State of the Offspring Address – August 2013

August 31, 2013 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Family, News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos

Silly Boy (crop)The offspring have spent nearly all of August away from home, on vacation in Extremadura, a region of southern Spain. It was Ian’s first time meeting all the people in Higuera de la Serena, the town that comes alive in August with all the old residents that left to find work. I was only able to go for two of the four weeks that they were down there. Since it’s her fifth year going, Nora knows all the customs and traditions of small town vacation life, where all the bars are, etc. She has always had a bit of an Extramaduran accent, but she really got it thick when she was there, much to the amusement of everyone but her parents who wish her to speak a little more correctly.
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Higuera de la Serena – 2012

August 21, 2012 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain

Grapes 2012On the evening of August 6, we arrived in Higuera de la Serena, my wife’s family’s summer town in Extremadura, the original hometown of her maternal grandmother, and town where her mother grew up. Despite only having known my wife for fewer than twelve years, this was the third time I have watched the Summer Olympics from Extremadura, having visited every August since 2003.
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Zahínos 2012

August 14, 2012 By: erik Category: Bulls, Extremadura, Family, Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel, Videos

On The Farm - Zahínos 2012My wife and I arrived in my father-in-law’s hometown of Zahínos on the evening of Saturday, August 4th, right at the height of the town’s summer festival. Our daughter, Nora, who had not seen us in a week was ecstatic to be reunited with us. After sitting and chatting for a while with my wife’s aunt, uncle and cousins, we headed down to the town fairgrounds for the most Spanish of all pastimes. A portable bullring had been set up and there were two bullfighters, including a hometown lad, scheduled to perform.
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We’re Getting Wet!

December 08, 2011 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Family, Offspring, Spanish, Videos

Que nos mojamos (thumbnail)I was going through some old photos and videos and discovered this gem that my mother-in-law recorded last Easter when she and my wife took Nora down to Extremadura and left me de Rodriguez. It was a great example of her Spanish language skills at 25 months old. Now, however, after the death of her great-grandfather, it’s a poignant video of them playing together in at his house in Extremadura. They had a really great time playing together that week.
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Extremadura Stroll

September 07, 2011 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel, Videos

Extremadura SunsetWhen we go on summer vacations in Extremadura, as we do most Augusts, the weather is usually too hot to do much besides drink and sleep during the day, but at dusk, it’s just the right temperature for a nice stroll through the countryside. Just after sunset, the stars come out with a light-pollution-free brilliance that I almost never get to enjoy. In the past, I have been a bit more serious about photographing the serene beauty of an Extremadura sunset, but this year, in a marriage of convenience and laziness, I decided to only take my iPhone with me.
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Queso de la Serena – Serena Cheese

May 11, 2011 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Food, Spain

Queso de la Serena, Spanish CheeseWhen my in-laws came back from their annual Easter trip to the La Serena region of Spain, they brought back a wheel of the typical cheese of the region, Queso de la Serena. It’s made from the milk of Merino sheep, and it takes almost two dozen sheep to product enough milk for a kilogram of cheese. It’s coagulated using a natural vegetable rennet taken from the cardoon, a thistle-like plant related to the artichoke. The coagulation happens very slowly, allowing for a rich, but tart, flavor to develop. Cheeses coagulated with cardoon tend to be very creamy, making the interior of the cheese very oozy. In fact, a traditional way to eat it is by slicing off the top and eating the creamy inside with a spoon. I’ve never done that, but it sounds wonderful.
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