Friday, January 17, 2014

Un-A-Peeling

Guadalupe had an unwanted, I'm sure, lesson from me on cooking Saturday afternoon. While she prepared some dishes for dinner, I very politely asked if there was anything I could do to help (don't ask me why). Her friends were all bringing something. An elegant Madrid version of a pot-luck supper. I have no idea what I was thinking when I made my offer. Unless she wanted me to wash a dish, I wasn't going to be able (OK... willing) to do anything else in the kitchen. I had told her what I thought of cooking in general. But no one seems to fully comprehend what I mean when I say, "I don't cook." Guadalupe now understands. I think it was just a problem with the translation from Spanish to 'Mitchell.' In Spanish, "Yo cocino" means "I cook"; in Mitchell, it means "I'm in hell." (Click the images to enlarge the deliciousness.)

SOME THINGS WE DIDN'T BUY SATURDAY:
SEPIA (CUTTLEFISH)...
...NEXT TO THE CUTTLEFISH, "UGH!  WORMS?!?  EELS?!?"
NOPE.  POTATO NOODLES.

After a delicious lunch at home, Guadalupe started to get ready for that night's dinner party. On the counter was a bowl of something (apples? potatoes? grapes?... it didn't register with me). In response to my offer of help, she asked in Spanish, "Do you want to peel those?"

LUNCH AT HOME SATURDAY:
DORADA A LA SAL (SALTED SEA BREAM).
MOMENTOUS: I PEELED THE SALTED SKIN (AND HEAD!!!) OFF MY OWN FISH.
AND I SAY I DON'T COOK.
SLICE OF SPINACH TORTILLA (SPANISH-STYLE TORTILLA).

Guadalupe is an extremely intelligent and intuitive person. She saw that I was about to have a panic attack at the thought of "peeling" whatever it was she had asked me to peel and was very understanding when I quietly headed upstairs to lie down. (But I did help set the table and I did help with clean-up at 2 in the morning.) And just so you know, even without my help (or more likely because I didn't help), dinner was a brilliant success. Check out just a few of the dishes.

BREAD TOPPED WITH SALMOREJO (LIKE GAZPACHO) AND ANCHOVIES.
I USED TO THINK I HATED ANCHOVIES. IN SPAIN, I'VE BEEN PROVEN WRONG TWICE.
I THINK IT WAS PARMESAN... AND IT HAD SOMETHING DRIZZLED ON IT...
AND IT WAS SO GOOD.
(I HAVE LEARNED THE CHEESE WAS MANCHEGO AND IT WAS DRIZZLED IN HONEY.)
SOME KIND OF PEPPER... BAKED IN SOMETHING... BRILLIANT.
IN A BLENDER: VANILLA SUGAR, COCONUT MILK, AND PINEAPPLE...
OH... AND BACARDI RUM.  THEN CHILLED.
FRIENDS (LEFT TO RIGHT): ROSALVER, ROCÍO, CARMEN, KEREN, AND GUADALUPE.
WARM, KIND, GRACIOUS, FASCINATING, FUNNY... AND GREAT CHEFS.

23 comments:

  1. The food looks splendid! Those pictures have made me peckish so I am going to fry me an egg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tynan:
      Sorry the egg, I'm sure, wasn't nearly as good. Thanks for the info on the cheese and honey!

      Delete
  2. Of course I loved seeing all the foods.... but those chefs (is it the same for masc as fem?) are really classy looking ladies! How elegant!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharon:
      The chefs (M or F) are VERY classy. It's amazing they let me stay!

      Delete
  3. Was it honey drizzled over the cheese? I know this is popular in Italy, although I don't care for it very much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephen:
      Tynan told me this morning the cheese was probably manchego, which is often drizzled with olive oil or honey.This must have been with honey.

      Delete
  4. Mitchell, you can't be good at everything you do, right? Good 'busboys' and 'clean-up' people are hard to come by!
    Food...excellent!
    Guests......beauties!
    Question.....were you the sole male there? Happens to us all the time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim:
      Sadly I'm not the best of busboys; I have to make too many trips. But I'm brilliant at clean-up. The friends are beautiful deep down. I feel very lucky to be welcomed into their circle. There was one other man there — husband to one of the four.

      Delete
  5. I'll say looks like good company. That spinach looked good.

    yvonne Happy
    New Year

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne:
      The spinach tortilla is not, I think, a common Spanish dish. It's a Guadalupe specialty and is really delicious.

      Delete
  6. I love the fact you embrace the fact you dislike cooking, but you are an excellent consumer of food goods, love the descriptions "pepper...baked in something"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheapchick:
      I really should have written everything down! Keren not only told me the ingredients in what she called her "Cuatro Cosas" ("Four Things") dessert, she also told me the proportions (4 different measures of each). I can't even remember that!

      Delete
  7. The food looks fascinating and delicious. I don't think I've eaten anything that was on the menu and it all looks so enticing.I would appreciate someone who helps with the clean up most of all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristi:
      There were a couple of other dishes that day, as well, and I had never had any of them before. If you ever cook for me, I promise to clean up after.

      Delete
  8. the ladies are lovely; I will pass on the food thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spo:
      What a truly wonderful group. As for the food... Try it. You'll like it.

      Delete
  9. Mitchell. Tienes que volver. Hoy nos hemos acordado de ti. Hemos cenado en casa de Keren, y Carmen (es la que mejor cocina) ha hecho patatas con niscalos (una especie de seta). Estaba exquisito, después, para no engordar hemos bailado dos horas con la música a tope,
    Nos encanta la foto que has hecho de las cinco.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gema-Guadalupe:
      Nosotros ya estamos hablando de volver. Pero, me olvidé de decirte. Yo no cocino Y yo no bailo. ¡Horrible!

      Las cinco diosas serían, por supuesto hermosas en cualquier foto

      Delete
  10. You are always tormenting me with beautiful food! Swoon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Knatolee:
      Pretty good for someone who's a disaster in the kitchen, isn't it?!?

      Delete
  11. Too bad anchovies have gotten such bad press. Also, I gain weight every time I read your blog. Smaller portions, Please!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frank:
      I tried anchovies many times and really hated them (couldn't even tolerate the smell)... even here in Spain. But, if they're good, fresh anchovies... and if they're prepared just the right way, I do like them. Nice surprise.

      Delete

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