Sunday, March 15, 2009

my camera died

on the up side, there is someone beautifully playing the saxophone in Chueca Plaza below my apartment.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Oh, the places you'll go!

This view:

(madrid skyline)

Is a long way from growing up with this view:

(home skyline)

It was the butcher, in the library with the candlestick

Madrid is doing the Cow Parade thing.

This one is my favorite:

But apparently, they take the vandalism of these cows very seriously.

So, seriously, in fact, that the police are called.

And chalk outlines are drawn.

tee hee.

Breakfast in Spain

I heart breakfast. It's my favorite meal of the day, period. AND it's my favorite meal to go out for. In the U.S., it's the meal I rarely go out for. In Spain, it's the meal EVERYONE goes out for. Okay, so everyone goes out for EVERY meal here (which explains the size of the typical Spanish kitchen), but still. I loves it.
What better way to kick off a blog about starting a new life in Spain than with the meal that kicks off your day?
Spain is the magical land of breakfast. Desayuno in Spain is pretty simple and very cheap. The very bars you'll frequent late at night for drinks and tapas, will open their doors in the morning to serve polite little breakfasts. These breakfasts usually include some sort of a pastry, coffee, and a juice-- all yours for about 2.50 euros (about $3.20).

My favorite part of breakfast is the coffee. In Spain, this means cafe con leche which is essentially a double shot of espresso with equal parts steamed milk. Like a small, strong latte. Cafe con leche translates as "coffee with milk." No short triple half-caf breve latte's here. Just coffee with milk, thank you very much.

And sometimes you get fresh squeezed orange juice. And sometimes you don't.

And the pastry isn't some little pastry pulled out of a Safeway donut pack. It's a freshly baked croissant, a creme puff, a chocolate croissant. Sometimes it's a small sandwich, un montadito, filled with Spain's famous cured ham:

or a Spanish tortilla-- a sort of egg and potato fritatta.

Who'd a thunk to every put a fritatta between two slices of bread. I'll tell you who: The Spanish!! There ain't anything that can't be put on bread here.

But MY favorite is a toasted slice of crusty bread with tomatoes. Known by many names: tumaca, desayuno de Andulucia, pan con tomate, tostada con tomate-- whatever you call it-- it's good.

Tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and salt. So simple, so extraordinary (like me!).

You can buy tumaca in a jar at any grocery store in Spain, but just as you can tell which restaurants make or buy their tumaca, you can tell a big difference when you take 5 minutes to make it versus buying it.

Here's my take on the Andulusian classic:

Tostada con Tomate (toast with tomato)

for the tumaca:
- 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
- 2 fresh garlic cloves, peeled
- olive oil

for the toast:
- 1 or 2 slices of crusty, thick bread (i suggest sourdough) per person
- olive oil
-salt (i suggest freshly ground sea salt)

In a blender, blend tomatoes, garlic and a small drizzle of olive oil (say, 2 tsps for you control freaks).

Lightly drizzle the bread with olive oil and toast it in a pan over medium low heat until browned (or throw it in the toaster, but this way is waaay better).

Spoon tumaca onto toasted bread, drizzle with a little more olive oil, and lightly salt to taste.


Places I regularly eat breakfast:

4 de Tapas