SAMSUNG CSC

Me Gusta Valencia, Town Hall Square


 

Now, should you visit Valencia at one of the many, many feasts and holidays they celebrate here, then la Plaza del Ayuntamiento (Town Hall Square) is the place to be. During Fiestas and Fallas, the entire place is bursting with energy and spectacular mascletas (pyrotech).

Also, should you be here and there being NOT a fiesta, rest assured that the plaza is a popular meeting point for Valencians and is often filled with stalls selling flowers. A local tradition that dates back to 1924.

Our hotel was at la Plaza del Ayuntamiento, and was a great starting point for us exploring the lively, narrow lanes of Valencia’s Old Town.

As the name reveals, Plaza del Ayuntamiento is home to some of the most representative administrative buildings in Valencia, and features an outstanding mix of Spanish architectural styles. Dominating the square are the stunning neoclassical Town Hall (Ayuntamiento) and the magnificent Central Post Office (Edificio de Correos), designed by architect Miguel Angel Navarro in a beautiful eclectic style that combines striking Modernista features with lavish baroque-inspired interiors.

Check back later for more posts from this magnificent city! Also, check the previous posts:

Spanish Smiles

Me Gusta Valencia, Mercado Central

Me Gusta Valencia – The Silk Exchange

Flamenco is not just a bird!

Flâneur
Facade

Graceful

SAMSUNG CSC

Flamenco is not just a bird!


On our trip to Valencia, we took the opportunity to take in a Flamenco show at a restaurant, Mon, downtown Valencia. The restaurant was good, however not spectacular. The Flamenco, on the other hand, was. Spectacular, that is. I had never seen it live before, so this was a real treat for Old Mamasan.

What the heck am I on about now? Well, Flamenco is an art form native to the Spanish region of Andalusia and the two neighboring regions of Extremadura and Murcia. It does strike me as a tad ironic that we left the region of Murcia and drove two hours into Valencia – to experience the Flamenco. But when opportunity knocks, it is best to answer, right? Anyways, the oldest record of Flamenco dates to 1774. Although Flamenco has become associated with the Romani people in Spain, and somewhat influenced by them, its origin and style is distinctively Andalusian.

Anyways, as you can see in the vid below, the Flamenco includes singing (cante), guitar playing (toque), dance (baile), vocalizations (jaleo), handclapping (palmas) and finger snapping (pitos). Besides me falling in love with the guitar player – because he was just super-duper good – what I want to talk about is the dancing:

El baile flamenco is emotionally intensive, very expressive and proud and very rhythmic. The stamping of the feet in Flamenco is often confused with tap dance, but it is a completely different technique. As with any dance form, many styles of flamenco have developed. I am not sure what style we witnessed, but it was a lot more authentic than the “tourist-flamenco”; not a spotted dress in sight, and a total lack of castanets.

Here’s a little fun fact for ya: In traditional Flamenco, young people are not considered to have the emotional maturity to adequately convey the soul (duende) of the genre. Therefore, many Flamenco dancers do not hit their peak until their thirties, and will continue to perform well into their fifties and beyond.

And, here is one for you Quiz Masters: On Nov 16th 2010, UNESCO declared Flamenco one of the “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.”

Olé!

SAMSUNG CSC

Me Gusta Flamenco!

Graceful

halloween-witch-2-facebook-cover-timeline-banner-for-fb

Haunt much?


Welcome to this week’s #WeekendCoffeeShare! I have missed two Saturdays, because I have been on vaccy! Yup, ten lovely days on the Costa Calida in Spain. Man, was it nice! So, this week I hope you come for coffee and tapas and stay for a while, I do have things to tell you!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you all about how the in-laws surprised us with a trip to Valencia, the third largest city in Spain, I have written a couple posts already, with pictures – and more is coming!

Spanish Smiles

Me Gusta Valencia, Mercado Central

Me Gusta Valencia – The Silk Exchange

If we were having coffee, I’d also tell you something terrible that has happened! Brace yourself – this is scary stuff!

