Sunday, December 19, 2010

feliz naiveté

With 4 days to go before Christmas eve, we're looking for a way to get rid of our 7-foot plus Christmas tree. Because babies, it is d-e-a-d, done, finito!

See two weeks ago we went to the famous Plaza d'España Christmas market and they had several stands with big, bushy, impressive ones. Alain was all eager to get one and so I just went along and we basically bought the first one we saw (and, my friends, it weren't cheap but hey, it's a special Christmas).

Anyway, I did ask a few questions, but seeing as they were in pots (with plaster on top of the earth) rather than cut like the majority back in Canada, I believed the guy when he said it'd last until Christmas no problem, even into January, he claimed.

There is, after all, a sucker born every minute.

And my mate does not seem to agree with me that we should go back to our dear vendor in Plaza d'España though. Could be because a) we didn't get a receipt, and b) the dude was as tall (and bushy) as the tree.

So I think tonight is the sad night of undecorating the poor thing and tomorrow A has to inform himself about where we can dispose of it, and how as I can't really help him lift it, because dried out or not, it still weighs almost what I do.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

cooking, what else?

G-dawg posing next to the naked tree.
For those who've been waiting for pix
of our apt, go see a wider view of the
tree on my Flickr.
Nothing much new in hermitland except that we're hosting 5 to 7 guests for a period of 5 days around Christmas and have begun preparing, like good little elves.

Mainly that means we got a tree, did a bit of gift buying and have started testing recipes. I find it really tough to cook for A's padres since their food tastes are the diametric opposite of mine. In other words they like meat and fish, heavy sauces and fried things. When they do eat veg it's either "salad" (which is a standard onions, tomato, lettuce affair) or cooked within an inch of its life.

But I digress. We originally broke out the Spanish cooking bible of 1080 recipes that A bought a few months ago ("Spain's best-selling cookbook for over 30 years"), and we will be making one recipe from there, which Alain already whipped up on the weekend to throw in the freezer: Portuguese-style cod (eeek, SO against my ethics) croquettes.

veg terrine with goat cheese glue
A vegetable terrine, inspired by the Paris Café cookbook
but sans gelatin (I used goat cheese for glue)
I also made risotto on Sunday to test the Spanish organic round white rice I bought and it's fine. However, I must thank my friend Lia for a gift she gave me a few years ago, the Paris Café cookbook, which is going to be the star of the show. We tested the Bœuf Bourguignon last week (with organic beef) and it was pretty good. Right now I'm about to hop on the onion tart.

We hoping to do a Canadian-style turkey dinner on the 25th, though that's not really a Spanish thing, but we're still seeking a big enough free-ranger. We're off to a nearby market tonight when A finishes work.

Then after dinner I think we'll decorate the gingerbread men I made yesterday so we can get 'em in the freezer.

Now all we need is for the temp to drop again (it's been hovering around 15C the past few days) and for a little snow to fall. Kidding, I can wait a few more weeks for that...

Postscript:  If who haven't visited Our World 2.0 in awhile, you should go check out my latest story on a research mission to the seamounts of the southern Indian Ocean. There's a photo gallery of the wacky species collected that's really worth a view.