Something Clean

Question asked by San Geraldo while he worked on his latest New York Times crossword puzzle:

“Do we start with a clean PLATE or a clean SLATE?”

“Personally, I always start with a clean slate,” I replied. “Starting with a clean plate could involve “cooking”!

Here’s what our plates look like at Meson Salvador — before we clean them.
(Click the images to be completely “satisfied.”)

PARILLADA (BARBECUE).
A COLLECTION OF MEATS FOR 2; COULD EASILY SERVE 4.
(COSTILLAS) RIBS.
CORDERO (LEG OF LAMB).
ALBONDIGAS (MEATBALLS).
BACALAO CON ROMERO (COD AND ROSEMARY)
ON A BED OF POTATO MOUSSE WITH GRILLED VEG.
TARTA DE QUESO (CHEESECAKE).
I AM A NEW YORK-STYLE CHEESECAKE PURIST NO LONGER.
TARTA DE CHOCOLATE FILLED WITH DULCE DE LECHE.
TARTA DE CHOCOLATE.
DESIGNED BY ADRIÁN FOR SAN GERALDO.
SOME OF THE MESON SALVADOR TEAM
CELEBRATING ALEJANDRO’S (2ND FROM LEFT) BIRTHDAY.

A clean slate can be good, too…

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.

A Torn Retina And A Spotted Dick?

I celebrated my birthday Thursday. Because it was in fact my birthday, so it seemed like the right thing to do. This is my fourth year to celebrate my birthday here in Fuengirola. It’s become a tradition to go to Sandpiper Restaurant if only to have the opportunity to share the celebration with Jessica, even though she has to work.

In honor of my torn (no longer) retina, I thought I should have a defective-sounding dessert (in the UK, called pudding). So, I opted for some Spotted Dick. It’s much better than it sounds. (Click here to read the original story of Spotted Dick and another traditional English, um, pudding.)

I OBSESSED WITH AESTHETICALLY ARRANGING JESSICA’S STARS AND HAPPY BIRTHDAYS.
SAN GERALDO’S SOLUTION WAS TO SHOVEL THEM INTO A PILE…
…AFTER CONSIDERING A MELTDOWN, I SATISFIED MYSELF WITH THIS.
MY SPOTTED DICK.
(OR AS JESSICA PREFERS TO CALL IT, SPOTTED RICHARD.)
SMILING DESPITE A RECENTLY TORN RETINA
AND A SPOTTED DICK.
And since I enjoyed some Spotted Dick, I thought you might enjoy a Little Richard…

Spotted Dick In Spain

Our favourite English-style restaurant here in Fuengirola is, as you might already know, Sandpiper. Chef/Owner Jason recently added two new desserts. Jessica told me about them.

One of the new desserts is “Treacle Sponge,” a traditional British dessert of sponge cake drizzled with treacle (golden syrup) and often served with custard.

Jessica was very unhappy to learn that the other dessert was called “Spotted Dick.” I’ve heard of it before — the dessert, I mean. Well, come to think of it… Oh, never mind. Anyway, the dessert is commonly made with suet, flour and raisins, and served with custard.

Jessica (Spanish) was appalled and told Jason that, until the new menus were printed, she would write the desserts on a piece of paper. She was not going to say “Spotted Dick.”

A few days later, there was more to the story. Ana, Jessica’s mother and Jason’s life and business partner, was told about the new desserts.

“Spotted Dick,” she said.

No problem.

But then she tried “Treacle Sponge.”

With Ana’s Spanish accent, “Treacle Sponge” sounded like “Treacle Spunk.” And no matter how many times she tried, it always came out the same.

When Jason stopped laughing, he told her what “spunk” was. Jessica had already told her about “dick.” Ana said she would not be selling either until they were printed on the menu.

Friday night, I ordered Spotted Dick to share with San Geraldo.

When Jessica brought the dish to the table, San Geraldo asked (cluelessly), “Does the spotted dick have nuts?”

Jessica stood in stunned silence.

San Geraldo continued (still clueless), “Because I hate nuts.”

Jessica walked away before I could tell her that I usually eat San Geraldo’s nuts.

SPOTTED DICK, NO NUTS.
TREACLE SPUNK… I MEAN SPUNK… AHEM, SPONGE.
“Me mother says I must be quick to get me bit o’ spotted dick.”