Living in Spain and bringing up a Spanglish family during the current 'crisis' and trying various ways to make some 'dinero'. Enjoying life in the sun, crafting and blogging as much as possible.

31 Mar 2012

The Baking Co-operative - Hot Cross Buns

It is that time of the year again and Mum is trying to keep up with all our 'hot cross bun' orders.  The dough has been rising great outside in the Andalucian sunshine!

(Mum just finishing them off with their glaze)



What is a hot cross bun? (from Wikipedia)


A hot cross bun, or cross-bun, is a sweet, yeast-leavened, spiced bun made with currants or raisins, often with candied citrus fruits, marked with a cross on the top. The cross can be made in a variety of ways including: of pastry; flour and water mixture; rice paper; icing; two intersecting cuts. They are traditionally eaten on Good Friday but in the UK they are now sold all year round.



History

In many historically Christian countries, buns are traditionally eaten hot or toasted on Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of the Crucifixion. They are believed by some to pre-date Christianity, although the first recorded use of the term "hot cross bun" was not until 1733; it is believed that buns marked with a cross were eaten by Saxons in honour of the goddess Eostre (the cross is thought to have symbolised the four quarters of the moon); "Eostre" is probably the origin of the name "Easter".Others claim that the Greeks marked cakes with a cross, much earlier.
According to cookery writer Elizabeth David, Protestant English monarchs saw the buns as a dangerous hold-over of Catholic belief in England, being baked from the dough used in making the communion wafer. Protestant England attempted to ban the sale of the buns by bakers but they were too popular, and instead Elizabeth I passed a law permitting bakeries to sell them, but only at Easter and Christmas.


Superstitions

English folklore includes many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or become mouldy during the subsequent year. Another encourages keeping such a bun for medicinal purposes. A piece of it given to someone who is ill is said to help them recover.
Sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if "Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be" is said at the time. Because of the cross on the buns, some say they should be kissed before being eaten. If taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns are said to protect against shipwreck. If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly. The hanging bun is replaced each year


Recipe (from taste.com.au)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 2 x 7g sachets dried yeast
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups currants
  • 40g butter
  • 300ml milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Flour paste

  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons water
  • Glaze

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar


Method

  1. Combine flour, yeast, sugar, mixed spice, salt and currants in a large bowl. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add milk. Heat for 1 minute, or until lukewarm. Add warm milk mixture and eggs to currant mixture. Use a flat-bladed knife to mix until dough almost comes together. Use clean hands to finish mixing to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth. Place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until dough doubles in size.
  3. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Punch dough down to its original size. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 12 even portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Place balls onto lined tray, about 1cm apart. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes, or until buns double in size. Preheat oven to 190°C.
  4. Make flour paste: Mix flour and water together in a small bowl until smooth, adding a little more water if paste is too thick. Spoon into a small snap-lock bag. Snip off 1 corner of bag. Pipe flour paste over tops of buns to form crosses. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until buns are cooked through.
  5. Make glaze: Place water and sugar into a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Brush warm glaze over warm hot cross buns. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 Notes

  • These buns are best eaten on the day they are made. Otherwise, freeze for up to 7 days. To defrost in microwave, place 1 hot cross bun onto a sheet of paper towel. Heat, uncovered, for 45 to 50 seconds on MEDIUM-LOW (DEFROST) (30%) power. Stand for 1 minute.

 Hot cross buns

30 Mar 2012

Vinny Loves Violet Handmade Bear Keepsakes

One thing about my blog is it isn't just to promote my own crafts. When I come across something that I feel is a brilliant idea I want to be able to share it with everyone. Well her is one fabulous idea - my sister sent me the link the other day and I can't wait to dig out some old baby grows and get them to make me one (my sewing skills, and patience means that I won't be making one myself!)


Concept

All us mummy's have a stash of baby bits that are too precious to throw away. What we want to do is turn those memories into a beautiful bear that you can keep forever and pass onto your child.We hope you like what you see and feel free to pass on our info to anyone you think would appreciate what we do!

All you need to do is provide 3-4 baby gro's or similar sized pieces of clothing and we will ...do the rest. If your baby clothes are tiny baby size we would need 4 but anything bigger 3 should be fine.
Bears cost £27.00 + £3.50pp for a bear with plain feet and £30.00 + £3.50p&p for a bear with Name and DOB on the feet. Full price list can be seen in the notes section on the left of the page.

