Spanish Goose Barnacle Recipe

August 23, 2010 By: erik Category: Food, Photos, Recipes, Spain 22,181 views

Goose BarnaclesOn Saturday morning, my wife got a call from her boss, who had just sold his motorcycle, and, as part of the sale, had acquired way more barnacles than he could consume, so he offered us some. Barnacles are a special delicacy in Spain, particularly in northern Spain and Galicia. At Christmas time, barnacle prices can reach 99 €/kg ($65/lb)! The best, most expensive ones come from the Cantabrian sea on the northern coast of Spain. On Saturday we were given 1.5 kilograms of the good, expensive barnacles, so on Sunday we had a feast.

I had never eaten or cooked barnacles, so everything was new and fascinating to me. Here’s what I learned…
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Laredo Webcam Timelapse

August 20, 2010 By: erik Category: Beach, Timelapse, Videos 324 views

Laredo Webcam (crop)This week, without a daughter to care for, my mornings have been free. I’ve been taking advantage of the good weather to get some exercise, walking up to 16 km (10 miles) around the neighboring towns. The first few days, I just walked to the beach at Laredo and walked up and down the maritime walkway several times. It occurred to me yesterday that I might have been caught on the yacht club’s webcam, but alas I was not there on the hour or 15, 30, or 45 minutes past the hour on any day. The archived panoramas I was looking through for Monday, August 18, were so pretty that I decided to make a timelapse video out of them.
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Kisses from Carla

August 18, 2010 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Offspring, Videos 170 views

Kisses from Carla (vidcap)It’s been over a week since I’ve seen my daughter, and I miss her a lot. Her grandparents will be bringing her back on Sunday. If words from the front line are to be beleived, Nora is being extremely well behaved, is being polite to strangers, and even offering up her cheek to be kissed by total strangers (giving kisses is reserved for loved ones). Perhaps this kiss reception was learned with her “friend” Carla.

Carla is the daughter of one of Marga’s best friends from Extremadura. Nora and Carla first “met” last June in Madrid. Even though Carla was born 25 days after Nora, she is waaaay more advanced than Nora by just about every available metric. She walks freely, speaks several words, follows instructions, and gives people kisses…man, does she give some kisses! Carla’s parents suggest that it might be from spending 7 hours in daycare every day (Nora spends 3) with older kids that challenges her to excel. Nora won’t be where Carla is now for another four months.
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Grapes of Wrath

August 13, 2010 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Offspring, Videos 178 views

Grapes of Wrath (crop)I am unable to watch this video without laughing. It’s my favorite video I recorded last weekend. It demonstrates both how Nora does a good job of commanding her mother to do her bidding and just now irritated she gets when her great-grandfather does or says anything. I declined to subtitle it because the conversation is so mundane. At one point, she does call him something that sounded to all the Spanish ears like “malo” (bad).
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Bucket Girl

August 12, 2010 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Videos 186 views

Bucket Girl (crop)While she’s down in Extremadura, Nora is spending a lot of time playing the pool or simply with water in buckets. It’s pretty cute how she flexes her knees enough to get just a little bit more of herself wet, and then repeats that motion, going a little lower each time until she’s sitting down. She did the same in the larger wading pool.
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Extremadura 2010

August 11, 2010 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Family, Offspring, Photos, Spain 1,484 views

Playing with water bucketsLast Friday, August 6, my wife and I headed down to Extremadura to see our daughter, Nora, who had been down there the entire previous week with her grandparents and great-grandfather. It was a little disappointing not to be able to present her to our friends down there, as most of them had already seen her earlier in the week. She clearly recognized us (whew!), but was pretty unenthusiastic about it. We were immediately merged into her ordered hierarchy of people she likes to be with:

  1. Mommy (Marga)
  2. Abuelo (her grandfather, Juan)
  3. Abuela (her grandmother, Marce)
  4. Daddy (Erik)
  5. …everybody else…
  6. Bisabuelo (her great-grandfather, Ramón)

She spends a good portion of her time in her great-grandfather’s house prohibiting him from touching things. If he puts his hand on a chair or table or toy or glass, even if the object is across the room from her, she will race over (still holding someone’s hand) shouting, “No no no no no!!” and remove his hand from the object in his home that he had the nerve to touch. It’s actually pretty cute, and I think she understands that it’s a bit of a game. He certainly does.
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Dancing With Mommy

August 06, 2010 By: erik Category: Dancing, Offspring, Videos 160 views

Dancing with MommySometimes when Marga gets back from picking Nora up at daycare, they stop by to see me before going on a walk. I often have music playing in my office when I’m working, and sometimes Nora starts to dance. Only after watching her for a while last week did I think to get the camera to record a little of it. Pretty cute, if you ask me.
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Devils and Angels

August 05, 2010 By: erik Category: Music, Videos 150 views

Playing the guitarOne thing having my daughter off on vacation has allowed me to do is pick up the ol’ six string again. Since she was born, I haven’t had much time alone to strum. This morning I finally got around to recording one of my favorite songs I know how to play and sing decently. It’s a song by Toby Lightman called Devils and Angels. I first became aware of the song and of Toby Lightman because Apple and iTunes were giving it some play when it first came out because the video for it (watch my performance first!!) is more or less an advertisement for the first generation iPod.
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Agustí­n's Vegetable Garden

August 04, 2010 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain 1,705 views

Erik with DonkeysTaking full advantage of our temporary childlessness, my wife, sister-in-law and I had an exhausting weekend. After sending Nora on her way, we grabbed our swim suits and our always-prepared-this-time-of-year beach bag and drove the five minutes to Laredo’s beach. We parked right at the midpoint of the five kilometer (3.1 mile) crescent-shaped beach and walked to the main town center on one of the beach, where we found a restaurant to have lunch.

Six Feet UnderAfter lunch, the desire for siesta was strong, but we had to walk back to the car to get our beach towels, and the sky had clouded over, much to the chagrin of my companions. I suggested we take off our shoes and walk back in the surf, so we did. But when we reached the midpoint where the car was parked, we were enjoying the walk so much that we continued all the way to the tip, where we stopped for a coffee at the bar there. Heading back, the same thing happened, and we continued all the way back to the other end. On the third time passing the midpoint, we did stop to go home, though. That’s a total of 15 km (9.3 miles), most of it in a foot of water.
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Stephen Colbert on Spanish Sports

August 03, 2010 By: erik Category: Bulls, Funny, Spain, USA, Videos 480 views

From last night’s Colbert Report.

It has been a huge year for Spanish sports, or España Esports. Spain’s soccer team won the World Cup, Rafael Nadal conquered Wimbledon, Alberto Contador took the Tour de France, and Javier Bardem took the world record in the Thousand Yard Smolder. His prize? Himself. But there has been a major setback in Spanish athletics.

[cut to CNN footage]

The controversial tradition of bullfighting is now illegal in one region of Spain, the Catalonia region, which includes Barcelona.

[cut back to Colbert]

I don’t understand! Barcelona should be used to horrors. Their streets are already running red with the sangria vomited by thousands of American backpackers. I’ll say it again, folks. Barcelona is just the San Francisco of Spain. They’re a bunch of effete liberal elites talking down to the rest of Spain with their sthmug Sthpanish listhps. They don’t undershtand! Heartland Spanish values like Mom and apple paella. I’m with the pro-bullfighting community who have called the ban a “political manipulation”.

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