I finished yesterday the second book of the Foundation series. It was a short book but quite engaging. I am really impress how Asimov can create so different characters in the book. And really nice twist in the story line. Looking forwards for the next one.
This is not another cooking recipe. This is a book a finished this week. Initially I was a bit worried that it was going to be a pain. As usual, I dont remember where I got the recommendation for the book. But after starting reading it, I didnt regret it. It hit me. The concept of feeding your demons it based on the teachings of Machig Labdron. She was a Buddhist master that developed a new way of meditation. She faces problems with a different approach, instead of fighting them (very western style) tries to connect, understand, nurture and merge with them.
I remember while doing my headspace meditation some time ago, one week exercise was to focus in somebody you hated and wish then the best. It was hard but I felt at peace after that. This is the “Chod” method in a very simple way. I liked the example of Hercules fighting the Hydra. Whenever he cut a head, another grew and there was an immortal head. So that’s how we normally deal with our problems (internal or external) fighting them, trying to defeat them. But unfortunately, our mental/philosophical/live issues always come back alive like the hydra. So we need a different approach.
The book give you plenty of examples where you can use the Chod method. And explain the different types of demons, finishing with the main one, the ego. At the end of the day, that’s the source of all our problems. And this is something that reminds me too to Stoicism.
From my point of view, my main demon is relationships/feelings. My excuse is I dont want to lose my autonomy/independency. I dont want to get hurt. I dont want to show my weakness. It is fear to be loved and love.
It is something I still need to work on, not fight.
I take this as a new and important skill in my mental toolbox. And I need to practice it. Theory is not enough.
Once a month I buy two big containers of olives: blacks (small) and greens (big). Just with stone. I found them with much more flavor that anything you buy without stone. It is like sunflower seeds… the ones you have to peel feel tastier!
Yesterday I noticed the green olives were getting moulds…. They were not the typical ones I buy, they had some kind of cut sideways… that makes the meat to be in contact with the air… and get spoiled much faster…. The black olives were fine. So I decided to clean the olives, remove the stones, put them in a container with water and next day cook something with them.
So I remember some kind of paste you could do with olives and that is tapenade. So I found this super quick recipe and gave it a go.
- 300gr olives without stone
- 1/2 lemon juice (or less)
- 1/2 glass olive oil ( or less)
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- bunch of fresh basil leaves
- 4-5 slices of sundried tomatoes.
- In a blender, add all ingredients and blitz for a couple of seconds and give it a test. more lemon? more olive oil?
- Transfer to a clean crystal jar and keep in the fridge.
In my case, I made a mistake of putting too much lemon (full lemon juice) and I had to add more olive oil and olives to compensate. Will learn for the next time. I hope It last for a bit in the fridge. It will be very nice with a toast…
I am allergic to fish. But I love tuna… if comes from a can. When I was in Madrid, I tried homemade marinade tuna a.k.a “atun en escabeche”. It was amazing. So I decided to try myself (and hope to not end in a hospital like when I was a kid)
So searching I decided to try this recipe. I was planning to make a big batch like in the video but when I managed to find a fishmonger with fresh tuna… I was amazed how expensive it was. I only could get the leftovers, a 600gr slice, already cleaned. That gave me at the end for one 600ml jar (plus a small one for the confited onions)
- 600gr fresh tuna, cleaned.
- 2 onios sliced
- 2 glasses of mild olive oil
- 1 glass of vinegar
- 2 cloves
- 3 bay leaves
- 5gr salt
- several cloves of garlic
- In a high pan, put the sliced onions in the bottom, then garlic, bay leaves, cloves, pepper.
- Then add the tuna and salt on top of it. Then add the olive oil and vinegar
- Heat the pan until boil. Then lower to mid heat and leave it for 20 minutes.
- Let it cool down. Then take the tuna out and leave in another tray.
- Filter the liquid and keep the onions. We will add it into another jar.
- In a crystal jar (that has been previously cleaned with boiling water) put the tuna. Try to fill it as much as you can. Leaving as few air pockets as possible.
- Then add the liquid you filtered before. Fill the jar till the top.
- Add the onions to another jar and add the liquid to the top.
- Let the jars open, and leave it overnight.
- Next day, close the jar with their lids.
- Put the jars (vertical if you can) in a high pan. Fill with water, hopefully water will be one finger than the jars, if not, you will have to be sure the jars are properly closed and then put in horizontal.
- Boil the water, then let it simmer at mid heat for 1h 30m or so. This is the critical step to allow the tuna last for months.
- Let the jars to cold down in the water.
- Label the jars with a label with the date of preparation. You can eat the tuna in three months!!
So I will have to wait for a bit until I try it. So very likely I will make another batch next month.
I dont really like Christmas but the few things I enjoy it is the typical sweets like turrón. It is something I wanted to try for some time so watching a video I decided to try one of them, turrón blando, based on this video.
The thing I like from turron, it is a simple recipe and super tasty. It is very common for Christmas but I have seen posh version of turrón that I think kill the idea of it.
- 300gr ground almonds
- 200gr honey
- 100gr sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 lemon zest
- In a frying pan, heat up the honey and sugar.