The bears are all handmade and stuffed with love using safe, hygienic, 100% Hi-loft polyester.




How to order
If you would like to order a bear:
Post your baby grows along with a note to give details of your childs name and DOB and the address we need to return your bear to. Also let us know if one grow is more important than the rest. That way we will know to use that one as any left over we will return to you. Include your payment, at the moment chq's are best for us (just till we set up our business account and paypal) however, if you can't pay by chq we can arrange a paypal payment. Chq's payable to vinny loves violet.

If you have any further questions ask away, we are always happy to help! Email is the most reliable method of contacting us. vinnylovesviolet@gmail.com


Click here to join their facebook page


DISCLAIMER:Please be aware that these bears are no intended to be used as toys, they are a keepsake and due to the presence of small parts not to be used by children under Age 14yrs. Vinny loves Violet does not accept any liability for the misuse of our products.

28 Mar 2012

The Baking Co-operative - Scotch Eggs

I have just been enjoying one of our latest requests 'Scotch Eggs' (made with free range eggs from our chickens)

Made by Sally @ The Baking Co-operative


ABOUT (by Wikipedia)

Origin
The London department store Fortnum & Mason claims to have invented Scotch eggs in 1738, but they may have been inspired by the Moghul dish nargisi kofta ("Narcissus meatballs").
The earliest printed recipe is the 1809 edition of Mrs. Rundell's A New System of Domestic Cookery. Mrs. Rundell - and later 19th-century authors - served them hot, with gravy.

Serving
Scotch eggs are usually a picnic food and home-made. In the UK, pre-packed, plastic-wrapped Scotch eggs are commonly available in supermarkets, convenience stores and motorway service stations.
Miniature versions of Scotch eggs are also widely available in British supermarkets, and are sold under the name 'savoury eggs', 'picnic eggs', 'party eggs', 'snack eggs' or similar. These contain chopped egg or a quail's egg, rather than a whole chicken egg, and sometimes contain mayonnaise or chopped bacon.
In the United States, many "British-style" pubs and eateries serve fresh-made Scotch eggs. These are usually served hot, with dipping sauces such as ranch dressing, hot sauce, or hot mustard sauce. At the Minnesota State Fair, true to fair tradition, Scotch eggs are served on a stick.
In West Africa, some fast-food restaurants offer Scotch eggs alongside their other menu items. In Nigeria, Tantalizers and Mr. Biggs both prominently feature Scotch eggs.
In the Netherlands and Belgium, Scotch eggs may also be called vogelnestje 'little bird's nest' because they contain an egg.

Variations and similar foodstuffs
Several local variations exist, such as the "Manchester egg" which uses a pickled egg wrapped in a mixture of pork meat and Lancashire black pudding, and the Worcester Egg, where the egg is first pickled in Worcestershire Sauce and then clad in a mixture of local sausagemeat and white pudding.
In the Netherlands a similar snack item called an eierbal is served hot at greasy spoon ("snackbar") type establishments, mostly in the Northern and Eastern Netherlands.

RECIPE (from BBC Good Food)

Scotch eggs
Homemade Scotch eggs are a world away from shop bought versions. They're worth the effort for a special picnic treat.

Ingredients

  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 275g/10oz sausage meat
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 spring onion, very finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 125g/4oz plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • 125g/4oz breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying

Preparation method

  1. Place the eggs, still in their shells, in a pan of cold salted water.
  2. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for exactly nine minutes.
  3. Drain and cool the eggs under cold running water, then peel.
  4. Mix the sausage meat with the thyme, parsley and spring onion in a bowl and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper (be generous with the freshly ground black pepper).
  5. Divide the sausage meat mixture into four and flatten each out on a clean surface into ovals about 12.5cm/5in long and 7.5cm/3in at its widest point.
  6. Place the seasoned flour onto a plate, then dredge each boiled egg in the flour.
  7. Place each onto a sausage meat oval, then wrap the sausage meat around each egg. Make sure the coating is smooth and completely covers each egg.
  8. Dip each sausage meat-coated egg in the beaten egg, rolling to coat completely, then dip and roll into the breadcrumbs to completely cover.
  9. Heat the oil in a deep heavy-bottomed pan, until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)
  10. Carefully place each scotch egg into the hot oil and deep-fry for 8-10 minutes, until golden and crisp and the sausage meat is completely cooked.
  11. Carefully remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  12. Serve cool.


