Vegan chorizo

SPICY VEGAN CHORIZO

This is a great recipe for spicy vegan chorizo and it doesn’t take long to make. Its main ingredients are sun-dried tomatoes and almonds, two things we have plenty of here at the cortijo.

The red pepper is roasted over a flame. Turn it a couple of times until the skin begins to blister and then pop it into a plastic bag. Before you need to add it to the mix, rub off the blackened skin.

Spicy Vegan Chorizo

This recipe is quick to prepare and tastes delicious.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 220g dried tomatoes
  • 200g raw almonds
  • 120g soft rolled oats
  • ½ large red pepper, roasted
  • 2 teaspoons dried garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried onion
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon spicy paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

 

METHOD

  1. Steam the dried tomatoes over boiling water for 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer the tomatoes to a boil, add a splash of boiling water and cover.
  3. In the food processor, blend the almonds and oats until coarsely ground and then transfer to a separate bowl.
  4. Blend together the tomatoes and red pepper.
  5. Put the almonds and oats back in the blender.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse a couple of times.
  7. Divide the mixture in half.
  8. Roll out each half on greaseproof paper to form an even sausage shape.
  9. Roll up in the greaseproof paper and store in the fridge for 24 hours.

Video of wrapping soap

Sarah has now become an expert soap maker and has gone into large scale soap production. We have been selling boxes of 6 soaps in Spain and also around Europe.
We have so far only sold soap to people we know.

We even have an Etsy and a Wish page.

Sarah invented and designed this system to wrap the soaps using a wooden template. 

See the other page about soap making here  https://cortijoblog.com/2020/06/20/soap-making/

Garlic Soup

The traditional Spanish recipe for garlic soup soup contains ham and bread and this is a lighter version.

garlic soup

garlic soup

Garlic Soup

This recipe is easy to prepare and only requires turning after 20 minutes.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 garlic cloves, halved then very thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon spicy paprika
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1.2 litres of water
  • 1 pinch of salt

METHOD

  1. Heat a splash of olive oil in a sauté pan (with a lid).
  2. Add the garlic and sauté gently on a low heat with the lid on.
  3. After a few minutes, add the paprika and salt and stir well for a few seconds so that the paprika does not burn.
  4. Add the water and the stock cube.
  5. Turn up the heat and bring it to a boil.
  6. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  7. Break 4 eggs into the pan.
  8. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes until the whites are set.

Almost Free Solar Hot Water System.

 

Almost Free Solar Hot Water System.

This page is about a solar hot water system I installed in 2018. It  provides us with free washing up water and free pre heated water for the kettle. Water is sent out from below the sink, through the wall and then through about 15 metres of black plastic tubes. The water stays in the tube and heats up during the morning. By 11am the temperature is around 35C (95 F) and later on the temperature can get up to over 45C. (115 F)

Black tubing strong enough to withstand house water pressure is very cheap and a system like this could be installed very easily by anyone with some basic plumbing skills.  If you take the concept a little further you could extend the black tube and provide a lot more water for showers etc. My system is quite untidy but if someone lives in a more urban place you could make the tubes look more tidy.

I am not a very good TV presenter but I made made this video to explain the system.
There are subtitles in English, Spanish and French. 

We are about to have a climate conference in Glasgow where the politicians will probably come up with inadequate solutions to avoid climate disaster.  As an individual it is very frustrating but at least we can try to reduce our carbon emissions on a small scale in our personal lives and save some money.

More info:
Several years ago I started using black PVC tubes to heat water up with  100 metres of 16mm PVC tubing which adds water to our swimming pool every day.  Black plastic tubing is very cheap and as long as you have some space to put the tube in the sun it is very easy. You see lots of complicated you tubes with coiled up tubing but if you don’t mind it being a little untidy you can let the tube just run over any surface.

We tend to have our main meal in the middle of the day which is normal in Spain so for months on end I use this hot water to do the washing up. It is also useful for preheating water for making tea. During the hours of strong sunlight I use a 900 watt electric kettle for boiling water and using pre heated water cuts down the boiling time considerably.

Some facts about black tubing:
In one metre of 32mm (1 inch) tubes there is  804cc of water.

In perfect conditions a 1 metre length of tube perpendicular to the sun would receive around 40 watts of energy.

In Spain 100 metres of PVC tube that can withstand 10 bars of pressure costs around 100 euros.

This system has been running for over 3 years. At first my tube was not long enough and it did not completely fill the sink, so I extended it. As the tube gets hot it needs to be good quality 10 atmosphere tube. 

To work out the length of the tube, you have to work out how much water the tube can hold. The best way to do this is to use a this online calculator. https://www.omnicalculator.com/construction/pipe-volume The formula is: pipe volume = π * (radius * radius) * length, where radius = inner diameter/2. Pi is 3.14 Asterisk means multiply.

If I were going to do this for a pool shower or for showers I would buy a 100 metre roll.  In my pool heater set up I have 100 metres of 16mm tubing in the sun. Even with flowing water it heats the water up to around 45C. By the way: Tubes don’t hold the heat for very long. By 4 or 5pm the tubes will have cooled down.

In the winter I empty the tubes during January and February because the tubes might freeze during the night.

Ladder Snake

Ladder Snake (Zamenis scalaris)

Juvenile Ladder snake

Juvenile Ladder snake

This is a juvenile ladder snake that our cat caught. This snake is the most common at the cortijo. The one in the photo above is a young one. It is about 30cm long. When the snake gets older there are 2 lines along the whole length of the snake.

This type of snake grow up to around 170 cm long. They are non venomous because their teeth are Aglyphous (lacking grooves) which are not adapted for injecting venom.

This snake moves about 100m per day, the average home territory of an individual is 4,500m2. Adults may sometimes be found in out  buildings hunting for rodents.

They eat mammals such as mice and shrews, spiders, insects (especially grasshoppers) and a few birds.