“Everyone needs to bring one item to contribute to the recipe,” he instructed. The teenagers passed the list around class and we all committed to one item by signing our name next to it. “I will bring my paella pan and we will cook it outside by the football field tomorrow.”
My high school Spanish teacher had spent quite a bit of time in Spain, and figured what better way to give us a taste of a foreign place than through one of its most favorite foods?
That was my first taste of Spain and I am still dreaming about it 20 years later…
My library card is most frequently used to check out travel videos. Lately, episodes devoted to Spain and Portugal have become my favorites. Don’t get me wrong–I would love to visit Ireland and Belgium and China too, but the relaxed atmosphere, fresh fish and wine, architecture and lots of sunshine along the coastline wins my heart!
Have you seen this movie? It’s about a man and his trek from France to Spain along the Camino de Santiago:
I had previously expressed interest in going to Spain for my 40th birthday (3 years to save up!), and after watching this movie, I told Matt I wanted to hike this trail. Our friend Doug walked the entire thing in a little less than a month’s time (the Camino is almost 500 miles long!) and he said it was a spiritual journey like nothing he had ever experienced before. I like the idea of seeing a new place by simply walking my way through it. I love to camp, hike and walk, and while I am certain it would be a rather difficult challenge, I would love to attempt it!
Another Spanish inspiration for me is this book I just finished reading:
It is a funny and sincere book by journalist Derek Lambert, about his first year living in the province of Alicante, about 2 miles from Denia (which is along the Mediterranean coastline). He agonizes as he writes his next book and balances a life in a new land (he is English, his wife Canadian). The people they meet and the stories he tells all add to a vibrant picture of what life is really like in Spain.
And one of my favorite party drinks? SANGRIA of course!
There are a ton of different recipes out there for sangria. And I have to admit, mine is never the same twice. Here’s the deal: use the best quality products you can afford. I have gone the cheaper way (because I make very large batches) by supplementing my wine with a “jug” variety. My favorite sparkling juices to add in are the Oogave pomegranate and Reed’s Jamaican Ginger Brew. I love using berries and apples and oranges, but I have used all types of fruit. The brown sugar (or agave or honey or whatever you want) isn’t always necessary; especially if your fruits or sparkling juice are on the sweet side already.
Go ahead. Spice up your Summer with some Spanish flair. Perhaps watch a movie or read a book or make paella. But at least hang out on the porch and have some sangria!