While in Spain, I noticed that the in-laws had also invited a rude, old hag to stay with them. This wrinkly, grey haired old witch weren’t very sociable either – she only showed up when I used the mirror in the bathroom. This hag did not play well with others! She hogged the mirror and when I asked her to please move – she lust looked at me all eerie and grumpily and didn’t budge!

Now, what is even worse, is that this ancient Crypt Keeper, has followed me home to Denmark! I didn’t invite her! I don’t even like her! She’s rude, and ugly, and messy, and grumpy!

0e1c01d6c214e8608985ea38aeee5eda

She is smart enough to lay low and stay out of sight most of the day, but without warning, she pops her ugly head up every time I look in the mirror – and will not move so I can see my own beautiful, young face! Argh! She annoys me so bad!

Although I have not caught her in the act, I suspect that she moves my stuff around too, just to piss me off! My immaculately organized home is a real mess! Nothing is where I put it! This is very provocative, as I am a very neat and tidy person. She is a very good seamstress, because she keeps sowing in my clothes, but it is professionally done, there is no way you can see the alterations. See? That is how sneaky she is!

Yanno, she is not paying any rent, and I think she even steals from me! My money disappears way faster than I can possibly spend them! She even drinks all my wine!

This is horrid! Horrid, I tell you! I better get rid of her before Halloween or she’ll scar the minds of innocent little trick or treaters if she opens the door and reveals her ugly face! This face is so horrid, you can never unsee it! It will haunt you forever!

Thought it was fair to warn you, who knows where she’ll move in once I get her evicted!


Care to join us at the #WeekendCoffeeShare ? Then go to  Parttime Monster Blog and join the link up!

Want to see my previous contributions to the #WeekendCoffeeShare? They are funny, I promise:

Most of the time

… So Tired!

Handegg (and why Sir Nerdalot is in the dog house)

The Doc’s in!

Fall Folly

1-irish1

An Irishman goes into a bar…

Once in a lifetime

Sausage much?

Brexit explained

The Nerve!

Brexit Tea

a_poem_for_coffee_mornings_funny_coffee_mug-rb5e2b1950a14407495aa8191f1caeef5_x7jgr_8byvr_324Choices

Trouble is my middle name

We should not sleep away the summer night

Diet much?

Wolf Whistle much?

An eggy conundrum

Happy Mother’s Day!

#WeekendCoffeeShare

Nice to meet you

Coffee and taxes

read my blog

SAMSUNG CSC

Me Gusta Valencia – The Silk Exchange


When visiting Valencia, you’d be well advised to visit the Lonja de la Seda – the Silk Exchange. This main monument of the city, and masterpiece of civil Gothic architecture, is located close to the Central Market, which I wrote about yesterday, see this link: Me Gusta Valencia, Mercado Central

Where the Silk Exchange stands, there was a previous Exchange from the 14th century, the Oil Exchange, or in Spanish: Lonja del Aceite. The Oil Exchange was not only used for trading with agricultural oils, but for all kind of business.

Valencia’s commercial prosperity reached its peak during the 15th century, and led to the construction of a new building. The City Council purchased 25 houses for demolition, and construction of the Silk Exchange commenced a year later, in 1482. Pere Compte was the man behind the project, but he unfortunately did not live to see his building completed. Several master builders continued to work on the building, and it was finished in 1548.

«The site is of outstanding universal value as it is a wholly exceptional example of a secular building in late Gothic style, which dramatically illustrates the power and wealth of one of the great Mediterranean mercantile cities.” – is why the UNESCO considered it as a World Heritage Site in 1996.

The building resembles old Medieval Castles with its rigid appearance of a stone walled fortress. It comprises three distinct buildings and a garden – the Courtyard of the Orange Trees: In the Contract Hall with the beautiful columns is where the deals were struck, the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, and the Consulado del Mar (Consulate of the Sea) in Renaissance style – where maritime and trade affairs were taken care of. There are a lot of decorative features, including 28 Gothic gargoyles on the top of the building, whose practical purpose is to collect rainwater from the roof. There are allegorical figures, fantastic, monstrous or satirical, and their enigmatic symbolism has been widely debated throughout the years – and still are.

