Tapa Recipe: Morcilla and Goat Cheese Pie

June 27, 2012 By: erik Category: Food, Photos, Recipes, Spain 595 views

Morcilla and Goat Cheese PieIf you asked me to list my top five favorite foods or beverages to consume in Spain, morcilla, goat cheese and red wine would make the list for sure. Morcilla is a spicy blood sausage. There are many types of blood sausage all called morcilla, but the most common and best is morcilla de León or morcilla de Burgos, which consists of pig meat, pig blood, pig lard, rice, onion and spices stuffed into pig intestine. The blood makes it jet black.

Recently, my wife came across a recipe for individual serving pies containing morcilla, red wine and goat cheese. When she mentioned it to me, I darted out to the store to buy the ingredients. Last Sunday, we made them. Needless to say, they were quite rich. Here’s the recipe:
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San Juan Festivities in Colindres

June 26, 2012 By: erik Category: Colindres, Complaining, Partying, Photos, Politics, Spain, Travel, Videos 181 views

San Juan SausagefestThe town where I live is celebrating its annual San Juan festival this week. Most Spanish towns have a town saint, and for many of them, that role is filled by Saint John The Baptist. There are several things that I love about this festival. It amuses me that it’s really just a thinly veiled version of the pagan bonfire solstice festivals held across Europe (the bonfire is to shoo away the witches, in case you didn’t know).

Riffing off the Valencian falles tradition of building elaborate, yet explosive, parade floats to burn, the townspeople of Colindres also make little miniature floats, usually the size of small cars, which are wheeled, by hand, around town before finding their way to the designated place to be judged, doused in gasoline, and ignited.
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El Sueño de Morfeo in Colindres

June 23, 2012 By: erik Category: Art, Colindres, Music, Photos, Videos 174 views

Sueño de Morfeo - Colindres - 2012This morning, the children at the local school were having some sort of play day outside with events and competitions (those were the best days of school, weren’t they?), and there was some pop music playing. When I was coming home with the daily groceries, there was a song playing by a group called El Sueño de Morfeo (the dream of Morpheus). The song playing was their most catchy, breakout song, Nunca Volverá. I found myself humming it as I put away the groceries, and I thought about how nice it was to see them, by complete chance, for the first time back in 2006.
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Visiting Spain in 2012

June 20, 2012 By: erik Category: Colindres, Family, Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel, Videos 827 views

The following is a document written by my father, Paul Rasmussen, about his trip to visit us in Spain in June 2012.

Bench Resting

Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29 and 30, 2012

Our plan was to take the dogs to the kennel at 1:00 and to leave for the airport at 1:15. That plan failed when we discovered the Pet Parlor was locked up tight with nobody answering the door or the phone. I put down two extra bowls of water for the three dogs and gave them a stern lecture about the need for rationing, but one of them is a westie, and I wasn’t optimistic. On the way to the airport I called my friend Tom, but he wasn’t home. An hour later he called back and said he would take care of things, so we flew to Spain as scheduled to spend time with our our son, his wife, and our granddaughter.
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Blindfolded Wine Taste Test: Can you distinguish white from red? Cheap from expensive?

June 11, 2012 By: erik Category: Experiments, Fighting Stupidity, Science, Skepticism, Spain, Wine 4,545 views

Blind Wine Taste TestHave you ever heard the claim that some wine experts, when blindfolded, cannot actually tell white wine from red wine? My gut reaction was the same as everyone’s, “That’s ridiculous, they’re so different!!” But I know enough about psychology and illusions to know that the wine industry is mostly bullshit, and it’s very possible that we might be kidding ourselves. Ever since hearing this claim, I’ve been dying to run an experiment on myself. This past weekend, I finally had the time and wine and test subjects… My parents, wife and I drank wine blindfolded to see how good we were at sensing the wine in the glass without our eyes.
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You’re gonna wanna read this

June 01, 2012 By: erik Category: Geeky, Musings, Offspring, Parenting, USA, Weird 262 views

Gonna WannaChildren are excellent mimics; it’s how we all learn to behave like we do. Everyone has heard the clichéd stories of how a child with verbally abusive parents will invent verbally abusive dialog between his toy dolls, or how a child of smokers will pretend to smoke. I like to think of myself as pretty introspective and self-aware; I know my personal vices and weaknesses. So I was surprised to notice, recently, a behavior in my daughter for which I am completely responsible, but was totally unaware that I was doing it myself.
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Capitalizing on Kindness: A Lucrative Proposal For Drive-Throughs

May 30, 2012 By: erik Category: Marketing, Musings, USA 116 views

Capitalizing on KindnessIt has been over a decade since I went through a drive-through of any kind, but I have heard rumors of a strange phenomenon developing in the United States in which customers will randomly decide to pay for the order of the customer behind them. The colloquial verbal phrase for such random acts of kindness which cannot be easily returned is paying it forward.
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Child Dental Fillings

May 24, 2012 By: erik Category: Offspring, Parenting 561 views

Nora's New FillingThere are few things that makes you feel quite as terrible as a parent as seemingly allowing a part of your child’s hygiene to deteriorate to the point of actually causing pain. We have known for some time that Nora has had some cavities in her molars, but it wasn’t until she started complaining about tooth pain that we sought out the local pediatric dentist for an appointment. Nora went to her first inspection and was very good, opening her mouth, like a hippo, for the dentist. The dentist told us that she has cavities that require fillings in all four corners of her mouth, but that her left lower molars are particularly rotten, requiring some drilling, killing the nerve, and then a cap to replace the missing bit of tooth.
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Nora and the Red Mercedes

May 21, 2012 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos 144 views

Nora and the Red CarOn Saturday we went to a birthday party at a friend’s house. Remember that, in Spain, it’s the birthday boy that hosts the party and/or buys the drinks. Nora was quite well behaved, although when the group of fifteen or so friends got too excited, laughing loudly, she cowered from the noise. Several of the men at the party did a “BOO!” trick to surprise Nora, which Nora absolutely despised, running terrified in the opposite direction. Since the host was one of the guilty booers, he gave her a model car to play with. She and I played with it for quite a bit, away from the other guests. Knowing that my iPhone’s camera was particularly good at short range close-ups, I took some photos of the gorgeous car before Nora dropped it and broke off a piece.
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State of the Offspring Address – May 2012

May 21, 2012 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos 122 views

FashionableThe big news this month is that Nora got one of the 21 spots in the three-year-olds program at the local school that we were hoping she would get into. When I say local, I mean that I can take ten paces out of my apartment building and touch the school. Needless to say, this will save all kinds of time and headaches that would normally be the result of having to drive her to and from a school every day. Of course it’ll be a few years until she’s old enough to walk there (i.e. cross one street) on her own, but we might have the zip-line installed from our sixth story apartment window before then.
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