Monday, September 21, 2009


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Now the pond is becoming established: pond weeds, fish, water-skaters, water beetles, larvae....etc, we have noticed a growing number of dragonflies checking out the pond and the most appropriate places for it to lay its eggs. There are several varieties visiting regularly however, the most spectacular at anything up to 8cms long is this little beauty. A daily visitor and egg layer at the moment. This lady and others, face and have faced arial cat fights with Gawber - sometime the cat wins, sometimes the dragonfly. Beautiful creatures.

Friday, September 18, 2009


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September is a busy time of year with food processing taking up many hours in the kitchen. There's tomatoes to skin, de-seed and pulp ready for Passata (concentrate of tomato with onion, oregano and garlic) Beetroot to boil and bottle, Soups aplenty to concoct and freeze, aubergines to stuff, slice for Moussaka and dice to make pâté from. Herbs to harvest and dry, along with Beans ready for stripping later in the month. Bread is a reoccurring event with 5 large loaves made at a time using a mix of white and wholemeal flour, seed mix and occaisionally added herbs. Sloes to be collected for Sloe Gin and blackberries for jams and blackberry brandy. Jam season continues as various fruits ripen: damsons, greengage, figs, apples and green tomato for jam. Pickles are high on the food agenda as well with a large batch of Piccalilli, Indian Spiced fruit chutney and pickled chilli peppers. We have also started to make our own stock cubes comprising of parsley, red and green pepper, onion and garlic, blitzed in a processor and then frozen as quenelles to add to sauces, soups and casseroles as required. With salt, pepper, herbs and spices to taste they are a convenient and healthier option to the bought cubes.

Qué aproveche!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Walking in Asturias

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Picos de Europa Mountains - Western Massif

Walking is a hobby that we have always enjoyed and since arriving at La pasera, we have continued to enjoy. Asturias has a very varied, beautiful and dramatic countryside - nestled between the Cantabrian Sea and the Picos de Europa Mountains. You can choose to walk along the coast with its magnificent cliffs, cross its numerous pastures, venture into its lush woodlands, climb one of its many peaks, or follow the Camino de Santiago (St Jame´s Way) running the length of the north coast and a just few meters from La Pasera.
One of the limitations of walking in Asturias is the lack of good descriptions and detailed maps. In terms of the paths, some are very good and well marked but overall, especially when you head into the mountains, remote areas or less well known trails you need to have a good map as the path often follows the tracks that animals use and the waymarking is not very clear. On future blogs we will be sharing with you some of the walks we know and have done.
Many people visiting Asturias tend to head for the mountains and aim to walk along the very popular and well known Cares Gorge Path, it is very impressive and runs within the heart of the Picos National Park. Another well known walk as previously mentioned is the Camino de Santiago.
Her at La Pasera, we continue to enjoy and discover many walks both locally and around the region. Starting at La Pasera, we have some impressive walking opportunities along the cliffs, through the many villages and across the countryside near us. Within a short drive we we have enjoyed different walks in the Picos National Park and the many beautuful beaches.
Walking gives us an opportunity not only to discover new areas but also to appreciate the abundant wildlife, flora and culture.