Now this may seem strange to you, and it does feel odd to me at times, but through the six books Penelope Casas wrote and the recipes she shared, I felt a bond with her. Over the years, her books and recipes slowly inserted themselves into my life, their presence like big sisters or favorite … More Remembering Penelope Casas, a Greek-American Food Writer with a Spanish Heart*
A New York Times columnist, Roger Cohen, wrote about getting lost while hiking in Spain’s Sierra de Guadarrama, his gripping story filled with an underlying and somewhat disturbing meaning. On the surface, it seemed like a story about luck. But I chose to see “Lost and Found in Hemingway’s Spain” as a treatise on Fate. … More Fishing for Meaning: Fate, Destiny, and Heimarmene
When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. ~ Alexander Graham Bell Partly cloudy skies and a hint of frostiness in the air promised a wonderful morning for visiting Barcelona’s Picasso Museum, … More Doors Open, Doors Close: Life’s Little Lessons
Well, I am going to be brief here. Typing with one hand is not easy … . Four days into my nineteen-day Spanish adventure, I missed a step right at the top of the long climb up to Parc Guell in Barcelona. Tried desperately to keep my balance, to no avail. And fractured the radius … More Disaster, or How to Ruin a Vacation with One Tiny Misstep
Sometimes odd thoughts come to me while I’m stirring a pot of soup or crying over chopped onions. Perhaps you’ve experienced something such as this, triggered by some sort of catalyst. Like a chemical reaction, once it sparks, there’s no going back. In the latest instance of these mind games, one such catalyst appeared in … More Homage to La Cocina Española? Where are the Books?
For a long time, when I thought of Spain, Extremadura came to mind. Not the fertile fields of Al-Andalus or the craggy green mountains of Catalonia. Extremadura’s vast barrenness revealed a deep truth to me when I first saw it. I’d studied it, as well the lives of the conquistadores from Extremadura, the ones who’d … More The Rice in Spain, Not So Easy to Explain
Standing on the edge of the cliffs in the merciless wind, I struggled to keep my unruly hair out of my eyes. A losing battle it was, for I could barely see the roiling blue water below. No trees, scrubby grass, an old whitewashed church, and a modern lighthouse. Nothing else. Sagres,* perched on the … More For Me, All Roads Lead to Spain
Sarah Rutledge’s cookbook, The Carolina Housewife, surprised me the other day. Try as I might, I could only find one recipe for pork in the whole book! “Ham Toast,” on page 75. I kid you not. “Meat” seems to be beef or veal. That’s it. Ms. Rutledge’s book did include a number of vegetable recipes, … More “To Fry Tomatoes”: Sarah Rutledge Mixes Up a Few New World Foods