Missed the boat / Perdió el barco

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

I caught sight of a guy on a paddle board yesterday and it looked like he was heading for a boat way out at sea. You can see his progress below (imagined by me).

That was before our delicious (in every way) lunch at Tynan and Elena’s. Elena made meatballs and roast potatoes. She should get a blue ribbon for her meatballs and roast potatoes. Her sister Isa baked lemon merengue pie. Pies are not traditional in Spain. Isa has some American recipes and she has perfected them. My mouth waters just thinking about it. Tynan didn’t cook (unlike me, he can). He simply provided charming company.

To celebrate their new apartment and our first meal together there, Elena opened a 13-year-old bottle of pacharán. She made it herself the year we met. Pacharán, which is written Patxaran in its original Basque, is a traditional aperetif from the north of Spain, where Elena and Isa were born and raised. It’s made by soaking sloe fruits (blackthorn berries), coffee beans, and a cinnamon stick in anisette. Elena has always made it herself from sloe berries her cousin up north sends her. It’s supposed to be aged in the bottle for one to eight months. So, this bottle was truly vintage. Patxaran is known to have existed in Navarre since the Middle Ages. The liqueur tends to have a very strong alcohol taste. But after 13 years in the bottle, it was sweet and rich, and better than any commercial brand I’ve tasted. I could have had a second and third glass. But I had two beers with lunch, so I was already way over my limit.


Vi a un tipo en una tabla de remo ayer y parecía que se dirigía a un bote en el mar. Puedes ver su progreso a continuación (imaginado por mí).

Eso fue antes de nuestro delicioso (en todos los sentidos) almuerzo en casa de Tynan y Elena. Elena hizo albóndigas y patatas asadas. Debería recibir una cinta azul por sus albóndigas y papas asadas. Su hermana Isa horneó un pastel de limón y merengue. Las empanadas no son tradicionales en España. Isa tiene algunas recetas americanas y las ha perfeccionado. Se me hace la boca agua solo de pensarlo. Tynan no cocinaba (a diferencia de mí, él puede). Simplemente proporcionó una compañía encantadora.

Para celebrar su nuevo piso y nuestra primera comida juntas allí, Elena abrió una botella de pacharán de 13 años. Lo hizo ella misma el año que nos conocimos. Pacharán, que se escribe Patxaran en su euskera original, es un aperitivo tradicional del norte de España, donde nacieron y se criaron Elena e Isa. Se prepara remojando bayas de endrino, granos de café y una rama de canela en anís. Elena siempre lo ha hecho ella misma con endrinas que le envía su prima del norte. Se supone que debe envejecer en botella de uno a ocho meses. Entonces, esta botella era verdaderamente vintage. Se sabe que Patxaran existió en Navarra desde la Edad Media. El licor tiende a tener un sabor a alcohol muy fuerte. Pero después de 13 años en botella, era dulce y rico, y mejor que cualquier marca comercial que haya probado. Podría haber tenido un segundo y tercer vaso. Pero tomé dos cervezas con el almuerzo, así que ya estaba muy por encima de mi límite.

• Look how much progress he made while I was on my walk! (Thanks, Photoshop.)
• ¡Mira cuánto progresó mientras yo estaba en mi caminata! (Gracias, Photoshop.)
• Rough seas in this playground. No paddle boards.
• Mares agitados en este parque infantil. Sin tablas de paddle.
• Part of the view from their living room balcony. More mountains to the left and the sea to the right.
• Parte de la vista desde el balcón de su sala de estar. Más montañas a la izquierda y el mar a la derecha.
• Bottled September 2013, covered in vintage grime from their Pacharán cellar. The darker area at the bottom of the bottle are the sloe berries, and what’s left of the cinnamon and coffee beans.
• Embotellado en septiembre de 2013, cubierto de mugre añeja de su bodega Pacharán. El área más oscura en el fondo de la botella son las bayas de endrino y lo que queda de la canela y los granos de café.

Click the thumbnails to enlarge.
Haz clic en las miniaturas para ampliar.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

24 thoughts on “Missed the boat / Perdió el barco”

  1. What an interesting sounding drink that Pacharán is. I imagine taking tiny sips, followed up by water 🙂
    My favorite part is knowing that it was around in the Middle Ages… I’m imagining Berengaria of Navarre (Richard the Lionhearted’s wife, with whom he spent almost no time) drinking it with her father, the King of Navarre (ha! I’m imagining that because I just finished my semester-long medieval history unit in French 3, that’s based all around Eleanor of Aquitaine and the movie, The Lion In Winter. )

    1. Judy C:
      The first sip is usually a shock (when it has the traditional strong alcohol bite). After that, it’s smooth sailing. This bottle would not meet traditional standards and, in my opinion, was so much better. No sting. Just smooth and slightly sweet. Eleanor of Aquitaine is SG’s 25-greats grandmother!

  2. I’m impressed with that fancy playground set up. It looks fun! Is that wisteria out their window?

    1. Kelly:
      That’s a cluster of jacaranda trees. We’ve got them all over town. Beautiful this time of year.

      1. Steve:
        It’s amazing how often I use the word amazing. I never cease to amaze myself.

    1. Steve:
      Pacharán is intended as a digestif, so more of an alcoholic kick than port (unless it’s been aged 13 years) and it’s not as dense as port.It’s sweet, but not cloyingly sweet. I love it.

    1. Debra:
      I’m not a huge potato fan, but her roast potatoes are perfection. She spends 2 hours making the meatballs and it shows. And she makes it all look so easy.

    1. Jim:
      Elena is an exceptional cook and she makes it look so relaxed and easy.

  3. Gosh. That Pacharán sounds positively medicinal. [Hopefully nothing like Fernet Branca, which I loathe…]


    PS those paddle-board chaps do go out a long way, but hopefully not into the shipping lanes!

    1. Bob:
      Definitely not cloyingly sweet. SG is not a fan. I love it. But this particular bottle, although it didn’t meet official patxaran regulations (aged for 1 to 8 months), was my absolute favorite.

      1. I may think of making some on my own. I think it’s be nice on a cold winter’s night.

      2. Bob:
        I would think it would be something fun to try. Even I might enjoy that.

  4. Boy, I sure hope nothing lurks beneath the surface…. I would never go that far out.

    Meanwhile, that breathtaking view from their apartment is stunning! What a view. What are the pretty purple trees blooming? Gorgeous!!!!!

    1. Mistress Borghese:
      The water along our coast stays shallow for a very long time. And plenty lurks beneath the surface. Not usually anything deadly though. Those trees are jacarandas. They’re all over town.

    1. Kirk:
      We were celebrating their purchase of the apartment. So no rent to worry about. Just a mortgage and association fees… and taxes… and maintenance… and improvements. But it’s a great apartment and they’re already enjoying it.

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