Homemade Chinese Food

March 01, 2012 By: erik Category: Food, Offspring, Recipes, Spain 542 views

Chinese Almond Chicken Vegetables on RiceRecently my wife has discovered a blog by a Spanish housewife called Cocinando Entre Olivos (Cooking Among Olive Trees). I must say that I am extremely impressed with the quality of her posts, particularly the step-by-step photographs; you almost don’t need to be able to read the text. There really is a photo at every single step, often actually showing the addition of each ingredient. After several years of not adding any new recipes to our cooking repertoires, it’s quite refreshing to have some new things to cook. Recently my wife made some homemade chinese food, which consisted of cooking three recipes simultaneously (the recipes are in Spanish): Chinese Chicken with Almonds, Chinese Rice With Three Delights and Spring Rolls With Sweet-and-Sour Sauce.
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State of the Offspring Address – February 2012

February 28, 2012 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting 174 views

Cute PoseThis month has been marked most prominently by Carnival, in which Nora dressed up at daycare as a dwarf (a la Snow White), and then later as an Andalusian lass. Overall she’s been much more of a pleasure to be around, listening to reason and telling interesting accounts of events.

Under my care, she has had a total of zero bladder or bowel control issues. I haven’t had to change a single wet pair of panties this month, with the solitary exception of the night when I forgot to put her nocturnal diapers on, and we had a little 4:00 AM wetness to deal with. I’d hate to jinx it, but if feels like we’ve crossed a milestone.
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Modeling New Sunglasses

February 24, 2012 By: erik Category: Colindres, Offspring, Photos, Spain 168 views

Trying on SunglassesI continue to be surprised at the small town hospitality that I enjoy in my adopted home of 8,000 inhabitants. It has been quite sunny this week, and every day I take my daughter out for a walk in the morning, she complains about the sun. Her blue eyes, like my green ones, don’t like bright lights, and we lost her sunglasses a few months ago. So we set off for the local optometrist.
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I wonder where that plane is going

February 23, 2012 By: erik Category: Geeky, Travel 194 views

Plane Finder ARI’ve had my iPhone 4 for almost two years now, and it’s been at least six months since an app has really wowed me. The last one was surely Word Lens, the app that lets you point your phone at some foreign text, and it translates it right there on the screen for you. Okay, to be honest, Word Lens is quite a bit more technologically mind-blowing than the app I’m about to tell you about, but it’s been a while since I’ve pulled anyone over to say, “Hey, look what my phone can do!”
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Carnival 2012 РSanto̱a

February 19, 2012 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Spain, Travel 337 views

Sunset DockWe’ve heard from past years that the nearby town of Santoña puts on a good Carnival festival. We were a little disappointed, however, to see that the parade starts at dusk rather than during the day when it’s warmer and easier to see costumes. But we decided to give it a chance anyway, so we left at around lunchtime to go have some tapas and spend a lazy afternoon in Santoña awaiting the parade. Nora, of course, was delighted to get a chance to get more milage out of her Sevillana dress.
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Carnival 2012 in Colindres: Snow White

February 17, 2012 By: erik Category: Colindres, Offspring, Parenting, Partying, Spain 463 views

Carnaval 2012 - La Cucaña - Colindres - 124Today was the big Carnival parade, sort of a “Halloween meets Mardi Gras” thing that is very typical for children in Spanish culture. Apparently I did such a fine job last year that my presence was simply assumed as The Official Daycare Photographer. Perhaps in honor of that job, I was also given a leading role in this year’s costume theme. About a month ago, I was told by Adela, the daycare owner, that this year for Carnival the kids would be dressed up as dwarves, the daycare employees would all be dressed as Snow White, Adela herself would be the Evil Stepmother, and I, the only parent with a themed costume, would be dressed as none other than Prince Charming.
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A Guide To Spanish Meal Names

February 16, 2012 By: erik Category: Food, Spain, Spanish, Travel 4,072 views

Beans and Wild BoarLearning the words for the meals of the day is difficult any time you change cultures, whether you change languages or not. In different parts of the US, for instance, the word “dinner” can either refer to the meal at midday or in the evening. It took me years of living the UK to realize that “having tea” doesn’t only refer to imbibing an infusion, but can often refer to the evening meal. In Spain, most people eat three main meals each day, but there are words for five meals. Confused? Let’s have a look…
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Mitten Puppets

February 03, 2012 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Photos 211 views

Nora with Mitten PuppetsMy grandmother, Joyce, knitted some mitten puppets for her great-granddaughter, Nora, for Christmas 2011. As often happens with presents not made in Chinese plastic molds, they got a little passed over on Christmas morning, but we’ve found them and the weather has finally gotten cold enough to necessitate insulating hand gear, so we put them on her yesterday. It turns out to be extremely difficult to actually get her thumb and pinky into their requisite holes, but she does enjoy the faces on them.
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Talking on the phone with Abuela

February 03, 2012 By: erik Category: Offspring, Parenting, Spanish, Videos 195 views

Talking with abuela (thumbnail)I’ve been focusing lately on Nora’s English, as my readers are more likely to understand her, but I thought I’d post some videos showcasing her Spanish development. One of Nora’s favorite pastimes is talking on the phone with her abuela (Spanish grandmother). There are times when Nora is entertained with some other task and won’t even take the phone, but there are other times where they have spoken for more than an hour, once to the point where Nora got a little hoarse. It’s very much a stream of consciousness sort of conversation, with Nora at the helm, and her abuela interjecting comments here or there to keep up the flow, sticking around long after I would’ve bored of the conversation.
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What’s in a name?

January 31, 2012 By: erik Category: Offspring, Spain, Videos 299 views

What's your name (thumbnail)In preparation for her entrance into the school system in September, we recently began teaching Nora that her name is longer than just “Nora”. A lot longer, in fact. I would be very, very surprised if there existed another person on the planet with Nora’s two surnames. In Spain, you see, people have two last names, the first from the father, and the second from the mother. Her first is Rasmussen, which is both difficult to spell and pronounce. Her second last name is Matamoros – a fairly rare surname in Spain – that probably originated from a myth about Saint James slaying moors.
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