Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Homemade Ricotta

A while ago I was at a friend's house for dinner and she served an appetizer of Ricotta cheese with red pepper jelly, delicious of course. However I was surprised to learn that she had made the cheese herself! I never considered making cheese? She explained how simple it was to make and listed what was needed ..... milk, cream, salt, vinegar or lemon juice and cheese cloth. Huh! Cheesecloth? I always knew what "cheesecloth" was - I just never thought that it was actually used for making cheese!
Anyway, several months later I finally got up the gumption to try it ..... and guess what? It actually turned out!

Ricotta Cheese Recipe (from The

As you can see, the cheese is somewhat "curdy" as it is left to drain in the cheesecloth and colander. I then pressed it in a round dish with a flat bottom. The cheese is quite bland but great when paired with something with a little zip (like red pepper jelly). I found a hot dip recipe that included garlic, lemon and chives. It was very good but a bit crumbly. There are lots of recipes for ricotta cheese in dips, manicotti, lasagne, cheese cakes etc. All you have to do is check Google or You Tube!
Hmmmm .... now that I am a master cheese maker (thanks to You Tube) what new skill will I try next? bee keeping? furniture making? heart surgery?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

My Compostela

On my flight home I checked my backpack and chose to travel light with just a small (fold into a pocket type) pack. In it I carried a few personal items for the trip and my "Compostela", or certificate of my accomplishment in completing the requirements of the Camino de Santiago. After all that waking I wasn't going to risk the possibility of it getting lost!
In order to receive this certificate, pilgrims have to complete a minimum of 100kms. I walked 177kms! My certificate of distance says 260kms because I started at Porto, but due to time, weather etc. we had to take a few buses or taxis occasionally. Anyway, I am very pleased to have this document as well as my "credencial" or passport with all the stamps that I collected along the way. A great souvenir!


Monday, May 16, 2016

Six Hour Layover

Lisbon, Porto, Santiago and the Camino are all memories and photos now, and we are "enjoying" a six hour layover in Munich. The airport is a shopper's dream and foodies are not hard done by either .... that is if you have extra Euros in your pocket or room left on your Visa card!

The last photo is of the nice selection of free amenities that Lufthansa offers it's customers! Very civilized!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Last Day in Lisbon

Santiago was great, even in the rain! However, all good things must come to an end and for us that meant getting back to Lisbon to catch our flights home. We took a bus that left Santiago at 12:00 and arrived in Lisbon at 8:45 PM. We dumped our packs at our hotel and had a late meal at an Indian restaurant.
The next day was beautiful and sunny (of course, we're not walking!). We put in the afternoon doing something completely uncamino like ... shopping! Since we ditched our packs we figured we had room for a few items. Diane and Jill still have a few more days so they were looking for a few summer duds.
Just so you know .... Sunday shopping is alive and well in Lisbon!
Tonight we are off to airport ... not looking forward to the long flight home.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Made It!

I made it to Santiago de Compostela! After walking an average of 18km a day we finally arrived.
The area around the Cathedral was full of people, tourists, pilgrim's, school groups! After attending Mass we joined the huge line up of pilgrim's getting their official credential for completing the Camino. After an hour wait we got a beautiful certificate with our name on it and a tube to carry it in. We headed for the nearest restaurant/ bar to have lunch and drinks to celebrate.
The weather was wet and cold but our spirits were high as we settled into our hotel and got ready to attend the evening mass with the famous Botafumeiro, a huge incense burning container that is swung at the end of the service. - Very impressive! (Will post a video later)
Of course, another dinner and drinks was in order ... a day of celebration for sure!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Almost There!

We woke up this morning to a foggy, drizzly day ... very disappointing! So after breakfast we took a cab to the next town (about 8km) away and hit a café with WIFI ( pronounced weefee here in Spain). After a coffee and research we continued our journey. Fortunately the weather cleared and we walked an easy 13km to Picarana, exploring old churches along the way. We even had a very decent lunch that included a bottle of vino tinto for 4 Euros!
Tomorrow we head into Santiago de Compostela!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Camino Confusion

A mixed up day today. We started out from our "swanky hotel" ( by Camino standards) and followed the arrows. Over hill, over dale, and into a nice town with a beautiful monastery and awesome Cathedral, only to find that we were on the wrong route! We met another woman from England who was in the same predicament and a bit rattled so she joined us and we all shared a cab to get us back on track.
We walked the Camino with lots of other pilgrim's through vineyards and little villages and finally took a bus to the town where our hotel was. When we got there we stopped at a bar to asked directions and discovered that it was only 2km away. No problem ... except that there was a huge downpour and we were soaked by the time we got to our hotel.
Anyway, we are here now and waiting for tapas!