Pa Pa Pa Pa…

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

LEARNING TO READ and write is exciting and liberating for anyone at any age. My maternal grandmother taught herself to read Hebrew as a child simply so she could pray like her father (girls in her village in Russia did not “need” to be educated). She finally learned to read and write English when she was in her 60s so she could become an American citizen. (There she is above with my sister Dale in 1952.)

You may remember that my pal Luke has begun that process by imitating his teacher-mother Kathleen’s online English lessons (click here). Luke’s papa, Pedro, recently wrote the word PAPA on Luke’s blackboard so that he could copy it, which he did. Pedro then pointed to the first two letters and said, “P – A. Pa.”

Luke repeated while pointing at the letters, “P – A. Pa.”

Pedro was beside himself with pride. He continued (and I’m paraphrasing; Pedro did a much better job). Pointing at the two pairs of letters, he said, “So this says Pa… and this is the same. What do you get when you put them together? Pa…?”

Luke was ecstatic. “MONDAY!!!” he exclaimed.

And I suppose that’s what is meant by ‘back to the drawing board.’

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APRENDER A LEER y escribir es emocionante y liberador para cualquier persona de cualquier edad. Mi abuela materna se enseñó a leer y escribir hebreo de niña para poder rezar como su padre (las niñas en su pueblo en Rusia no “necesitaban” ser educadas). Finalmente aprendió a leer y escribir inglés cuando ella tenía 60 años para poder convertirse en ciudadana estadounidense. (Allí está arriba con mi hermana Dale en 1952.)

Puedes recordar que mi amigo Luke ha comenzado ese proceso imitando las lecciones de inglés en línea de su maestra-madre Kathleen (haz clic aquí). El papá de Luke, Pedro, recientemente escribió la palabra PAPA en el pizarrón para poder copiarlo, lo cual hizo maravillosamente. Pedro luego señaló las dos primeras letras y dijo: “P – A. Pa”.

Luke repitió brillantemente mientras señalaba las letras, “P – A. Pa”.

Pedro estaba fuera de sí con orgullo. Él continuó (y estoy parafraseando; Pedro hizo un trabajo mucho mejor). Señalando los dos pares de letras, dijo: “Entonces esto dice Pa … y esto es lo mismo. ¿Qué obtienes cuando los juntas? Pa…?”

Luke estaba extasiado. “¡MONDAY [LUNES]!”, exclamó.

Y supongo que eso es lo que se entiende por “volver al tablero de dibujo”.

MONDAY!!! [MONDAY]
Cocido. Not only can Pedro teach, he can cook. Although he can’t teach ME to cook (because in my case, ignorance is bliss).
Cocido. Pedro no solo puede enseñar, sino que también puede cocinar. Aunque no puede enseñarme a cocinar (porque en mi caso, la ignorancia es una bendición).
Pedro’s homemade cheesecake with fresh raspberry topping. PAPA!
Tarta de casa de Pedro con salsa de fresas frescas. ¡PAPÁ!
With Aunt Fran (Francesca) in background. Luke calls her Flan, which I think is delicious.
Con Tía Fran (Francesca) en el fondo. Luke la llama Flan, que creo que es delicioso.

Mitchell Alive (More than Van Gogh) / Más que Van Gogh

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

I’M AT A loss for words. I know. I know. It doesn’t often happen. Kathleen, Pedro, and my pal Luke hosted a birthday dinner at their house last night that left me filled with love and, at times, tears. Kathleen and Pedro are both phenomenally creative, as is Luke. Having also seen the Van Gogh Alive exhibit in Málaga (click here), Kathleen thought it would be fun to make that the theme of my birthday dinner — replacing “Mitchell” for “Van Gogh.” Here are a few pictures to give you the idea.

IF YOU CAN SPARE the time, please watch the two videos. Pedro and Kathleen lovingly created this 13-minute wonder from my blog posts. The two videos should be watched simultaneously; the second video contains the quotes to be viewed along with the images. Just like the Van Gogh exhibit. Only so much better. Additional gifts were a hand-painted treasure box and picture frame (both by Luke) and a houseplant chosen by Luke. The frame will soon contain one of the photos from my blog that Pedro transformed a la Van Gogh.

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ME FALTAN LAS palabras. Lo sé. Lo sé. No sucede a menudo. Kathleen, Pedro, y mi compadre Luke organizaron una cena de cumpleaños anoche en su casa que me dejó llena de amor y, a veces, de lágrimas. Kathleen y Pedro son fenomenalmente creativos, como lo es Luke. Habiendo visto también la exhibición de Van Gogh Alive en Málaga (haz clic aquí), Kathleen pensó que sería divertido hacer el tema de mi cena de cumpleaños, reemplazando “Mitchell” por “Van Gogh”. Aquí hay algunas fotos para darte idea. It was indeed a starry, starry night.

SI PUEDE RECAMAR el tiempo, mire los dos videos. Pedro y Kathleen crearon esta maravilla de 13 minutos a partir de las entradas de mi blog. Los dos videos deben ser vistos simultáneamente; el segundo video contiene las citas que se verán junto con las imágenes. Al igual que la exposición de Van Gogh. Sólo que mucho mejor. Los regalos adicionales fueron una caja de tesoros y un marco para fotos pintados a mano (ambos de Luke) y una planta de elegida por Luke. El marco pronto contendrá una de las fotos de mi blog que Pedro transformó a la Van Gogh. De hecho, fue una noche estrellada, estrellada.

