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Friday, November 27, 2009

Turrón - Spanish Almond Candy

Christmas Sweets: Turrón For those of us, unlike my dear friends, who have Al Campo La Villa supermarket up the road and aisles upon aisles of sweet temptations laid out to make you drool, here are some alternative methods to enable you to enjoy these delightful Spanish Christmas treats.

There is no more typical Christmas sweet in Spain than turrón. The recipe for turrón should never contain less than 10% of honey or 64% of almonds. As Lisa & Tony Sierra explain, "There are two traditional basic types of turrón. Soft Jijona or turrón blando, which is so smooth it has the consistency of peanut butter and hard Alicante or turrón duro, which is like a thick almond nougat candy, similar to peanut brittle." My preference is for the Jijona.

Turrón de Jijona

Ingredients for 4 tablets:
  • 400 grams of honey (azahar - orange blossom honey is traditional) 
  • 200 grams of sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 700 grams of almonds, peeled and toasted
  • the grated rind of half a lemon
Method:
Grind the almonds without letting them become completely pulverized. Pour the honey and the sugar into a saucepan and put it to heat over a low flame, stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens. Remove the mixture from the heat. 

Beat the egg white and add it to the honey and sugar mixture. Mix well without pausing for 10-15 minutes then place the mixture back on a low heat until the mixture begins to caramelise and take on a deeper colour.

Add the almonds and the grated lemon rind to the mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon and leave to cool for 5 minutes.

Line molds with grease proof kitchen paper, pour the mixture into the molds so that the turrón is around 2 - 3 cms thick. Leave for 3 - 4 hours to set to the right consistency, then turn out and store in Tupperware boxes in a cool, dry place.

Translated from this recipe. Another version of the recipe, although in Spanish, shows the method step-by-step in photos, which you can see here.

A Sweet Christmas Tale of Turrón | Turrón - Spanish Almond Candy

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tenerife's Public Holidays in 2010

2010

The Spanish government has today published the labour calendar for 2010, which in the Canaries will include the following 10 public holidays:
  • 1 January - New Year (Año Nuevo)
  • 6 January - Epiphany / Three Kings Day (Epifanía)
  • 1 April - Easter Thursday (Jueves Santo)
  • 2 April - Good Friday (Viernes Santo)
  • 1 May - Labour Day (Fiesta del Trabajo)
  • 12 October - National Day (Fiesta Nacional de España)
  • 1 November - All Saints (Todos los Santos)
  • 6 December - Constitution Day (Día de la Constitución)
  • 8 December - Immaculate Conception (Inmaculada Concepción)
  • 25 December - Christmas Day (Natividad del Señor).
In addition to these there are another two Canarian specific holidays (May 30th, for Día de Canarias (Canaries Day) and 15 August, Asunción de la Virgen (Assumption of Mary), plus another holiday specific to each island, which in Tenerife is: 2 February, Virgen de la Candelaria (Candlemas) and then a couple more that are specific to each municipal council area (for instance, Santa Cruz always declares Carnival Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday) as a holiday in the city - in 2010, Carnival Tuesday falls on February 16th.)

Although, in Spain, there is a legal right to the days off on public holidays (there's no such right in Britain), if you work in the tourist sector, it's pretty unlikely you will! If you have business to do in Town Halls, banks, etc., they'll be shut on these days. If you're visiting, don't worry tourist provisions carry on as normal.

Via: GomeraVerde

Friday, November 06, 2009

Tenerife Island Rallies in November

The 35th Rally Isla de Tenerife 2009 is coming up next weekend, on Friday, November 13th and Saturday, November 14th, starting in Santa Cruz. Later, on the weekend of the 27th and 28th of November is the 3rd edition of the Rallye Isla Tenerife Histórico (Historical Tenerife Island Rally). The cars leave from the Parque Marítimo in Santa Cruz, at 8.30 p.m. on the Friday. The second stage leaves at 9.30 a.m. on the Saturday and, after a short stop in Vilaflor at around 2.30 p.m., terminates in Güimar around 5 p.m.

Tenerife rallies are really well worth the day out - if only to remind yourself what the world was like before those evil twins, Health and Safety, took over.

Via: Federación Interinsular de Automovilismo de Tenerife

Another item informs us that the Town Hall in Güímar are collaborating in the 3rd edition of the Curso de Copilotos de Rallyes (Rally Co-drivers Course) next February. Gosh, imagine the authorities anywhere else subsidising something so fun!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Sex at bargain prices because of the crisis

Last year it was reported that the word "crisis" overtook the word "sex" in internet searches for the first time, so it's clear priorities have shifted. A recent report (via Gomeraverde) tells the tale of Mili, a prostitute in the south of Tenerife, who, before the crisis, worked 3 hours per day to obtain an average monthly income of around 3,000 euros. Now, she says, she works as many as 12 hours per day, but doesn't manage to earn over 800 euros per month.

It's reported that, because of a decrease in clients, many of the girls have been obliged to drop the prices of their services to attract "more careful" (read poorer / meaner) customers, or to accept clients they would normally refuse, advertising services at "anti-crisis prices" starting as low as 20 euros. Meanwhile, sex shops aren't reporting any drop in trade, saying that while people are spending less on going out, they are spending more time at home (presumably, playing with their "toys") and sexologists are reporting a boom, as couples realize that it's cheaper to seek counselling than it is to separate.
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