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Happy New Year 2019

by Saara

Fresh new year, more vintage cooking & recipe adventures ahead! I hope your year 2019 has started with excitement & stress-free. We arrived home just for the NYE after our Christmas holiday trip in Spain and Portugal. Here are few snaps from our trip. I’m going to recap how the year ended with travels before whispering new ideas and wishes for the new year.

We visited friends in South of Spain over Christmas & took a short roadtrip to Algarve together. I did carry one camera with me most of the time but I see now that I’ve been very lazy to pick it up from the bag. I only have few photos from our day in Tavira and couple of landscape shots from Ronda.

We travel off-season quite a bit & I think it’s a great way to scout places where you would like visit again. This trip was no exception. The Andalusian natural park sceneries were breathtaking even just from the car. I can already see us exploring the hiking routes, eating too much in Seville and then escaping the summer holidays for a cooler climate of Madeira. The travel fever is always on!

The Souveniers

A visit to the local grocery store is always on my bucket list no matter where we are. I’m one of those crazy tourists who loves to smell the fruits, appreciate different kinds label design in jars, check the canned food and much moore. I want to explore the visuals, the new flavors and the prices. If I have a chance to visit markets and specialty shops too, even better.

On this trip I did all three and I’m very proud of myself that I didn’t go nuts with the shopping. I think this is all thanks to the fact that we home-cooked 50 percent of the time so it was fun to explore different kinds of Jamón ibérico and all the local specialties already during the vacation.

So what did I drag home in my luggage? Pistachios and walnuts. Olives and olive oil. Machego. Different kinds of pâté. Only one bottle of Verdejo and one bottle of Moscatel. Paella rice. Just normal things really.

But the best thing was to pick citrus fruits from my friends’ garden! Fresh lemons from the garden and very different from the standard lemons I find my grocery store next door to our home.

Faro & Tavira

Our roadtrip to Portugal was a spontaneous one night tour to Algarve. And surprisingly the winter weather treated us best in Portugal. I was wise enough to pack a proper jacket and a sweater from home but in Tavira I did not need them. We enjoyed a dinner in quiet Faro, a shared seafood cataplana. And the next day we walked the streets of Tavira just when the city was just waking up. Long lunch with light tapas was ideal choice when we still had a full day of driving ahead before Ronda and Malaga.

Best Tapas of the Holidays

I enjoyed tapas everyday and loved it. Sometimes I feel that if it was up to me, I could survive on appetisers and rye bread for moths and moths. And no, I did not get bored of jamón and I rather not think how much I ate it. :D

It’s a difficult task to choose the best tapas of the all tapas we had during our week long holidays. But I did have two mouthwatering moments when I thought I could have doubled the size of the portion. Maybe that experience sets the mark, don’t you think?

The first beyond savouring moment was fried anchovies accompanied with artichokes & dry white wine. I could have snacked those anchovies all night. This was the most delicious food memory from Malaga.

The second top moment was in Ronda where we had carillada as one of the dishes during our shared dinner. The pork cheek was cooked tender as ever. I really would like to cook this at home, too. If you have a recipe or tips regarding carillada, please send them on my way!

I’m very thankful for this holiday trip and time spent with friends. Not too often one can lock the calendars of four busy people and spend a week together relaxing without timetables or plans. I do love Christmas but sometimes it’s good to shake routines and not let life get rutted.

Gratefulness is what I feel about the past year, too. The year 2018 was the year of re-focus, re-connecting and relaxing. One of the projects encompassing all these three areas is also My Vintage Cooking blog. I started this food photography focused blog three months ago and it’s been exciting to find so much inspiration and support from the foodie community.

I want to thank you for the past autumn with warmest wishes. Let’s share many more meals, recipes and memories!

Love, Saara

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