Peter's Blog

Iberianspices spicesiberia

Friday, 30 December 2011

A reason i only eat fresh food now

I have mentioned  before how I have changed from eating all the rubbish I used to eat and how I now eat only fresh food. The result is that I feel so much better and I have lost so much weight. I now eat only fresh food Fish all Meats and fruit and veg. I use no additives only herbs, spices etc. As an example below is the ingredients from a can of Meat balls.

Meatballs in Rich Tomato Sauce.

Water, Meatballs [37.5%] (Chicken (8%) Bacon (8%) (Contains Preservative: Sodium Nitrite, Water, Pork (5%), Rusk, Potato Starch, Flavourings, Stabiliser, Tri-Di-Polyphosphates: Autolysed Yeast, Sugar) Tomato Purée, Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Modified Maize Starch, Salt, Citric Acid, Onion Powder, Flavourings.

When I make Meatballs I use Good mince meat, Onion, Garlic, one egg, Bread crumbs, and that's it nothing that is not fresh. I normally have them with Rice as I like Rice and I make my own Tomato sauce to have with them.

I mention this because i have just been looking through a box that i have my Herbs and spices in and i found a tin of Meatballs.

So what I am saying is by changing the way I live has given me a better quality of life, I feel better, lost weight and I sleep so much better than I did when I was living in Liverpool. Would I go back well no as to go back I would be doing harm to my Body.  I would end up back over weight. So it's my place in the sun that's home to me now.

A look back over the last few months.

Well the last few months have been very interesting and where do i start well maybe from when i arrived.

Ok when i arrived i had already known Richard and Patricia from Gois Property since before they became estate agents. I was introduced to them by Dianne and Terry, Dianne and Terry are the couple i stayed with in September 2008. Sadly after being ripped of by someone when they payed for there property they have now returned to the UK.  It's nice to have friends as friends and not  because of the work they do.

Nigel and Ann i had known from meeting them at the river bar during one of my trips while  looking for my place in the sun. I got to know Nigel from the Forum we where both members of.

Alan and Barbara i met one day while i was out with Nigel one day  he called to see there house that was being renovated before they moved in. There house had been empty for about 30 years and needed lots of work done to make it there place in the sun.

Pete and June i met again while i was at Allan and Barbara's they had called to see how work was going on there house. Pete and June Have been here for a couple of years  and  beautiful house and a pool and beautiful garden and outdoor eating area.

At the top of my village is a house that is being renovated by a German lady called Magdalene. Magdalene is having a ruin renovated and extended. Being at the top of the village the views are spectacular and as Magdalene is a painter she will have a wonderful house when it's finished. The property is being project managed by family on her behalf and it's Derek you i have got to meet over a period of time during his visits to monitor the work as it progresses. I recently also met Derek's wife Hannah and there children.

The thing i have noticed from all the people i have met is how friendly they all are. All the people who i have met just want to enjoy life in this peaceful place. The year ahead will be i hope for me be peaceful and after the stress i was under in the UK peace is what i will look forward to.


Monday, 26 December 2011

Christmas gift and Dinner

Well Christmas has now come and gone for another year. On Christmas eve a lady in the village who i had not seen before knocked on my door. When i answered she said " Feliz Natal " which means Merry Christmas in Portuguese i replied with " Feliz Natal  e obrigado " Merry Christmas and Happy New year. This was the first time that a local had given me something but at Christmas this was most touching. As it happened i was unable to get some sprouts and i do like sprouts particularly  at Christmas. I have never been a lover of gravy but i decided  to make a red wine and orange sauce.

I had been invited for dinner on Christmas day but this being my first dinner here i declined as this was my first Christmas on my own and i wished have my first Christmas dinner in my home. I went later to a friends house where another two  couples who i have become friends with where also there. I was nice to be able to sit and have a drink without the pressure that we are all under one with a health issue and other getting there house ready to move into before Christmas and me getting on with my Kitchen. I was also able to speak to Chelsee this made my Christmas day special wthout speaking to her it would only have been another day. If Lee  and Margaret would get Skype on there computer then perhaps i would be able to see and speak to Sean my Grandson but lets hope for the coming year they get Skype and he can then also get to speak to Chelsee and Lees mum.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Ceiling insulating done cable in now the Plasterboard.

Yesterday the builder from up the lane doing work in the village came to fit two roof beams for me. These where holding up work in finishing the roof  insulation panels that needed to be fixed into place before the plaster board could be fixed to complete the job. The insulation you can see in the pictures is the same as 400mm of Rock Wool insulation.

