Sorry, We’re Closed

This is the time of year when many restaurants around town take a break. It’s the slowest season, so a good time to close for a month. This year, Meson Salvador, our home away from home, is doing a major renovation and will have been closed about 7 weeks by the time they reopen next week. Abrevaero was closed for a month and returned last week. (We’ve already been there four times.)

FIDEUA PASTA GAMBAS.
(A SEAFOOD DISH FROM THE COAST OF VALENCIA)

Our adored friend Jessica is moving on to her new career in events planning and won’t return to Sandpiper when they reopen after Christmas. It won’t be the same without her (exemplified by the fact that most customers call the place “Jessica’s”).

CHULETON A LA PARILLA (RIB STEAK ON A HOT STONE PLATE).
THAT’S ME DOING THE COOKING!!!

We’ve been complaining — a lot — that “everything” is closed. As you can imagine, we suffered terribly having only Santorini (Greek), Primavera (Italian and Spanish), Bing (Asian Fusion), and a handful (or three handfuls) of other places to go.

I CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT IT’S CALLED.
I ONLY HAD IT FOR DESSERT THREE TIMES LAST WEEK.

Just click the images to see how great has been our suffering. (If I remember what it is, I’ve told you below the photo. If I don’t remember, don’t ask; that would be cooking.)

LIMONCELLO FOR DIGESTION. (I SHARED.)

OUR FRIEND PEDRO MUST HAVE BEEN WORRIED ABOUT US.
HE COOKED A CARE PACKAGE OF COCIDO (STEW).
PUMPKIN MUFFIN (CARE PACKAGE) BY PEDRO.
WE ATE HIS PUMPKIN PIE BEFORE I COULD GET TO MY CAMERA.
PEDRO REALLY CAN COOK!

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…

It’s Grumpy’s Birthday

One of the other of the many names I have for San Geraldo is Gruñon. It means Grumpy.

“ANOTHER PICTURE? REALLY?!?”
A COUPLE OF DAYS LATER. STILL FEELING THE CHILL…
… AND SERIOUSLY GRUMPY.

San Geraldo is not always Gruñon. But, when he is, he does it with style and drama — as he does all things.

He also does everything with kindness, empathy, intelligence, love, and a warm and generous sense of humour.

So, here’s wishing Grumpy — my muse, my inspiration, the butt of my jokes, and the love of my life — a joyous birthday.

He’s the reason I’m Happy.

Interesting that Grumpy is the one playing the piano. Just like in real life.

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.”

La Tormenta Y Los Ciclónicos

Sunday was quite the day here on the serene Mediterranean. We began the day with rough seas, which continued rougher until the sky exploded with thunder, lightning, heavy rain. And … San Geraldo’s cyclonic winds. A storm is “una tormenta,” which seems especially appropriate for San Geraldo given how tormented he becomes. But he still calls them los ciclónicos (the cyclonics).  This was almost deserving of the designation. I went out on the terrace to take some pictures, tried to go around the corner for a different view, and was almost blown off my feet. (So no photos from there.)

We moved (San Geraldo did) plants and brought in (San Geraldo did) some furniture. We also picked up (I did. See? I did do something) a couple of big cacti that got blown over. All three yuccas are finally well-secured and positioned (click here for a bit of their stormy history).

We were supposed to take a walk down the paseo with our friends/neighbors Jean and Ray for an always wonderful dinner at Sandpiper. But it was blowing and storming so hard at the time that we instead went downstairs to Cosmopolita, a restaurant right outside our front door. All the street lights went out for a short time as a result of a lightning strike. San Geraldo, whose great-grandmother was killed in 1909 when their house was struck by lightning, was slightly stressed (to put it mildly).

The surf actually came up onto the paseo in places (over the low wall separating the beach from the street) and even flipped heavy wooden trash holders and walkways on the beach. The walkways end far from the surf-line, usually.

(Click the images for a closer look at how things progressed.)

THE ALWAYS-CHIC JEAN MODELING HER WATERPROOF “STOCKINGS.”

The name of the song is “Llueve,” which means “It Rains.” His name is Pablo Alborán (or as our friend Elena calls him “Mi Pablito” — My Little Pablo).
He was next to me on my overnight flight from New York in September. He slept. I respected his obvious desire for privacy and quiet. Elena will never forgive me.