A Piece of Cake That’s Easy As Pie / Un Pedazo de Pastel Que Es Tan Fácil Como Tarta

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

WE HAD AN early Christmas dinner Friday night with our dear friends Elena and Tynan, and their dear kids (19 and 17), Alexander and Paula. A perfect meal at their home that started with chistorra, a fast-cure pork sausage flavored with garlic, salt, and paprika — from Aragon, the Basque Country (where Elena is from), and Navarra, all in northern Spain. That was followed by cinta de lomo (pork filet) roasted for hours with vegetables (and wine), and perfect roasted potatoes.

The wonderful company and conversation was capped off by two of San Geraldo’s specialty desserts, lemon-raspberry bars and Beacon Hill brownies. SG makes these look so easy. When the brownies were plated up, he told me they were “a piece of cake” to make. After he readied the lemon bars, he said “They’re easy as pie.” He’s told me in the past that producing one of his to-die-for chocolate cakes is also “[as] easy as pie.” I wonder how he would describe baking a pie. Well, I suppose that’s obvious: a piece of cake.

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TUVIMOS UNA CENA de Navidad temprana la noche del viernes con nuestras queridas amigas Elena y Tynan, y sus queridos hijos (19 y 17), Alexander y Paula. Una comida perfecta en su hogar que comenzó con chistorra, una salchicha de cerdo de cura rápida con sabor a ajo, sal y pimentón — de Aragón, País Vasco (de donde es Elena), y Navarra, todo en el norte de España. Esto fue seguido por cinta de lomo asado durante horas con verduras (y vino), y papas asadas perfectas.

La maravillosa compañía y conversación culminaron con dos de los postres especiales de San Geraldo, las barras de limón y frambuesa y los brownies de Beacon Hill (nuestro barrio en Boston). SG hace que estos se vean tan fáciles. Cuando los brownies estaban cubiertos, me dijo que eran “un pedazo de pastel” (una expression inglés que significa “muy fácil”) para hacer. Después de preparar las barras de limón, dijo: “Son fáciles como una tarta” (otra expresión inglés similar). Me dijo en el pasado que producir uno de sus pasteles de chocolate para morirse es tambien “[tan] fácil como un pastel”. Me pregunto cómo describiría hacer una tarta. Bueno, supongo que es obvio: un pedazo de pastel.

Real Good Salad

San Geraldo has been doing his seasonal baking. While waiting for his lemon bars to come out of the oven the other day, he perused his mother’s box of recipes once again. That can be quite entertaining. One recipe, called “Real Good Salad,” has ingredients that make it the perfect side salad for a Sunday roast (or maybe not). You can decide.

Since San Geraldo decided against making “Real Good Salad,” here are two of the real good things he did make.

RASPBERRY-LEMON BARS.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE POSTED IN 2011.)
BEACON HILL BROWNIES.
(THEY LOOK SCORCHED, BUT THEY’RE NOT.)

Noche Buena (Christmas Eve)

San Geraldo couldn’t stand to be out-done [by me] in the kitchen (see previous post), so he made a tremendous effort with his Christmas goodies. I do have to give him credit.

In addition to the best brownies I’ve ever had (every time he makes them), San Geraldo also baked his shortbread lemon-raspberry bars.

I’d ask him to marry me if we weren’t already married.

We brought the treats to Tynan and Elena’s on Christmas Eve. Other than those two “postres,” it was a traditional Spanish Christmas dinner, and incredible. Elena knows how to host a feast and make it look casual and easy. And her sister Isabel makes the best croquettes (croquetas) I have ever tasted.

SAN GERALDO IN THE KITCHEN… BUT NOT FOR DUDO
(NO MATTER WHAT DUDO THOUGHT).
ELENA & TYNAN’S CHRISTMAS EVE TABLE, FIRST COURSE.
SAN GERALDO’S CHRISTMAS EVE BROWNIES.
SAN GERALDO’S CHRISTMAS EVE
SHORTBREAD LEMON-RASPBERRY BARS.
CHRISTMAS MORNING: TRADITIONALLY ON EPIPHANY EVE (JANUARY 5),
SHOES ARE LEFT ON WINDOWSILLS, BALCONIES, OR UNDER THE TREE
TO BE FILLED WITH PRESENTS BY THE THREE KINGS.

The first Spanish Christmas song I learned our first year in Spain (click here for a visit to our first Christmas in Sevilla, 2011). There are many different versions, but I love the lyrics of this one… (translation at bottom).