SG’s Birthday Month / Mes De Cumpleaños de SG

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

The house is filled with chocolate that I’m forced to help San Geraldo consume. It’s one of the many sacrifices I have to make during his “birthday month.” We’re going out for birthday dinner tonight and we said “no gifts,” so a few of our friends have gotten around the rule by delivering chocolate … early.

The celebration began Saturday night when our friends Nick and Alyson (click here to meet them) arrived from England with their two dearest friends, Lee and Lee Ann (whom we had never met). We went out for a joy-filled pre-birthday dinner at Mesón Salvador.

San Geraldo’s actual birthday is today. We went, as usual, to Mesón Salvador for our morning coffee and were there so long that morning coffee became small pastries and cold drinks. After all that, the family at Mesón Salvador came out with a birthday balloon, a rousing rendition of the Spanish birthday song (the Kid Brother would have given them a 6; I give them a 10), and a pile of adorned whipped cream with a candle in the middle (because we’d already had enough cake). The top photo is what the whipped cream looked like after it sat for a half hour.

La casa está llena de chocolate que me veo obligado a ayudar a consumir San Geraldo. Es uno de los muchos sacrificios que tengo que hacer durante su “mes de cumpleaños”. Esta noche saldremos a la cena de cumpleaños y dijimos “sin regalos”, por lo que algunos de nuestros amigos han cumplido con la regla al entregar chocolate … temprano.

La celebración comenzó el sábado por la noche cuando nuestros amigos Nick y Alyson (haz clic aquí para reunirse con ellos) llegaron de Inglaterra con sus dos amigos más queridos, Lee y Lee Ann (a quienes nunca habíamos conocido). Salimos para una cena pre-cumpleaños llena de alegría en Mesón Salvador.

El cumpleaños real de San Geraldo es hoy. Fuimos, como de costumbre, a Mesón Salvador para nuestro café de la mañana y estuvimos allí tanto tiempo que el café de la mañana se convirtió en pequeños pasteles y bebidas frías. Después de todo eso, la familia de Mesón Salvador salió con un globo de cumpleaños, una interpretación conmovedora de la canción de cumpleaños española (El Hermanito les habría dado un 6; les doy un 10), y un montón de crema batida adornada con una vela en el medio (porque ya habíamos tenido suficiente pastel). La foto de arriba es cómo se veía la crema batida después de que se sentó durante media hora.

Cazuelas and Abuelas

Today ends Fuengirola’s annual restaurant event called “La Cazuela de la Abuela,” which means “Grandma’s Casserole.” Sixty-three restaurants participated offering their own special tapa-size casserole. All I needed to do was sample five and I could then vote for the best, and get entered in a great prize drawing. Except for sampling Meson Salvador’s entry, we missed the rest of the competition. But it doesn’t really matter because, in my humble opinion, Meson Salvador is always the best at everything anyway.

LEFT TO RIGHT: MY MATERNAL, HIS MATERNAL, HIS PATERNAL, AND MY PATERNAL GRANDMOTHER.

On the subject of abuelas and casseroles, my paternal grandmother died when I was very young. All I remember was her coaxing me out from behind my mother’s back by giving me candies from a cut glass bowl — raspberry hard candies with liquid centers. I, therefore, loved her.

My maternal grandmother was an amazing cook, but I don’t remember a single casserole.

San Geraldo’s paternal grandmother was born and raised in South Dakota, so I’m sure she made plenty of casseroles in her time. However, in South Dakota, casseroles were called “Hot Dish.” At a potluck supper, people were told to bring “Hot Dish” — not “a” hot dish, but “Hot Dish.” As Jerry’s Norwegian maternal grandmother would say, “More funny America.”

(Click the pics to make your mouth water…)

ABUELA (GRANDMA) OUT FRONT PROMOTING THE EVENT.
LA CAZUELA DE LA ABUELA. DELICIOUS!
(POTATOES, A VARIETY OF FRESH MUSHROOMS, AND CRUNCHY HAM).
TRADITIONAL SPANISH POTATO TORTILLA.
BREAD THAT WAS SIMPLY TOO GOOD.
REBANADA ESPECIAL.
(BREAD SLICE TOPPED WITH OLIVE OIL, IBERIAN HAM,  AND QUAIL EGGS.)

Beyond the exceptional food and atmosphere, what makes Meson Salvador the best in the world is the staff. They call us “family” and they mean it. After a recent meal, Adrián brought us our complementary chupitos (shots of liquor). They serve “Pionono,” similar to Bailey’s Irish Cream only a whole lot better.

Since San Geraldo rarely drinks alcohol, Adrián brought him something non-alcoholic, a blackberry (mora) beverage. It’s what they serve to children. San Geraldo made a face when he tasted it, so Adrián got a straw and helped him drink it.

SAN GERALDO AND ADRIÁN.
I ASKED SAN GERALDO TO MOVE HIS HAND OUT OF THE WAY FOR MY PHOTO.
THIS IS HOW TYNAN AND ELENA HELPED.
THAT’S WHEN I TAUGHT ADRIÁN THE MEANING OF THE ENGLISH TERM “SMART ASS.”