WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Around the garden and lunch

I had a friend over for a late lunch today. I started out walking around the garden , did some dead heading. The fragrance from my roses is wonderful.
I had decided on lunch menu last night. Once I know what i am going to cook , its simple. I love to cook and like using different ingredients .
I cut these 4 enormous roses .. Their perfume fills the air. I have a bowl of roses on my table every day. Unfortunately they dont like the heat.
Nothing sophisticated. We are old friends and enjoy each others company.
It also started to get very hot. After lunch we moved inside as it was much cooler, with the air con. I have slowly started to get my patios sorted and cleaned. This is the patio outside Olive Cottage..my canadian wooden cabin. I spend time between the two cottages if I dont have guests.
This is one of my bushes that gives very big blooms. I noticed aphids today..so it will be a spraying for them tomorrow.

yellow daisy bush..its laden with daisies.
I forgot to write the name down of this creeper. its really flowering nicely on the patio trelis.

The end result of my lunch dish today.. Curried prawns.
Green peppers , garlic, and diced onion sauted in my own olive oil. When they become a little soft , then add the prawns with the curry mix.

A bottle of Alentejo red and chilled Vinho Verde. "Green wine" its delicious with fish and sea food.
Here the onions garlic and peppers are cooking on a very low gas light.. I mixed coconut milk with the curry powder, my cousin brought me from India, all together with the prawns. notice the prawns are peeled already. If you cant get fresh ones, fresh frozen are also good. Mine were fresh frozen today.
Mixed salad with little heart tomatoes. I like to add a little mint and garlic to my salads sometimes.
The curry mix.. peppers and garlic.
Basmati rice. A must for this dish . 1 large mug of rice to two of water. Basmati cooks very quickly.
Coconut milk. also delicious to drink. Ideal to use in many recipies.
Fresh coriander , chopped tomatoes with tomato paste. The corriander and tomatoes go into the prawns after the prawns are in the pan.. stir well..all the time the prawns must simmer..do not overcook.
It was a lovely afternoon and we cought up with lots of news and chit chat. We finished off with ice cream and an extra glass of wine and a coffee.

Wishing you all some good cooking days. You might like to try this dish.. it takes less than 20 min ..to put it all on the table.

Do you like to cook ?


  1. Hi Val: Oh, does that ever look delicious, all the ingredients I love. I will try to put it together, I think the Captain would enjoy it. Your roses are beautiful and I see another new and beautiful header..Happy Wednesday..Judy

  2. Thank you Judy,
    We both had a lovely happy afternoon.
    pleased you like my header.. i like to change it now and again. Hope you enjoy the recipe.. its an old one here at the house.

  3. Hi Val.....first of all...thanks for stopping by and saying hi. I have to admit it is the first time I have visited your spot....it is so very much "right up my alley" so to speak....I see we both are gardner's at heart....and have to deal with awful heat during the summer months.

    I was supposed to go to Spain and Portugal this March...but alas....things came up and we had to cancel our trip....hopefully...we'll make it some day. Your spot looks so lovely.

    take care,


  4. Thank you Jo. Yes, I love gardening.. i am hopless with names of flowers..but i do try. Your comments are encouraging. It connects us together and we meet nice people.
    I like your blog.. and see that we do like the same things.
    what a shame about your trip. Maybe another time.
    Both wonderful countries.

  5. Your home must be lovely - different patios and everything! Impressive. The food looked awesome too. ALways nice to spend time with a friend.

    Hey when I get your comment and I write back - it must have the wrong email address.

    Can you send me your correct one?


  6. Thank you Sandie,
    Always appreciate your comments.
    its valerietilsten59@gmail.com

    I am getting your comments.

  7. Dear Val - your day looked so relaxed and lovely. Beautifully dressed table, and curry is something I love. I think we will have a curry tomorrow, so thanks for giving me the prompt.

  8. Hi Val, You look like you had such a lovely time with your friend. I will try your recipe; we haven't had curried prawns for ages here.
    I have that vine too with the trumpet shape flowers, and I don't know its name either! Maybe someone else will know. Enjoy the roses xxx

  9. Thank you Patricia.
    If i remember from a previous post.. the creeper is a clemitis..but once again i must write these names down. Best wishes and thanks for leaving your lovely comments. val

  10. Something different. I myself have'nt made them for a while now, a good old simple recipe. It was a pleasant day.
    good cooking with lots of sunshine.
    thank you Rosemary.

  11. Thai curries are a firm favourite in my household and I love nothing better than cooking with coconut milk Val.
    Having friends over for a meal is really enjoyable and often more relaxed than dining out.
    I am wondering if a Portugal summer gets as hot as our Queensland summer?

  12. This all looks lovely. Beautiful flowers, delicious food and a good friend to share it with. I'm sure your friend appreciated everything:)
    Thank you very much for your lovely comments on my blog. I do appreciate your kind words.

  13. Thank you Betty,
    I am a happy girl, with such lovely blogging friends.
    your blog is lovely and you write great posts.
    My friend M. enjoyed her day very much as did I.

  14. Thanks Annie, appreciate your comments.
    I use Indian spice mixes.. slightly different than Thai..but both equally as good.
    I love a curry now and again.
    Alentejo is the hottest province in Portugal..
    In the summer it gets higher than 45o some days.
    Yesterday was 35o.. its cool in the mornings and late evenings.. very much like north Africa.

  15. Hello Val, I loooove shrimps! the pics look soooo yummy delisious :P and I loved the table design, very countrylike. The roses' colors are adorable. have a nice day =)

  16. Thank you Gorkçe, I appreciate your comments.
    I like just a simple table now. just casual.
    You must be having good weather in Turkey..!
    its fantastic here.. i will be swimming this afternoon.
    xxx val

  17. Oh, what a lovely day! Beautiful flowers and surroundings and wonderful food. I just love it all! I am glad you had such a good time with your friend.

  18. It sounds like a lovly visit, Val, full of good food, beautiful flowers, and relaxing conversation. Wishing you a lovely day in your beautiful garden.

  19. It was a lovely day Haworth.. thank you.
    Everything is blooming and the skies are blue and the weather great..

  20. Yesterday was a lovely day Lisa.. My friend and myself had a few glasses of ice cold wine..and laughed the afternoon away.. the weather is so nice at the moment.

  21. Well it cannot get any better, beautiful roses, wonderful food, and special friends to share it all with Bliss!
    Thea x

  22. Thanks Thea, wish you could have been with us. it was a special day.. i love having friends over.
    Hope your tea party went off well.
    xx val

  23. Hi Val,
    Beautiful flowers especially the roses,wonderful food and lovely location and friends, what a good way of spending a day!
    Sarah x

  24. Thank you Sarah,
    I spend most of my time outdoors during the spring and summer months. Its beautiful..

  25. Hi Valerie

    I love you shrimp curry dish. Perfect and I love when it does not take a long time to cook.
    Hope your weekend is great

    Helen xx

  26. This sounds like a lovely afternoon - just as well it wasn't me coming to lunch though as I don't like curry or prawns! Would have had to settle for the wine and ice cream:)
    Your roses are beautiful, mine are just coming into bud now and a couple are showing some colour, I'm really looking forward to the flowers as mine are all old fashioned shrub roses with wonderful scents.


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