Published September 27, 2011
Drink , Recipes
Tags: Cough remedy, Honey, Lemon, Tea, Whiskey
For the most part, I have been warmly welcomed here in Spain. I have a good group of friends, supportive coworkers, and several adoptive families. But there is one segment of Spanish society that has declared out and out war on me – viruses. Last year I had three debilitating colds in two months and here I am again, two weeks into my second year laid low. Great. It’s as if Spain has thrown down the gauntlet – if you can survive the anti-foreign body security measure of their collection of viruses with your foreigner’s immune system, you are worthy of residency in the country. Challenge accepted with lethargy. And hey, it gives me a chance to play such games as Fever or Not? as I yell at the Celsius thermometer.
When I get sick, I get a super impressive cough that usually leads to me losing my voice and sounding like a very creepy man. When we lived together, Gabrielle used to have me make threatening phone calls to all our friends. Rosa just calls me Manolo the truck driver. The real problem is that I’m an assistant teacher, so losing my voice is a big deal. I got sent home from work one day because listening to me made my coworkers wince.
What does all this whining have to do with my food blog? Well. In the midst of those three colds last winter, I got increasingly shacknasty and desperate and started soliciting cough remedies from pretty much everyone I knew. Herbal tea, hot water with lemon, tea with honey, hot water with ginger, and from my parents – hot whiskey. Anything that would soothe my throat and help me stop coughing so I could sleep and drag my butt through my commute and back.
In my cold medicine addled state a brilliant idea came to me. What if I were to combine all of these ideas into ONE? It would be like the Power Rangers or even Captain Planet – a MegaTea!
Continue reading ‘MegaTea – Cold Smackdown’
Published May 4, 2010
Food , Recipes , Reviews
Tags: Lemon, Meringue, Pie
For the last few years, every single special event in my life or the lives of my friends has been celebrated with a pie. No question. It’s become so ingrained in our lives that I don’t find it strange to receive texts in April insisting that I make a pecan pie for Victoria’s birthday. Which is in June. She asked me last week for a banoffee pie (which I’ve never made) but this year didn’t even bother to connect it to her birthday. I’ll be making it in a few weeks.
Of course with my desire to make pie vying with the dearth of birthdays most months, I had to find other ‘special events’. One of those made up occasions that’s turning into a tradition of its own is travel. Whenever someone leaves for more than a week (including me), and then when they get back, they get a pie of their choice. This way I have a guaranteed chance to get that one last glimpse before they jet off and first dishing on what exactly went down in Nantes.
Gabrielle has been the most recent recipient of Goodbye Pie. She has gone off to travel Europe for two months, leaving me alone to lurk in my unemployed-recent-college-graduate soup of inactivity. So before I was left completely to my own devices, she chose her goodbye pie. In between loads of laundry, emergency glasses repair, and frantic itinerary checking, she stopped by my place for one last slab of dessert. Her choice was made without hesitation: lemon meringue.
For years, I thought I hated lemon meringue, and Gabrielle agreed with me, actually. I still hate commercial lemon meringue. The topping is always rubbery and sad, the filling sickly sweet and artificially colored. But one night I was actually making it for my stepfather’s birthday (special occasion = pie) because it’s his hands down favorite and he can’t imagine a birthday without it. There was an extra slice for Gabrielle – as there almost always is – and suddenly she looked at me. “I just now remembered why this was once my favorite.” I took a bite and it was indeed a true revelation. This version is tart-sweet and brightly flavored, with a fluffy meringue whose tiny air bubbles pop and melt on your tongue in a happy celebration of pie. Even I had a second piece that night.
So I sent Gabrielle off with lemon meringue lingering on the palate. Truthfully I think I do this so that she’ll come back. After all. There’s Welcome Back Pie, too.
Are you SURE you want to leave?
Continue reading ‘Goodbye Pie’
Published November 12, 2009
Food , Recipes , Reviews
Tags: Aioli, Chili, Gravy, Lemon, Sauce
So, my brother is getting married next summer. That’s cool, because I really like Alida, his fiancée – we make biscotti and Sculpi earrings together, and she’s in charge of the future design of this site. And I don’t mind too much when Leo, my brother, calls us by the other’s name, because Alida does things like pick Molly Ward Gardens for a wedding venue.
Molly Ward Gardens Restaurant - The Yarn Barn
I first had a good feeling about this place (as an attendee and bridesmaid) when Alida texted me out of the blue with a picture of her lunch and a minute description of said lunch – and even though I had just feasted, I wished I was there to sneak bites off of her plate. Eventually, when the parents were going to examine the place and maybe put down a deposit, I was a lucky, lucky girl, and got to go along.
Continue reading ‘Molly Ward, you saucy wench…’
This past summer I went to the Annual Lavender Festival in Sequim, Washington. We toured farms, ate overpriced fair food, smelled soaps and soups of lavender, and sometimes just frolicked.
So beautiful, so fragrant...so tasty?
Being me, I bought a giant bag of culinary lavender and instantly started dreaming up various ways to use it. When I got home, I realized I had bought probably way more than I could use (a full mason jar), but instead of giving into despair, I threw myself recklessly into the challenge.
Continue reading ‘Lavender loveliness lies in my liquor’