An uncanny resemblance

I don´t know about you, but for me, the cultural event of this year will be Brad Bird´s Ratatouille.
If The Incredibles is one of my all-time top-ten films, and the next baby of its creator is about cooking, you can imagine I´ve been in a seventh heaven of impatience for months.
The review in today´s New York Times is very good, and only makes me salivate all the more. But one thought, and click on the links to see if you don´t agree with me; isn´t Linguini, the young apprentice, the spitting image of Adam, a.k.a. the Amateur Gourmet?
Can Brad Bird be a fan of food blogs, and if so, can anybody in the world be more perfect?


Rice cooker instructions. Instrucciones para olla de arroz

I keep a list of things that I want to blog about. There are several. Like my upcoming summer holiday in Estonia. My introduction and subsequent deep love for Old Bay seasoning spice. A recipe for sausages I´ve just learnt to make. The issue of entertaining anxiety. My new stack of cookbooks.
Many things.
But this rice cooker has kind of got in the way of things, big time. Over the course of my geeky life I´ve fallen in love with several machines, from my first Mac, back in the early 90´s, to the Thermomix, by way of a couple of typewriters, a bycicle and a Smeg fridge I´ve had a light flirtation with this spring.
But this rice cooker, I think if it leaves me I´m going to have to jump under a train, or drink poison. This is a grand passion. I am like Young Werther, Juliet Capulet and rolled into one, with a touch of the crazy chef in Disney´s The little mermaid.
So far, I´ve only tried it with normal white rice, short grain and basmati, and here is my advice to other folk, who, like me, are stumped by the lack of proper literature inside the box.
The first batch I did was prett awful, but I think I must have had it on what a kind reader says is the congee setting. I still haven´t figured out what the knobs are for. If anyone reads Chinese and would be willing to translate for me, that woudl be swell, but so far, the second and third tries were beautiful, so here is what I´ve learnt so far:

For short grain rice, (I use SOS) put
1 volume of rice to 1 and a half volumes of water. Add a little bit of salt, shut the lid, wait at least 10 minutes after the cooking stops.

For basmati, use 1 volume of rice to 1 of water, and do the same.

I made the SOS in the morning, left it to cool, and had it fried for dinner, with sweetcorn and ham and egg. It was perfect! perfect, I tell you, this is pure magic, and all for forty euros.

Tomorrow I hope to take the plunge and begin to mix more ingredients in. What fun.
The drawing appeared in Marie Claire last year. It´s still meant to convey giddy heights of joy, not flowered rice or anything.


My new toy

Ok, I´ve done it. After years of holding back, I´v finally bought a rice cooker.
Look, I know I´m not Asian, hence don´t eat rice twice every day. I don´t have to feed a family of ten. I don´t have a lot of counter space. I-don´t-care! I´ve decided to cut potential sources of worry out of my life, and rice was one. Even though I consider myself to have mastered the trick of perfect white rice , it´s still something that has to be anxiously watched over and timed.

So this morning, after a brief consultation with Lydia( I firmly beleive Lydia knows everyting) I trotted off to the Chinese shops around the neighbourhood. The third produced the desired rice cooker with a hinged lid. The instructions were in Chinese, but the sales lady was very sweet, and patiently explained to me how it works, and a few recipes, even.

So I´m in a small bubble of global-village contentment today. Globalization means Starbucks is evil and wants to take over the world, sure, but it also means that I can email a friend in Rhode Island, have my advice back in five minutes, and spend a happy half hour unravelling detailed explanations in broken Spanish for Chinese food. I loved it.

So far I´ve made one batch of rice I hated. Then I realised I hadn´t pressed one of the buttons, whatever it is. Second batch was perfectly marvelous, and now I´m trying out some basmati. And all this while I finish two books, scan drawings for a wedding seating plan and answer emails!

I really don´t see why I´ve made myself wait so long to have a rice cooker, I swear I don´t.
The drawing, by the way, is not laziness but an attempt at expressing my fuzzyheaded happiness.


