Monday, September 21, 2015

Matanza 2016

For those who are interested we aim to hold our matanza over the weekend of 15th January 2016. For an idea of what it involves, have a look at Tim Clinch's gallery from last January's matanza.....skip over the first few bloody images for his great black and white portraits of those who came to help out last year.

Please let me know if you are a chef or charcutier and are interested in joining us over the weekend as we prepare Chorizo, Morcilla, Caña de Lomo, Salchichón, Jamónes and Paletas de Cerdo Ibérico. You can email me directly at to book a place in the house or in one of the cottages. It's a jolly, social and hard-working occasion.

Costs per person for three nights (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) are €450. this includes all food and drink (Welcome dinner, breakfasts, 2 different matanza lunches Saturday and Sunday, and Sunday night's supper).

Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness....

......well, give it a few weeks more until autumn weather is really here.  We are now sliding into our Indian summer. Blue skies, the leaves turning, the smell of damp earth and rained-on dry summer grass. The wild mint (menta poleo) is easily spotted in the fields and woods, with its spikes of green - grey leaves and purple flowers glowing out of the yellow sun-dried grass. The tuber-roses are in  bloom, and we have armfuls of them scenting the staircase and hall.

Last night, waking at 4 am to a completely silent world, I went out onto the terrace. The feeling of floating in silence was due to a complete lack of wind. Stars spattered the heavens from horizon to horizon, the milky way bleaching its way from West to East, and Orion and Taurus over my shoulder. Then I heard it, what had presumably woken me; the roaring of a stag from the valley, then further pained groans from surrounding  hills, and yet further away  faint calls muted by the trees and folding landscape. A single bell from the church tower of Fuenteheridos announced the half hour, and it was time to return to bed.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Another joyous week of creativity, walks, good food and meditation with Elaine Kingett. The early autumn weather has been perfect; cooler evenings and warm golden days. Jeannie and I retire to bed after dinner, and listen to the laughter wafting up from the courtyard.

On Tuesday we had the Romeria de la Peña de Alájar

This weekend we say goodbye to our writers, and lurch into the Los Marines Fiesta, with dancing and fireworks....then a fitness week with Sarah Maxwell, and photography with Tim Clinch.

This photograph was taken at our butchery and matanza day last January, when we were about to brand the hams before salting them. We are heating up the FBV (Finca Buenvino) brand so that we know our hams have not been 'got at' by ham rustlers!

Our next matanza (Pig Killing and butchery days) will be held on the weekend of the 15th January 2016. Anyone interested in learning how to make chorizo, salchichón, caña de lomo and jamón is welcome to attend. We have limited availability for those who are truly interested in nose-to-tail charcuterie preparation in Spain. Email me, Sam at for details and prices.