Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Birthday Feast, Spanish Style

SOME OF JERRY'S FIRST SPANISH BIRTHDAY DINNER.

Saturday morning turned out just as I had hoped. Jerry went into the kitchen first thing in the morning to find his chocolatey chocolate-truffle birthday pastry. And, apparently, it was as delicious as had been promised by the man behind the counter at La Campana. Jerry then had his yogurt and fruit, and we finally went downstairs to El Sanedrín for desayuno #3.

LOS COCINEROS (THE CHEFS).
Teré then told me that she and Miguel wanted to cook us a typical Spanish birthday dinner at our house. So, they arrived around 9:30 that night loaded down with bags and bags of food. Jerry and I were hustled out of the room and "the caterers" went to work.

We had camarones (tiny shrimp), gambas (bigger shrimp), and large langoustines. The teeny, tiny camarones were to be eaten in their entirety, we were instructed by Teré. (After all, how does one peel a shrimp smaller than the tip of one's pinky?) I figured it was like eating soft-shell crab — which, to be honest, I have never enjoyed. It was — and I enjoyed it just as little! As Teré popped a handful in her mouth, Jerry and I each tried one. I mumbled, "I've got shrimp shell on my tongue." What was left over after dinner went home with Teré. Everything else induced moans of pleasure. There were meats and rolls and flatbreads and crisps. Delicious slices of fish roe (called huevas). Three different patés. Cheeses, including a cubed cheese laced with orange marmalade and mango. Wine with dinner. Champagne with dessert. And what a dessert. A beautiful cake (tarta) filled with more incredibly delicious chocolate truffle. (Jerry and I had smartly decided to forego chocolate y churros in the afternoon.) We had the remaining tarta Sunday for dessert after both lunch and dinner. By Monday morning, we realized we would have to wait a good long time before eating sweets again. We stood firm. We didn't have any chocolate pastries until very late in the afternoon.

I don't have the words — in Spanish or English — to fully express our gratitude for the friendship, the kindness, the generosity, and the joy that Miguel and Teré have brought into our lives these past months. After shopping for this feast of traditional Spanish dishes, hauling it all to our house, working feverishly (and joyfully) in our kitchen for an hour or more, and then serving it all up beautifully, they actually insisted on cleaning up afterward. But I was equally insistent and I won the battle. It was the least I could do (yes, the absolute least).

ONE CANDLE FOR JERRY'S FIRST BIRTHDAY IN SPAIN.

32 comments:

  1. What fabulous friends and what a fabulous meal!

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    1. It just amazes me that two people can be so exceptional ... AND cook so well!

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  2. Did you leave me any of that cheese, the one with the orange marmalade and mango .. maybe a slice of the tarta ... perhaps just a soupcon of champagne? You have made some great friends! I'm glad you had such fun.

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    1. Elaine:
      It is a joy to know that there are such amazingly kind people in this world filled with so much that's NOT that way.

      Champagne was easily consumed Saturday night (it was a small bottle). The tarta was devoured Sunday afternoon and evening. And the cheese (the five tiny cubes that remained)... well, those "disappeared" last night. My sincere apologies.

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  3. Sounds, and looks, divine. What nice friends. And those darned champagne bottles. Every one I've ever encountered has a hole in it.

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    1. Walt the Fourth:
      So THAT's the problem! Is that why restaurants always put them in those buckets?

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  4. Thank you for sharing your special event. What special friends you have there.

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    1. Ms Sparrow:
      We have been very fortunate!

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  5. Mitch, are Tere and Miguel for hire? WOW! What a spread! All of it look delicious but the cheese and marmalade caught my attention....what an interesting combination.
    A birthday Jerry will remember!!!

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    1. Jim:
      I don't think we'll be letting Teré and Miguel out of our sight. As for the cheese, I'll have to find out more about it. I don't know what kind of cheese it is (mild) but it makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

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  6. The dinner looks wonderful. What I enjoyed most was Jerry and you waiting all the way until the afternoon for more sweets! What will power you both have! :)

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    1. Jo:
      I'm glad you appreciated that. We are pillars of strength.

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  7. That cake looks stunning! How on earth did you manage to serve four people from it though?

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    1. The Owl Wood:
      There was a time when Jerry and I would have simply split a cake that size in half. Not only didn't we do that, we actually got 8 servings out of it. As you can see, we are now very light eaters.

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  8. Wonderful! How delightful for Jerry to be surrounded by such love. It is in his honor that sometime this coming weekend I will consume cake with champagne. Just for Jerry's birthday, and no other reason. :) I'll raise a glass (and a bite) to the both of you!

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    1. Michelle:
      A very good reason to consume cake and champagne. Thanks and enjoy!

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  9. What wonderful friends. That feast looked delicious. What a great birthday celebration!

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    1. Nubian:
      It was exceptional in every way. Really special.

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  10. What a beautiful way to spend a birthday. Maybe Teré and Miguel would like to move to London? ;-)

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    1. Jeff:
      Well, I'm not going to ask. What we do without them?

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  11. Such a wonderful birthday meal prepared and served with love by these beautiful Spanish friends. You are lucky people to have found T and M that is for sure.

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  12. Now I feel really awful that I missed it. I was invited, right? Silly me, of course I was.
    I'm glad that Jerry had a wonderful 1st birthday.
    m.

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    1. Mark:
      We thought it was kind of rude of you to not even call to let us know you weren't coming. So, we ate and drank your share.

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  13. In AT LEAST one of these pics I see something very, VERY tasty - and the food looks pretty good too.

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    1. Raybeard:
      I'm assuming the tasty bit is the chocolate truffle cake. I'm glad at least that doesn't cause you discomfort. I'll try to post more like it in future, which means we'll have to suffer and eat more sweets. Oh, the sacrifices we'll make for you! (Seafood pics are on their way today, however).

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    2. No I was NOT, repeat NOT, referring to the choc truffle cake - which, even if I'd wanted to is now strictly off-limits as are ALL sugary confections. You may recall my being diagnosed recently - but I know you can't remember every single one of the blogs you read - ;-)
      No, I was referring to something much sweeter which I'd like to have in my mouth. (I think I'd better call an end to this comment before I get the censors down on me!)

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    3. Raybeard:
      I am so sorry. I HAD forgotten about the diagnosis. But I can't believe it didn't dawn on me when I did the post in the first place that I was posting a picture of your favorite sweet. 'Nuff said!

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