I walked up the steep little path from our kitchen garden this morning with a basket containing 7 large, ripe tomatoes, 2 green pimientos and 14 deliciously sweet wild figs (higos). I spent 2 hours gathering and breaking up dry wood for kindling, making small piles for different sizes. We will need every scrap when teh cold evenings set in, and getting it up to the house will be a chore, but poco a poco we will manage it. Anything smaller than my little finger can stay on the land as mulch, but the rest will go for firewood.
Yesterday I made a blackberry, mulberry and almond cake. Pretty good, though I am sure it can be improved on. Here´s the recipe for a decent-sized cake:
225 g fruit; 140g softened, unsalted butter, diced; 140g ground almonds; 140g self-raising flour; 140g soft brown sugar (or caster); 1 egg; 2 tbs milk; 2 tsp vanilla extract; 2 tsp ground ginger; 1 pinch salt; icing sugar to dust, optional cream.
1. Wash and dry fruit; sprinkle with a little extra sugar, about 1 tbs.
2. Butter, flour & line an 8 or 9 inch cake tin.
3. Beat together in teh following order: butter, sugar, almonds, egg, cinnamon & vanilla. Fold in the sifted flour together with a pinch of salt. Add the milk as you fold in the flour, to get a soft mixture.
4. Spread 1/2 mixture into the tin and level off. Cover with the fruit, pressing it lightly into the mix. Cover with the remaining mix and level off.
5. Bake in centre of a pre-heated oven at 180C or 350F for about an hour. Check at 45 minutes and if browing too fast, cover loosely with foil. Test with a sharp knife at 1 hour.
6. Remove from oven and leave to cool thoroughly.
7. Once it is well-cooled, turn the cake out onto a plate or rack and sprinkle lightly with the sifted icing sugar.
8. Serve with cream if you want to be indulgent (like me) and if it´s 11am, a cup of coffee might be nice. Or Earl Grey tea.
Last word today - if you´re in Pitres on Sat 4th, there´s some singing and poetry in the ayuntamiento at 21.00 hrs. But much nicer will be the practice session on Thurs at 21.00 hrs in the Atalbeitar plaza. Just head out of Pitres towards Trevelez and it´s signed on the right, 2 k down the hill. Park outside the village and walk into the square. A fountain, a bar, a tree, some music. What more could you want?