Monday, 31 December 2018

A Messines Christmas and an Armacao de Pera New Year

I'm linking up with The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer. Pre-scheduling hiccups over Christmas week means this won't actually be published until Monday though. Oops!
And my Month In Books for December will appear tomorrow.

We are now back at Camping Canelas, Armacao de Pera for three nights over New Year before we move on somewhere different on Wednesday. We spent Christmas out in the tranquil rural bliss of Camperstop Messines and the pictures are from the Christmas Day brunch which was a fun get-together for everybody on the campsite. We all brought a plate of food to share and sat around in the sunshine chatting. Dave and I got to try Dutch and Belgian foods including an interesting White Cabbage With Raisins salad which sounded odd to me, but the sweet fruit worked well with the sharpness of lightly pickled cabbage! I contributed two dozen Oatcakes piled with Chilli Lentil Spread - didn't look too exciting, but they all vanished! The other Brits there really went to town and made delicious Banoffee Pie.

We didn't really get organised for Christmas this year so our only hanging 'decorations' on Christmas Eve were actually drying laundry and we hardly had anything in the way of edible treats either! We're making up for that for New Year though. I made another batch of Slow Cooker Chocolate Fudge this afternoon. I suddenly realised a couple of days ago that I'll need vegan fudge (if there's any left) on New Year's Day though because, well, Veganuary! Fortunately when we first arrived in Portugal I spotted Condensed Coconut Milk in a supermarket alongside regular dairy Condensed Milk. I didn't previously know that Condensed Coconut Milk was a Thing. Unfortunately I didn't buy a tin at the time and haven't seen it again since. Grrr! But I wondered if it might be easy to make myself and googled it. Turns out it's so easy that I don't think the method even qualifies for the word recipe!! Guess what I'm experimenting with today?

In bookish news, I am currently reading a review copy of Nigerian novel The Bead Collector by Sefi Atta which is published by fab international publishers Interlink. This is the same company that publishes one of my favourite authors, Mhani Alaoui. They're currently looking for more bloggers to work with so if you're interested, let me know and I'll pass your name across!

Giveaways closing soon
31st Dec: Literary Flits Spotlight Post (for authors who want free book promo)
3rd Jan: My Dream Woman by C H Clepitt ebook
6th Jan: Derrick by Russell ebooks
(All current giveaways here)

On my blogs this week were:

Stephanie Jane
My Top Ten New-to-me Authors of 2018 #Top10of2018
Cover Love: My Favourite 2018 Book Covers #Top10of2018
State Of The ARC - December 2018
Best of the Best: My Favourite Books of the Year #Top10of2018

Literary Flits
Betwixt by Evie Gaughan review + Free Book
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens review
Headstrong by Patrick Link audiobook review
The Broke Vegan Bible by Lauren McCuen review
Secrets Of Islay by Robert Kroeger review
The Book Of Fathers by Miklos Vamos review
The Waves by Virginia Woolf audiobook review

Airing Out
No new campsites this week

¡Happy New Year!


  1. Sounds like you guys are having a good time. Happy New Year.

  2. It sounds like you had a fantastic Christmas! I didn't have any decorations around either and I am not living on the road :) Fudge sounds great and I will be curious about the coconut condensed milk. Let us know how that turns out!

    1. Coconut milk condensed well, but then I got the proportions wrong so the fudge wouldn't set. Still tasted good eaten with spoons though!

  3. I love hearing about your travels and daily life. Thanks for the recipe for slow cook fudge. Do you use candy bars or chocolate chips to make it? I have a complicated recipe for truffles with different flavorings like this but it is lots more work. I think it would be interesting to do dark chocolate with some peppermint flavoring this time of year. Happy New Year! Anne - Books of My Heart

    1. I just use slabs of dark cooking chocolate broken into pieces. I think a peppermint version would be delicious!