Month: November 2010

A Taste of Home…

It’s only been two days since I bid farewell to my parents at Madrid airport, but it feels like a month. It was so lovely to see my Mum again, to explore Madrid and of course, to be spoilt rotten! After trekking through the maze of Metro lines I finally reached Barajas airport on Saturday morning to greet my parents. And yep, there they were, just the same as the last time I saw them six weeks ago. Here were my family, in Madrid, with me. The only problem with these encounters is that you know that in two short days time, they’ll be gone. Thus, it was essential that I savoured every last drop of time I had with them. So without a minute to lose, we found their hotel and checked-in, before swiftly returning outside to Madrid’s stark blue winter’s sky. Craving cakes and tea, first we headed towards ‘La Mallorquina’ in Puerta del Sol. One glance in their window at their array of cakes and you know that this is a pasteleria that Read More

The Kitchen Escape

With Christmas on the horizon and a sudden change in the weather, my heart is pulled towards the kitchen. After watching countless Nigella Lawson videos on Youtube my desire to cook has been re-ignited and now you can be certain that at any given time, food will be on my mind. From spending hours drawing up a Christmas baking list to finding the perfect recipe for apple pie, my entire being is itching to get home and bake. Christmas cake, yule log, gingerbread cookies, mince pies; these are all of the things I long to make but cannot,because I’m in Madrid and that rich British baking somehow, just doesn’t belong here. No, the currants, raisons, cinnamon and pastry will have to wait until I’m home, in my English kitchen, where they’ll be appreciated in all of their sticky, sickly, comforting glory. However, although I’m restraining myself from baking those Christmas classics, I’ve thrown myself into cooking some Spanish winter favourites. So everything is either spiked with paprika or left simmering reassuringly on the stove for hours; both approaches Read More

A Spanish Halloween

Unlike in the UK, where simply the mention of Halloween is enough to arouse images of the most ghoulish creatures, here in Spain the holiday is far more dignified. However, with every year it does seem that the ghosts, demons, witches and wizards that we harbour in Britain as well as America, are creeping their way into the country. In fact, this Halloween – for the first time ever – my Spanish home recieved a set of trick o treaters. “Truco o Trato!” screeched the three witches standing at the door, causing a near heart attack from the unsuspecting grandfather and much excitement from myself and the children. However, on the whole Halloween is a passing novelty and the real holiday is the day that follows: El día de todos los santos. It’s a day where one must visit family, attend mass and remember lost loved ones. So, it saw me wrapping up warm and heading off with the family into the mountains beyond Leon, to carry out the necessary duties of the holiday. Despite Read More