|SOME OF JERRY’S FIRST SPANISH BIRTHDAY DINNER.|
Saturday morning turned out just as I had hoped. Jerry went into the kitchen first thing in the morning to find his chocolatey chocolate-truffle birthday pastry. And, apparently, it was as delicious as had been promised by the man behind the counter at La Campana. Jerry then had his yogurt and fruit, and we finally went downstairs to El Sanedrín for desayuno #3.
|LOS COCINEROS (THE CHEFS).|
Teré then told me that she and Miguel wanted to cook us a typical Spanish birthday dinner at our house. So, they arrived around 9:30 that night loaded down with bags and bags of food. Jerry and I were hustled out of the room and “the caterers” went to work.
We had camarones (tiny shrimp), gambas (bigger shrimp), and large langoustines. The teeny, tiny camarones were to be eaten in their entirety, we were instructed by Teré. (After all, how does one peel a shrimp smaller than the tip of one’s pinky?) I figured it was like eating soft-shell crab — which, to be honest, I have never enjoyed. It was — and I enjoyed it just as little! As Teré popped a handful in her mouth, Jerry and I each tried one. I mumbled, “I’ve got shrimp shell on my tongue.” What was left over after dinner went home with Teré. Everything else induced moans of pleasure. There were meats and rolls and flatbreads and crisps. Delicious slices of fish roe (called huevas). Three different patés. Cheeses, including a cubed cheese laced with orange marmalade and mango. Wine with dinner. Champagne with dessert. And what a dessert. A beautiful cake (tarta) filled with more incredibly delicious chocolate truffle. (Jerry and I had smartly decided to forego chocolate y churros in the afternoon.) We had the remaining tarta Sunday for dessert after both lunch and dinner. By Monday morning, we realized we would have to wait a good long time before eating sweets again. We stood firm. We didn’t have any chocolate pastries until very late in the afternoon.
I don’t have the words — in Spanish or English — to fully express our gratitude for the friendship, the kindness, the generosity, and the joy that Miguel and Teré have brought into our lives these past months. After shopping for this feast of traditional Spanish dishes, hauling it all to our house, working feverishly (and joyfully) in our kitchen for an hour or more, and then serving it all up beautifully, they actually insisted on cleaning up afterward. But I was equally insistent and I won the battle. It was the least I could do (yes, the absolute least).
|ONE CANDLE FOR JERRY’S FIRST BIRTHDAY IN SPAIN.|