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Foodblog: bergerka


bergerka
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Hello, everyone!

I've foodblogged before, both here and here - and believe me, props I got from all of you during my first attempts at cooking meant a HUGE amount to me and I will never forget them.

A lot has changed since then.

Brief recap: about a year and a half ago, I tossed my whole life up in the air, and with a lot of help and support from family, friends (among them the incredible Eric_Malson), and some people who had never met me before (some still haven't, in person, at least), came down squarely on my feet...in Madrid.

Basically, in January 2006, I went to Spain to sing Violetta in a tour of La traviata. It was my first biggish gig (which is to say the first of any size that anyone would be interested in), my first important leading role (as in, uh, the title role???? In an opera that has been sung by every great diva since the damn thing was composed???) and my first - well, technically second - time in Spain, the other one was 3 days in Bilbao back in 1999.

To say that I had a huge blast is the understatement of the year.

In fact, I fell passionately in love - with the country, with the people, with the whole idea of working to live, rather than living to work, and, possibly most of all, with the food. Oh my god, the food.

At the end of the tour, I took the single least planned, most spontaneous step of my entire life. I was supposed to get on a plane from Alicante to Madrid, and from Madrid to NYC, to go back to "normal" life, the day job, and all that involves.

Instead, I got on a bus in Valencia, went to meet Eric in Gijon, traveled with him for several days, then went to Alicante for several days to see my friend Iva, and then found a room to rent in Madrid and just...stayed.

The most amazing thing happened. As most of you know, in NYC I had to make a living working a day job (legal secretary ahoy!) in addition to the very few singing gigs I could scrape up. Here, I have been working as a full-time singer since I got here. Violetta was followed almost immediately by another Violetta in Italy, followed almost immediately by my first Lucia di Lammermoor...you get the picture. Almost everyone I audition for hires me...and I just appeared on the cover of a magazine, if you can believe it (if you can't, go here for the proof), as part of the festival Músicos en la Naturaleza, with whom I'm singing 8 recitals throughout Castilla y León this summer (with the utterly amazing Eric_Malson at the piano!). I am booked solid through summer of 2008 at this point, and more gigs are coming in all the time.

As you might imagine, I keep thinking someone's going to wake me up and say "PSYCH!!!!"

Anyway, on to blogging! I have a fun week in store for you - a few of my favorite places in and around Madrid, then will be heading up to Salamanca, possibly my favorite city in Spain, around Thursday with the man my father calls my gentleman friend and I will just call "C," or perhaps "Mr. Trouble," :laugh: to visit his sister and her new baby. On Saturday we'll be joined by Eric_Malson for lunch in Zamora, I hope, if the restaurant is open (Spain. August. Entire country on vacation. You do the math), and Saturday night I have the latest of this series of recitals in Fermoselle, which should make for some great pix. Sunday we'll head back to Madrid!

Before I head on to the foodblogging part of the foodblog, I would just like to give one unsolicited piece of advice: if you decide to drop everything and move to Spain, it might behoove you to speak more Spanish than "sí," "no," "gracias," and "una cerveza, por favor," although some here would say that's all you need :laugh:. I did not speak any more than that. Shockingly enough (yes, for the humor-impaired, that's sarcasm), considering it's a country in which the first language is, yanno, something not English, remarkably few people SPEAK English. I do speak much, much more Spanish than that now, although the subtler subjunctive forms (or, perhaps, el puto subjuntivo) continue to elude me.

On to the food! Later in the blog you'll get pix of my apartment, but right now I'm at C's.

I'm cheating a bit, because I ate dinner after midnight, so technically it was Monday. Last night I drove back from Riaño, the site of Saturday's concert, which is a solid 4.5 hours from Madrid. I arrived about 11pm and drove to C's house, where he made me dinner (bless him. I was tired).