Simple poached chicken

I´ve had a fairly trying two or three days. I lost my mobile phone, had a totally stupid and very ennervating meeting with a publisher, and to topple all, I had to do my income tax returns today. All in all, pretty taxing for the nervous system. The thing to do would be to have eaten a huge pizza with several diet Cokes, but I was also ill on Saturday. All of the best day of the week lying in bed, thinking I was surely dying! That sucks.
So to come back to life, I decided to cook some poached chicken. That´s as unexciting as can be, but soothing and comforting. I always thought poached chicken was the lowest form a bird could take, but after reading Chubby Hubby , I was brought around. It really is a pretty useful thing to have around, can be eaten in all sorts of ways, and is rarely dissappointing. If you poach it well, that is. After a day queing up at the phone shop and paying taxes you don´t want some dry and stringy white disaster. You want juicy and tender strands.
I always follow the method indicated in the Ballymaloe Cookery school book. If you have a whole chicken, and chicken stock, well and good for you. You can then follow the method for chicken rice, also from Chubby Hubby and a thing of wonder. But if not, this method will produce wonderful results from a couple of chicken breasts and a stock cube.
All you do is put the chicken in the stock ( the cube dissolved in the water, that is), bring it slowly to the boil, simmer it for five minutes, turn it off, cover it, and wait half an hour for the residual heat to finish cooking the chicken breasts.
If you want, and it´s a good idea, start with some diced vegetables, onion, celery, carrot and parsley stalks, and boil them fast in little water for 15 minutes, before adding enough water to cover the chicken, and going on as before.
The plus side is that you´re left with a pretty delicious broth that goes a long way to restore and soothe, in the form of a noodle soup with spinach and shiitake mushrooms, and some of the chicken. The rest goes into a fully decadent club sandwich for the man of the house, who, after all, wasn´t so ill, and still has his phone.


Summer picnics

As far as I´m concerned, with summer officially here, the real picnic season is over. It´s far too hot. However, it´s really just beginning. Beach picnics and trips to the river, garden lunches and pool parties are just getting into gear. And as long as you go up in to the mountains, it is still cool enough to enjoy a grand day out.

Which is great. I love a picnic. It´s my favourite thing on earth. I can think of few better things than to lie on a patch of grass, in the shade, by some body of water.

However, I´m a firm advocate of the organized picnic. The impromptu is all very well if there are few people and one of them is in charge. Or if it´s inside the city, where amenities are close at hand. I really really hate to be out in the wild without a corkscrew.

Also, the type of person who considers that a stop on the way at a petrol station is enough foraging finds little favour with me. Two cans of Red Bull and a bag of cheetos is not a picnic. It´s al-most an insult, so watch it.

I think the ideal picnic food should be neatly portioned, and made to be eaten with one hand. China plates and chi-chi salads are no good. You may be called on, at any minute, to swat a fly, wave away a dragonfly, or freak out about a wasp, and these activities are best undertaken without breakable crockery around.

However, the boy scout element should not be entirely discarded. I think there should be something to cut with a pocket knife. A stick of fuet, a wedge of cheese, a loaf of bread and a melon will always look good on the picnic rug.

It´s lovely to tie strings to the wine bottles and lower them into the water, but if you can bring one, a cooler makes life so much better. Likewise, a thermos of coffee or moroccan tea will elevate the whole experience into the realm of the highly civilized.

For this reason, I like to choose picnic spots that are easy to get to in a car. I don´t like to carry the baskets and rugs a long way. What I like is to set up camp, and then go exploring, knowing that when I come back from my walk with the dogs, the lazy ones who stayed behind will have set out the food, and will hand me a cold beer as I flop on the ground.

I think dogs are a must, and some sort of midly physical activity, like a kite or a freesbe. If there is no danger of some projectile crashing into the bellini jug then it´s no picnic, merely a dejeuner sur l´herbe, which is nice, but different.

The best picnics are often last minute, which can get in the way of my careful planning. But I have learnt this. It´s much easier if you have an official picnic basket or bag. That way, you can always have a corkscrew, a Swiss Army knive and paper cups and napkins that live in the bag. When the urge to picnic comes, you merely grab this, go to the market or the bakery or wherever, fill up with goodies, and leave, without wondering if you will, after all, have to open bottles using the fender of the car and a rock.

My favourite places for stocking up:

for bread- Viena Lacrem, c/Santa Brígida
for cheese and fruit- the Barceló market
for sandwiches- Entremigas c/ Eloy Gonzalo
for empanadillas- the pastelería next door to Entremigas
for ice- any petrol station
for drinks- any of the Chinese shops. don´t forget to grab some chewing gum and pipas


Gazpacho 101.4, the final and best gazpacho in the world

I´ve been a little neglectful of the blog lately. First, there was the wedding. Then, Real Madrid won the league, which you must admit, called for all sorts of celebrations. Then, regrettably, I actually had to work, and pretty hard, too. So anyway, after all this, finally...(drumroll)...the ultimate gazpacho. The one and only. The very unorthodox, very delicious, by now quite famous gazpacho as served at the old ancestral home.

