I have to say goodbye to Spain. So I am going to talk about what I would like to revisit if I come back, the highlights for me, and what I would like to remember. I will begin with the highlights of our trip in Spain.

One of my favorite things was La Mezquita in Cordoba. It had millions of these magnificent glimmering marble and stone arches. A dark mahogany choir sits on one side of the cathedral in La Mezquita and a stunning altar sits on the other. A detailed dazzling mihrab is positioned on the far side of the entrance. Another one of my highlights was gazpacho. Gazpacho is a cold soup including cucumber, tomatoes and other veggies. It is common in southern Spain, right where we are. Recipe for gazpacho*

I think the most memorable things for me will be the Alhambra and Merida. The reason why the Alhambra is because of the just wondrous beauty in that palace, and Merida because of all the ancient structures like the Puerto Romano, the longest bridge from the ancient times, and the Alcazar that protected all of Merida at one time. So those are probably the two things that are going to stay with me the most about all of Spain on this trip.

Finally I would like to finish off with what I would like to revisit when I come back to Spain (in the next two to three years). I would probably love to go back to Ronda. I will never get bored of the cliff of Ronda. The three bridges, the view, the gorge, I will never get bored of any of it. I just adore Ronda.

Below: gazpacho, Alhambra fountain, details in the Alhambra, cliff of Ronda, la Mezquita arches and mihrab, Puente Romano

 

 

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*Serves 8 people

INGREDIENTS:

6 ripe plum tomatoes

1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
3-4 red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped (optional)
5-6 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed (optional)
2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped (optional)
salt to taste

olive oil, to taste

peppper to taste

sherry vinegar, to taste

1.Put the cucumber, tomatoes, garlic, peppers and spring onions in a large bowl. Add the salt, pepper, olive oil, and sherry vinegar. mix together with your hands, pressing down to squeeze out the juices. Cover and chill. Leave to marinade for at least 1 hour mins or overnight. (refrigerator)

2.Put the vegetable mixture into a blender and whiz until smooth. Check the consistency. If it is still rather thick and not very rich, add another glug or two of olive oil until you reach a consistency you like. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. You might need a little more vinegar. Cover and chill again, until really cold and you’re ready to serve. (refrigerator)

3.To serve, stir the gazpacho and taste again as the seasoning may have changed as the soup is now very cold. Adjust as necessary, then serve ice cold, sprinkled with chopped basil (optional), and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

4.Serve with your choice of garnishes.

GARNISH SUGGESTIONS:

Avocado cucumber sorbet (or diced avocado and diced cucumber
Diced bell peppers, use a mix of different colors
Diced hard-boiled egg
Pickled red onions
Cilantro leaves
Garlic bread
Langostinos/shrimp/crab