Sunday, 10 April 2011

Tapas and Boxhill

I finally did tapas.

I'd got some padron peppers and peppers stuffed with squid from Delicioso. They have all kinds of Spanish things!

I had a sudden desire to eat tapas about two weeks ago, but I'd only had tapas when we went on holiday to Barcelona last year. Apparently there is only one decent (decent, not good) place for tapas in London, and we don't know which it is. We hear it's in Waterloo. I was also inspired by the Jamie Oliver book where he goes to Spain and things, and he's done a couple of pages about tapas. It's a pretty good book, all the stuff I've tried from it turned out lovely. I especially like that there's a few different meatball recipes. Meatballs are really useful and easy to do, you can have them in so many ways as well.

I did very little for the tapas. I fried Padron peppers, heat up the peppers stuffed with squid, fried some sliced artichokes from a jar with some honey and dried thyme, and cut some Manchego cheese.

The peppers stuffed with squid aren't that nice.

Not so nice. Very tomato-ey.

Blackened Padron peppers, fried and sprinkled with sea salt:

Manchego cheese, with honey and dried thyme:

Sliced artichokes, with honey, dried thyme and ground pepper:

Truffle oil with ground black pepper, for dipping bread in. We had part of a baguette as well:

I've kept the leftovers in the fridge and might possibly assemble it into a sandwich for lunch tomorrow? Tapas sandwich.

I'm encouraged by this and will have more tapas meals, we still have a bowl of Padron peppers sitting in the fridge and must use it soon. I plan on making patatas bravas in the future.

Yesterday we went to Boxhill, which is about an hour away on the train, and had a lovely day. It's an idyllic National Trust nature-y hill named after the Box plant., and has a few different walking paths to go on: a Long Walk, Short Walk, Nature Walk, and Riverside Walk. We went on what was pretty much the Riverside Walk to get there from the station and back, and when we got to Boxhill itself we went on the Nature Walk.

The good thing about the Nature Walk is that it's not a monotonous walk, you go from one bit to another. There's a foresty bit, a dirt path bit, places to rest and admire a scenic view, and a very nice golden valley. It's also quiet. Lots of people who got on the train at London got off at Boxhill, but most people seem to accumulate at the mount, and start having their picnics and things, so the walks are very peaceful.

I plan on going again, possibly in the summer. I've been once before and there were little orchids and blackberries and strawberries growing wild. Only some tiny purple orchids are out right now, there are exciting orchids yet to come. Tiny ones that pretend to be bees.

James in a hole:

We also saw a bee-fly. It looks like a small bee with a long nose and makes a humming sound. I'm not sure that you can see it in this picture:

It's a type of fly, but feeds on nectar like a bee. But it isn't a bee. There's lots of them.

You can see its mighty shadow.

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