If I phrase it like that it´s because the old ancestor, my mother, whatever her other talents, doesn´t much go into the kitchen. All the years that my mother worked outside the house, and still now that she works from home, the undisputed queen bee of the kitchen has been Escolástica. All those years she´s been cook, housekeeper, philosopher and friend. Now she´s officially retired, but still spends time with us every once in a while. And she is the one to whom all credits must go when we´re talking about the best gazpacho in the world (and a bunch of other stuff, of course). I´ve never known anyone with such a keen eye for a situation, and a vaster repertoire of anecdote, saying, refrán or poetic advice. She´s amazing. And she whips egg whites with a fork!

If you saw me in the kitchen now, you´d think, aha, yes, this one has evidently been reading a lot of Nigella, a fair amount of Nigel, the Barefoot Contessa and probably a lot of food blogs from all over. And you´d be right, as to the recipes. But the moves? All taught to me by Escolástica. The real things, the ones that that have to be instilled so that they become second nature. Which happens more easily if somebody´s around to drum them into you while young. You´ll find few books that tell you, every single time until you do it without thinking, to wash your hands before you start. To tie the apron just so. To make sure the oven´s empty before you turn it on. To be careful not to let the pan handles stick out of the work surface. To mix the baking powder into the flour first. To put bottle stoppers and lids back on straight away, in case you knock them over (and I do, a lot), and to scrape bowls really really well, so that not a drop of sauce or blob of dough is wasted.

I´ve always liked to hang out in kitchens. Usually to snap the ends of bagettes before lunch, to doodle on the whiteboard, obliterating all the phone messages, to nick the odd fried tidbit straight out of the pan and eat it while blowing on it and making it jump in my fingers. And to lick spoons. A little pain in the neck, basically, but hang around somewhere long enough and they´ll let you play. Sepparating eggs, maybe, or wheighing the flour, and so on until now.

If I don´t try to replicate any of her recipes it´s because I´ve tried, and they´re only pale copies. And because it´s much easier to just walk over to the motherhouse and snaffle the food as it comes out of the frying pan. I still get the same affectionate smack on the back of the wrist, and the mysterious refrain "cata Emiliana cata Zacarías cata Pichi".
The gazpacho, however, is pretty straightforward. But bear in mind that Esco is one of those people who can be infuriatingly vague when giving instructions. There´s a lot of "when it looks ok" and "just throw however much you think it needs".

El gazpacho de Escolástica

1kg of ripe fresh tomatoes
half a medium onion
2 green peppers (the long thin kind)
1/2 cup olive oil
and here´s where it starts to get interesting
1 half kilo TIN of plum tomatoes(¡), juice and all
1 raw egg

Blend all this, if you have a Thermomix two minutes at 5-7-9, and if not, until it´s very well blended. Strain through the chinoise. And then, once it´s in the bowl, add the vinegar and salt, tasting as you go.

This gazpacho is salmon pink, insanely rich and velvety and oh-so-good.
If you´re nervous about raw eggs then you probably don´t deserve to eat it at all, but know that you can mimic a similar effect with bottled mayonaise.


Gapacho 101.3

Chapter three. This is where it begins to get a little wearisome. You can feel the audience begin to shuffle its feet a little. We´ve heard all that we could ever want to hear about gazpacho, no?
Time, then, to introduce new characters in an effort to make the narrative a little snappier. Cue: garnishes.
For everyone who likes to drink their gazpacho, wether straight from the jug in front of the open fridge (guilty as charged) or from a double-handled consommé cup at the table, there is someone who likes chunks in their food. Without bite, they say, there is nothing. And that´s ok, too. This is a very accomodating dish.
So what you do is serve the gazpacho in a tureen, flanked by a host of little bowls that hold the tropezones. The basic tropezones are cucumber, green pepper, onion, sometimes tomato, diced. Fried bread and chopped hard boiled egg are a usual. Because, like, where would we be without something fried or without eggs in a dish, man?
If you´re in a restaurant, things begin to get a little fancy. They like to add a certain little something that justifies the 4€ mark up. What they like to see as added value and you may see as a sprig of parsley and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Or maybe you´ll get something really elevating, like shaved ham, the tropezón du jour. Or shrimp, or clams.
Another popular theme is the different colour cream, sitting in a pretty blob in the middle of the plate.
So, justu trick your dish of gazpacho out, and eat it with a spoon, and depending on your desire for chunkiness . Easy.

