Loving the decor, an abundance of vintage sewing machines in Arequipa? Heaps of cafes have these mocked up tables, this one we cooked Christmas lunch on.

Loving the decor, an abundance of vintage sewing machines in Arequipa? Heaps of cafes have these mocked up tables, this one we cooked Christmas lunch on.

Our Christmas lunch, cooked in the hostel kitchen in Arequipa, Peru. Home-cooked, fresh food! Best leftovers of the year.

"It’s a blended salad… or a salad smoothie."

Impromptu gazpacho soup class at BCG Hostel, Barcelona. Run by the experts, Mr and Mrs BCG. Described as a blended salad, it was delicious and really easy. Here’s my rough notes on the recipe, which was for 10 people!

- A lot of tomato (approx 1 big tomato per person)
- 1 cucumber
- 1 capsicum / pepper - yellow or red preferably
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Vegetable oil
- Salt
- Pepper
- A good swirly squirt of white, mature vinegar.

Roughly chop fresh ingredients and blend, in batches if required. Add salt, pepper, vinegar and oil to blender and taste, adjust, taste, adjust. Put your serious face on for this final step.

Pour into serving dishes and you’re ready to eat! Mrs BCG was adamant basil should not be added. I think Italians might have a different opinion.

Too much chocolate at the Chocolate Museum, Barcelona. Tickets, sculptures, drinks - all chocolate!

Mint tea in Casablanca. You’re meant to pour it from a great height (like cider in Basque country). If it gets foamy on top, that means it’s a good quality brew.

Fish and Moroccan salad by the sea, Essaouira

Lunch on our way to the Sahara.

Lunch on our way to the Sahara.

We went back to a little café in Barcelona to celebrate Claire’s birthday. We both thought she would love this place when we visited back in March. Strangely, it felt like Claire had been with us on our first visit when we returned this month. So we had our own little tea party, just as if she was there. The best Earl Grey tea I’ve had. With a slice of brandy cake and almond cake. Happy (belated) Birthday, Claire!

Our first mint tea.

Our first mint tea.

On route to Marrakech.

On route to Marrakech.

At a train station in Turkey, felt like the middle of nowhere, watching occasional bicycles on the dirt road trundle across the tracks.

A family turned up with 3 overactive boys and the father offered us a pomegranate. His brother had to show me how to open it (now I know!). So we sat laughing at the boy’s antics and chowing down on sour pomegranate.

Missing the fresh orange and pomegranate stalls all over Istanbul. My immune systems was so grateful after my Maltese flu.

Our first meal out in Morocco! Well researched first, and paid Western prices. But the decor was beautiful and it was super yummy. With raisins and chickpeas, it was the first vegetables I’ve braved since arriving 3 days ago. Man did I need them!

This meal comes after days of eating mostly bread after being stunned by some of the sights at the back of the medina. Strips of meat being jerkified by hanging off long strings in the sun. Fresh sheep skins lying in the street drying. The smell is pretty intense.

In the Carcassonne region, my lovely ‘landlords’ took me on a long Saturday morning drive through misty mountain roads to the oldest market in Europe, in Ravel.

It was an impact on the nose, I’ll say. And the tastebuds afterwards, with my hosts serving up a plate of fresh snails (not bad!).

Live pigeons and chickens. A 3-cheese melt and potato mix, traditional to the area. Major cheese stall run by a father and his very small and very busy son.

We had a little Turkish banquet this arvo :) Fresh Turkish sits so well, best food since Italy easily. Of course, fresh handmade gözleme too.