The cable was fitted first so that the lights could be fitted after the ceiling was completed. All cable has to be put into tubing and then set into the wall. This i did and took a couple of photos for the electrician . This is normally work done by the electrician but it was something i could and did do. I am having 12 Led lights in the kitchen. 

My front door is being closed of as i have another door i use. I am leaving the door in place but behind it will be insulated and boarded over. This will keep the outside look of the house  but it will give me valuable space in what is a very small lounge.  As the door is set back from the wall to be insulated i had to put insulation over the door before the wall insulation. As the house has no cavity wall so the only way to insulate the outside walls is to fit a special insulating board on the inside walls but only those that face the outside. I plan in this corner to have a log burning fire but that is some time away at the moment i have my air conditioning for heat and it works very well in deed.


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

In the light of the morning sun.

 Today like many over the last few weeks have seen the morning temperature rather low. As i walked down to my car this morning i saw amongst the trees a spiders web glistening in the morning sun. he morning dew can be seen on the almost perfect web.

 I have mentioned before about living in a place where the air is very clean and how i now have no chest cough. Well i noticed this morning just by my house a tree covered in Licken. I could not have guessed that by moving away from Liverpool that i would no longer have my terrible could that i have had every winter for most of my life. I am really so lucky that i am now without the burden of coughing all the time.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Oranges, Outside lights and Christmas tree decorations.

It's been a busy few days and i now have my Christmas lights up outside of my house for Christmas. These are the lights that i got from a trip to Orlando a long time ago a. Due to the power difference it's taken me till now to make use of them.  The lights are 110volts as they use in the USA but to use my lights here i needed a 110 volts transformer lucky for me Richard loaned me a transformer. Shame that outside my front door there is a street light and as it's bright my lights don't look as good as i would have liked but they look good to me and that's all that counts.

Over the last few weeks i have started to collect oranges getting ready to make wine and marmalade. Well the last few days have seen me squeeze a load of oranges and fill a large Coke bottle with juice ready for when the bits i need from the home brew shop in Tuebrook arrive. I started on Saturday to make my first lot of marmalade so i squeezed the oranges and soaked them in the juice over night.The next day i went back online to the BBC recipe so i could follow the instructions more carefully. You have to boil the oranges and there juice for 1.5 hours so i did that and at the end of the time i took the pan of to allow it to could for a few minuets. At this point i strained out the peel as i don't like Marmalade with peel in it and then i carried on with the instructions. Now it was time to put the sugar in and with that done it was just a case of testing the Marmalade until it was ready to be put into jars.

Just a quick update to make you all jealous i have just had a couple of pieces of toast from homemade bread and topped it with homemade Marmalade. Mmmmm how glad am i that i decided to make Marmalade. Delicioussssssssssss

Ok i am sure that you have all seen my Christmas tree on one of the Forums i am on or on here on a previous topic anyway here is an update. While walking through Gois my mate Richard pointed out the tree in a shop window nothing unusual in that but if you look at the picture below you will see just why i had to stop and take a picture. Below i have put another picture of my tree with my famous fairy on the top.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Oranges Oranges amd more Oranges lets make some Wine

One things you see so much here is Oranges everywhere you go you see them growing in gardens at the side of the road and i have even seen them in a small valley not far from me.  The valley was used for growing trees for the local markets for people to replant.

I have now squeezed three huge carrier bags of oranges most from when i went over to Sao Martinho to Gary's house and some from trees local that i have found. I ended up with a 1.5 litre Coke bottle full of juice.  When i can i will get more so i have enough for my first batch of wine. The wine is not for drinking just yet as i would like to distill it into a spirit at some point but for now i will just leave it to mature. But that's another story.

What brings me to the subject of wine is that in the middle of the 1970 i made some wine from kits from a shop on Oakfield road Liverpool sadly it's now gone. I still have a bottle of one of the wines i made as a reminder of those days, it may now be undrinkable but it's from the days when i was married to Krystyna and is a reminder of those times.

I do like when i can use shops in Liverpool it's where i am from and always will it be my now second home. Well i put Wine making shops into Google and came up with a few to choose from  but one i liked the look of was called Wineworks in Tuebrook. I spent a while looking through the site and i was very impressed by the changes from the 1970's type of shop.

While on the site found a number of videos on the subject of making wine. The presenter was a guy called Richard who also is the owner. I sat and watch all the videos on making wine 5 in total. Richard explains very carefully from start to finish the process of making wine.

As they have a UK phone i called them from Skype to enquire about getting an order sent and a time span with sending to me. I am only mentioning them because of how helpful they where and i am sure that i will use them again for my brewing needs.