Check up the opening hours before you visit this magnificent building, as they do close for siesta.

Transmogrify
Rearrange
Aesthetic

SAMSUNG CSC

Me Gusta Valencia, Mercado Central


Oh, wonderful Valencia! If you want to treat yourself to a beautiful, interesting and historic place – try Valencia!

Valencia is the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia and the third largest city of Spain. Valencia was founded as a Roman colony in 138 BC, by the consul Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus, it was then called Valentia Edetanorum. In 711 the Muslims introduced their language, religion and customs when they occupied the city. And in 1238 the Christian King James I of Aragon reconquered the city and it became a part of the Kingdom of Valencia. For two short periods, Valencia has been capital of Spain. There is a lot of interesting history to this city as it has been politically and culturally rearranged several tmes, and we will get into bits and piece of it in the posts to follow.

Valencia’s historic center is one of the largest in Spain, and it holds a vast heritage of ancient monuments, views and cultural attractions, and this is why it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Spain.

The traditional Spanish dish, Paella, is said to originate in Valencia. Whoever it was that first thought of making Paella, I am forever grateful – because it is mm-mm-good! Talking about food, why don’t we start at the Central Market:

SAMSUNG CSC

Mercado Central is inside this Art Nouveau building

Mercado Central is a public market and a popular location for tourists and locals alike. Most vendors sell food items, although souvenirs are also found. You can spend hours in here just looking at the fantastic displays of foods – fresh, smoked, cured – some weird and interesting, others just plain yummy. The vendors are often giving you samples so you get the chance of trying something new. I might be weird, but I could spend all day at this great market, then again – eating and preparing food is one of my passions.

SAMSUNG CSC

See anything you like?

The Mercado Central is situated on a spot that was inaugurated in 1839 as an open-air marketplace called Mercat Nou. The city of Valencia sponsored a contest for the construction of a new roofed market in 1910. The present Art Nouveau design was chosen, a design by Alejandro Sole March and Francisco Guardia Vial, who trained at the School of Architecture of Barcelona. Construction began in 1914 and was fully completed in 1928.

SAMSUNG CSC

Just pick a place and enjoy your lunch!

The area around the Mercado Central is jam-packed with restaurants, perfect for lunching on some super good Tapas and perhaps some vino tinto? I bet you are craving some yummy foods after spending some time surrounded by all these goodies in the market.

SAMSUNG CSC

Froot Loops does not qualify as food, but you can get it here anyways.

SAMSUNG CSC

See all the weird fruits!

SAMSUNG CSC

Bob Esponga!

SAMSUNG CSC

If you can’t look your food in the eye…

SAMSUNG CSC

These would be perfect for Halloween! Witches-fingers!

SAMSUNG CSC

This is my department! I love the ham!

SAMSUNG CSC

Yup, you can get your Asian food here also!

SAMSUNG CSC

These are dried chillies and peppers, super good!

SAMSUNG CSC

Anyone for baked Ox Muzzle?

SAMSUNG CSC

There certainly is some bite to this dinner…

SAMSUNG CSC

This is right outside the market, isn’t it pretty?

SAMSUNG CSC

Headin’ towards the Mercado Central

SAMSUNG CSC

Spanish Smiles


Last week we went on vacation to Spain. We are talking 10 days of constant touristy smiles here, so it is almost impossible to choose just one… To spend time with loved ones is a definite big smile, to learn that I do remember some Spanish also made me smile. Enjoying the fab tapas and paella/arrozes – also grounds for huge smiles. The list goes on and on, and I will be bugging you with posts and pictures in the days to come.

I have decided to interpret this week’s smile literally – with smiles I have managed to capture on my cam during the vaccy in Spain:

SAMSUNG CSC

Ox Muzzle? I am very curious as to how they prepare this.

SAMSUNG CSC

Here’s a great smile for ya!

SAMSUNG CSC

This would be a dentist’s retirement plan…

SAMSUNG CSC

Sheeps heads, these I know from Norway

SAMSUNG CSC

Another charmer 🙂

SAMSUNG CSC

Dried sharks jaws?