27 Mar 2012

Easter - Semana Santa

Spain is especially renowned for its Holy Week traditions or Semana Santa. Holy Week, the last week of Lent, which is the week immediately before Easter, sees its most glamorous celebrations in the region of Andalucia, particularly in Seville, while those of Castile see the more sombre and solemn events, typified by Semana Santa at Zamora.This is a religious holiday.


A common feature in Spain is the almost general usage of the nazareno or penitential robe for some of the participants in the processions. This garment consists in a tunic, a hood with conical tip (capirote) used to conceal the face of the wearer, and sometimes a cloak. The exact colors and forms of these robes depend on the particular procession. The robes were widely used in the medieval period for penitents, who could demonstrate their penance while still masking their identity. These nazarenos carry processional candles or rough-hewn wooden crosses, may walk the city streets barefoot, and, in some places may carry shackles and chains on their feet as penance. In some areas, sections of the participants wear dress freely inspired by the uniforms of the Roman Legion.

In LORCA (the area we plan to move to)


Holy Week in Lorca is one of the most important demonstrations of celebration of Holy Week in Spain. Regardless of the existence of religious processions in the traditional way, are the Bible Parades Passionate dotting the Easter lorquina of a unique and different, with representations of the Old Testament or the Christian symbolism or with the participation of horses and chariots and floats of enormous dimensions.The embroidered silk are also a prominent feature of Lorca processions, marked by an extraordinary rivalry between two of its fraternities or steps, the Blue and White. the most important step is the Royal and Illustrious Confraternity of Our Lady of the Rosary (White Pass)is traditionally considered going back to the fifteenth century, although the oldest documents referring to the same date of 1599;and its owner is the virgin of bitterness known as the beautiful;which is carried on Good Friday in a golden throne carried by over 130 people,the White Pass has over 1.500 embroideries in silk and gold. the other step is Brotherhood of Farmers Lorca( blue pass)Holder is Our Lady of Sorrows,and also embroidered in silk and gold.

Article taken from Wikipedia

26 Mar 2012

Easter Cards Available Now

(my Spanish style Easter card! - showing the traditional costume worn during the Easter parades!)


Just to remind you all, with Easter coming up, of my offer for all greetings cards.......handmade, including a personalised insert and posted direct to the recipient for only

Spain: €2.25
Europe: €3.00
International: €3.50
(I had to alter the prices slightly as I got charged more at the post office that I was expecting - I had budgeted for 70 cents and it was €1.35 to post to Europe....plus then the postman didn't have any €1.35 stamps so charged me the closest he had which was €1.44......he would never get away with that in UK!!! and then with the paypal charge....sheesh!)

Alternatively if you live in the area my cards are for sale in the Tobac and Ferreteria in Castilléjar for €1.50

and I can always be contacted on dengradesigns@hotmail.com to make you a handmade card for any specific occasion.



El Camino de Don Harris

Written by Don Harris who is the founder of La Tienda online Spanish goodies to Europe and USA.  I have been reading and following this blog for years now. We are now in touch and he is currently considering a stay at Cueva Pedro for his trip over to Spain this year.

Your choice of Olives

Here is a little about him

I first experienced Spain when I stepped ashore as a young US Navy chaplain in 1965. Eight years later, My and wife Ruth and I raised our young family among the sherry bodegas of El Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz) while I was stationed at the Base Naval de Rota. As we enjoyed life with our three sons in a Spanish neighborhood, we grew to appreciate the personal dimension of Spanish life where children are cherished, and family ties are central. Although we have lived in many places since that time, we always found a common bond in our love of Spanish culture. Over the past forty-plus years, my family and I have covered just about every nook and cranny of Spain and met lots of people, enjoying many a meal with newly made Spanish friends. Now that our sons are grown and we are back home in Williamsburg, Virginia, we have carried that appreciation into the formation of Latienda.com, a family business started in 1996. Our goal is to share with our neighbors a taste of Spain – as well as her grace, warmth and traditions, which have brought so much to our lives as a family. We travel to Spain frequently, renewing friendships with those who provide us with their fine products, as well as finding new and interesting artisanal items. This blog is an extension of that mission, as I discuss some of the wonderful people, tastes and traditions that make Spain such a fascinating and appealing culture.
You can read a more in-depth post about my love affair with Spain here.

Fish Market


I pop all his blog postings on my own website so everyone can follow him - click here

24 Mar 2012

TopHatter FLOP!

