I am sat waiting for a Dutch couple to arrive for a week’s fishing at Sierra Brava. The chores have been done around the house and whilst I have ten minutes – I thought I would write a quick blog. I am keen to get back on the bank to catch some more carp and I am positive a new Spanish PB is coming to these pages very soon.
Now running a house is not for everyone. It takes organisation, routine, and a good system put into place. A cleaner is on the cards but not for a while yet, as I would rather do these things myself first, then I can tell the maid what needs to be done, rather than have her do what she thinks needs doing! Where there is work inside, the work outdoors continues. The inner courtyard where my dogs roam at leisure is very big and will need regular maintenance. My first task involved clearing away all the thorny weeds, amongst other waste. The courtyard was once part of a farm and underneath a layer of built up dust, lie beautiful cobblestones. I obviously intend on revealing the previous artwork and the work has started in earnest. A simple scrape with a shovel removes the surface matter, and a vigorous sweep with a stiff broom exposes the cobbles. Once the yard has been cleared and looks like the former yard did, weed killer will be put down once a month to stop the verminous green stuff appearing. My dogs will obviously be removed for 48 hours whenever this is done, to prevent any unwanted and poisonous accidents. The job will be a labour of love; it isn’t particularly necessary, but I am a man on a mission and I take pride in whatever I do.
I have been out and lost my virginity! My jamon virginity that is. That’s right…Yesterday evening I bought my first leg of jamon. It is jamon Serrano and weighs in at a modest 7kg. I have a dedicated stand which it sits on, when not in use it is covered with a cheesecloth to stop flies landing on it, and the art of cutting wafer thin pieces is a skill that any Spanish man would probably require in order to woo a senorita!! I possess these skills fortunately and although I don’t own the correct knife, my Sabatier carving knife is working adequately. The idea is to cut small delicate pieces, rather than large thick slices, and this mouthwatering delicacy is generally eaten on its own, or with a good wine. I have to say I was most excited yesterday when I returned with my purchase. In minutes it was sat on its stand, the knife was out, and I was then sat smugly on the sofa eating jamon whilst watching Alan Partridge Series 2..AHA - I couldn’t think of a better combination! In the particular episode he was eating a Bramley apple slice bought from a garage and heated up in their microwave; each to their own I guess!
Canalva are the chosen wine cellar I am taking on to supply the wine to the house. Check out www.bodegascanalva.com for more details. Basically I will be stocking two easy drinking wines and two rather splendid reds. Beer is obviously available at the house, but when in Spain, France, Italy etc…you have to sample the vino. After my tasting session at the weekend, I feel that the choice of wine will suitably compliment my menu, and it will bring that extra touch of panache to the house. We are offering a very high level of service and this just takes things to the next level. As from next year we will be stocking a vintage Cava. Before any of you jump in and say Cava is cheap Champagne – no it is not! Champagne is French, Cava is Spanish; however, both countries use the same traditional methods, and some Cava knocks the socks of many Champagnes available. The Cava will be on offer should you land a new PB or catch a big fish that you really want to celebrate with in style. Spanish Cava was once referred to as Champana, but they then changed the name to Cava, after the underground cellars they use to age and ferment the wine.
I am now going to carry on regardless, and the fishing is not too far away!
Jake and the dogs.