Why have i not tried here well i went to the local Cooperative. It's not like the Coop in the UK each small town or large village have one and it's owned by the town/ village for the benefit of those who live there. As the local do lots of brewing i expected to be able to get all bits from there but as the local do things on a large scale they don't even sell what i wanted. Even Patrick who brews lots of beers has to go to Porto to buy what he needs. Well it would cost me more that having it delivered from the UK.

Well as soon as i get my stuff delivered i will make a start with my first brew soif homebrew is of interest to you have a look at there information is most helpful and informative.

Good bless Lolly

I  was on Skype today to my Mum as  try to call her most days, i spoke to my nephew David while my Mum was asleep. While David was sitting by my Mum Lolly my Mums budgie sat on his chest playing. While on Skype i did a screenshot from my laptop of David with Lolly on his chest.

Mum has had trouble with her hip operation in fact it went wrong and they had to do it again and now she has to go in again in the New Year for hopefully her final operation. Today mum had a hat on because Lolly keeps going on her head.  Well tonight while the front door opened somehow Lolly got out. All the budgies that my family had and i am sure all the budgies that Mum has had this one little Lolly was by far the best. Lolly has gone.

There is no way we could replace Lolly. Lolly was not just a Budgie but Lolly was my Mums friend.

 God Bless Lolly

Friday, 16 December 2011

Snow in my mums garden today

Today i was looking at my Facebook page and my nephew David had posted a picture from my mums back door. The picture was like a winter wonderland scene there was snow everywhere.  Is this how winter is going to be like in the UK this year who knows but i am glad i am away from it now.  David the picture is very good thanks for letting me use it.

An hour later while speaking to David i asked him to go back out into the garden and while he was there with Mums Ipad i took a screen shot from my computer.  Oh did i mention that i was using Skype and so was David on the Ipad. I then  edited the picture using Gimp " Graphic image manipulation program "

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Bacon update

Well bacon is now a part of my diet but it's home made as you may remember from an earlier post. The belly that i used to try to make bacon was as good as it looked. I now have made my second piece of bacon but as you can see i have used the loin for this piece of bacon and i probably stay with this as there is no fat as you can see. This time this bacon was left a little longer before is was cleaned of salt and dried. As you can see it is a nice pink colour and ready to cook but i will have to wait till morning and have it for my breakfast. The one thing i don't use is the Pink Salt or it's other name is Sodium Nitrite all this does is make the bacon pink. Ok i know it looks pink now but when you cook it it cooks the same colour as normal pork but it retains the taste and flavour of normal bacon.

I used a recipe from an article about Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall making bacon. Well this guy knows what he is doing so i followed his direction. Hugh says  " Incidentally, my bacon doesn't require sodium nitrate (aka saltpetre); salt alone will do the job. The resulting bacon will lose its pinkness when cooked (saltpetre preserves colour, salt does not), but the taste will be better. "

Next time i will make the next bacon with Juniper berries that have just arrived tonight all the way from the isle of Orkney from my friend Richard.

I will be back in a day or two with how it tastes after i have it for breakfast. Mmm

How you make it

150g   Salt
50g     Dark brown sugar " don't know why "
5g       Black pepper

An optional extra that you can put in are the things i have listed below.

A few bayleaves finely chopped
20  Juniper berries, lightly crushed
25g Coriander seeds, crushed

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Radio Merseyside and ceiling work a good day

Today i carried on in the cellar insulating the floor above. Not knowing the floor above size i called into the local Cooperative in a local town and got 3mt of plastic sheeting to get started. I cut the sheet down to fit in between the floor Joists and stapled it into place after using up all the plastic i had to leave what i did yesterday until this morning. I have a lot of insulation that i got from B&Q when they had an offer on 3 rolls 200mm insulation £2.50 a bargain. The picture below shows how i kept it into place great idea until you run out of string ok it happens. The reason for insulating the lounge floor from downstairs in the cellar was because there where gaps in the floor that let  a draft come up just where i sit at my computer.

I started the ceiling today in the kitchen. I put all the cable into place and put the insulation boards up and cut the holes where the lights will be going. On each side of the ceiling ridge beam  i am having 6 LED lights that's 12 in total. In the center of the ceiling i will be having a central light so i will have two different light options. Or maybe 3 options both top rows of lights on one switch all 12 lights on option 2 and the center light is option 3. The LEDs give of so much light but only cost about £1.50 per year for each light to be on. So the running cost is very good

All this was work i enjoyed but to make it better i had Radio Merseyside on and today it was Frankie Conner great presenter who plays 50's 60's and other stuff. Frankie normally has his show cut when there is football on but today Frankie was on for 4 hours and what a show it was thanks Frankie. I sent a request for a Jimi Hendrix track or a Bob Dylan track from the time i was with Jean.  Frankie played a Dylan track for me Called She belongs to me and played it for Jean from me and who knows she may have been listening. Now that would be a bonus great show and a song played from me to Jean.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

I am trying to set up my own Talk Radio how

I have made no secret of teh fact that i dislike using windows on a computer to me it's not safe and secure as it should be. I have been using Ubuntu Linux now on all my machines for a few years and unlike some i have had no problems So.

