Oska has been putting on his apron in readiness to welcome an new initiative here at Cortijo Opazo
Fireside heat is something that every dachshund appreciates, none more so than our own dear Rosie. She is too young to remember last summer when she was born but I keep warning her that soon she will be shunning the heat of fireside position or sunny terrace and instead be seeking the shade of tree or rock, just like our human companions.
For the most part of the year it is prohibited to have open fires in the countryside here. If you wish to burn the prunings from your cultivation then you should apply for a licence from the local town hall and undertake the bonfire between October and March. Fire is, understandably, a serious business when a badly timed spark can set a tinder dry mountainside on fire. The tall fellows are very respectful of this and have now burnt the last twig on their own bonfire for this season. But this does not mean they have finished with fire!
Having had ample time to practice over the last twelve months or so they have now mastered their new culinary art and have declared that this is the year of the wood oven. Baked, fried, sautéed or boiled; simmered, sweated, roasted or poached; you name it, they've been dong it it in the garden wood oven. And now, they are ready to step forward in the world and spread the word and the Nutella (confused? well you should try their sweet pizzas made from Nutella, banana and hazelnuts). Courses have been announced and the first one will take place on Sunday May 13th. A day spent kneading and beating, talking and eating. Why not find out more about this splendid idea by read this link: Garden cookery with a wood burning oven.
Now, one of my favourite dishes of the year has been large pork ribs slow cooked in a marinade of red wine and plum sauce with rosemary and wild flower honey. You might think these flavours are a little rich for a canine digestive system, and you might be right, but don't tell the tall ones - they still don't know where the left overs disappeared to.
Ella and I have decided to experiment with outdoor cooking ourselves, with as little help from Rosie as we can manage. We've heard mention of a device called a 'rocket stove'. It is supposed to be a very rudimentary stove that makes efficient use of small amounts of fuel to generate considerable heat. As I write this, Ella is tending our very own rocket stove. She has gathered up sticks and some of Rosie's rubber toys and has shoved them into a metal biscuit tin. She has vented it with the inside of a toilet roll, then lit it, using the embers from the wood oven. The plan is to take one of our unopened times of dog food and place in the middle of the furnace. I reckon that within the hour it will be done and we can enjoy some delicious roasted chicken with rice and peas (why do they put peas in dog food?). I shall be standing by wth bib and carving knife, can we save you a slice?
Better be off now, I can see plumes of brown smoke arising from the end of the garden.
Yours, buen apetit (get in touch of you want to join one of our garden cooking courses),
(Boom! Sound effect of tinned dog food exploding under increased heat and pressure)
Registro de turismo:
Recent review: "Fabulous! A perfectly relaxing experience."