Bay Rum Cologne

bay_leavesWas this what they used as aftershave in westerns? I wonder.

2 ½ ounces crushed bay leaves;

1 ½ teaspoon ground cardamom;

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon;

½ teaspoon ground cloves;

1 pint Jamaican rum.

Add bay leaves and spices to the rum and shake well. Strain and bottle. This cologne will stay true for months if kept at room temperature.


10.07.07. Intermediate, Recipes, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Vegan Stuffing

dining_roomLet me see. It’s 1 cup lentils and 4 cups water which you bring to a boil and let simmer for 1 hour. Then it’s 1 cup rice and 1½ cups water in the rice cooker. Goodness gracious! There are so many instructions to remember. Here’s a vegan stuffing which serves 4 from the November issue of Hour Detroit Magazine, which was meant for Thanksgiving, but which could have been done for Christmas, as well, and there’s still Epiphany coming, at least in Spain, right? My favourite holiday ever. Though soon enough no one will be able to afford turkey or have a holiday, for that matter. In Spain or elsewhere.


Olive oil for sautéing

1 cup shitake mushrooms, finely chopped/diced

1 small poblano pepper, finely chopped/diced

1 sweet potato, cut in small cubes (almost diced)

1 onion, finely chopped/diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, finely chopped/diced

6 slices bread with veganically grown grains (no animal-derived fertilizers used)

Water, enough to moisten the bread (about ½ cup)

¼ cup smoked almonds, chopped

Pink Himalayan sea salt

Soy sauce, to taste

Splash of truffle oil

1 handful spicy baby greens mix

Cooking Instructions

Sauté vegetables (except greens) in olive oil. Fold in the bread cubes. Add water. Add nuts, salt, soy, and oil. Fold in greens. Place mixture in a pre-oiled vessel and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for at least 40 minutes. If possible, make stuffing early in the day on the same day as the dinner. Uncover when done and cover again for reheating.

Now, a simple question: is there anything such as ‘vegan turkey,’ a contradiction in itself? I really wonder. A vegan consumes no animal food or dairy products. But then, vegan burgers do exist, which leads me to assume there is such a thing—or should be. The picture, from Clare Barnes, Jr’s Sleeping Under Blankets, and the level is NI1.

10.07.07. Humour, Intermediate, Recipes. Leave a comment.

4-Bean Chili


24 oz Bean Appétit Chili Mix

8 cups water for cooking

1 lb ground beef, turkey or chicken

1 ½ cups onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup green, sweet pepper

4 cups canned tomatoes

1 8-oz can tomato sauce

2 tbsp chili powder or to taste

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp sugar


Sort and rinse bean mix. Soak beans overnight in refrigerator. Or, quick soak by bringing beans to boil in water. Immediately remove from heat and leave covered for 30 minutes prior to use. Drain. Cook beans. Brown ground meat. Sauté onions, garlic, and green pepper. Combine all ingredients. Cover and simmer on low approximately ½ hour. Makes 12 1-cup servings.

The Bean Appétit Chili Mix is a mixture of kidney beans, navy beans, cranberry beans and black beans, packaged by Carlson-Arbogast Farm, in Howard City, Michigan.  I added, as I usually do, 1 tbsp of baking soda to the beans and let them soak in water overnight.  I didn’t brown the ground meat, I used leftover roast chicken instead.

The painting that illustrates this post is by Caroline Magert and its title is Kitchen Floor. Those of us who enjoy the company of cats know how true to life this picture is. I love it.

10.07.07. Advanced, Art Forlorn, Recipes, Vocabulary. Leave a comment.

Trail Mix Cookies


½ cup (organic) salted butter at room temperature

6 tbsp. peanut butter

½ cup sugar

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 large (organic) egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 tbsp. wheat germ

¼ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup granola

½ cup lightly toasted pecans

½ cup raisins

½ cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375⁰ F (190.556⁰ C). Cream butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla and wheat germ. Reduce speed and add baking soda, salt and flour. Stir in granola, pecans and raisins, and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving room for cookies to spread. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until nicely browned.


36 cookies

10.07.07. Basic, Recipes, Shops, Vocabulary. Leave a comment.

Cookery Course

NB2 students may be required to talk about their eating habits or describe the recipe of their favourite dish. Here’s a teacher-student oral interaction exercise that may serve as a guide.


10.07.07. Basic, Force-Feeding, Recipes, Vivas. Leave a comment.

Lavender Sorbet

Read this sorbet recipe, and then do the exercise in the attached file. For A2/A2+ students of English.

Ingredients: Two ripe Ogen melons, the juice of two lemons, 120gm (4oz) of caster sugar, 15 gm (1/2oz) lavender flowers (fresh or dried), two egg whites, bottle of dry sparkling wine or champagne.

Method: Liquidise the melons, lemon juice and castor sugar. Infuse the lavander flowers for 12 minutes only in the gently warmed sparkling wine. Drain and press trough sieve. Add this liquid to the purée followed by the egg whites. Add a drop or so of blue vegetable colouring and put in an ice-cream machine until done, or whisk the mixture together and freeze, whisking every twenty minutes until set.

A most unusual flavour, don’t you agree?



10.07.07. Force-Feeding, Recipes, Vocabulary. Leave a comment.

Cucumber Sandwiches

It gets mighty hot here in Ciudad Real in the summer and we sometimes don’t feel like eating a full meal. I enjoy having these sandwiches with my tea, hot or iced, and so do my relatives and friends. You will need crustless sandwich bread (either white or wholemeal, your choice), a fresh large cucumber, goat cheese cream, Kühne Salatfix Balsamico (see picture) and some dill. First mix the goat cheese cream with half a tablespoon of the balsamic dressing. Then, spread the cheese on a slice of bread. After that, peel and grate the cucumber. Now put the shreds on top of the cheese. Sprinkle with dill and top it all with another slice of bread. I usually cut them on the diagonal, but that, mein Lieber, is up to you.

10.07.07. Recipes. Leave a comment.