Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gastronomy with a perpectual......

woody. That's what Anthony Bourdain said about the food in Spain.

So now, with time only for just 6 meals, where do we go? What do we choose? Thanks goodness my brother, Mark, has spent time in Madrid. At least he has an idea where to go.

So what makes Spain a unique culinary experience? History. You see geographically Spain has been seen as a gateway, settled nicely between Europe, Africa, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, the land was prime and many governments wanted to control it.

The Greeks, Romans and Moors all kept residence at one time or another leaving behind their culinary points of view that survive to this day.

Add then the richness of the soil and the arid climate the result is excellent growing conditions for not only grapes and olives but a plethora of other produce as well.

During my trip last December to Mauritania I learned that the country imports MOST of the food that is prepared in homes and restaurants. While the chefs do their best to create fresh dishes, the fact that the food is hauled in over land and sea diminishes it's quality. This in NOT going to be the case in Spain as the land itself produces a bountiful harvest.

While it is impossible for me to describe all the foods I will have a chance to explore, suffice it to say, my taste buds are anxious.



gazpacho soup

Fire Roasted Piquillo Peppers

And to drink:


Spanish Rioja



Helping with the wedding

This week Sonsoles made my day....week....year! With great enthusiasm I am helping her with the wedding favors. You know, gifts guests receive for coming to the wedding.

Her first e-mail was to inquire about the customs in the US in regards to these gifts as well as the custom of our family. As I took my mind back to the weddings I have attended in recent years I realized that it was not really a custom through out the land as much as it was a custom of the wedding adviser.

Let me make my point. The other day I was channel surfing in my bedroom and I came across the reality TV show with Denise Richards in it. I don't know the name of it but I briefly watched an interaction Denise had with a party planner she had hired to plan a party for a friend of hers. She was basically firing this planner because the planner had not planned what Denise wanted her to plan, instead she put together a party that was bigger and grander than Denise had wanted.

So now, as I reflect on what Sonsoles has asked about favors for guests, it really does depend on what the individual bride (the groom probably couldn't care less) wants for her wedding.

What is custom in Spain is that the father of the bride gives cigars to the male guests of the wedding. What? Just the men? Now this is a wedding tradition I intend to crash! :)

Apparently, according to postings on the internet, the Canary Islands have a long standing tradition of cigar making dating back to the 18th century.

But I digress - after forwarding some links with wedding favors to Sonsoles, she found some really great ones and so I ordered them. Delivery will be made by me, and I'll put them together as well. makes me happy to help in some small way.

In order to preserve the anticipation for the guests, I won't post a picture of them here. You'll just have to attend the wedding to find out what these gifts are.

Or, you can wait till I post some pictures of the event. You'll find me sitting among the guests smoking a cigar.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lest I Forget - It's all about a wedding

Wedding plans are really on the forefront of my mind. Especially this last week as my siblings and I began to plan some pre-wedding fun and photo montage. You know...a trip down memory lane. Baby photos. Oh my, we have some great ones.

We can say what we want about our parents but they created some really cute kids!

And we have some pretty great photos to prove it. You'll see. Someday.

Don't want to spoil any surprises right now.

Wade and I have been doing some research about the Canary Islands. Time will be the enemy. Too many things to see, places to go, people to meet. We will sleep when we get back home.