I’ve been saying for years that San Geraldo is a peach of a guy. Kind, funny, loving, intelligent, fascinating, sometimes exasperating, generous, entertaining, interesting, and adorable. And he cooks! The other day, he asked if I’d like a nectarine. I said, yes, and a few minutes later my nectarine arrived, in a bowl along with a spoon and napkin, and cut into cubes so I wouldn’t have to handle that inconvenient pit.
|HOW TO SERVE A NECTARINE TO THE SON OF THE DOWAGER DUCHESS.|
Despite threatening to lock himself in the house for the next four years (until the next quadrennial Dia de San Geraldo), San Geraldo can be daring and adventurous. His latest adventure, other than getting rid of most of our things and moving with me across the ocean to Spain — and much more of a challenge for him than all that — was to go to our little neighborhood fruit market, Frutas Faustino.
|SAN GERALDO MAKING A QUICK STOP AT FAUSTINO THIS MORNING.|
Shopping at the supermarket in El Corte Inglés is much easier for San Geraldo. He can ignore the staffed counters, opting for all the packaged meats, cheeses, and produce, and thereby avoid unnecessary attempts at Spanish conversation. But Thursday, he branched out. He went up the street to Frutas Faustino where the owner and staff handle the precious produce for you (you can look but don’t you touch). San Geraldo pointed at things, asked questions, and came home with an abundance of fresh and gorgeous fruits and vegetables, including by far the best avocados I have ever tasted — and, coming from Southern California, I have tasted some really good avocados. Shopping at Faustino gave San Geraldo such a burst of confidence that, back at the supermarket Friday morning at El Corte Inglés, he stepped up to the cheese counter and bought the fresh stuff!
|FRIDAY’S SALAD A LA SAN GERALDO INCLUDED: SHRIMP, CRISP LETTUCE, JUICY TOMATO,
OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD AVOCADO, AND CHEESE-COUNTER-GOUDA WITH HERBS.
But, oh, the peaches! The peaches from Faustino are sweet and juicy without being soft (yes, I like my fruit firm). Thursday afternoon, San Geraldo dished up my daily serving of cheese, crackers, and apples; and he added a peach. The texture was almost that of a honeydew melon, and the color was a bold orange. These peaches are unlike any peaches I’ve ever tasted. I even ate one later, all by myself, without having it first cut up by San Geraldo. Imagine that!
|CHEESE, CRACKERS, AND APPLES. AND PEACHES. (ACTUAL COLOR.)|
Not wanting to always live in the shadow of Chef San Geraldo, I have been refining my skills in the kitchen. Our English family rented a vacation apartment while they were here earlier this month. It was not equipped with a tea kettle and they couldn’t live without their daily dose of English tea, so they bought a little electric tea kettle and then dropped it off at our house before they went home (because Melanie was appalled when I told her I nuke the water for my tea). So, I made myself a cup (well, a mug… well, a beaker, as they say in England) of tea this morning using real boiled water from the electric kettle. You know, it tasted a lot better.
OK, so maybe I’m not as peachy as San Geraldo.
|AROMA OF FRESHLY BOILED WATER ABOUT TO FILL THE KITCHEN. I’M BECOMING A GOURMET|