Sunday, February 26, 2017

Cazuelas and Abuelas

Today ends Fuengirola's annual restaurant event called "La Cazuela de la Abuela," which means "Grandma's Casserole." Sixty-three restaurants participated offering their own special tapa-size casserole. All I needed to do was sample five and I could then vote for the best, and get entered in a great prize drawing. Except for sampling Meson Salvador's entry, we missed the rest of the competition. But it doesn't really matter because, in my humble opinion, Meson Salvador is always the best at everything anyway.

LEFT TO RIGHT: MY MATERNAL, HIS MATERNAL, HIS PATERNAL, AND MY PATERNAL GRANDMOTHER.

On the subject of abuelas and casseroles, my paternal grandmother died when I was very young. All I remember was her coaxing me out from behind my mother's back by giving me candies from a cut glass bowl — raspberry hard candies with liquid centers. I, therefore, loved her.

My maternal grandmother was an amazing cook, but I don't remember a single casserole.

San Geraldo's paternal grandmother was born and raised in South Dakota, so I'm sure she made plenty of casseroles in her time. However, in South Dakota, casseroles were called "Hot Dish." At a potluck supper, people were told to bring "Hot Dish" — not "a" hot dish, but "Hot Dish." As Jerry's Norwegian maternal grandmother would say, "More funny America."

(Click the pics to make your mouth water...)

ABUELA (GRANDMA) OUT FRONT PROMOTING THE EVENT.
LA CAZUELA DE LA ABUELA. DELICIOUS!
(POTATOES, A VARIETY OF FRESH MUSHROOMS, AND CRUNCHY HAM).
TRADITIONAL SPANISH POTATO TORTILLA.
BREAD THAT WAS SIMPLY TOO GOOD.
REBANADA ESPECIAL.
(BREAD SLICE TOPPED WITH OLIVE OIL, IBERIAN HAM,  AND QUAIL EGGS.)

Beyond the exceptional food and atmosphere, what makes Meson Salvador the best in the world is the staff. They call us "family" and they mean it. After a recent meal, Adrián brought us our complementary chupitos (shots of liquor). They serve "Pionono," similar to Bailey's Irish Cream only a whole lot better.

Since San Geraldo rarely drinks alcohol, Adrián brought him something non-alcoholic, a blackberry (mora) beverage. It's what they serve to children. San Geraldo made a face when he tasted it, so Adrián got a straw and helped him drink it.

SAN GERALDO AND ADRIÁN.
I ASKED SAN GERALDO TO MOVE HIS HAND OUT OF THE WAY FOR MY PHOTO.
THIS IS HOW TYNAN AND ELENA HELPED.
THAT'S WHEN I TAUGHT ADRIÁN THE MEANING OF THE ENGLISH TERM "SMART ASS."

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Dowager Duchess Don't

In 1987 when we were living in Southern Connecticut, San Geraldo had a business trip to San Francisco. I was going with him. It was three months after my father's death and My Mother The Dowager Duchess was about to turn 60. So we invited her along.

My mother and I sat next to each other on the plane. San Geraldo was one row back. As boarding continued, a very attractive woman came through the door and walked down the aisle toward us. She had red hair and was dressed in teal blue from head to toe.

As the woman approached, The Duchess commented in a stage whisper, "How beautiful."

We hadn't noticed that behind her was a little boy. He also had red hair and was dressed entirely in teal blue.

The Duchess stage-whispered, "Cute."

A moment later, an extremely large man came lumbering down the aisle. He had red hair and also wore teal blue, top to bottom. A matched set.

The Duchess harrumphed, "Well that's just a bit too much!"

CLICK THE IMAGE AND DECIDE WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.
AND DON'T WORRY WHAT THE DUCHESS MIGHT HAVE  SAID.
SHE HAD A TEAL BLUE "JOGGING SUIT." SHE DIDN'T JOG.

Because I'm tacky...

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Deliciousness ... and Crap

Chef San Geraldo hasn't cooked dinner at home in months, not since before we headed to New York in August. The mood just hasn't been right. But, Tuesday morning he decided it was time to change all that. (Click the images to make things really delicious.)

THE DELICIOUS DUDO AND MOOSE BEING FLASHED DURING THE NIGHT.
DUDO'S NATURAL EYE-LINER.

He roasted a chicken, sauteed gorgeous mushrooms, steamed some fresh vegetables, and even made a cranberry apple chutney from cranberries picked up at Ana Crespillo's market. Unlike the huge bags of seasonal cranberries we used to buy in the States, cranberries here come in tiny little containers and cost a small fortune. A major treat.

My stomach started to feel a little funny (and not ha-ha funny) early in the afternoon. Maybe it was the excitement of the dinner to come. By Tuesday night when the beautiful meal was prepared I had already spent my time either on the pot or in bed and there was no way I was going to be eating anything. San Geraldo had to go it alone. I drank water.

CRANBERRY APPLE CHUTNEY... WHAT'S LEFT.

I spent almost the entire day in bed Wednesday. I did have a small piece of left-over chicken in the afternoon. That night? Toast.

Today has been a better day. I've had breakfast and lunch. San Geraldo made grilled ham and cheese sandwiches on brown bread. We topped them off with the cranberry relish. Delicious.

And, so far so good.

For someone who is the picture of fitness and health (according to me), I sure have had a crappy (and not just figuratively) couple of months! Before my "heavy cold" in January that lasted two weeks and turned out in fact to be the flu, I spent a week with terrible digestion woes (explosive) as a result of an adverse reaction to a medication. But that's all behind me now! (Ahem...)

Anyway, back to the subject of delicious: A couple of things I enjoyed before the creeping crud hit.

TARTA DE MANZANA AT RESTAURANTE PRIMAVERA.
(APPLE PIE/TART.)
TARTA DE QUESO AT MESON SALVADOR.
(CHEESECAKE.)

Cranberry Apple Chutney Recipe
SAN GERALDO USED MORE THAN 8 OUNCES OF FRESH CRANBERRIES INSTEAD OF CRAISINS.