Now for variations. Once you have been having gazpacho for many generations, and the thing seems to be a part of your bloodstream, you may want to change the script a little.
A very trendy change is to substitute avocados for the tomatoes. Why they call it gazpacho beats me. Still, if you like your chilled soups pale green and rather bland, go ahead and be my guest.
Another up and coming version is what we could call Mediterranean borscht. To your gazpacho you add boiled beetroot little by little, and turn the colour scheme up, as much as you dare, from the fuchsia to the deep burgundy.
With this I really think you have to add a splash of yogurt in the middle of the bowl, and chives.
José likes to mix ajoblanco and gazpacho, but there I think we veer from the versions and just stray into strange doings.
Piquillo peppers give a good smoky kick, as do roast tomatoes. I´m not a stickler, you know. You can add whatever you like, as long as you know where you´re veering off course, and tell it in the name. As in "smoky roast tomato gazpacho", rather than just "gazpacho".
After all, the thing is made with tomatoes and peppers and cucumber, and there´s not many things that really don´t go with that. Cheese croutons, or pesto, or tapenade, or those little fancy pate choux croutons all combine marvelously with it.
Just one thing. Whatever you do to it, make sure you cover it well before it goes into the fridge. There´s nothing worse than a fridge with uncovered gazacho in it. It pervades everything, goes everywhere, and really, you don´t want your beer and your butter to taste of anything but themselves.

Next week, after I come back from yet another wedding in the south, I´ll post a final entry with tips, and my mother´s recipe, which is quite something, and quite different.
The illustration appeared in the Club de Gourmets special restaurant issue of two years ago. It´s meant to convey the evolution of gazpacho, from the old mortar and pestle days to the syphon and agar-agar of today.


Gazpacho 101.2 - The basic recipe

Well. I´m a bit scared now, because it may seem that I´ve taken on the mantle of a gazpacho maven, which I´m not. Then again, thirty one years of drinking gazpacho by the gallon every summer must count for something.

The thing is, in Spain debates over what constitutes the ur gazpacho can get more than a little heated, but the contested points are details. Everybody agrees on the essentials, which, as I said before, are a cold soup, smooth, made mostly of tomatoes.

I´m once again hampered by not being a photo blog, but to put it simply, here is a simple yes and no of gazpachos. No offence, I´m sure the no was yummy, just not the ur gazpacho, is all I´m saying.

The thing with gazpacho recipes, aside from idiosincracies, and there are many, is that it´s hard to give accurate measurements. Tomatoes play a huge part, and it´s hard to gauge how juicy they may be. You´re going to have to trust your instincts just a little.

Here´s a basic recipe, taken from Rosa Tovar´s Las claves de la cocina.

1 kg of ripe gazpacho tomatoes (plum)
1/2 a green pepper
1/2 a peeled cucumber
a wedge of onion
1 or two garlic cloves
a handful of stale bread
Sherry vinegar, 4 or 5 spoonfuls
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup water

Soak the bread in water.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the tomatoes, cucumber, onion and pepper, and blend them with the cup of water.
Squeeze the bread, and in a smaller bowl, blend with the garlic, vinegar, oil and salt.
Then add this mixture to the vegetable one, blending all the time. ( stick blenders are a favourite tool over here)

Strain.Leave to chill, and voilá.

Now, mostly everyone would agree on this gazpacho, but mostly everyone would have some twist of their own. I´ll give you mine:

1-I use red pepper instead of green. This is because when I mix red paint with green paint, I get brown, so I prefer to mix red and red and have a prettier red. I´m fully aware that this is not a valid culinary reason, more of an occupational quirk, but there you go.

2-I don´t put onion in, and cut down the garlic to as little as half a clove.

3-I put more water in, two cups. And if I´m in a hurry and don´t have time to chill the soup, I crush ice, as for daiquiris, so that it cools inmediately, without being later watered down with ice cubes.

4-I usually throw in a spoonful of sugar. If I do it with tomato sauce and tomato soup, why not with gazpacho?

5-I don´t use bread, and I use less oil. This results in something less emulsified, less orange, more pink, more fresh and light, and yes, more like vegetable juice.

6-Most importantly, I blend everything at once. It´s much more convenient that way. And then I strain it. I don´t agree with people who insist that a very powerful blender, like a Thermomix, makes this step unnecessary. It´s only three minutes, and it makes it a million times better, trust me.