On a Saturday morning i listen to a program here in Portugal that is run by an English guy called John and I co host with him every few weeks. What i would like to do is start my own radio show of a Saturday morning but having people phone in to chat with me and maybe play a little music as well.

Can i do this hell no but i can with help so i have put a post on the Ubuntu Multi media Forum. These guys on there are real  clever people and if they can't help me i have no chance but i am sure that there is a simple way to do this.

Fifteen minutes after i place a request for help i have a reply with loads of links to help me.

Back later

Friday, 9 December 2011

Time to put my Christmas decorations up.

Well it's that time of year Father Christmas will be calling soon, maybe he will even stop for me. It was difficult to decide how to put all my decorations up to really put on a nice display. I completed decorating my lounge on Thursday night and i am so proud of my efforts i decided to share them with you all.

A tip for all who put decorations up and have a fairy on there tree. You must give the fairy a good meal before you put her away till the next year. If you don't feed the fairy you will end up with one like mine in the picture below. Click on the picture to see it a larger size.

I hope that in the coming year i can carry on with my Blog to the same high standard that you have come to expect from me. For family who i may not be able to speak to i wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

To all my Forum friends Merry Christmas and a very Happy NewYear.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my Blog and i hope that i have kept you amused since i started my Blog quite some time ago, seems such along tome ago now.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Today is a remarkable day

Today is a remarkable day because my grandaughter young as she is without my help has now got her own Blog. Although she may be young i made sure that she had her mums permission. I have always tried to be the one to help her with her computer as it's easy with a problem to talk through things that i could help her with.

As i type this she is typing her own first post on her Blog. Any parent or Grand parent would be proud to have a child who could do something like this but as i am so far away i don't have the contact that i did before. The problem that i had when we started today was that because i am in Portugal when i try to go through starting a Blog it detects that i am in Portugal and all the text is in Portuguese. This happens and today of all days i can only get the main Blogpage in Portuguese.

I had to explain  first that she had to  have a name for her Blog. Then after putting in the information that is needed she had to create a password. It's always wise to right down when you create a new password so if you forget you can always find it when needed. So today i am so proud of what she has done.

Before i spoke to Chelsee i was in the kitchen sanding the main ridge beam at the top of the ceiling that i am going to have exposed. I am now ready so that i can get the linseed oil and treat the beam to retain the colour and look of the beam.The difference it makes now that i can stand safely and work instead of using a step ladder. Anyway until Fernando my neighbour comes back i can't get my extending ladders back.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Just got a new toy a scaffolding tower.

I have been working slowly on my kitchen but i have got to a point where i can't go any further. I lent my ladders to my next door neighbour but as they are away on holiday and i need my ladders i have just come to a halt. When i last went to Leyroy Merlin they had a scaffolding tower on offer so i decided to get one as it would be better than standing on a ladder. Leyroy Merlin is just like a B & Q store. Now i have my scaffolding tower i can now get up to the beam at the top of the ceiling and sand it down and now i start putting up the insulation and the plasterboard and finish the ceiling and start on the walls.

I took some timber that i had recycled from some wooden boxes that where in the house when i moved in to a local joinery firm. The picture is from before i moved into the house and has now been cleaned by myself and now looks clean. One of the workers is English and he was the main carpenter who built a local Timber Frame house for someone who i know. So i knew he could do what i wanted. I took some timber from the box in the picture below and asked if he could plain it on one side. I wanted to see just what the timber would be like and if it was OK i would have the doors for my kitchen hand made.

Thursday i went to see the first door that was made for me as a sample and if they come out the same i will be very happy. I don't have a price yet but i do expect that the price will be better than if i had got them from B & Q when i got the base units. Also the carpenter is going to do the end panels of the base units in the wood that i have for him. Look at the picture below and try to imagine just what it will look like when it has been used to make my doors and end panels. I have enough timber to make the kick board for under the units also for the window sills and a nice shelf for above the base units.

I went this afternoon to the joinery shop to take the picture of my door. When you consider i could have got pre made doors from B & Q but look at what i am having made. No contest.