just as well, I do like to get out this maen occasionally.  It’s a family heirloom which belonged to my great-grandmother.

Now I have to start peeling the vegetables for tomorrow’s cawl.