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Journey To A Dream

In May 2002 my wife and I journeyed from Huddersfield in England's industrial north to rural Galicia. Join us on our journey and immerse your senses in the sights, sounds, and tastes of this remote and little known region of Spain.

The Some-day Supplement - issue 7
27 September 2017 @ 16:50



Note from the editor – This weeks Some-day Supplement is proud to bring you an interview with George Mahood, the funniest indie author in the world - probably. For those with a sweet tooth, this week’s Canabal Cuisine features the most indulgent torte you will ever taste and our travel feature brings you a hidden gem in the heart of the Galician countryside. But first …
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Canabal Cuisine presents - Chocoholic’s Torte

Ingredients

 200gms plain chocolate
100gms caster sugar
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons brandy
570ml double cream

Method

  • Line a 20cm loose-bottomed or spring-form tin with cling film. If you don’t have one, why not use a cake tin.​
  • Break the chocolate into pieces and drop into a food processor. Blend for one minute or until just a few pieces remain in the otherwise powdery chocolate (you can grate the chocolate by hand if you wish).
  • Put the sugar in a small pan with 90ml of water. Heat gently over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Stir occasionally. Turn up the heat and boil briskly for 3-4 minutes or until it becomes a thin syrup.
  • Set the food processor running and add the hot sugar syrup through the funnel into the chocolate so that it melts and becomes liquid. Add the egg yolks and process for a few seconds before adding the brandy. If you are not using a food processor beat all the ingredients together.
  • In a separate bowl beat the cream to a soft floppy consistency, then fold in the chocolate mixture.
  • Spread the mixture into the prepared tin, level the top with the back of a spoon.
  • Cover with cling film and transfer to the freezer for a minimum of four hours.

To serve, remove from the freezer, release from the tin and transfer to a plate.
Allow to soften. You can decorate with icing sugar and sliced strawberries.
Serve with a little single cream.
 
This really is a very easy, rich dessert that can be made ahead of time.

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TRAVEL
 
Chantada – A hidden gem waiting to be discovered

Chantada is an unassuming town in the heart of Galicia in the northwest corner of Spain. It lies along the Camino de Invierno (winter route) of the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James), the pilgrimage route ending in the city of Santiago de Compostela.
 
Over the last fifteen years, Chantada has undergone a transformation. Buildings of architectural significance have been restored, public spaces refreshed and a sweeping footpath created along the banks of the river Asma.

The old part of the town is characterised by cobbled streets lined with medieval porticos that merge on a small square. From here, a labyrinth of narrow alleyways criss-cross the town centre. Hiding within this maze of lanes and shaded passages are a host of cafes, bars and interesting shops. On warm summer evenings roadside cafés spill out onto the streets and locals gather to enjoy raucous conversation over a glass or two of local wine, inky-red Mencia or lively Godello white.

Unlike many Spanish towns, the meeting between the old town and the new is not an architectural collision but a smooth transition. If you arrive early enough, you’ll come across shops selling a vast range of fresh fish, landed in the morning at the port of Vigo and on the plate by lunchtime.
 
Dining in Galicia is as much about opinion as taste, and in my opinion Resturante Centro has one of the best Menu del Dia’s in the town. A hearty, three course lunch including a bottle of the best house white in the area, it costs a miserly nine euros. On our visit I chose Merluza a la Romana for my main course, a succulent fillet of lightly battered hake served with chips and salad.

After lunch, we stretched our legs and followed the road out of town until we reached a bridge across the Rio Asma. At the far side of the bridge a pathway leads down to a footpath at the river’s edge. We followed the course of the river with Chantada on your left and Galicia’s lush green meadows on the right.

Before long a modern suspension bridge slices dramatically across the river. This stunning piece of architecture fits comfortably into its ancient surroundings. A few hundred metres further and we were back where we’d started.
 
The next time you’re passing through the area why not stop for lunch in this hidden gem?

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Author Interview - George Mahood

Melanie and I have lived together for thirty-one years. In that time she’s read upwards of 30,000 books. Out of all those books only one made her laugh uncontrollably out loud. That’s how funny George Mahood’s writing is. So, who is this master of comedy?
 
George Mahood is an award-winning writer. Specifically, he was placed third in the Little Brington Village Fete's limerick competition (Under 11s category) in 1988.
 
He studied Communication Studies and English Literature at Leeds University. After spending a year travelling in the USA, he worked for several years in a variety of jobs including charity fund-raising and garlic bread making. He’s been the lead singer and guitarist of a rubbish band and the chairman and midfielder of an awful Sunday-league football team.

Author of the bestselling ‘Free Country’, George’s latest release, ‘Not Tonight Josephine’ tells the story of two Brits, George and Mark, who set off from New York City to explore the back roads of America.
 
In this calamity-ridden travel tale, George sets out in true clichéd fashion to discover the real America. Throw in plenty of run-ins with the police, rapidly dwindling finances and Josephine – the worst car in the world - and you have all the ingredients for a classic American road trip. Will George and Mark make it all the way to California?
And then there is Rachel, George’s girlfriend, left back in England. Would travelling to the United States without her turn out to be the stupidest decision he had ever made?
 
To find out more about George and his writing, click the following links:

www.facebook.com/georgemahood
www.twitter.com/georgemahood

 
Question time – our roving reporter asked George ten challenging questions.
 
1.    If a movie was made of your life, who would play you and why?
 
I would cast an obscure unknown actor to play an obscure unknown author. My stories all involve tales of an everyday guy, and they wouldn’t be suited to the glitz and glamour of a Hollywood actor.
 
2.    If you won a million pounds/dollar/euros etc, what would you buy?
 
I would spend it on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I would just squander (credit to George Best for that one). I would buy a modest house and then use the rest to set up some sort of community project/charity that I could devote time to when I wasn’t writing.
 
3.    What is your least favourite thing about humanity?
 
All forms of hatred. And those all-in-one hand drier, water and soap dispenser things that you get in some toilets. 
 
4.    If you were 80 years old and had children, what’s the most important experience you could pass on to them?
 
Don’t be prepared to work hard in a job you don’t want, to pay for stuff you don’t need.
 
5.    You’re a new addition to my spice rack, what are you and why?
 
A magical jar of undo powder. It undoes the taste of the previous spice you added, for those instances when you put in too much of something or the wrong thing entirely.
 
6.    In less than 50 words, how does the internet work?
 
Pedants sit behind computers all over the world, dishing out criticism to others. For example, suggesting that this question should read ‘fewer than 50 words’, not ‘less’. 😉
 
7.    How can you tell if someone is a nerd?
 
They can tell you in less (or fewer) than 50 words how the internet works.
 
8.    If you could add one word to the dictionary, what would it be and what would it mean?
 
Lob-a-lot. It’s a meal my mum used to cook all the time when I was growing up. It involved her lobbing a lot of whatever was left in the fridge into a pot and transforming it into something edible (with the help of the spice rack). I now regularly cook lob-a-lot for my family. If only I had the undo powder.
 
9.    What undiscovered technology will transform the future?
 
An all-in-one contraption that dispenses soap, water and then dries your hands. Wait…
 
10. What is the one thing you own you wish you didn’t?
 
A dominant procrastination gene. Better get back to work! Thanks for this. It has been fun.
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And finally - #normalwisdom

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This edition of the Canabal Chronicle, Some-day Supplement was brought to you by Craig Briggs, (with a little help from his wife Melanie) author of The Journey series of books.

 



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