Friday, April 29, 2011

#378 Tri4Japan

My friend, Mike Trees, is promoting a charity to help those in need in Japan:

"Tri4japan is the charity established to help the people of Kamaishi, a town in Japan devastated by the recent earthquake and tsunami. All funds raised will be put to work to make a real difference to people’s lives".

He's a good man and will not let any donations be diverted to "overheads" - it's a worthy cause, more information here:

You can support Mike's work by buying this nice jersey or just making a donation.

#377 Dîner à la Française

The next morning, breakfast was :

Saturday, April 23, 2011

#376 L'Era again

Doesn't time fly! We were last at the L'Era restaurant in Parcent with my friend Chello and her friends in April 2007 (#170) - and here we are again, enjoying another paella cooked on a wood burning fire together with Chello and her friends, four years later.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

#375 Alpens to L'Avenc de Tavertet

We are back in Catalunya, this time for a week. The first day I rode 120km from Sabadell (nr Barcelona) to Alpens, it took seven and a half hours (a bit more than I planned). Met up with Sally, Carrie and Tom and on Sunday we had lunch in what looked to be a tiny local bar but had a big dining room hidden at the back. It was full with locals who must have known about the huge portions they serve.

Alpens is a bit like the Alps, quite hilly with herds of cows carrying tinkling Swiss cow bells. The local blacksmith has a passion for dragons and nearly every house in the village has a dragon door handle - no reason, he just likes dragons and so does everyone else in Alpens it appears.

On Tuesday Tom and I rode 58km over to L'Avenc de Tavertet where we stayed for the next four days in another casa rural (or gîte). This one had an amazing 25 metre indoor swimming pool, which I used frequently.

Each day at L'Avenc we either rode rough-stuff biking or hiked round the rocky terrain with the house dog called Toffee . We didn't have to fear getting lost 'cos being a local dog - Toffee nose!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

#374 Castle in Spain

We enjoyed our weekend cycling in Catalunya (#368) so much that I booked us a week up there. We will stay in two 'casa rurals', one in Alpens for three days then to L'avenc de Tavertet for four. The cycling in the area looks to be very nice with tiny asphalt roads and lots and lots of off-road routes.

Quite by chance it seems that L'avenc de Tavertet is quite famous for being bought and refurbished by a well know English chap called Mathew Parris. He is a political commentator and journalist and has written about L'avenc in The Times and even written a book about the project.

I found a secondhand copy of his book on Amazon UK (for 1 penny + £4.03 postage :-) and spent the day after it arrived speed reading to find out what I had let us in for - all good I hope.

#373 Granola

I have been making this same Granola recipe for the last 40 years!

Set the oven to 160 centigrade. Baste a big baking tray with a little sesame oil. Mix 6 big scoops of Jumbo Oats with an equal amount of nuts & seeds.

Such as:
Hazelnuts in bits, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower seeds, Dried coconut, Cashew nuts, Pumpkin seeds.

Stir in half a jar of Barley Malt syrup. Pinch of salt.
Spread thinly (about 1cm) Bake for 20 - 30 minutes till golden looking.

Take out of the oven and add a scoop or two of sultanas. I sometimes add different nuts or seeds or dried fruit but I always use Hazels and Sesame seeds. Don't use any other sweetener, only Barley Malt, it is absolutely essential in this recipe.

I serve mixed with Greek yogurt (diluted with a little milk).