So you see, this can be played pretty fast and loose with. But only up to a point.

Next post, serving suggestions, garnishes, and common variations.


Gazpacho 101

I made my first batch of gazpacho yesterday. That, and putting away my duvet, signals the arrival of summer. The Spanish summer is blastingly hot, calculated to drive the air from your lungs and the hope from your soul. But to make up for it we have tomatoes.

I started to write a gazpacho post, and was typing " I won´t give a recipe because there are so many". And I googled, to link to the first one I found. And what I found shocked me. It seems to me that the world is in a dazed and confused state where it comes to our national soup.
So I´m rolling up my sleeves and going to begin a series of gazpacho posts. It´s clear the me that I´m now on a mission. Over the course of the next week, you will receive:

the fabled gazpacho recipe served chez maman

my unfabled but lighter and fresher gazpacho recipe

serving suggestions

alternative versions


For today, we will begin with a little text on the basics. First of all, what gazpacho is, and what it´s not.
Assuming that all the time we are talking about gazpacho andaluz, and not white gazpacho as made in La Mancha, and certainly not gazpachuelo as served in Cuenca, what we are talking about is a chilled soup made primarily out of tomatoes.
On that, every recipe I´ve seen agrees.
This soup can vary in colour from the salmon pink to the crushed strawberry, but it must have one colour only. This is because, contrary to what you may read elswhere, gazpacho is blended to within an inch of its life. It is smooth. Not chunky. Smoooooth. This is exactly the kind of recipe I mean when I say that I am appalled at the state of gazpacho knowledge. The Barefoot Contessa will have you float a mush of fresh veg in tomato juice from a bottle. Yikes. Ina,I daresay that concoction is delicious, but it is as authentic as Cordobés Corn Chowder. Gazpacho is not chopped, it is blitzed, and then it is strained, to produce a soup of a consistency that allows it to be drunk, if so wished. Bear this in mind. Also, whatever wacky versions there may be, real gazpacho is made from fresh ingredients. No roasted tomatoes or peppers, please. The platonic gazpacho is made by walking out to the kitchen garden on a summer morning, picking the tomatoes, cucumber and pepper, making it and then leaving it to chill until lunchtime.
With that fresh and green, certified 100% organic image, I will leave you to locate your blender and your chinoise, and get ready for the next instalment.


Peanut butter jam drops

Do you remember that thing of getting a lot of presents on your birthday, opening them up exitedly, and then going off to play with your old toys?
I had a relapse on Tuesday.
I´d ordered a few books from Powell´s. Quite a few, cookbooks, mostly. I did bung in some on cinema, art history and linocutting, but it was mostly as a sop to my conscience. The rest was wall to wall indulgence.
So they arrived, and I walked to Cibeles, and picked up the parcel, and had great fun browsing the books, and bookmarking some recipes, and generally behaving like I should.
But what I did when the time came to actually cook was to try a new recipe form an old book. Classic.
I happened to open How to be a domestic goddess, and my eye caught this recipe that I hadn´t noticed before, something waggishly referred to as Peanut Butter and Jelly Jewels.
Now it so happeneed that I had a jar of pb in the fridge that looked like staying there forever. The satay it was meant for never materialized, the noodles I dressed with it were an unmitigated disaster, and I didn´t want to spend the rest of the summer licking pb off my finger.
I also had the rest of the ingredients, except the jam, and I was waiting for some people to give the go ahead to some drawings. Time and peanut butter on my hands. Why wait?
And boy o boy. As it says in one of the new books I´d just bought: how many recipes does one really need? I say, how many books? I could probably spend a happy and greedy life just cooking from Nigella´s first two. In fact, I probably will, and just read the rest for relaxation.
In my inexpert hands, the cookies merely came out crunchy outside, crumbly and chewy inside, densely packed with flavour, yet light in texture. But in the hands of a Jenjen or Deb, I can´t imagine. Doubtless angels would fly down and snatch them away, before the earth actually became heaven. I kid you not, these are some seriously scrumptious baked goods, and they´re very easy to make, too.
Nigella describes them as the sort of jewels a fairytale princess wears. Don´t be fooled. Nigella has these crazy little moments, and I forgive her because I love her, but they look nothing at all like jewels. They look like what they are, which is

adapted, and re-named, from How to be a domestic goddess
125 gr. butter
100 gr. brown sugar
100 gr. white sugar
2 eggs
200 gr. smooth peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt

