Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Don't Be A Bummer

In Spanish, there's a saying, "No seas pestiño" ("Don't be a bummer" or "Don't get on my nerves"). But if you make some pestiños, I guarantee you won't get on mine.

A PERFECT PESTIÑO.

In some parts of Andalucía, pestiños are a traditional Christmas pastry. In other parts of Andalucía (like Sevilla), they're popular year-round. The basic composition: Dough, deep-fried in olive oil and glazed with honey or sugar. The dough is usually flavored with sesame. Sooooooo good. Teré and Miguel took some days for themselves last week and went up north a bit. They saw a dusting of snow, the second time in Teré's life. She was so excited. We told her we'd send her to South Dakota for a winter and then see what she thinks. After seeing snow, they went to visit Teré's mother who is already busy baking for the holidays. She sent home some pestiños for us, which we had with breakfast downstairs before finishing off the rest after lunch at home.

CALLE IMAGEN NEAR LA CAMPANA.
IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS... WITHOUT SNOW.

The Christmas lights have been lit around town. They're not the same ones that were used last year, which makes it even more fun to explore. Our friends Jim, Cindy, Celie, and Will had to leave Sevilla Sunday, so we were very pleased that the city decided to light the Christmas lights Saturday night, several days earlier than we or many others had expected. I'm sure the early lighting was in honor of Celie and Will, two of the sweetest kids one could ever meet — even if they are sometimes too smart for their own good. I talked about going to the beach when I was a kid and trying to dig to China. They explained to me that that was a scientific impossibility! They told me they had dug deep enough to reach water, but even if one had the capacity to dig further, you'd have to get through the entire crust, the mantle (which would melt your plastic shovel), the outer core, the inner core, and other such scientific mumbo jumbo. And these are the two who couldn't stop giggling about cutting the cheese!

ENTRY TO CALLE O'DONNELL.
JIM, CELIE, AND WILL AT FAR LEFT, AND CHESTNUTS ROASTING RIGHT FOREGROUND.

CHRISTMAS CHANDELIERS ON CALLE SIERPES.
WOULD IT BE OVER THE TOP TO HANG ONE IN OUR DINING ROOM? JUST ONE?

EL AYUNTAMIENTO (CITY HALL) WITH ITS CUSTOM-MADE ARCHED WINDOW INSERTS.

THE TOP OF AVENIDA DE LA CONSTITUCIÓN LEADING TO THE CATHEDRAL.

25 comments:

  1. Those Christmas lights look so festive... and... I'd go for that chandelier if I were you. Just how high ARE your ceilings, anyway? I'm looking at the clothing those folks on the street are wearing... what's the temps at night?

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    1. Odd Essay:
      Twelve-foot ceilings. So there wouldn't be room for the table and chairs. But with a dining room chandelier like that, who needs a table and chairs?!?

      As for the weather, everything is relative. That night, temps were around 50F! (We chill easily here.) We met Teré and Miguel for dinner last night. Miguel was dressed in preparation for a blizzard. We've recently had a cold spell. Temps in the 40s overnight and only going up to low 50s a couple of days. Today, 61F.

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  2. That was lovely that your visitors were able to see some of the Xmas lights and flavour. Those pestinos look so good...I could handle those. I have never seen chestnuts being roasted...did you try dome?
    I know I would. So a light dusting of they saw...I agree I can provide plenty of white stuff soon if they want to fly over the Atlantic....guess not eh!

    Ron

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    1. Ron:
      Growing up in NYC, I saw (and smelled) chestnuts being roasted on the streets all winter. I had them once or twice, but am not a fan (although I love the smell). Given the fact that Miguel and Teré were dressed last night for a blizzard and it was 50F, I don't think they could handle your weather!

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  3. Your city really knows how to put on a festive seasonal show. I love all of the lights and sparkle.

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    1. Stephen:
      It really is charming. This year, they've even strung white lights in the orange trees bordering our plaza.

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  4. Sevilla has started the season!! Beautiful!
    Mitch, at first glance at that first photo, I thought you were trying smoked salmon!! I thought, way to go Mitchell!! lol

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    1. Jim:
      I LOVE smoked salmon, but that's not something you'd commonly find here. Lots of bacalao (cured and smoked cod) and I love that, too (although it's entirely different).

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  5. Wow! That set of photos is fantastic, especially that last one on Avenida de la Constitución! ¡Qué bonita!
    Ooh, your blog is always so much fun to read!

    Mitchell, did you hear about Walt's photo (one of a sailboat on Lake Champlain, in Vermont, looking over to New York) being used in an ad for the iPad Mini? I saw it on TV last night! What a hoot!

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    1. Judeet:
      I've fallen a few days behind on my blog reading. Thanks for the heads up about Walt's photo. His photography is amazing. I'll have to check things out!

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  6. Wow, the lights are gorgeous! Love the Christmas decorations!

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    1. Carole:
      The city is transformed (and it was pretty good to begin with)!

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  7. I am trying to learn Spanish - is it worthwhile to memorize what you say here, or is Spanish Spanish different enough to American Spanish I should not attempt?

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    1. Spo:
      Spanish-Spanish is surprisingly different from American Spanish, although there is plenty that's the same. I have no idea what of mine crosses over. I've had a few friends visit here who speak Mexican Spanish and they've had some challenges being understood and understanding. My recommendation is that you shouldn't listen to me!

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  8. Dear Mitch,

    I like your photographs of the Christmas lights. No snow but it looks rather chilly - here it is freezing whereas a friend of mine who lives in country VIctoria (Australia) tells me that it was 42C the other day which is way too hot (mind you the next day it was 21c which would have felt cold after that hot day)

    A few years ago we were in Toledo around Christmas time and had a lot of marzipan sweets designed for Christmas and New Year. Do they make things like that in Seville too?

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    1. Kirk:
      We had our share of 42C days during OUR summer. I'm happy to have a break from that for a while. But our chilliest overnights rarely get down to 5C and daytimes rarely stay below 14C. So not much to complain about. At 15C, we're all dressed in long underwear!

      Marzipan is definitely popular here.

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  9. It won't be long before the little santas appear, climbing up drainpipes all over town.

    I notice that today (Wednesday) is St. Gérald's Day here in France. Is it so in Spain as well? At any rate, here's to San Geraldo on his day!

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    1. Walt the Fourth:
      LOVE the new photo! Oh, the climbing Santas (mostly the Three Kings, really) are already out in force.

      I suppose this would be Saint Gerald's Day if we didn't already have one just for him every Leap Year. Maybe we should observe this one, as well. Although San Geraldo won't be pleased to be going to the dentist on his saint's day!

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  10. My goodness me but it's awfully nice of the Spanishers to celebrate the birthday of Sir Isaac Newton so! Spectacular!

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    1. Owl Wood:
      Now that's a name that would be a mouthful for a Spaniard. I wonder how they'd pronounce it; I'll have to try it out on Teré (remember Rode Estegwar... aka Rod Stewart).

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  11. These Christmas street scenes in Sevilla are beautiful! My favorites are the first and the last. You must really get in a holiday spirit seeing this every day.

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  12. I love those lights over the street. They seem to be much more subdued and less tacky than those around here!

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    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      There is a level of elegance to what the city has done, but if we look hard enough on individual homes, we can find some tacky!

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