Yesterday I took part in my first Tophatter auction. I was really excited and hoping I would get a bidding war going on but unfortunately I was totally deflated as it didn't even get a bid. There was some encouraging comments but unfortunately no bids. It is quite difficult to decide when to put my items in the auctions as I need to be online at the same time to answer questions etc!


This particular auction was 10am PT (6pm Spanish time!). When maybe this time was ideal for me.....was it ideal for an audience in America? won't most of them be at work and unable to bid? So now I am left with a dilema of what time to schedule my next 'lot' for! I haven't been put off by the fact my item didn't sell - it is early days for me and the site is new too.


I have just decided to have a go at the 'early bird auction' today - well it starts in 33mins!

Click here

It isn't one of my expensive pieces and I have started it at $1 in the hope it will sell because until I sell and increase my ratings on the site I can only list one item at a time (and it will be much better for me if I can have 4 or 5 items on at a time.)

I will keep notifying my blog readers, facebookers and tweeters when I have an item in the auction so you all know!

I won't, however, be getting as excited as I was last night! (Mum, Dad, hubby and me we all eagerly watching the computer waiting for my item........and after a 1 hour wait for my item's turn!.....it was all over in 2 minutes....no bids and a total anit climax!!!).......it can only get better hey!!!

No family day this weekend either!

No family day out again this weekend as my sister has the car today to take my Dad to the airport (he is going back to work in Uk - back here again at the end of June) and Tomorrow we are full with Sunday lunch bookings so no chance of picnic lunch anywhere.

We decided to take little monster with us on the food shop on Friday instead. Unfortunately he fell asleep in the car, just before we got to town, so he was the grumpiest little monster whilst we were in the supermarket!

We definitely decided we needed a drink before coming home! (food shopping is hard work!!! haha! but with a grumpy little monster it is even more hard work!).

So we stopped off in our favourite bar in Huescar (El Pedreño). We don't even have to tell him what we want anymore.......a beer and G&T almost on the counter before we even sit down (and it is a Bombay saphire gin too!)

It is our favourite bar as we always get tapas no matter what time of the day it is!!!

Bombay Saphire G&T with FREE tapas!

Ali and I had a walk down to the village market this morning to clear away the cobwebs (although it looked like rain so we didn't stay long)

23 Mar 2012

Crochet Friday!

Last Friday was my first sewing lesson! This Friday was my first crochet lesson. I can't believe how easy both are - not sure why I have never done either before now!


I'm really desperate to buy some wool now and get started (the above wool is some I picked up in the local shop). We covered the basics but that is all I really need for now (for what I want to be doing).

The lesson had to end at 1.30pm so I could go and pick the little monster up from nursery (I could have stayed all day, sat in the sunshine with lovely company and scenery).

I will have a little play over the weekend when the little monster is having a nap!

22 Mar 2012

The Baking Co-operative - About Us

At the beginning of the year a friend and I were having a coffee and moaning about lack of work in the area and how we are just about 'hanging on in there' when it comes to money and bills. My other half has been without work for the last three years so we rely a lot on my parents to 'bail us out' when things get tough (which at 36 I really shouldn't be doing!). 5 years ago, life was so different, there was plenty of work for builders (my other half) and I was really busy with internet sales. We had enough money to enjoy life rather than just 'exsiting'. But I always think that when things are low that the only way forward is to think of new ideas and ventures (and it is under this kind of pressure that I am at my best and most creative!)


Between us we were trying to think of ways we could make more money. Then the idea of 'The baking co-operative' was born.  My sister had already been making pies and pasties and other foods to order and doing quite well (with a couple of outside catering orders too). However my sister had also taken on a number of cleaning jobs to earn some pennies and was beginning to push the baking to the back of her 'to do' list. It was during that night I was thinking about combining all of our talents and making a list of what we all could make and sell.

 


So 'The baking co-operative' consists of myself and my friend (Kirsten), my Mum, my sister and Kirssten's Mum.

We are now into issue 4 of the fortnightly baking list. We have almost 70 people on a mailing list and are doing really well with orders. Every fortnight we try to introduce new items a lot of these are requests from customers.

If you live locally and would like to be on our mailing list then please email me at dengradesigns@hotmail.com. We email the list out fortnightly and what makes us unique is we will deliver orders to your village. Currently we are delivering to Orce, Galera, El Margen, La Alqueria, Huescar, Castril, Fuente Vera, Cortijo del Cura, Castillejar, Los Olivos, Los Carriones, Puente Arriba, Freila, Bacor, Benamaurel and Baza (if we don't deliver to your village yet then just tell us where you are and we might be able to fit you in!)