A bit of background: C is a pilot for a large airline (they fly all over Europe and to Mexico, Central and South America, although not yet to the US), recently divorced, two kids ages 3 and 5 who are adorable (you won't get any pet porn in this foodblog, as neither he nor I have them, but if I can get his permission you might get some cute child pix, although I'm not sure we have any of them eating). How we met is, to me at least, amusing and an indication of the technological age. I won't post it here, but feel free to pm if you are curious. We've been dating for almost 9 months now, done a fair amount of traveling together, and share passions for great music, the beach (or the pool, or really anywhere we can swim) and really good food. :wub: We cook together a lot, we cook for each other a lot, and we go out to really good restaurants, too. Yes, he speaks fluent English. Together, we speak fluent Spanglish.

We had filets of fletan (halibut), cooked with olive oil, garlic and butter, a salad (just lettuce this time, it was late) with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and clara con limón, which is beer mixed with lemon soda (I know how it sounds. It's delicious, especially in summer in Madrid, when it's hot, hot, hot).

filets in the pan, slightly blurry (these first two pix were taken with C's phone, as my camera batteries were dead). C says he forgot to put lemon on the fish for decoration. Oops.

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the whole thing, on the table

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Then we had some raspberry cheesecake ice cream, which uh, I forgot to get a pic of, and hit the sack.

This morning's breakfast - coffee (unfortunately instant. There are a few reasons C drinks instant coffee, one of which is he frequently has to leave the house at 4 or 5 am to fly and doesn't want to have to think about anything at that hour more complicated than putting a cup in the microwave. Later in the week you'll get some Bialetti Mukka porn from my house) and Pastas de la Montaña, which are butter cookies from the region around León. The mayor of the town gave me a HUGE bag of regional products, including a longaniza (similar to chorizo), a salchichon (regular cured sausage, less spicy and more pink than chorizo), a goat cheese, some creamy blue cheese and these fabu cookies.

The cookie box

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Plated

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Then C went off to a paddle class (like a combination of tennis and raquetball) and I went off to the store to get batteries for the camera and some groceries for later today. He has to go to work at 6, so we'll be having lunch fairly soon here. :cool:

More pix and postings to come, and I hope you enjoy your virtual trip to Spain with me!

K

edited to add, oops, January 2006 is when I came to Spain, not 2007.

Edited by bergerka (log)

Basil endive parmesan shrimp live

Lobster hamster worchester muenster

Caviar radicchio snow pea scampi

Roquefort meat squirt blue beef red alert

Pork hocs side flank cantaloupe sheep shanks

Provolone flatbread goat's head soup

Gruyere cheese angelhair please

And a vichyssoise and a cabbage and a crawfish claws.

--"Johnny Saucep'n," by Moxy Früvous

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Wow! We're in Madrid, Spain now! I look forward to your blog Kathleen and may I say I am absolutely wowed that you're an opera singer (coming from one whose voice is like a cockroach).

Oh, and I've pm'ed you ... :wink:

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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I'm feeling a really bad envy headache coming on, so before it gets too bad I'll mention how much I'm looking forward to this blog. Even if it is going to mean I've got an envy headache all week long.

Looking forward to seeing Salamanca again, having spent a week there a couple of years ago.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Tapas!

Tapas!!

Tapas!!!

:cool:

I'm ready to suffer seeing all the wonderful food we lowly americans are not allowed to have here. Blog on!

PS: If you happen to meet anyone who is musing starting a percebes aquaculture farm, I got the connections! :wink:

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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No one guessed what the teaser photos were??? Ok, well, there was no way to guess the Xmas buffet - that was an important moment for me, as it was the first Christmas I ever spent away from Arizona and my family (I had concerts immediately before and the day after Xmas...there was no way to make it there and back without dying from jet lag), and I was feeling a little funny about it. My friends Willow (now my roommate), Judy and I all got together and cooked and drank wine and exchanged gifts and had an absolutely wonderful, warm, lovely Christmas.

the other one, though, is the inside of a very famous and beautiful building. If no one guesses it by the end of the day, I'll reveal.

Lunch! My computer battery is dying and I left the plug at home, so after this post I won't be on again till later, but will then answer all the pms and any questions here.

C made a tortilla española, the traditional egg and potato omelet. There are two schools of thought about the tortilla: onions and no onions. C is definitely an onion man, all the way, and I tend to fall on that side of things as well.

Onions and potatoes in the pan, with a lot of extremely good quality olive oil (C adds "the secret is the oil").

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eggs, whipped up with a fork:

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tortilla cooking

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tortilla after flipping, nice and brown, cooking on the other side

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Tortilla all done and plated

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In the meantime, I threw together some lettuce (for some reason, lettuce other than iceberg and romaine is very difficult to find in stores here, but it's too damn hot for anything but iceberg anyway, in my opinion), colas de langosta (crayfish tails), olive oil and a little red wine vinegar, with a nice dash of salt. Later we threw in a handful of raisins (not pictured):

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here's the whole lunch, ready to go. That's caffeine-free diet Coke I'm drinking, but I later switched to water. Bread is ubiquitous with meals in Spain, you will not find a meal without it.

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For dessert we had some really sweet watermelon!

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Ok, I am now going to take advantage of one of the best Spanish traditions ever...the siesta. Mondays this summer are my relaxing days, as Eric and I leave on Saturdays for the concert sites, which are between 2 and 5 hours away and only reachable by car (I've rented a lot of cars this summer. Don't have one yet), perform Saturday nights, usually go afterward for something to eat and/or then drive back to Madrid, or drive back to Madrid the next day. It's lots of fun, but very tiring, and not too many restaurants are open on Mondays anyway, so I spend the time recharging the batteries.

I'll be home in a couple of hours and will answer questions and show you my neighborhood and C's (I live in the middle of Madrid, he lives in a 'burb about a 35 minute drive out of the center) then!

K

Edited by bergerka (log)

Basil endive parmesan shrimp live

Lobster hamster worchester muenster

Caviar radicchio snow pea scampi

Roquefort meat squirt blue beef red alert

Pork hocs side flank cantaloupe sheep shanks

Provolone flatbread goat's head soup

Gruyere cheese angelhair please

And a vichyssoise and a cabbage and a crawfish claws.

--"Johnny Saucep'n," by Moxy Früvous

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Kathleen, what fun! I'm really looking forward to this.

I've been to Madrid once and loved it. I really admire you for having the courage to simply turn your life around like that.. and I'm so glad it's working out for you!

Oh, tortilla! :wub:

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This is going to be a great week.

I love Madrid and lived there for two years many years ago. (Franco era) I'm very much looking forward to your impressions and your food both what you cook & what you eat in restaurants.

A little Tosca hopping perhaps? Picados?

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Talk about spontanaeity! Glad to read that straying from the established path has proved to be good for your career, your romantic life, and your sanity.

Between markemorse's rosti and your tortilla española, you are going to keep me busy trying new ways to serve fried potatoes for brunch. This is a Good Thing. I look forward to learning about more new foods and techniques through your eyes.

I also look forward to seeing more of Madrid (do you use the metro there?), which I haven't seen much of at all. Modern Spain, I've come to understand, is a very exciting country, confident and full of experimentation. I know we won't be treated to a meal at el Bulli in this blog, but I trust we might see some of that same spirit on display?

Carry on. This is going to be fun!

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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:wub: That watermelon looks amazing!

I love potatos and eggs. Growing up, my mom would make what she called the farmer's breakfast. It was potatos, sliced and fried in bacon fat, when they got nice and brown we poured beaten eggs over them and "scrambled" the lot.

I might like opera, my first dog's name was Calaf! :laugh:

Like the Character, My Calaf was an unkown prince. A forty dollar animal pound dog, he loved and protected my family for thirteen years, and passed this month last year.

---------------------------------------

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Congrats on your successes! I am looking forward to more of your blog. (BTW - the inspiration worked both ways in your first blog. Thanks for the boost I got from it).

Now to go find your teaser photos and see if I can guess.... (dont bet on it).

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Teaser. Its been a long time, but I'm guessing The Prado?

That makes more sense.

Can I hope there will be peas with ham on the menu at some time?

That was my favorite dish in all of Spain and I think I had no bad ones. It would of course help if I could remember the proper name ...

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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The gingham check is the most classic tablecloth check, though there are many other great checks, such as the glen plaid aka Prince of Wales check.

Does your job keeping you busy like a 9-to-5, or do you have a very irregular schedule? I can imagine the latter would be great for exploring restaurants and cooking all-day meals.

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ok, I'm home and plugged in and ready to answer these!

I am NOT the only Jets fan in Madrid! There is an Irish pub (another fun Spain fact: inexplicably, the country is chock-full of Irish pubs. Some of which are actually run by Irish people) very close to my old apartment that shows the American football games on Sunday nights, and I have met a few other expat Gang Green fans!

Oh yes, there will be tapas. Salamanca, where I'll be from Thursday on, is one of only a few towns left in Spain where they give you a free tapa, as in a big serving of something, with your drink order, no matter what it is (water, wine, beer, whatever). We will be out & enjoying at LEAST once. You'll also get to experience the cooking of C's mother, you lucky people. She's one of the best cooks I've ever had the fortune to meet.

I do use the metro on a very regular basis and it's excellent. To be honest, though, when the weather is warm and sunny (I adore warmth and sun!), I walk almost everywhere.

There will not be much food of the "experimental" type this week, though, for two reasons. One, those restaurants tend to be very pricey. I am a freelance singer currently living on approximately half of what I made at my day job in NYC...I honestly don't eat out all that much, and when I do, I rarely, if ever spend more than €25. Second, I am significantly more interested in learning about traditional Spanish dishes at this point than I am about the new stuff - it's a whole new world for me, as it is.

Hmmm. Culture shock. To tell the truth, other than realizing once the tour was over that, uh, while my conversational Italian had gotten pretty damn good (it was all we spoke on tour, as we had two singers who spoke nothing but), my Spanish was lousy, and Spanish was going to be absolutely necessary, coming to Spain really felt like coming home to me. The lifestyle is more relaxed, the people are, at least in my experience, open, friendly, incredibly willing to help, welcoming and delightful. The food is amazing. I'm not a morning person, so stores not open till 10 am works for me. I like late, long lunches, so lunch/siesta from 2-5pm...works for me. I grew up eating at or after 9 pm, so dinner late...yeah. It DID, after ten years of NYC's gotta-have-it-yesterday attitude, take a while to get used to the fact that when someone says they'll call you "mañana," they mean next week sometime, and when they say "mañana por la mañana," (tomorrow morning), they mean in about three days, but then I went to Italy and discovered they just don't call you back at all there (motto of Italy should be "Italy: we make Spain look organized!"), so that made it a little easier.

I still sometimes have problems inside my head dealing with days when I really, truly have nothing that I HAVE to do, like it's somehow not ok to just go to the park or go to the pool or, you know, go catch a train or a bus somewhere and see something for a day or two (or, in August, for a week or two, although thus far I have two Augusts full of work in a row). Those are few and far between these days, though, and I'm starting to have to really get myself on my own schedule, as I'm hardly ever home. Either I'm traveling for work/working, or I'm at C's (or he and I are traveling for fun - he took me to Paris a couple of weeks back, we're probably going up to Galicia next week for a few days, and we're talking about visiting a friend in Nice in September) with just him or with him and the kids, or I'm online and frantically trying to catch up to work (I do a lot by email, scheduling, communicating with producers/agents, the works), my normal blog (here: Go crazy, kill a tenor and die: just a normal Tuesday.), talking to family and friends, etc. Plus I found a used bookstore - English books! - that has a great selection and holds language exchange nights, as well.

Is there anything I can't get here that I miss? *pause for a Chip Ahoy cookie* Not much. Pecans for the pecan pie I made at Xmas were difficult to find - I eventually had to go to The American Store for them, which I try not to do too often as it's REALLY expensive. Peanut butter is hard to find inside Madrid center, but the Caprabo grocery store in C's neighborhood has it. Hell, a couple of weeks ago he and I got a craving for bad American bar food, and I swear to you, went to Foster's Hollywood and there it was, fried mozzarella and all.

Ah yes. There is one thing that is extremely difficult to find here, that I do miss very much.

Spicy food.

Now, by "spicy," I mean "hot," as in Thai, Indian, that kind of hot. The Spanish do not, as a general rule, eat spicy food, although they eat food that is well seasoned. In fact, as a general rule, they CAN'T eat spicy food. Foods in which I, Sripraphai fan that I am, don't even notice a hint of pepper, they say "wow, that's spicy" (or perhaps "¡ufff, que picante!").

I've found one quite good Thai place in Madrid, although not on a level with Sripraphai, Siam Thai on c. San Bernardino, on which you'll also find several other good and cheap ethnic places.

Last week, my friend Raúl (tenor I met in a bar in Malasaña at 3 am one night. Long story. Great friend!) took Eric and me to an Indian restaurant near the Tirso de Molina metro stop. It was a revelation. Truly, really, hot hot hot vindaloo, but still so flavorful I had to keep eating it.

and yes, guisantes con jamón are among my favorite dishes as well - if I ever get hungry again, I'll be sure to have some!

My schedule is completely freelance. When I'm busy, as now, I'm very, very busy. When I'm not, I'm totally not. For example, I am booked solid July/August (had one week where all I did, literally, was travel and sing. Every day), then completely free except for two auditions in September - I am hoping to get a week in NYC in there to work with my teacher and prepare some new stuff. In October and November I'm booked solid again. Then I have the first two weeks of December free, and then start Xmas concerts from mid-December to mid-January. Thus far, February is free in 2008, but March-May are booked, as are July and August. On an hourly basis, it's rare for rehearsals to start before 12pm here. Usually we have 12-2 or 3, then again 6-9 or 10pm, or possibly 7-11pm. When we have rehearsals, that is. I had four days of rehearsal for my first La traviata, ONE rehearsal for Lucia di Lammermoor, and two for La Bohème. For concerts and recitals I set my own rehearsal schedule with the pianist or conductor.

Ok, it's 9pm here. The teaser photo is of the inside of the Salamanca cathedral, one of my favorite structures in Spain.

I'm now gonna answer the pm's that await, take some pix of my place (had to get the rental car back on time and hence took none of C's place. I'll be back there tomorrow night and Wednesday day, I hope to go to the pool, and will get some then!), then go for a beer with Eric and maybe a couple of other friends. See you later tonight! I am almost always up late, as I almost never have to get up early.

Just so you know, later in the week my online access will be pretty spotty, probably no more than 1-2 times a day. I'll try to post pix and answer stuff as much as I can.

Edited by bergerka (log)

Basil endive parmesan shrimp live

Lobster hamster worchester muenster

Caviar radicchio snow pea scampi

Roquefort meat squirt blue beef red alert

Pork hocs side flank cantaloupe sheep shanks

Provolone flatbread goat's head soup

Gruyere cheese angelhair please

And a vichyssoise and a cabbage and a crawfish claws.

--"Johnny Saucep'n," by Moxy Früvous

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Salamanca, where I'll be from Thursday on, is one of only a few towns left in Spain where they give you a free tapa, as in a big serving of something, with your drink order, no matter what it is (water, wine, beer, whatever).  We will be out & enjoying at LEAST once.  You'll also get to experience the cooking of C's mother, you lucky people.  She's one of the best cooks I've ever had the fortune to meet.

Are you planning on showing us the frog while you're there?

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Kathleen, that is totally awesome! Making it as a singer is something to be really really proud of, and I'm really proud of you! If you come to Nice in September promise you'll come to Uzès, where I'll be spending the year. If not, I'm totally going to come hear you sing somewhere, sometime.

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Are you planning on showing us the frog while you're there?

Nope. Gotta go to Salamanca and find it your own self, for luck. Besides, I can't remember where it is. I'll show you the astronaut, though (yes, really).

And Abra, um, YES, I will be definitely coming to see you there, I'd love to meet you!

Ok, so, my evening.

Since C is off working late and I'm home, I figured I'd show you some pix of my kitchen.

Obligatory background: when I first jumped ship and came here, I rented a very, very small room (really very tiny. Seriously tiny. Also ungodly cheap) in an apartment in the Arguelles neighborhood, which is on the west side of Madrid very close to the Plaza de España and the Palacio Real. It was a great place to live for a year, central, cool roommates, apartment absolutely flooded with light, because it was on the top floor, two terraces, that kind of thing. I later moved into a bigger room when a roomie moved out. I moved here with almost nothing - clothes, some of my stuff from the States, and have been gradually bringing stuff over, so bought all my furniture, bedding, towels, accessories at IKEA, of which there are now three surrounding Madrid (it's an invasion).

Then in May a room became available in my friend Willow's place, in the neighborhood right by the football stadium (no, that's not NY Jets. That's Real Madrid. REAL football). It's a huge room, like seriously huge, like I didn't have enough furniture to fill the thing. It was exactly the same price I was paying for the bigger room in Arguelles, a much bigger apartment, a much better kitchen, in a much quieter area, very well connected (right between two metro lines). I took it.

I now live with Willow, an American who has been traveling in Europe teaching English (most expats here in Madrid teach English; offhand, I only know two who don't including myself) for the last six years or so. She's lived in the Maldives, she got typhoid in Peru...that kind of thing. Interesting and cool person, Juan, who is from Valencia and works for some big American company doing accounting for midsized businesses (and who once told me my accent in Spanish was "una barbaridad," which I know not to be true. When I told C, he said "A Valenciano told you YOUR accent was barbaric??? Has he heard himself talk???" but then again, C comes from Salamanca originally. As in, the center of Castellano, aka Spanish), and Maria, who is a consultant of some sort from Galicia. Currently, Willow is in the US visiting friends and family (her room is being sublet by Rafa, who is from Las Canarias and is delightful. Rafa brought me coffee from Las Canarias. We love Rafa and would like to keep him), Juan is...well, Juan is either on vacation in Valencia or sleeping at his girlfriend's, and Maria is visiting family in Galicia. Even when they're home, they're hardly home - they all work at jobs at which they have to be by 8:30 am and don't get home till well after 6pm most days. It's almost like living alone, only with occasional friendly greetings. The one time I had to wake up early, I discovered that at 7 am, my apartment becomes Grand Central Station (or, this being Madrid, Chamartín) for about one hour at that time and then everyone disappears.

So anyway. The kitchen. Bear in mind that I am basically never home. I use the kitchen, on average, once a week, or twice, maybe.

This is what you see as you face the kitchen from the hall door.

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...sorry about the crap quality of some of my photos.

This is what you see standing in the door that leads to the utility room and guest room, facing the kitchen. That top cabinet to the right of the fridge is mine. The glass front ones are where dishes and glasses are kept.

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And here's what you see if you are standing next to the fridge. We have, as you can see, a vitroceramic stovetop, which I am just getting used to. They're the hot thing here - C's kitchen, which is brand new (one year old, or a little more) has it too. My first apartment here had a gas stovetop. During one memorable hangover, I managed to light a vodka-soaked (DON'T ask) dishtowel on fire just as I lit the burner. Bwahahahaahaha. :laugh:

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Here's what's in my cabinet. Bottom shelf is dry goods - pasta, canned stuff, plus olive oil, vinegar, various non-refrigerated condiments. Middle shelf is spices of various kinds, as I am the household baker (you'll see more of that tomorrow). Top shelf holds beans, other legumes, a biiiiiiig bag of good quality cocoa powder Willow gave me, flour, random stuff I haven't looked at in a while. I have to remember to go through the cabinet and fridge on a regular basis...because I am home so little, I tend to forget what I have. Rafa was teasing me earlier about the bread I bought, forgot about, and allowed to turn into a blunt instrument.

