YO means simply “I” which is what I am going to concentrate on next month! 

YUCCA The first time I saw a yucca in flower I was amazed – the yuccas I’d seen in England were pot plants. Then I saw these strange roots for sale and learned they were yucca too – known in some places as manioc or cassava. You can boil it and serve with a mojo (sauce) – it’s rather bland on its own – and it thickens a stew beautifully. It can be fried in slices or made into chips – in fact you can treat it as you would a potato. Apparently you can also put the flower petals in a salad and eat the fruit.

YAMS are another favourite, though yam is what my OH calls them – batatas is the Canarian word, and in England you know then as sweet potatoes. I love them, though it’s difficult to tell whether I’m buying blanca or naranja unless I scratch one – I prefer the nananja. Its orange flesh tastes divine, particularly when roasted like a parsnip, and like the yucca they go beautifully in a stew or curry.

YACHTS are everywhere here – not surprising on an island – and some of them cost more than a house. There was speculation in a local newspaper last week about who owns a luxury yacht in Los Cristianos harbour – if it’s going begging I’ll take it off their hands!

Many little fishing harbours, like this one in Las Galletas, have gone up-market in recent years with marinas, but alongside the luxury yachts you will still find the local fishing boats, and the beaches will still be scattered with battered rowing boats.

A friend of ours is repairing his yacht after sailing it across from America singlehanded. I typed up his personal log of the 40-day journey, and although he makes light of it, I was scared silly by the laconic way in which he wrote of a tanker just missing him, or of losing half his drinking water, or climbing the mast to effect a repair. At least he wasn’t attacked by pirates.

YOUNG As the OH is fond of saying, with such a name we will always be young. Shame it’s not true, and the body lets us down more often, but age is a state of mind too. So as the YEARS pike up inexorably, nil desperandum!   


  1. I think we all need a Yo month after this mammoth A to Z! I didn't know you could eat Yukka. I knew you could cut yourself quite badly on the leaves though! I love Yams and talking of staying young, they are said to be good for menopausal symptoms (not that I'd know anything about that!!)
    A to Z of Nostalgia

  2. Ros - my menopausal days are history, and I didn't know you could eat yucca either till I found it in a shop here. You're never too old to learn, I guess.

  3. You've probably mentioned it, but did you illustrate the letters yourself?

  4. Obviously, your body doesn't know it's name. Its obeying the laws of nature. No use procastinating. Thanks for that information and great pictures. Even though I lived in Australia once with wild yuccas, I never tried to capture one and eat it. Hehe.


  5. I love yacht-watching in marinas. My kids and I compete to find the largest ones.

  6. Yes Helen I did illustrate the letters - can't you tell? They're ok but hardly professional standard!
    And Francene - you should go to Scotland for the haggis hunting.

  7. I love sweet potato, so good for you too.

  8. Yucca is such an interesting plant. And I love curried yams, although I call them sweet potatoes. I'm sure that's wrong, but that's how I grew up :-) They are a Thanksgiving staple here, and many people bake them with marshmallows on top!

  9. I once had the good fortune of being a guest passenger on a yacht for several hours. I remember it being one of the loveliest afternoons of my life. As for yams, love 'em. And yucca, never tried it. :D

  10. Wow, what a yacht!! It would just be fun to tour it one time! Just one more letter left!! Its been a great challenge!



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