Find Your Own ‘Way’


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By Aracuano – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2956595

Last week I watched The Way for the first time. It’s a film about grief, family, and faith and stars Martin Sheen and his son, Emilio Estevez (also the director, writer, and producer). The movie was released in 2010, but I had never seen it. Well, it’s not the kind of movie that you’d find in a multiplex cinema (but it should be there!).

The Camino de Santiago is a thousand-year-old walking trail that has more than a dozen routes, hence this symbol:

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The French Way, the most popular of the routes, is the one depicted in the movie, and begins at Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in the French Pyrenees. All the routes end at Santiago de Compostela, where the same-named cathedral stands.

Thousands of people walk (or bike or ride) this route every year. In the summer months, the route can be unbearably crowded, with ‘pilgrims’ racing ahead, hoping to secure a bed in one of the hostels along the route. This defeats the idea of a pilgrimage.

A pilgrimage is defined as a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance. Although it often is a journey to a shrine or place of religious importance (think Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Shikoku in Japan), a pilgrimage also can be a metaphorical journey into someone’s own beliefs.

Will I ever walk the Camino de Santiago? Probably not. I’m 58 years old, and the time for me to have made this journey was thirty years ago. I know my limitations, and walking for ten miles a day for nearly two months isn’t practical.

Estevez says the message of The Way is that “…it’s okay to be exactly who you are, that God loves you no matter how broken, no matter how imperfect you are.”

A fitting message for all of us.

Watch The Way on Netflix or buy your own DVD here

 

Smile and Say……”Z” is for Zamorano


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“Z” is for ZAMORANO

Creative Commons/Jon Sullivan
Creative Commons/Jon Sullivan

 

Zamorano is a famous Spanish sheep’s milk cheese made in the region of Castile-Leon, Zamora. This hard cheese takes almost 6 months to mature fully. It has a pale-yellow color with crumbly texture and contains 45% fat. The rind is rubbed with olive oil while maturing, giving it its dark color.

Zamorano has a buttery and nutty taste, which is served as a table cheese with white, red as well as Zinfandel wine. It gets its characteristic flavor because of the breed of sheep – the small, scruffy Churra and the Castilian sheep that produce milk.

Due to a distinctive zigzag pattern and cylindrical shape, Zamorano appears similar to Castellano or Manchego.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this alphabetical tour through cheeseland as much as I did!

 

Like to party? Hop along the Hump Day Blog Hop on Julie Valerie’s Book Blog. Click here to return to the Hump Day Blog Hop.

 

 

Smile and Say……”M” is for MANCHEGO


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I guess you can figure out my theme for the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge. That’s right, it’s cheese!  I hope you enjoy these posts!

“M” is for MANCHEGO

Creative Commons/Zerchund
Creative Commons/Zerchund

Yes, going for the obscure. Manchego takes its name from the dry plateau of La Mancha, south of Madrid and not far from Toledo, Spain. Originally named by the Arabs “Al Mansha” (meaning land without water), La Mancha is a vast, dry, flat region with few trees, and scorched by temperatures that can reach 122 degrees F, with minimal rainfall.

www.wikipedia.com
http://www.wikipedia.com

Manchego is one of the popular cheeses from Spain. Authentic Manchego is only made from the Manchego sheep’s milk. The farmhouse version is produced from unpasteurized milk while the industrial version is made from pasteurized milk.

The rind is inedible with a distinctive, traditional herringbone basket weave pattern, pressed on it. There are specific differences in Manchego cheeses, depending on their aging period.

Semi Curado – Young Manchego cheese is aged around 3 months are supple and moist. The flavor is fruity, grass, hay with a tangy note.

Curado – Manchego cheese aged for 6 months acquires a caramel and nutty flavor. It has distinct acidity.

Viejo – Manchego cheese aged for a year becomes crumbly in texture while the interior of the cheese acquires a butterscotch color. It has a sweet, lingering taste.

Manchego cheeses are best paired with a sherry.

Smile and Say……”I” is for IDIAZABAL


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I guess you can figure out my theme for the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge. That’s right, it’s cheese!  I hope you enjoy these posts!

“I” is for IDIAZABAL

Creative Commons/Ardo Beltz
Creative Commons/Ardo Beltz

Did I fool you with this one? You were wondering, weren’t you? 🙂

In order to find the source of Idiazabal, you’d need to find the Latxa or Carranza sheep in the Basque regions of northern Spain. This cheese was named after the village where it originated.

In summer, the sheep migrate to higher pastures to graze on the blossoming, new grass. During this time, artisanal cheesemakers milk the sheep, make the cheese and leave it in the rafters to mature. At the end of summer when the cheesemakers return back to the lowlands with their sheep, the cheese has ripened and is ready for sale.

Idiazabal has a hard natural rind. The cheese is dry, but not crumbly, and feels “pleasantly oily” in the mouth. The characteristic smoky flavor is the result of the cheeses having been stored near the fireplaces. There were no chimneys in the simple mountain huts, so the cheeses absorbed the aromatic smoke. The taste of the cheese is reminiscent of burnt caramel and bacon (Come on! What could be better?!). It pairs well with red wine and cider.