- whisk the egg white to stiff peaks
- Add the lemon zest the sugar/honey mix.
- Once the honey mix is boiling, remove from the heat and add the egg whites bit a bit. Mix until no lumps. Do this at low heat. The more time you spend mixing with heat, the harder will get the turron.
- Then add the cinnamon and the almonds bit a bit until all combined.
- Add the mix to a container and let it cool down at room temperature.
To be honest, the result from the first video looked more like the real thing. My result is still tasty but looks more like a fudge that the typical turrón blando. So I will try the first video recipe next time.
But the thing that most surprised from the video I followed is, it has been the easiest time I had done stiff peaks with egg whites. By hand. Normally, it is hard work, I got tired and sweaty but I was surprised how easy he did it in the video. I follow the same process. Egg at room temperature, use a crystal bowl (plus a bit of salt) and then use the whisker left to right. No circles. I was shocked how fast it was.
And as well, I have never done mazapán, but it is something I want to try at some point too. It looks even easier than turrón.
When I was a kid, around this time of the year (December), I used to go with my mother to the bakery (horno) of her hometown to make magdalenas and biscuits that we brought back to Madrid.
I have tried to make magdalenas at home several times but never got near the ones from my hometown. So this year, I added into my to-do list “go back to the bakery and see the process again”.
And finally, I decided to contact a fried who his mother used to manage the bakery and he told me that it was fine, I could go! So I was super happy!.
So it was very nice to go back, I had flash backs getting my hands dirty and doing something naughty as a kid… And the smell…. oh god, unique!
It was impressive, the process was the same, the same ingredients. And the same core people working there after 30y.
Women were the master bakers. At least two generations working there. And housewives. And it is a hard job. You have to wake up very early, bread making starts at 4am… But I think it is a joyful job. Or it is just me being romantic/naive.
The typical sweets from my hometown are magdalenas, galletas, rosquillos, tortas, calandrajos, mantecados, etc. All ingredients are simple, nothing fancy. The taste is amazing.
I made some notes about the different sweets and tried not to annoy the people working there. At the end I gave a hand packing the sweets and I liked it.
As well, I could taste the sweets… warm… after being baked…. no words…
So I left the bakery very happy. It was totally worth it, the trip, wake up early, etc. And decided to give it another go to the magdalenas and other sweets.
I dont have the recipes from the bakery, as I didnt feel comfortable asking. Sweets and girls, some thing 😛
I hope my friend’s cousin who runs the bakery gives me some guidelines.
So for the magdalenas.
Ingredients for 16 magdalenas aprox:
- 3 eggs
- 190g sugar
- 125ml whole milk (you could use orange juice too)
- 125 ml virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon zest
- 200gr (cake) flour
- 7gr bicarbonate of soda
- Pre-heat oven at 175C
- Mix eggs and sugar very well with a whisk. You want to introduce air bubbles! (I used a hand blender with a whisk attachment)
- Add milk, olive oil and lemon zest. Keep mixing.
- Add bicarbonate, shifted. Keep mixing.
- Add flour, shifted.
- Be sure everything is mixed. Leave it rest 10-15 minutes.
- In the main time, pre-heat the oven at 220C
- Fill the magdalenas cups in a baking tray.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until golden on top.
- Spray some water in the oven to create steam
- Let it cool down.
In summary the process is not difficult. But, again, I dont have similar results.
And this is the real deal 🙂
So obviously, still far from the good ones.
Things I think I need to change:
- Cake flour?
- Tartaric acid and soda like this.
- The good ones look like a bit more “oily” than mine. Add a bit more oil?
- No idea how to make them raise as the good ones
They taste good though.
I will try again!
BTW, these are tortas! I must try them too!
When I visit Madrid, I try to buy fried almonds as it reminds me of a common “tapa” you had many years ago in most bars in Spain. Nowadays, it is kind of a luxury.
So checking a book of Spanish tapas at home, I found a recipe for salty almonds. I noticed they are not fried… but still went ahead.
- 300g of whole almonds (with or without skin)
- 100ml water
- 1 tsp of sea salt
- Grill for 5-10 minutes the almonds in the oven. Just be sure they got toasted a bit.
- Heat up a frying pan, add the almonds. Toast just a bit.
- Add the salt to the water and mix.
- Add the salty water to the hot frying pan. Keep stirring. The water should evaporate quickly and leave a salty coating in the almonds.
- Once the pan is dried. Remove from the heat. Leave the almonds to cool down and store in a jar. Enjoy!
For next batch, I need to find the recipe of fried almonds (that are salty too)
One of the things I had in my to-learn list after rebuilding my laptop was how to scrollback using the tty console (Ctr+F1, etc). I searched and this gave some hope. I tried to see how to do it in Debian as the steps mentioned looked like for Fedora only. This new link looked promising but no joy.
But as workaround, you can use “tmux” when in the tty and use its scrollback option. tmux is a tool that I would like to learn 🙁 I normally use “terminator”. Although I can use both…
How to scrollback in tmux? Here. So “ctrl+b” then [. Then you can use Fn+PgUp in my case to go up one page. It
A bit of history about Linux console scrollback.