Saturday, March 18, 2017

But It's Free!

While I tell today's story, enjoy a couple of photos from Viveros Guzman (the garden center in Alhaurín de la Torre). We took another drive there last month. The story will circle round. (Click the images to enlarge.)

VERTICAL GARDEN. PERFECT FOR OUR TERRACE — IN MY DREAMS.
(EXCEPT FOR THE BLUE BUNNIES AND OTHER ASSORTED DOODADS.)

But it Comes with the Meal
When San Geraldo and I were living in Palm Springs, California in the first couple of years of this century, I flew to New York for a brief visit. I took My Mother The Dowager Duchess to visit her sister Sylvie. Some of the extended family met us there and we walked to a nearby restaurant for lunch. A glass of wine was included in the menu price. Everyone before me asked for a glass of white.

I said, "None for me, thanks."

The Duchess said, "Order white," to which I replied, "But I don't drink." (I didn't at the time).

MORE VERTICAL GARDEN.

"But it's free!," snapped the Duchess.

"But I won't drink it." I insisted.

"But, it comes with the meal!"

"It doesn't matter. It will just go to waste."

"He'll have a glass of white," she commanded the waiter.

That day, we left behind eight glasses of white wine.... because they came with the meal.


Mamma Said
After the garden center last month, we went to our usual lunch spot, Papas Fritas y Huevos (Chips and Eggs). They offer daily menus, which are so cheap and so generous that I usually say "yes" and usually regret it.

We started with paella, which would have been enough on its own. That was followed by lemon chicken and chips (French fries) — gigantic servings.

I was stuffed and only ate half the chicken and hardly any chips.

Since I was stuffed, I said to San Geraldo, "I'm stuffed!" (I'm clever like that.)

San Geraldo said, "So you're not having dessert?"

"I have to," I replied. "It comes with the meal."

PAELLA.
CHICKEN AND CHIPS... WHAT I LEFT BEHIND!
NATILLAS (A SPANISH CUSTARD DIFFERENT FROM FLAN).
I LICKED THE TIN CLEAN (NOT REALLY; THAT WOULD BE DISGUSTING).

Next time there's free wine, I'm drinking all eight glasses...

20 comments:

  1. Leaving behind desert would have been a crime, really, several course meals should begin with that I think

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    Replies
    1. Cheapchick:
      Starting with dessert is a much better idea.

      Delete
  2. I'm getting better at turning down free stuff. You guys certainly eat well.

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    Replies
    1. Stephen:
      I DO turn down free stuff... unless I want it (or my mother was telling me what to do).

      Delete
  3. Thanks Ma!! lol
    Isn't it funny/weird/surprising (maybe not) when we say things so easily that our parents used to say!!?

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    Replies
    1. Jim:
      I actually said it as a joke in her memory. I have an aversion to saying things my parents used to say... unless I'm joking and do it on purpose. Oh, well!

      Delete
  4. the dessert looks good; how does it differ from flan (which I love)? the cookie on top?

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    Replies
    1. anne marie:
      That's a cooking question and I've looked up the answer before but of course didn't remember it for more than 4 minutes. So here it is: This custard (though it's a pouring thin cream and not a coagulated custard) is also similar to flan but is typically richer, makes generous use of cinnamon flavoring, and does not use caramel as flan normally does. That "cookie" turned out be more soft and cake-like. Delicious!

      Delete
  5. I cannot abide wasted food or drink and I think that comes from having been raised in post war Britain at a time when severe rationing was in place.

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    1. Heron:
      My mother grew up during the Great Depression. She couldn't throw things away and hated waste, so this kind of behavior was very out of character (to order them and leave them on the table). I was surprised she didn't have an empty thermos in her purse!

      Delete
  6. Had I been at the lunch with the family, I'm sad--or not--to say, that the eight glasses would not have been left behind. I would have polished them off.
    But I am stuffed just reading about the paella AND the chicken and chips! I would have skipped dessert for sure ... unless it was wine.

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    Replies
    1. Bob:
      Oh, the dessert was so worth NOT skipping. I asked everyone at the table all those years ago if they would drink my wine if I ordered it. They all said, "no." But they were all related to my mother and none drank their OWN wine either. I DID take a sip and the wine was crap!

      Delete
  7. Oh Mitchell,I agree, you never could leave behind a free dessert!

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    1. Cat Lover:
      And this free dessert was amazingly good. I could still leave behind free wine -- of the quality served at that other restaurant!

      Delete
  8. I'm with Bob, the eight glasses would have been drunk if I had been there!!! I am loving the vertical garden concept.

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    1. mistress maddie:
      I could do a couple of glasses ... maybe... now. But really not all 8.

      I find vertical gardens so beautiful and the one they've developed at Viveros Guzman is a mosaic work of art. I wonder what the cats would do with it.

      Delete
  9. What is this thing of which you speak: "leftover" wine?

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    1. Walt the Fourth:
      I did take a sip. Trust me, you would have left it over, too!

      Delete
  10. I struggle with only eating what I want, and not cleaning my plate, everything that comes with the meal (and it shows!)

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    Replies
    1. Travel:
      Jerry regularly complains about that. I usually only eat until I'm satisfied. Jerry eats until everything is gone. He'll say, "Do you want to stop for ice cream?" And I'll say, "No, I'm not hungry." He'll say, "Hunger has nothing to do with it!"

      Delete

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