I am joining the #WeeklySmile bunch, as I wholeheartedly agree with the host, Trent, that we need some positive posts in between all the serious stuff in the news and on the web. Give someone a smile today, and see what happens!

Care to join us at the #WeeklySmile ? Then go to Trent’s World  and join the LINK UP!

14720560_10154326744616622_5914837297511139344_n-001

Danish Oatmeal Buns – Kajeboller


(Norsk oppskrift finner du ved å klikke på linken: Danske Kajeboller)

Normally it is the parents that makes and packs the lunch for their schoolkids… In our house, it is not only the other way around, but we take it as far as the Kid buys lunch at school and brings it home to his mom!

I guess this requires a lil explanation… We are Expats, living in Demark and the Kid attends Danish school. He can bring his lunch from home, or he can buy food in the school cafeteria where he has several choices to choose from – one of them being what is called “Kajebolle”. The Kid has praised the Kajebolle for so long that I finally asked him to buy one and bring me so I could try it. I have never seen these in the store, and I wanted to try them. Of course, Expat’ing includes sampling the local foods, and OMG does the Danes have lots of great food!

14720560_10154326744616622_5914837297511139344_n

Back to the Kajebolle – you must try them; they are super good. And they are not even all that unhealthy. The oats and honey gives them a subtle sweetness and the cold rising gives a fab texture. No kneading required, just stir with a poon – and stick the dough in the fridge overnight.

They are extremely good with just butter, and that’s how they are served in the school cafeteria. (I have of course tested with cheese and jam too – which is lovely!)

14606282_10154326744591622_3144424913780637800_n

Watch this gooey, sticky dough transform into lovely crispy buns

Kajeboller (about 11 pieces)

  • 10 g yeast (or approx. 2 g dry yeast)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 150 g oatmeal
  • 650 g plain flour
  • 700 ml cold water

Stir the yeast with the honey and salt, and add the cold water, oatmeal and flour. Give it a stir, the dough is loose so you can stir it with a spoon. Put on a lid or cling film and place the bowl with the dough in the fridge overnight.

Preheat the oven to 250 C.

Dip a tablespoon in cold water and scoop out pieces of dough and place on your baking tray. Dip the spoon in cold water before scooping out a new piece of dough to prevent it from sticking. The dough feels weird, but have no fear – it is supposed to be like this.

Sprits cold water on the buns right before you stick them in the oven, this makes the delicious crispy crust.

Bakes at 250 degrees for 15-20 minutes depending on size of the buns. Do not use the fan in the oven, and make sure the oven is holds the temperature before putting the buns in.

14690901_10154326744561622_795728360994477169_n

Transformation

14720560_10154326744616622_5914837297511139344_n-001

Danske Kajeboller


(To read his in English, click the link: Danish Oatmeal Buns – Kajeboller)

Vanligvis er det foreldrene som lager matpakke til ungene … Her i huset er det ikke bare omvendt, vi tar den faktisk så langt at ungen kjøper niste i skolekantina og tar den med hjem til mora!

OK, denne krever muligens litt mer forklaring … Det har seg slik at vi bor i Danmark, og Kid ’n går på Dansk skole. Her har de kantine, hvor ungene kan kjøpe mat hver dag, dersom de ikke tar med hjemmefra. De kan velge mellom flere varmretter, salatbar, frukt, juice – og Kajebolle! Kid ‘n har snakka så mye om disse knallgode Kajebollene at jeg ba ham kjøpe en i skolekantina og ta med hjem til meg, jeg har nemlig ikke sett dem i butikken, og når man bor i Danmark må man jo prøve alt det danske!

14720560_10154326744616622_5914837297511139344_n

Kjøpebolle fra skolekantina

Fy søren disse er gode! De er ikke spesielt usunne, havren og honningen gir dem en fin sødme, og kaldhevingen gir dem en god konsistens. Det er eltefritt, skal bare røres i hop – og settes i kjøleskapet over natta.

De er knallgode med bare smør, og det er slik de serveres i skolekantina. (Har selvsagt testet med ost og syltetøy også – knallgodt det også)

Jeg synes du skal prøve selv, disse Kajebollene med den sprø skorpen og deilig myke inni – det er mye mat i dem, så du kan regne en Kajebolle til hver.

