Sunday, December 21, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

We´re moving!


V did it!  He´ll be working remotely from the house in Galicia, starting in the new year.  Internet service has been installed and we should have phone service in January. 

Posting will be infrequent over the holidays while we DIY the move.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Tudor Monastery Farm



The latest offering from the intrepid BBC Team of  Peter Ginn and Tom Pinfold, and historian Ruth Goodman.

All seven episodes are on Youtube, including the Christmas Feast.

Part I



And Part II



ETA - Oops - the team is now in Secrets Of The Castle on BBC.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Small Business Saturday





I am not a shopper.  And I am appalled that the American fetish for mindless consumption has been imported over here.   But if you have a long Christmas list, consider patronizing your local crafts and businesses.  It´s more important than ever that money circulate in our neighborhoods and towns.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Talabarte Trio



Part 2 here.

Yippee - I finally found a band to look for!  I always wondered why live music wasn´t more available in Galician bars like in Scotland or Ireland or Chicago, for that matter, but I think these guys out of Santiago may be ones to look for.

Talabarte is a trio formed by Pedro Pascual, Quim Farinha, and Kin García.  They play a delightful acoustic mixture of Galician traditional, celtic, gypsy, folk and jazz.

From a review of their eponymous CD on Rootsworld:

The thing that struck me first about this trio from Galicia in northwest Spain is how big they sound. The CD cover shows three musicians, and I kept looking in the credits to see who else joined them. But there is no one else. Accordion, fiddle, and double bass are all they need to put forth a full sound.

Most of these songs are traditional, but there are a handful of originals in the mix as well. Maybe someone steeped in Galician traditional music could tell these apart, but to my ears the styles of the traditional and original tunes match perfectly. And I definitely sense a Talabartan quality in the way the trio arranges melodies, counter-melodies, harmony lines, and accompaniment, splitting these over the three instrumental voices, making the variations interesting in song after song.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

House update


Sorry for the lapse in posting.  There are times when there doesn´t seem to be anything interesting to write.

We just got back from the house.  We have the electrical service connected - woot!  Got to see some family and hang wth V´s brother and did some little jobs around the house.



After the warmest October on record, it rained the entire week, so any plans for working on the garden were abandoned.  The cardboard intended to suppress the nettles was a complete failure.  I´ll have to find a source of mulch to go over it if there´s any lasagna bed building to be done.



Instead, V finished painting the remaining walls.  I sealed a few more windows, and swept and mopped the floors again.  I´m afraid we´re going to have to come up with a better cleanser than vinagre and water and then use some kind of finish.  They turn a lovely honey color when mopped, but a quick swipe with a damp cloth shows a coating of dust that doesn´t come up easily.



We had two m2 of ¨dry¨ oak firewood delivered and stacked it the first night, then lived with the wood stove and cooker for a week.  It will be a while before we´re capable of starting a smokeless, fast fire.  But, the radiators warmed and the hot water flowed.  And I managed to cook a couple of guisos/stews.  The firebox of the cooker is so big, it´s a challenge getting, and then keeping, up a temperature over 120 C (250F).  There will be a steep learning curve if I ever have to bake something.  There also seemed to be a ton of ashes.  Don´t know what we´re going to do with them all.



Now, all the clothing we brought back smells like chorizo.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Apple Cider

I was pleased to try this organic cider when we were at the house.  In the past, most of the cider apple harvest in Galicia went straight to sidrerías in Asturias or Pais Vasco, but recently, the prices weren´t enough to cover the transportation costs.  So someone had the bright idea of reviving the cider industry in Galicia. We tried the organic, sweet ¨Natural¨, and thought it was delicious.  Light, refreshing, slightly sweet and notably apple-y.  Just the thing for a warm summer evening.

Enter Maeloc.  A subsidiery of the folks that bring us Estrella Galicia beer (Hijos de Rivera), they make both sweet and dry apple ciders, along with perry (!) blackberry and strawberry.  Maeloc is one of the businesses featured in the initiative Mercado de la Cosecha, sponsored by Hijos de Rivera, R and Gadis, dedicated to fostering sustainable rural development projects in Galicia.

ETA - I just found a blog dedicated to Galician cider (in gallego)  Sidra Gallega



Can´t wait to try making some on my own.  We´ll need to try to revive the old, very tired and neglected apples on the property and plant some more.  The neighbors also had apples that had seen better days.

I´m intrigued by the whizbang design for a press. No sense not using a garbage disposal and a hydraulic automotive jack when they´re so widely available.