21 Mar 2012

Gin and Tonic!

Most people who know me, know how much I enjoy a G&T - infact I have renamed 6pm 'gin o'clock'! There is nothing better in the summer than sitting in the evening sun, drinking a cold, refreshing gin and tonic.

A good friend once told me that the best Gin and Tonic is the third one!!! but after reading an article in a magazine today it seems that he might be wrong......there is an 'art' to making the perfect G&T and here it goes....

GIN TONIC IN 5 STEPS

  1. COOL DOWN - Move the ice in the glass to cool the glass down. Remove excess water.
  2. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RIGHT DOSES - Serve gin, maximun 7cl per bottle of tonic, always cold
  3. KEEP BUBBLES - Serve the tonic slowly, 'pour of the back of a stirring spoon (the tonic will not be served directly from the bottle to the glass)
  4. MIXING - Move the cocktail continuously 4 or 5 times, with the spoon up and down without hitting the glass at the base
  5. A SCENTED DETAIL - With the tongs, make a twist with a zest of a green lime on the rim of the cup. Serve with a slice of lemon
And how about this for a different way of serving a G&T (article from www.thekitchn.com)

081810_lizv_gin2.jpg

Cucumber-Rosemary Gin and Tonic
1 cucumber
1 lime
3 sprigs rosemary
2 oz. Hendrick’s Gin
4 oz. tonic water (preferably Q or Fever-Tree)
ice
Peel one half of a cucumber, and slice a lime into eight wedges. In a highball glass, add three slices of peeled cucumber, 1 sprig rosemary, juice from a lime wedge and 1 ounce gin. Muddle with the back of a spoon.
Strain through a mesh strainer into a second highball glass. Add several cubes of ice, and three slices of unpeeled cucumber. Top with remaining gin and tonic, and serve garnished with rosemary sprigs.

CHEERS........*raises glass*!!!

20 Mar 2012

SNOW!!!

Well take back all I have said about sitting outside in the sunshine this week and crafting........this morning I woke up to snow! yeah SNOW! we haven't had any rain for about 7 months and then this morning we get snow!

From this


To this

(Mum even managed to get part of it painted yesterday - in the sun!)


So the plan for today is to hibernate inside and get on with internet work (although we keep getting powercuts so might not be able to do much!)

19 Mar 2012

Tophatter.com - Amethyst and Silver Bracelet

WOW what a fabulous new online auction site. It has only been up and running for 3 months now but already seeing one of the largest growths of an online selling community in such a short space of time.  You register your 'lot' for inclusion in an auction and then you are given your slot. The screen shows numerous little 'avatars' of the eager buyers (your own avatar is highlighted as well as the highest bidder). There is a little aution master at the front of the crowd and the auction begins. It is quick and fast and there is a online chat for anyone wishing to ask questions about the current item for sale. You have to be fast as the counter is ticking and as soon as time is up then that is it!......your item is sold (hopefully) and hopefully you have made a nice little income.

I registered my first lot today (I have spent the last week, watching and observing, testing the water so to speak).  Anyway my first 'lot' is going up for auction on March 23rd 10am PT (which is 6pm Spain time). I am really excited - will let you know how it goes!!!

The starting bid is $9.00 so there is chance that someone is going to bag themselves a bargain as it is a 3rd of the RRP!!!

More details of further lots will be on here and announced on facebook and twitter.......don't miss out on a bargain! click here to follow this auction



Busy Week Ahead

My head is bursting with craft ideas and projects to start this week. I am totally inspired by my new collection of beads - what am I going to do with these???



I feel these will be used in many sewing projects, my ceramics and jewellery making - I am so excited to get out in the sun and be creative.

Friday last week, I had my first sewing lesson and I am now the proud owner of a Singer sewing machine (and I actually know how to use it!!!). The material and cottons are already calling. Maybe my first project is going to be covering my market stall - I want to make it look perfect for the medieval markets so maybe a medieval look but with a Dengra Designs twist!

Now I have my sewing machine, a fabulous selection of fabrics, embroidery skills and fabric paints I am ready to start the upcycling of a mountain of jeans, tee's, baby grows and shoes that I have been collecting for such projects.