14606282_10154326744591622_3144424913780637800_n

Kajeboller (ca. 11 stk )

  • 10 g gjær (ca. 2 g tørrgjær)
  • 1 ss honning
  • 1 ts salt
  • 150 g havregryn
  • 650 g hvetemel
  • 7 dl kaldt vann

Læs gjæren opp i honning og salt, hell så kaldt vann i. Tilsett havregryn og mel. Rør rundt (deigen er løs og kan røres med skje). Ta på lokk eller plastfilm og sett deigen kaldt over natten.

Bollene settes på plate med en skje. Ha en kopp med kaldt vann klart så du kan dyppe skjeen mellom hver bolle, slik at deigen slipper lettere. Det er en rimelig rar konsistens på deigen. Sprut bollene med vann like før du setter dem i ovnen for å få den deilige, sprø skorpen.

Bakes på 250 grader i 15-20 minutter avhengig av bollenes størrelse. Ikke bruk varmluft, og pass på at ovnen holder riktig temperatur før du setter bollene inn.

14690901_10154326744561622_795728360994477169_n

14724549_10154293543621622_6510293257211684483_n-002

Ristede Gresskar Frø


(English recipe, follow the link: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds)

14724541_10154293545316622_6836989453578575498_nNå som vi har laget vårt eget gresskar krydder, gresskar puré og gresskar pai (linker i bunnen av siden), er det vel bare rett og rimelig å gjøre noe med gresskar frøene også? Så la oss riste dem og kose oss med dem som snacks, eller strø dem over en deilig suppe eller salat for å tilføre både smak og crunch.

Det er litt dillete å rense frøene, men det går lettest ved å raskt plukke dem ut av gresskar-innmaten, skylle dem godt i en sil og la dem tørke natten over i et kjøkkenhåndkle. Da er det lett å gni av resten av trådene og innmaten som henger fast på frøene. Når så rensejobben er gjort, er resten såre enkelt:

14666277_10154293544976622_7716481318192444517_nIngredienser:

  • 3,5 dl gresskarfrø
  • 2 ts smør, smeltet
  • en klype salt
  • andre krydder er valgfritt, jeg bruker 1 ts paprikapulver og en klype chilipulver.

Forvarm ovnen til 150 ° C.

Vend frøene i smør og salt (og eventuelle andre krydder du liker).

Spre frøene i et enkelt lag på en stekeplate og stek i 45-60 minutter til de er gyllenbrune, rør av og til.

Avkjøl frøene og oppbevar på glass.

Relevante oppskrifter:

Gresskar-Pai

Gresskar puré

Paiskall med Rømme

Lag din egen Pumpkin Spice Mix!

Gresskar- og søtpotetsuppe

14724549_10154293543621622_6510293257211684483_n-002

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


(For norsk oppskrift, følg linken: Ristede Gresskar Frø)

14724541_10154293545316622_6836989453578575498_nSeeing as we have now made our own pumpkin spice, pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie (links at the bottom of the page), I see no point in discarding the pumpkin seeds. So let us roast them and nibble on the as snack, or sprinkle over a salad or a soup to add a lil crunch and flavor.

It can be a real hassle to clean the seeds, but the method I use is to quickly pick them out of the pumpkin innards, rinse them well in a colander and then leave them to dry overnight in a kitchen towel. Then it is easier to get the rest of the gunk and goo off them. Once that is done, the rest is easy:

14666277_10154293544976622_7716481318192444517_nIngredients:

  • 350 ml pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons butter, melted
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Other seasonings are optional, I use 1 teaspoon powdered paprika and a pinch chili powder

Preheat the oven to 150°C.

Toss seeds in a bowl with melted butter and salt, and also any other seasoning or spice you prefer.

Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes until golden brown, stir occasionally.

Let cool and put in a clean jar to keep and use as topping for all kinds of soups and salads, or put them in a bowl and serve as a snack.

Relevant recipes:

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin puré

No Fail Flaky Pie Crust

Make your own Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin and sweet potato soup