A Pilgrim Journey
A pilgrim journey starts long before those boots hit the trail.
The Short Version
I have been writing all my life. From scripts to books, research to teachings; as TV journalist, documentary producer and pastor’s wife, the words have rolled out in a steady stream for public consumption.
Work? ¡Que Va! I loved it!
As a couple we have served God for over 40 years, in cites and in far-flung barren mission areas.
We are currently involved in a church plant here in Almeria, southern Spain.
. .and Food
Cooking was a private stream, a flow of curiosity across 10 countries and 3 continents. Local cuisine and dishes were recorded on the run, in the back of a reporter’s notebook.
I wrote notes on scraps of paper, scribbled in recipe book margins, took fotos by the score. Files on computers abounded, with names such as ‘Random’, ‘More Random’, ‘To Be Sorted’, ‘To Be Sorted Soon’. . . . Ay, that marvellous mañana promise!
Well, mañana has finally arrived, and I am now settled in Spain with my spanish family. The recipes reflect what works for us, and what we like – especially when it comes to using fresh ingredients and creative seasoning.
The Longer Story
Before settling here in Almeria, we lived in Jerez de la Frontera, and on our wild and beautiful farm in Tarragona. Stories from these places are written on other sites.
We bred PREs (Purebred Spanish horses), and carved the farm out of a sierra wilderness. I developed a site to feature our horses, with information and photographs. Google rated it as a leading english website coming out of Spain on the spanish horse.
Life happened, as it tends to, and we closed the stud.
But the photography took hold, and even in the earlier years when I was supposed to be recording technical and morphological details of the horses, I kept slipping off into experimental mode & trying for ‘arty’ shots. Not always the easiest – you can’t tell a 400kg stallion to ‘please just repeat that flaring nostril charge’ . .
I persevered, and learned along the way, helped considerably by the fact that – thanks to digital – I can shoot hundreds of shots, then sort through them and delete with abandon. I determined to not use any editing tools other than trimming – no Photoshopping, color enhancement etc.
Some of those horse fotos have been used in posters; and by artists as ‘models’ for their paintings.
At the farm, I kept a researcher-type photographic record of our progress, and also stretched out into ‘atmospheric/landscape’ type shots. There was plenty of opportunity for that as we had lingering dusks, low lying clouds, muted winter light, and loads of beautiful wild plants.
From these I developed some bi-lingual scriptural posters for church, which we printed for use there.
My appreciation, thanks and respect to Pastor Aaron Burden for the foto I have used on this page. It speaks of my vision.
On the farm I was able to pursue a longtime ambition to produce organic food. The land had stood absolutely untouched for decades, and the ground had neither fertilizers nor pesticides in it. Clearing, digging, planting, irrigating and continually weeding the vegetable garden was certainly an exercise, but my word how rewarding! Tomatoes, potatoes, courgettes, aubergines, onions, basil, parsley – a flood of health that fed us through the years.
Expanding our horizon, we trimmed the wild vines, pruned the almond trees closest to the cabin, and planted cherry trees, apple trees and a whole terrace of olive saplings. I reaped the benefits in the seasons that followed with some amazingly sweet small grapes, and baskets full of almonds.
That I miss, as I miss seeing the fruit trees and the olive trees grow to maturity.
With all this in my immediate world, I began to explore food photography, and to collect and create recipes.
The Journey Continues
When we moved to Almeria, even tho’ I didn’t have the garden, I still had the inquiring drive for natural / healthy food.
And the journey is ongoing, with discoveries and experiments fed by:
– an increasing move towards the natural
– an ever-growing enjoyment in baking bread.
As with all journeys there’s a feeling of quiet excitement, an anticipation, a desire to venture into the unknown.
Welcome to our kitchen, and to our family place of sharing. May your journey be as fulfilling as mine has been.
PS: The foto in the right column box is from a studio shot of quite a few years back! I need to get around to the front of my camera and update it.