Conversations with a bilingual preschooler: Overtranslation

October 08, 2013 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Parenting, Spain, Spanish

Bottle CapThe other day I was out walking with my bilingual four-year-old daughter, and we passed a pair of elderly women. One of them was carrying a plastic bag full of plastic bottle caps to recycle, probably for charity. Out of the blue, my daughter begins this conversation:

“Do you know what Grandpa likes to do?”

“No, what?”

“He likes to go to bars and get tops.”

“Tops?”

“Like bottle tops.”

[huge burst of laughter!]
(more…)

Tapa Recipe: Morcilla and Goat Cheese Pie

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

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:
(more…)

Semana del Pincho 4 – Laredo

December 24, 2011 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, Reviews, Spain, Travel

Semana del Pincho 4It’s pincho time again! Every year just before Christmas, bars and restaurants in the local town of Laredo hold a competition to create the best tapas (called pinchos). It’s one of my favorite events of the year for reasons I described here. Unfortunately, this year the weather has been absolutely terrible. Last weekend, when it started, we had steady downpours with heavy winds that kept us at home all weekend. Of the eighteen pinchos competing, I was only able to sample six this year. For that, I apologize, dear readers. I’ll try to do better next year.
(more…)

Spanish Thanksgiving – Tapas in Castro Urdiales

November 25, 2011 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, Spain, Travel

Tapas with GrandparentsMy parents are visiting us in Spain this week. When it came time to make Thanksgiving plans, my first thought would be to make a turkey pizza to eat, and then lie around the house in a digestive stupor as is American tradition on this holiday. My wife suggested that we take advantage of my day off work go to Santander after she got off work (it’s not a holiday in Spain, of course) to see the penguins and sea lions at the Palacio de la Magdalena. This was, as usual, a superior idea to mine, so we decided to do that. Then, at the last minute, she suggested that, if we wanted to, my folks and I could take the entire day to go to the nearby town of Castro Urdiales to see the beach and church there, rather than wait most of the day for her to get off work. In the end, this plan won out. We spent Thanksgiving walking around and eating tapas in Castro Urdiales.
(more…)

Tapas in San Sebastián

August 11, 2011 By: erik Category: Food, Photos, Spain, Travel

Tapas in San SebastianIf the dozen or so hours of “travel in Spain” television shows I’ve watched are any indication, one of the tapas capitals of Spain is San Sebastián. There’s one particular district where every bar you glance into has fifteen or twenty different tapas to choose from, all laid out on the bar. The quality is really high, just like the prices. Just the previous week, I had been at a tapas festival in Santander, and I’d noted that 2.50€ for a tapa and drink was a little expensive. Well, in San Sebastián, all three tapas we tried were at least 4€ each (with drink). Pricy!
(more…)

A Cloudy Walk Around San Sebastián

August 08, 2011 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, Travel

San Sebastian BeachOur two-year-old daughter, Nora, has been in Extremadura with her grandparents for all of last week and will be there for another two weeks, one of which we will be visiting her. It’s hard to be away from her for a whole fortnight, but we’ve been video conferencing with her with some success. We thought it wise to take full advantage of our childlessness and do some tourism that would be a lot more difficult with Nora around.
(more…)

Tapas in Santander – Semana Grande 2011

August 02, 2011 By: erik Category: Food, Photos, Spain, Travel

Goat Cheese and WalnutsEvery year, right around Santiago, nearby Santander celebrates its Semana Grande (Big Week), with the most Spanish of traditions: bullfights and tapas. My interest in bullfighting has waned in recent years, but my interest in tapas is as strong as ever! On Sunday, the last day of the festival, my wife and I went to sample the wares that the restaurants around Santander had to offer.
(more…)

Semana del Pincho 3

December 24, 2010 By: erik Category: Beach, Experiments, Internet, Media

Semana del Pincho 2010It’s that time of year again. Time to walk through the chilly air from bar to bar in Laredo, Spain, eating elaborate tapas, called pinchos, and imbibing fine wine. This is the third year, and it seems to be getting better every year. The Semana del Pincho is one Christmas tradition I could definitely get used to. Before we get to the mouthwatering photos, I’d like to quote myself from last year about why I like this event so much:
(more…)