Luke with his version of Starry (Starry) Night.
Luke con su versión de Noche Estrellada.
There was an “activity” before dinner. “Paint like Van Gogh,” Kathleen said. Left to right, top to bottom: Pedro, San Geraldo, the Birthday Boy, Luke, and Kathleen.
Hubo una “actividad” antes de la [Pinta como Van”, dijo Kathleen. De izquierda a derecha, de arriba a abajo: Pedro, San Geraldo, el cumpleañero, Luke, y Kathleen.
Cherry Cheesecake with Oreo cookie crust by Kathleen (and Luke).
Tarta de queso con cerezas y un borde de Oreo de Kathleen (y Luke).

Luke was so excited to have so many surprises. “What’s going on now?” I would ask. “Nothing,” he would reply with a smile.

Luke estaba tan emocionado de tener tantas sorpresas. “¿Qué está pasando ahora?”, yo preguntaría. “Nada”, él contestaba con una sonrisa.

For Breakfast Or For Acking-Snay

BANANA FUDGE CAKE.

San Geraldo’s mother, Alice, had a dear friend named Sharon. Sharon was not a cook. Sharon was so much not a cook that I in comparison am Julia Child.

Sharon had Froot Loops for breakfast every morning. She called it her three servings of fruit.

I knew it was really only three servings of “froot.”

Speaking of fruit servings, downstairs at BarBoru, Chef Robbie likes us to try out everything he bakes. It kind of, almost, defeats the purpose of my long walks. Or maybe it makes my long walks all the more important.

I’ve told Robbie he can’t keep doing this to us. Sometimes he listens. But sometimes his baked goods include fruit and he explains that it’s important to have several servings per day.


(Click the images for more fruit.)

STRAWBERRY CAKE (OR PIE OR SOMETHING).
APPLE TART. 
WALNUTS ARE VERY NUTRITIOUS.
APPLE PIE.
FRUITY CHEESECAKE.
CHOCOLATE IS A FRUIT, ISN’T IT?

Oot-fray Oops-lay…

Deliciousness … and Crap

Chef San Geraldo hasn’t cooked dinner at home in months, not since before we headed to New York in August. The mood just hasn’t been right. But, Tuesday morning he decided it was time to change all that. (Click the images to make things really delicious.)

THE DELICIOUS DUDO AND MOOSE BEING FLASHED DURING THE NIGHT.
DUDO’S NATURAL EYE-LINER.

He roasted a chicken, sauteed gorgeous mushrooms, steamed some fresh vegetables, and even made a cranberry apple chutney from cranberries picked up at Ana Crespillo’s market. Unlike the huge bags of seasonal cranberries we used to buy in the States, cranberries here come in tiny little containers and cost a small fortune. A major treat.

My stomach started to feel a little funny (and not ha-ha funny) early in the afternoon. Maybe it was the excitement of the dinner to come. By Tuesday night when the beautiful meal was prepared I had already spent my time either on the pot or in bed and there was no way I was going to be eating anything. San Geraldo had to go it alone. I drank water.

CRANBERRY APPLE CHUTNEY… WHAT’S LEFT.

I spent almost the entire day in bed Wednesday. I did have a small piece of left-over chicken in the afternoon. That night? Toast.

Today has been a better day. I’ve had breakfast and lunch. San Geraldo made grilled ham and cheese sandwiches on brown bread. We topped them off with the cranberry relish. Delicious.

And, so far so good.

For someone who is the picture of fitness and health (according to me), I sure have had a crappy (and not just figuratively) couple of months! Before my “heavy cold” in January that lasted two weeks and turned out in fact to be the flu, I spent a week with terrible digestion woes (explosive) as a result of an adverse reaction to a medication. But that’s all behind me now! (Ahem…)

Anyway, back to the subject of delicious: A couple of things I enjoyed before the creeping crud hit.

TARTA DE MANZANA AT RESTAURANTE PRIMAVERA.
(APPLE PIE/TART.)
TARTA DE QUESO AT MESON SALVADOR.
(CHEESECAKE.)

Cranberry Apple Chutney Recipe
SAN GERALDO USED MORE THAN 8 OUNCES OF FRESH CRANBERRIES INSTEAD OF CRAISINS.

Chef Show-Off

We often go downstairs for our morning coffee at Cafe BarBoru by the Sea. Chef Robbie loves to bake and usually has something special to get us through these cold winter days.

I know. I know. I should just shut up. But our blood has thinned after years of living in the desert and in Mediterranean climates. We did, however, have San Geraldo’s cyclonic winds Tuesday night. We even had to close a window that was open on the terrace! Then again, we were out all day today in just T-shirts (well, pants, too).

But back to Chef Robbie and his baked goods.

As long as Robbie keeps up with the printed menu, he’s free to create anything that strikes his fancy. We’re lucky his fancy is always being struck.

(Click the images and your mouth will water.)

MINCE PIES AND CREME ANGLAIS. (FOR THOSE WHO MAY NOT KNOW,
MINCEMEAT IS A MIXTURE OF DRIED FRUIT AND SPICES.)
RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE.
A BIRTHDAY CAKE FOR CHEF ROBBIE’S FRIEND.
(THE PURSE IS NOT MY STYLE, BUT — INSIDE —  CHOCOLATE!!!)

If you ask me, Robbie is just showing off. I made TEA!

A blend of teas. From scratch. I filled the bag myself. Do you have any idea how much work that is?!

FROM LEFT: MANZANILLA (CHAMOMILE); VAINILLA Y ANÍS (VANILLA AND ANISE); I PUT IT IN THE BAG; I PULLED THE DRAWSTRING. AND I USED THE ELECTRIC KETTLE, NOT THE MICROWAVE.



Everything stops for tea.