This is one of the fat quarters I have brought from Dena Designs


Tomorrow is my ceramics class. I am in the middle of making a serviette holder in the shape of a peacock! which has just reminded me I better print out a picture of a peacock so I can get the paint colouring right!

Weds I am collecting a mountain of pie tins ready for next weeks mamoth bake! (the 'baking co-operative' has really taken off)

Thurs I have the morning to myself to indulge in any crafts I want. I am hoping the day might be sunny as I want to get up onto the roof terrace and plan my mosaic picture I am starting up there. There is a large wall there that needs something on it. Last year Mum painted a vase of flowers on it but it has won off now due to the weather. As I am making it for Mum and I have decided I want it to be in a theme she would like - so I have chosen 'Greece' and I am hoping to recreate a view of the sea from out of a window (on a Greek island somewhere!). This is going to be a BIG project to get my teeth into.

Friday morning is my first crochet lesson! I am really excited about this! I have picked up some gorgeous rainbow wool and looking forward to being a 'newbie hooker'

What a busy week!........bring it on

18 Mar 2012

Baja Andalucia

Part of the Baja Andalucia all terrain race crossed over the back of our village today. Ali and I went to watch (as he is obsessed with cars!). I was slightly worried when we climed up the hill to watch that we were the only ones on our side of the road! I shouted to the other group 'have I got the wrong hill?' and was then told that we would be getting all the dust! But luckily the wind seemed to change direction and we were the lucky ones!!!! he he!

Ali happily shrieked evertime the cars passed and then shouted 'mas, mas, mas' when he wanted another one to pass by.....




No Family Day Out

Although we had planned to have a family day out every Saturday, things didn't go according to plan this weekend. Mum and Dad have gone to Seville on a trip and they are there for the weekend. Just before Dad left he asked Ramon if he could render the car port he built last week. Ramon was planning to do half on Saturday and then go out for the day and finish it on Sunday but as the weather was slightly cooler today he made the most of it and did it all.



Ali wasnt too bothered as he got to play in the sand pit and pretend to help pápá!

Here is the finished work now ready for painting and the cover being put on (all this Dad plans to do this coming week!)

12 Mar 2012

The Dogs Doodahs?, Funky Pigeon?, Moonpig?, Dengra Designs

Well after watching another advert for greetings cards posted direct to the recipient it got me thinking that maybe I should be offering this service too!

I was approached by a friend yesterday who wanted me to save her the hassle of having to source an appropriate card for Mother's day and she wondered if I would personalise the insert with her poem and send direct to her mum. Of course I said 'yes' and then realised there could be a little business opportunity out here offering this service to all us 'ex-pats' that send cards back home (well anywhere really!).  Not only are my cards handmade with love and care they are also personalised inside with any message or verse you want.

(I sat outside in the sun and made these Mother's day cards - all ready to be shipped to their new homes)


I make and sell cards for every occasion and I have 2 Spanish shops in the village selling them for me.

All my cards are one standard price (including personalising, postage and packaging)

Spain: €2.25
Europe: €3.00
International: €3.50



I accept paypal and my email address to send payment to is dengradesigns@hotmail.com If you give me an idea of a design theme, message to put inside and the address to send the card to, along with your payment (and the date it needs to be there by - please allow time for making/delivery) then I aim to dispatch within 48 hours.

10 Mar 2012

Feria de productos y servicios del Altiplano

When: 9th, 10th and 11th March
Where: Pabellion de ferias, Baza
Price: 1€ entrance fee

An event showcasing all the products and services of Baza and the Altiplano.

We went today to have a look and see what free tasters we might be able to try! It was really popular - a bit like 'The Lincolnshire show' from back in UK but on a smaller scale!. There were various stands from the local shops but the best place to be was in the food and drink section! lots of yummy tasters of serrano ham, cheese, chorizo. And lots available to buy (although we bought 3 doughnuts for Ali and they cost us €3!). Beer was €2.00 and you could buy plates of meats, montaditos, cakes, bread and more. There was even a kids play room where they were painting, playing, making things and blowing up balloons (Ali had to run in and get a balloon!)









7 Mar 2012

Cultural Week in Castillejar

As part of the cultural week in our village the Town Hall set up a ceramics workshop for the 'association de mujeres' (women's association).

In the class they decorated some old roof tiles - I think they look great and it has given me some ideas for my ceramics class!!

Here are the pictures (taken by the Ayuntamiento de Castillejar)




It is certainly a sign of the times that our sleepy little village's Town Hall has it's own facebook page!

See here