Cream the butter and the sugars. When light and fluffy, add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla. Add the flour and baking powder and salt, mix, and put in the fridge for half an hour.
(In Thermomix speak this is 5´v4 with the sugars and butter. Butter must be softened, and you can start with the butterfly. If not, start with the blades, and then the butterfly. Then through the funnel add the eggs. The flour shouldn´t be mixed at more than 2, don´t overbeat)
Preheat the oven to 180ºC
Make balls of dough about the size of a walnut. You´ll get abour fifty. Flatten them slightly, and make a hole with your finger, quite deep, or it will dissappear as the cookies rise in the oven.
In fifteen minutes they´re done, and this is in my weird oven, that only heats from beneath. They should be golden at the bottom, don´t worry if they look undone, they´ll harden as they cool.
Inmediately after they´re out, put a splodge of jam in the hollows, or if, like me, you´re not a big fan, a piece of dark chocolate.
This is a big batch, but they keep very well in a tin for a couple of days, and freeze perfectly.



I´m still drawing at a clipping pace, but you´ll be glad to know that so far I´m meeting all deadlines bang on the head. The drawings you see are for the July/August number of Club de Gourmets.
Still, yesterday I was persuaded to go out for lunch. Our friend, Mr.Zagat,or the Artist formerly known as Edu, has recommended yet another winner, Memento.
I was going to start off by saying how annoying I find so many restaurants, but then I decided that it wouldn´t do justice to the place. It´s so good that it would still shine in a city full of Michelin stars.
I loved our lunch so much that I can´t wait to return. Apparently, they change the shortish menu all the time, so I´m thinking I´ll be there next week, before the salmon tartare of my dreams goes out of my life forever.
What I liked best is that all the dishes were the platonic ideal versions of stuff we´ve had before.
Take J. When he asked for gazpacho, I almost shook my head. Gazpacho? When he could have had mussels with chistorra, or a polpetti salad? In a place that advertises New California cuisine? Where the chef is from Wisconsin?But he was right,too. The gazpacho was the best I´ve had in a long long time.
The menu is full of surprises, but they are good. You may ask for the sauteed porcini with poached egg, as I did, only find out once it´s before you that it´s basically a spinach salad. In which the leaves are tiny. Which has been dressed in the kitchen, so that even though it sits prettily on your plate, you´re not left with a splodge on top and dry leaves beneath. And there were crunchy bacon bits all the way down! And this was just the bonus. The actual mushrooms and the egg were to die for, too. I´m telling you, this place is amazing. I could go on and on, but I won´t because I still have lots to do, and I daresay you can do without incoherent and babbly descriptions of tender pork stew, buttery mashed potatoes (mashed potatoes!!!in the country where the side dishes don´t exist!) or crumbly meringue with berries, or I could really go on but I won´t.
Let me just say this, to top it off. The menu was very well written. This may sound like faint praise, but I promise you, menus bring out my inner proof reader, which, combined with my outer pedant, and the fact that I´m usually hungry, make me a monster. And there was a single line to make me scoff. Not one. Bliss.
Memento. C/ Caracas 1. 91 448 99 58


I´m still very busy, and much as I´d like to write long and leisurely, I can´t. A blog being what it is, I´m afraid my clients would find out that I haven´t been as dedicated to their comissions as they´d like.
So I´ll just take the opportunity to point out to you a very favourite blog, Pille´s Nami-nami. I liked it before, and now that I´ve done the header, I think I like it even more.
Pille writes from Estonia, where we went last summer, and where we´ve rented a house for a couple of weeks this summer. It takes a lot of self restraint not to browse her blog non-stop, and daydream about being there already, and eating all that delicious food with all impossibly long and vowel-filled names.
I´ll leave you to it, and retire to my treadmill.


In a rush

Once again, back from Sevilla. My desk is literally staggering under the weight of lists of things that have to be finished over the next couple of days, so there´s no way I can write a proper post.
I wish I could tell you about the food at the party on Friday. The trays piled high with every kind of tiny delicacy you can think of...the thin little filo cigars stuffed with morcilla...oh, they were good. Very.
However, there´s no time, so here´s a drawing which has nothing to do with anything in particular, and I´ll give you the address of a bar I love, all in one breath. It´s called Bar Bistec, I´ve no idea why. They don´t seem to serve steak there (bistec is Spanish for beefsteak). House specialty is pigeon, but I´m less than fascinated by crunching tiny bird bones. I recommend the courgettes, and the cazón en adobo.
Bar Bistec, c/ Pelay Correa, 34. 954 427 47 59