Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How Big is Africa, More on Books.

AfricaA friend posted the link to this map on Facebook the other day and I found it fascinating. I had never realised the African continent was quite so large. She commented that Canada wasn’t included in the comparisons, and I wonder just how much space it would take when compared to Africa, it’s a pretty big country, but….. I hadn’t realised the States would take up so little room either. It reminds me of The King and I when the Siamese kids are shown a world map and cannot believe their country is just a dot compared to the rest of the world.

I’ve just started a new Dave Duncan book Speak to the Devil where magic is considered to be evil and swordsmen are no longer so useful in the new age of firearms. I have always enjoyed Dave Duncan’s books, in particular the King’s Blade series which I have in ebook form and love every one of them. Just checking his web page I see there are a few books I haven’t kept up on, so must do so in the near future.

Have to go see my foot nurse this morning so not much time to write. I have always loved rice dishes and most of those which come from Spain. This is fairly unusual and one which I will certainly try quite soon.

Baked Rice with Currants and Chickpeas

Source: The Heritage of Spanish Cooking

Serves 4

While coastal areas have seafood risottos based on fish broth, inland villages use cocido broth as a basis for countless rice dishes. INGREDIENTS

5 oz currantsBaked Rice Currants Chickpeas

1/3 cup olive oil

1 head garlic, rinsed and dried

1 tomato, peeled and finely chopped

1 teaspoon paprika

6 1/2 oz chickpeas, cooked

3 1/3 cups cocido or meat broth, hot


2 1/2 cups medium-grain rice


Soak the currants in warm water for 3-4 hours. Drain. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat the oil in a 14 in. shallow casserole. When it is hot, add the head of garlic and half the currants and fry gently. Add the tomato and then the paprika. Stir, then add the chickpeas and broth.

Check the seasoning. When the broth comes to a boil, add the rice and spread out evenly. The head of garlic should be in the center. Sprinkle the remaining currants on top, then bake for 15-18 minutes.

Taste a few grains to check that the rice is cooked, then remove from the oven and serve immediately straight from the casserole.

Have a great day



  1. I guess you would know. I certainly had never realised it before. I found the map fascinating.