Saturday, October 2, 2010

Shopping and laundry day.....

Some of the pictures below are: The Plaza Nueva
near the school I go to (CLIC, International House Seville)....I cross this plaza (pronounced platha) everyday at least twice,... and a Japanese I- forget -what- it's- called player in front of the government building on Avenida de la Constitucion (I put a euro in every musician's jar who plays outdoors for luck for Will)... and below that, my digs in Mairena del Alfaria (or something) high atop the hills outside the city, the Mercado in Triana where we went food shopping today, (and that's a real, fresh mardarin orange, about the size of a small lemon, and sweet/tart in a most appealing way). I bought a kilo of them for the week. Remember, if something is 12 euros a kilo it's about five bucks a pound. Slicing Serrano ham is a national competitive sport here, there are prizes and all, the smaller and thinner you slice it, the better. I actually bought quail eggs to boil and take for lunch to school to save $$. they were 1 euro 50 centavos for eight or ten. Oh, and those are orange trees you see everywhere, Seville Oranges. It's a wild orange actually, too bitter to eat, but they send them to England for marmelade and there's a monastery in the center of Seville as well where nuns make the marmelade too. mmmmm....

Do remember to click on pictures to enlarge them... gracias! Enjoy!

Isabel and Eduardo

The Virgin dolorosa is everywhere....

Saturday in Triana...

I'm going to post a slew of the 79 pictures I took today, saturday, in Triana, which was the original sort of burbs of the city of Seville way way back, like fourteenth fifteenth sixteenth century burbs, and are now part of the city separated by a walking bridge over the river. I simply could not stop taking pictures, particularly once we got to the old artisan center, still preserved by the government as such, potters, glazers, painters of pottery. It is the most gorgeous ancient feeling area. I can't believe how narrow some of the streets are that people seem to have absolutely no compunction about driving a car through.

Eduardo took us to the market in his brand new Peugeot! My favorite car in the world! Rides like a dream. I purchased a made- in- spain pair of traditional shoes (see orange feet in foto) for ten euros, yes handmade shoes, well made too, for ten euros. Imagine that! So many shoes, so little time! And comfortable?? I had sprained my ankle pretty badly in England two weeks ago when i took a tumble off the curb as my pupils were still dilated after my eye exam at the hospital (thought a floater was a retina trying to leave its post, no problem though, all ok thanks to the National Health!) and my 2 mile walk to and from Metro every day has been something of a strain, but guess what??!! I put on the orange shoes and VOILA! Just like Dorothy, I felt just like I knew what I was about. Took the pressure off just the right part of my foot. That along with the tube of Traumeel I'm glad I brought along (dont' leave home without it and ibuprofen) and I'll be right as rain. Truly, I wore the shoes the minute I bought them and my ankle didn't hurt any more. Now don't get me wrong. These are NOT the ultimo hot shoes I seek, but they beat the heck out of my boring Tevas! I felt like one of the gals! Check the pics today for some pretty hot shoes I spotted on a few feet on the street.

The high point of the day was the tapas bar we went to for 'lunch' at around 2 p.m. when people eat 'supper' here, then have siesta, which I did as well. Two cervecitas (little beers, perfect pre-nap) and an array of the most gorgeous food I've seen in months, and the flavor! I thought I would start sobbing and it cost me some effort not to. Seriously, tears welled at my eyelids and I looked at Isabel and thanked her for giving me one of the best days of my life. Truly, everything we had, from the delicate squid to the little breast of chicken stuffed with fois gras laced with a gorgeous light curry sauce, and the RICE!! OMG. Everyone knows I adore rice and THIS, with that amazingly delicious giant prawn on top? I could wanted to inhale it, forced myself to slow down and enjoy, the iberian beefsteak – thin grilled slice with patates, and a velvety soup of tomato, garlic, little bits of serrano and boiled egg. Seriously, folks, this is some awesome tasting food. And the place! La Blanca Paloma(White dove, or white virgin, depending)!! Noisy, happy, the waiters in good tapas bars are the fastest, most efficient people you have ever seen. Oh and by the way, the butcher at the mercado where we bought food for this week (see my pic of fruits and cheeses i bought, so cheap!) had a way with a cleaver and another giant curved tool he used (it was a giant flat curved blade the size of a dinner plate!) with speed and deftness that boggled the mind.

EVerywhere you look..... Pure Artistry of one kind or another. Isabel sez that while the French are smug about their food, their cheese, wine, etc. the spanish people are skeptics, always ready to critique things, they wait to be impressed I think by their own products. I like that.

So we had plate after plate of glorious (I MEAN IT, sensually arousing great looking) food in a gorgeous bar, two beers apiece, four people. Ten euros apiece. That's about thirteen US. not bad eh?

It's nice to know people somewhere in the world, in a country like this that is hurting economically as much as they next guy, are still enjoying life so much. They are..... HAPPY.

I have a huge project to do for escuela (grumble, grumble) this weekend, due Tuesday, which of course I resent and must finish early so as to relax more as the week starts. But you know? I had a wonderful day today, and we're going out tonight. The work will keep til tomorrow when it is (unbelievably for here) supposed to rain anyway.

I seem to have lost a piece of tooth filling in a nice bit of caramel i was enjoying, so .... better ask Isabel about a dentist nearby? So far no pain.... but you never know with teeth, do you? One of these days I'll learn that my caramel days are over.... :-(

Lots of love, everyone. Take time to make some wonderful food today and enjoy it with a glass of Ribera del Duero (red spanish wine, rioja) if you can find it somewhere. It's not uncommon. And here's a tip from Isabel and Eduardo on spanish wines:

if the label also sez: vino jovem, it's very young, can be ok but not great
Cossecha means it's 2 to 4 years ago (affordable and yummy)
Crianza is the best, older more expensive

I had the Ribera del Duero cossecha and it was cheap and wonderful. OK, no more posts until work is done, next Thursday. I'm thinking of coming back here after Italy for a couple weeks. Isabel sez there is a cooking school in the city where you can learn to make the tapas..... hmmm.


Hasta luego!

PS.. Tee: you know who in Italy is Paul. who did you think it was?? and no i did not take that photo of the moon before. I cheat now and then and borrow photos from the internet.

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