Friday Night Dinner 12

What We’re Eating and Drinking – Pasta!

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No pasta in 6 days! For Stefan and I, this is pretty normal, but after all the varied and complex flavors that we’ve been treated to this week (see below), I am looking forward to a simple plate of home-cooked pasta. Stefan has a hankering for his fail safe, penne arrabbiata, but I’d like to go even more straightforward, lemon penne with parmigiano shavings and pepper. Leeloo is calling for pesto and Zoel for carbonara (Luckily his grandmother, Francoise, will be in town because he loves hers best!) Maybe everyone should make their own!

I’d also like to try to replicate a beautiful salad that I had in Nimes on Wednesday night.  Mixed greens were tossed in a light, simple dressing, and topped with speck (cured ham) and parmigiano reggiano, and accompanied by an artichoke, aioli and herb paste served atop a boiled artichoke heart. We’re guessing the dressing included olive oil, white wine vinegar (or cider vinegar), with maybe a touch of soy sauce and salt.

Since we’re back home, the wine will be a regular like a Planeta La Segreta (Red!) or a Tizzano Barbera!

Christine: Six days without pasta seems like a lifetime! Not that we eat it more often here, but it is definitely my comfort food–over chocolate or any other sweet. The salad sounds great, too. I’m so glad to be coming around to a time of year when salad is in season AND I like to eat it. Believe it or not, I’m no a huge fan of salad (or many veggies–see pasta love, above) but when it’s warm outside and the fresh local lettuces and cucumbers and shallots and radishes start rolling into the farmer’s market I am much more willing and able to devour a huge plate. 


What We’re Talking About – Spring Break Road Trip!

Telling secrets at Bistrot Raoul.

Well, I’ve been a sucky blogging partner this week and I have to apologize. At least when we were in Switzerland, I had the foresight to know that after skiing all day, there was no way I was going to start putting together posts. But in this case I thought after dinner, I’d easily craft a brief summary and post pics of each day’s exploration, forgetting totally that Spanish dinner would start way after 9pm, and get us home after midnight. Unfortunately, with a belly full of deliciousness, a head happily buzzing, and very tired limbs, writing (or remembering to write) proved much more difficult than I had envisioned.

The good news is that we visited four cities that we’d never seen before (plus a lunch stop at a fifth), had some of the best meals we’ve ever eaten (including stops at the 3 Michelin star restaurant, Arzak, for a 8-course gastronomic adventure, and another at the unexpectedly amazing Bistrot Raoul), delighted in wandering through ancient and personal history, and enjoyed hours and hours and hours of quality family time (really!) I can’t wait to share more pictures of the road trip next week, and talk more about the quest for identity and connection that takes off when a multicultural kid like me is confronted with places and people that touch some piece of her ethnic puzzle. I see (read) here on the blog that you’ve been doing a different kind of searching, and I’m wondering how your battle with resistance is going and where it’s taking you. Where do the War of Art, and the inspiring poetry readings you’ve attended recently leave you? What are you left wanting to write about? What stories do you want to tell? Do they take the shape of poems, personal narratives, or something else? Also, let me take this opportunity to pitch a road trip as a way to connect with creativity. I hear there are some people in Philly who would love to see you!

Christine: A road trip to Philly sounds perfect! Ray and I were cleaning out our little shed the other day and we stumbled upon the spare tire from your old red jeep and a car seat that I believe arrived here when you guys visited in October. We will happily take a weekend and deliver them to Daisy & Abuelo (and invite ourselves over to Lorena’s new apartment)! I’m quite an emotional mess this week, too. It must be the moon. Or the shift in energy from the solstice (do you know that’s a thing? One of my writing ladies was explaining it the other day: feeling fatigued, sluggish & uninspired, which are exactly the features that have been plaguing me, too. Getting out of town, visiting foreign lands and eating amazing food seems like perfect antidotes to feeling down and blue–and what amazing fodder for good writing and blog posts they provide! Stef’s photos have been amazing! I am looking forward to living vicariously through your adventures and can’t wait to hear more about all of it in the coming days.

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