Sunday, May 31, 2009
Snails in summer
Friday, May 29, 2009
Old Abandoned Buildings in Marsascala
Ta' Grabiel's family house
Incidentally, this week I happened to come across an old photo of Marsascala taken in 1885 and I was quite surprised to note that the house above was already in existence at that time! The old house is the last one in the right hand side of the photo. Here's a close up of the house.
Apap Bologna Palace
As I was strolling along the promenade a couple of weeks ago I found this old abandoned building up a slope behind Brighton take-away. Looking at this derelict building I couldn't believe that it was so quiet up there, so secluded. Only two fighting cats broke the silence that reigned in that place. The garden with the overgrown shrubs and creepers next to the house reminded me of Estelle's house in Dicken's Great Expectations. I was almost expecting an old woman hobbling in the garden. Curiosity got the better of me and back home I did some research as to what this lovely building used to be before. It belonged to the nobles Apap Bologna, on whom the title of "Marquis of Gnien is-Sultan" was bestowed by Grand Master de Rohan in 1792. These were great benefactors of the parish of Marsaskala. In the year 1997 the Apap Bologna Palace together with the chapel, was donated to the Bishop's Curia to serve as a rest house for elderly priests. However, I got the impression that the building is no longer in use..Who knows maybe I'm wrong..
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The Carob Tree - Il-Harruba
Carob-pods, are now making a comeback as a health food in Europe. The carob-flour is made by grinding carob-pods that have been dried and roasted. It has a very strong flavour and must be used with care. The taste is a little like honeyed chocolate, and in fact carob is sometimes used as a substitute for chocolate. The dark-brown carob pods are not only edible but rich in calcium, sucrose and protein. Moreover, the pod has vitamin A, B vitamins, and several important minerals. And although carobs are very sweet, they contain far fewer calories than chocolate!! They are sold at high prices in many European food-markets, but in Malta they are no longer even harvested as food for animals!! Are carobs set for a revival in Malta too?
Monday, May 25, 2009
Capers - Il-Kappar
Monday, May 18, 2009
Strawberry and Coconut Cheesecake
200g coconut biscuits (e.g Nice biscuits)
25g desiccated coconut
75g melted butter
405g light condensed milk
500g low fat cream cheese (e.g Philadelphia)
juice of 1 small lemon
2tbsp strawberry jam
Grease and line a 20cm tin with baking paper.
Mix together the crushed biscuits, coconut and melted butter. Then lightly press into the base of the tin. Chill.
Beat together the condensed milk and philadelphia cheese until the mixture is completely smooth. Add the lemon juice and combine thoroughly.
In a blender or food processor, pulse half the strawberries with the jam until lightly crushed, leaving small pieces.
Spread half the cream mixture on to the biscuit base. Spoon over all the crushed strawberries, then top with the remaining cream mixture. Chill for 4 hours or overnight.
Halve the remaining strawberries and arrange on top of the cheesecake.
The Valletta Waterfront
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Marsascala police station
Monday, May 11, 2009
1. Combine the lemon juice, rind, water and sugar.
2. Heat, stirring till the sugar is dissolved.
3. Stir in the dissolved corn flour and egg yolks, and continue cooking till the mixture is thick (about 5 minutes).
4. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand for a few minutes..
5. Spoon into the pastry case.
6. Beat the egg whites till stiff. Gradually beat in the sugar. The mixture should form stiff, dry peaks.
7. Pile the meringue on top of the lemon filling, taking care to cover it completely.
8. Bake at 150ºC for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the meringue has set and is golden brown.
9. Leave to stand till cool.
A Busy Sunday
Friday, May 8, 2009
Il-Majjistral Park Walk
The site is rich of biodiversity and history giving you an experience of natural beauty, a walk in history and a sense of wilderness that is hard to imagine and experience in Malta – an island densely populated and under the pressure of development and progress. The highlights of the area included amongst others: beautiful views on the northwest coast, wild rugged landscapes along the boulder scree below the plateaus, a large number of traditional corbelled stone huts (giren) and a rich garigue bursting with flowers.
The cart ruts
The Cave Dwellings
A lost cameleon
A rare view of sheep grazing in the fields
The place which marked the end of our Nature walk.
For more details go to http://www.majjistral.org/.
Lemon Drizzle Cake
Last Wednesday I had only one and a half hour to spare before going out and as I looked at my bowl full of lemons one thought came to mind...a lemon cake..!! The result was a tangy and gorgeous cake.
Ingredients50g unsalted butter,
Finely grated zest 2 lemons
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs
50g ground almonds
150g plain flour
2 tbsp cornflour
2½ tsp baking powder
90ml lemon juice
75g icing sugar
Spoon the cake mixture into the loaf tin, and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Remove and leave to cool for five minutes. Beat the remaining 15ml of lemon juice with the icing sugar, and spread this mix over the top of the cake while it's still in the tin. The icing is spooned on while the cake is hot, and this helps it turn into that beautiful, crisp lemon glaze as it cools. Leave until barely warm before serving.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Spring is in the air...
Monday, May 4, 2009
Maltese balconies in Marsascala
The balconies are unequivocally an important feature of the Maltese streetscape. They are amongst the first characteristics of Malta you notice. In many ways, they are similar architecturally to those of the North African countries. In Gozo and in some older Maltese villages, you’ll see square stone balconies, often elaborately carved. The elegant wooden balconies of Valletta (the capital city of Malta) were used as a view point for families to catch up on the business of the streets below. Today in Valletta you will see baskets lowered from balconies for the baker to pop in a loaf of bread. This simple act saves the home owner several tortuous flight of stairs. The finest and longest balcony is that of the Grand Master’s palace in Valletta. It stretches around corners and along the side street walls.
Last Friday I woke up early and went for a drive round my lovely hometown. I took photos of some particular houses which caught my attention. These three houses with their different colour schemes look really lovely next to each other. Don't you agree?
I took photos of the above balconies because I think these Marsascala houses are pretty old. And their balconies are rather unusual. I have never encountered such balconies anywhere else in Malta.
Lemons: Sorbetto Sicilia
Friday, May 1, 2009
Chicken a la Carte
Chicken a la Carte : Director: Ferdinand Dimadura Genre: Drama Produced In: 2005
Synopsis: This film is about the hunger and poverty brought about by Globalization. There are 10,000 people dying everyday due to hunger and malnutrition. This short film shows a forgotten portion of the society. The people who live on the refuse of men to survive. What is inspiring is the hope and spirituality that never left this people.
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