With such high temperatures being reported all over southern Europe I keep thinking of my poor friends and suppliers in Andalucia. My first concern is how they are coping, but a close second is how this extreme heat is going to affect their crops and their livelihoods.

I only remember it getting to 40 degrees once in all our time in Spain and it was horrific! I remember going into the village for dinner that night, and sitting in the Plaza Buenavista with it’s beautiful views from Casarabonela across the valley to the south, but surrounded by buildings on the other three sides, and the heat was honestly so extreme it felt like we were sitting in an oven!

I'm so grateful I am not there, and that I have in fact just returned from a much “cooler” holiday in beautiful Southern Ireland. We had such a great time despite other extremes of weather - we saw family, we saw friends, we met lovely people, visited beautiful places, ate well, drank Guinness (and quite a lot of wine!), listened to wonderful Irish music, walked, swam and generally loved it. Interestingly in some ways it reminded us both of Andalucia – the slower pace of life, the great sense of community, people being so friendly and having time to chat, and the stunning unspoilt landscape everywhere we went – there was one big difference – it was a lot greener than Andalucia!

When we were staying with my brother and sister in law in West Cork we went to Fields (their local supermarket in Skibereen) – the fantastic deli counter is run by Kevin who we were of course introduced to, and bearing in mind it was only 11am, we were immediately asked whether we would like a whiskey or a gin! I didn’t want to seem ungrateful so I asked for a small whiskey and while we were standing there I noticed they were selling some locally made Chilli Jam. It caught my attention because it was made from exactly the same ingredients as mine (with no apple or red pepper which is quite unusual). The next thing I knew we were being offered a taster - a crunchy crostini with the most delicious Paysan Breton cream cheese and topped with a smidge of said Chilli Jam. I’m only telling you this because it made a really great nibble, and only takes two seconds to put together. Grab a jar of my Chilli Jam (the Chorizo Jam is equally good) and a tub of this delicious cream cheese (I think it’s the saltiness that makes it so good) and enjoy a very tasty snack.

All good things have to come to an end, and I’m back home now and up and running again. I know it’s holiday season so some of you may be away, but for those of you who need a restock now you can use code GUINNESS this weekend to get 10% off (excluding multiples of tins).

Have a happy weekend

Susie x


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