I made some Boerenjongens today. Boerenjongens translates into Farm boys in English and is a traditional alcoholic beverage. Ingredients are raisins, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and brandy. Lots of brandy. As we were asked to participate in the Multicultural Festival of Comares on September 15th, and represent your country with some typical drink or food, I thought it would be nice to make something typical Dutch but with a Spanish twist.
Although it is an original Dutch recipe, Andalucía and Axarquía are famous for their raisins. If you follow the Ruta de la Pasa (Route of the Raisins) in the right season, you will see the grapes drying in their ‘paseros’. Comares is part of this route and El Borge as well. The latther is even called Capital of the Raisins and the village has a Fiesta for the raisins, called Dia de la Pasa, every September.
So I made some Boerenjongens today. In Spanish ‘licor de pasas en aguardiente’. That sounds boring. I might just call it Chicos de Campo.
I remember what a hassle it was to get this prickly plant home. I had to buckle it up but it still swayed from left to right, pricking my arm while driving the curvy roads to our house.
During the last Rooftop Table I got badly burned while frying chicken. Right away I had two large blisters. As I was in the middle of preparing the main dish, I just quickly rubbed an icecube over the burn. After serving the main dish I asked our guests if they knew off a remedy. Our Argentinian friend Luis told me that back home they use Aloe Vera leaf and I suddenly remembered the first time I was at my friend Trudy’s house on Formentera. I got badly sunburned and they put Aloe Vera leaves on it.
Luis showed me how to cut and prepare the leaves and told me to put a leaf in the fridge to cool it. It is a relief every time I put the cold gooey Aloe Vera stuff on the burn marks.
So this prickly plant that first hurt me in the car, turns out to be a healing plant as well!
I see them dangling already on the trees like huge green wrinkled eggs as I drive down through the tropical valley where Salto de Negro, Benamargosa and Triana are situated. Avocados. You can use them in salads, on top of a burger or to make guacamole.
Here in the Axarquía region they use them in a refreshing drink. Weird?! Yes, that’s what I thought as well, but I made this Baticate drink and it’s actually quite delicious. I added some sugarcane syrup which is made around here too.
Here is my version of the recipe:
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon sugarcane syrup
2 cups of milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Mix everything together in a blender until silky. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Chill.
We had a wolf-crazy-friend over last week. Wolf books, wolf tees, wolf tattoo and I wouldn’t be surprised if she watches Dances with Wolves, Never Cry Wolf and the Grey at least once a week.
That kind of wolf crazy.
So, when we decided to show her the city of Antequera, there was no doubt about going to the Lobo Park a few kilometers outside the city. Our friend couldn’t be more exited!
This is what she said about the park: “This park is cleverly set up. I like the philosophy behind it. Visitors learn a lot about wolves here. Well worth a visit. The picture tells you how close you get to the wolves”. And I have to admit, she is 100% right!
Our first Rooftop Table was wonderful. We had 9 guests representing five nationalities, good food and drinks and a breathtaking starry night sky. The menu had an Asian theme and especially the Thai Sweet Corn Soup was a total hit! This Khao Pod as it is called in Thai, was my favorite breakfast when I was travelling through Asia. Let me share my recipe version of this soup with you.
ข้าวโพดคลุก (Khao Pod)
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 3 tsp Thai red curry paste (recipe below)
- 200 ml coconut milk
- 200 ml coconut cream
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 400 g can sweet corn kernels
- 310 g can creamed corn
- 1 tbsp coriander chopped
- 2 tomatoes cubes
- 3 spring onions cubes
- Place curry paste in a medium saucepan. Stir on low for 1-2 mins, until fragrant. Add coconut milk, coconut cream and stock and bring to the boil.
- Stir through sweet corn and creamed corn and simmer for 5 mins. Blender until a silky soup. Ladle into bowls and top with tomato, onions and coriander, to serve.
Thai Red Curry Paste
- 1 shallot OR 1/4 cup purple onion, chopped
- 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, minced, OR 3 Tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass (available at Asian stores)
- 1-2 red chilies, OR 1/2 to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, OR 2-3 tsp. Thai chili sauce
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, sliced
- 2 Tbsp. tomato ketchup OR good-tasting tomato puree
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 3/4 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp. ground white pepper (available in most spice aisles)
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce (Nam Pla)
- 1 tsp. shrimp paste
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1+1/2 to 2 Tbsp. chili powdert
- 3 Tbsp. thick coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice