Apple pie with ice cream.
This was at A Curtidoría in Santiago, of course. Thanks to Isabel for the pic.
By the way, Isabel got herself a reinterpretation of an all-time Galician classic, a tetilla cheese and quince mousse. Isabel was too busy and too shy, so no pic is available, unfortunately.
Isabel captured this beautiful moment when I went bosky with the remainders of a cured pork leg.
Ain’t I cute?
Published 30 November 2005
food , lifestyle
Tags: Basque Country, Basque language, Bilbao, European Software Institute, Guggenheim museum, ostia, Puppy, rain, Renault Megane, weather, Zamudio
Oh, the joy of intercontinental relocation.
Today I visited my work place, the European Software Institute, for the first time. It is located in the Zamudio Technology Park, a large garden-like campus that hosts a variery of technological companies and research centres. Zamudio itself is a very small village, with an old church, a pharmacy, a few bars and a video rental shop. The essentials, so to speak. I met my boss and was introduced to a few people, whose names and faces I have already forgotten. I will start tomorrow again.
The weather is amazing. Since we arrived, the average temperature during the day is 5 degrees Celsius, and it rains non-stop. I had almost forgotten the crisp touch of the cold in my face and the soothing sound of rain throughout my whole day and night. As I type this in the middle of rural Basque Country, rain rolls down my window, its intensity sometimes growing and sometimes almost disappearing.
Continue reading ‘Settling down’
Published 26 November 2005
food , lifestyle , technology
Tags: Bilbao, donuts, Iberia, jamón ibérico, ostia, rain, Renault Clio, Renault Megane, weather, winter
We arrived in Bilbao yesterday, after too many hours of flight. Each time I do intercontinental travel I realise (again and again) that economy class is an insult to human rights. Oh well.
The first word that a Basque person said to us after we arrived was “ostia”, which roughly translates as “fuck”. Imagine Isabel and me loaded with two huge suitcases, a trolley and three handbags trying to find our way out of the airport terminal. We catch the lift to the street level and a guy walks into the lift with us. We push our buttons and, in the few seconds that the trip lasts, the guy makes eye contact and says “ostia” with a smirk, surely discharging his frustration at Iberia after a London-Bilbao flight with no free food. Picturesque welcome.
Continue reading ‘Swearing in the lift and other welcome tidbits’
Published 7 October 2005
food , lifestyle , research & development
Tags: birdsongs, biwa, Brown Thunder from Down Under, cyber-toilet, Qantas, SoMeT, sushi, Tokyo, unsupervised minor
I am back from Tokyo. Actually, I’ve been back for a few days already, but I haven’t had the time for almost anything but catching up with my email and organising the move to Spain. But I owe this one to Nick.
I enjoyed Tokyo. Last Tuesday morning, I got on the plane in Sydney and arrived in Cairns a few hours later. After 45 minutes I got on the same plane again. My assigned seat was an aisle one (as usual), and the person on the next seat was a sulky teenager sporting trendy white headphones. After they closed the plane doors and we started rolling on the tarmac, a tall and handsome male flight attendant that reminds me of Jude Law comes to my seat and says “Mr Gonzalezperez, I need to ask you a favour” (Gonzalezperez is Qantas‘ reinterpretation of my two surnames, given that their information systems do not handle spaces or hyphens for the surname field). I say “sure, how can I help you”. “I would like to ask you to move to another seat”. I say “sure, as long as it’s an aisle seat”. And he explains that he has two reasons for asking me so. The first is that Mr Wilson, the gentleman sitting next to me, has a friend who would like to sit with him for the flight. So far so good. The second reason is that (literally) Qantas regulations forbid an adult from sitting next to an unsupervised minor. I don’t flinch but think “gee, perhaps I do look like a pervert, or perhaps this guy is kidding”. Making a joke actually crossed my mind, like saying “well, Mr Wilson is not exactly my type”. But Jude’s face is straight and he looks ready to kick me out of the plane if I don’t comply with Qantas regulations, so I smile (“just smile and wave”, as Madagascar’s nasty penguins would say) and say “of course, where is that seat?” Jude points to a seat close to me, an aisle one, and I obey diligently. I hope my criminal record stays unchanged after this.
Continue reading ‘Back from Tokyo’
Published 17 September 2005
This morning I got up with a bad headache, and when this happens I know that I need to eat. So I decided to cook me some pancakes. I put three egg whites with a pinch of salt in the Thermomix, whipped them until very stiff, and then added the yolks, 140 ml of milk, 1 heaped teaspoon of baking powder and 120 g of flour. Mixed well and started pouring straight into the pan.
Five thick pancakes came out, and I stacked them on a heated up plate. I generously poured some maple syrup on top, and grabbed a fork and a knife.
I stared at the pancakes for a while. They were big, thick, and five of them, and the plate wasn’t too large. I started by cutting little bits around the perimeter of one of them. When I levelled this one I tried to pull it from underneath the pile, but the moisture and the maple syrup makes them very sticky, so when I pulled with the fork, the whole pile moved on the plate as a block, threatening with landing on my lap or the floor. I thought of unpiling the pancakes one at a time, transferring them to another plate so I could eat them. Too much work, now that I was sitting comfortably away from the kitchen. I tried the alternative of attacking the topmost one, cutting just through it with my knife and trying not to score the second topmost pancake. I failed miserably. Some times I didn’t cut deep enough, so I had to tear the poor thing and rip it into unelegant pieces. Even worse, some other times I cut too deep, and the pancake underneath suffered horrible mutilations. At this point I started considering surrender as an option.
Yes, I finally did. I came to grips with the situation and, since I was alone and therefore unobserved by potential witnesses, I decided to eat my pile of pancakes as a block. With a sigh, I plunged my knife in the golden spongy flesh, 5 layers deep, and cut down to the plate. I contemplated the multilayered cross-section for a moment, and I couldn’t help but think that there is something inherently unrighteous in eating pancakes like that, showing no respect whatsoever for their delicate individualities.
Published 1 January 2005
Tags: cookbooks, New Year's Eve
Today I spent most of the day cooking with Isabel for our New Year’s Eve dinner party. I was using a cookbook and I realised something. Cookbooks usually have text describing the recipes and pictures illustrating them. When you cook something, you (well, I) inevitably stain the book with sauce or other tasty juices. The great thing is that the food bits staining a recipe tend to be a result (either final or intermediate) of such recipe.
So, in the end, you add flavour (and, why not, smell too) to the cookbook you use.