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Here's my shelf in the refrigerator. Not much in there right now, as I just got back from concertizing AGAIN. Some cherry tomatoes that I have to remember to either eat or take to C's, some jamón iberico (cured ham) and some jamón york (cooked ham, I was planning to make a pasta salad last week, oops), ditto, some actimels (drinkable yogurt!), some cuajada, currently one of my favorite desserts with honey, an apple, looks like some lettuce in a bag, oops, better check that tomorrow, and, of course, a bottle of caffeine-free Coke Light.

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A couple of my favorite kitchen items:

An extremely blurry - oops, sorry - pic of my Henckels knives and kitchen shears. I love these. I still have not forgiven the person who broke the tip off my big chef's knife, promised to replace it and never did.

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My spatula with chickens on it. In addition to being very useful, this is the most adorable kitchen item I have ever bought. God, it's cute.

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My handmade cream pitcher and sugar bowl. I have one coffee mug that matches these, you'll see it tomorrow. My parents bought me these in Ouray, Colorado, when we were all on vacation there. I was about eleven, I think. I adore them. I had another coffee mug, too, but a roommate past broke it. *sigh* I hate it when people break my stuff...I know it happens, but I still hate it.

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My other favorite item is the Mukka. You'll see it tomorrow.

So Eric_Malson and I were totally not hungry tonight (which is so unusual for him I asked if he was feeling ok!). We have just come off a weekend of unbridled eating - it's sort of a shame I wasn't foodblogging slightly earlier, as you'd have experienced a serious selection of embutidos (cured meats), these red peppers stuffed with rape (monkfish) that were beyond delicious, and then a sopa de pescado (fish soup) and roasted cabrito (kid goat) served at this restaurant in this teeny weeny town called Pendones, way the hell up in the mountains (two expressions to describe where it is, one polite, one not so: "al quinto pino" - "at the fifth pine" - and "a tomar por culo a la mano derecha" - oh, figure that one out yourself. They both mean "way the hell out there").

So we got Rafa and headed to an outdoor bar near my house at which my friend Katia from Brazil works.

The bar (that's Katia behind it, with the long hair):

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the seating area (that guy with his back to you, in the brown shirt, is Rafa):

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Eric had a vino tinto (red wine), Rafa and I had claras (those beers mixed with something sparkling), him with Casera (sparkling water), me with limón (lemon soda).

The drinks:

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We sat around and chatted a bit, then headed for home about 1 am.

I'm going to eat one more chip ahoy while I translate an article and then go to bed, I think - have some fun places to eat tomorrow. Hope to hell I'm hungry.

One more piece of what could, I suppose, be called culture shock. In the first three weeks of my being here, I lost 15 pounds (granted, I was on tour. I have to eat like a horse on tour if I want to even maintain weight).

In the ensuing year, I lost ten more. Without trying, and no, I am neither anorexic nor bulimic (singing and barfing: not compatible).

This means that I am currently holding steady at 59 kilos, or just under 130 pounds, down from my high of 155 pounds when I left NYC (I was NOT happy about that higher number). I am 5'11", or, if you prefer, 1m80.

Now, as you will see this week, I eat. I eat a lot. I'm in excellent health. So...what the hell??? :blink: Granted, I get a fair amount of exercise and singing burns calories like crazy.

Ok, I'm off for the night. See you all tomorrow, although not TOO early my time!

K

Basil endive parmesan shrimp live

Lobster hamster worchester muenster

Caviar radicchio snow pea scampi

Roquefort meat squirt blue beef red alert

Pork hocs side flank cantaloupe sheep shanks

Provolone flatbread goat's head soup

Gruyere cheese angelhair please

And a vichyssoise and a cabbage and a crawfish claws.

--"Johnny Saucep'n," by Moxy Früvous

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