San Geraldo Doesn’t Know How To Blow / San Geraldo No Sabe Soplar

La versión español está después de la primera foto.

OUR PAL LUKE had a piñata for his third birthday. Kathleen filled it with lots of fun things, including, toys, chocolate, and pop rocks — those colorful bits of candy that sizzle and pop in your mouth. After that came the chocolate dinosaur cake. Sugar rush!

There were little party horns for us all. San Geraldo couldn’t get his to work. He said, “Maybe I just don’t know how to blow.” Ahem.

Luke took out his tool kit and tried, unsuccesfully, to fix San Geraldo’s horn.

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NUESTRO COMPADRE LUKE tenía una piñata para su tercer cumpleaños. Kathleen la llenó con muchas cosas divertidas, como juguetes, chocolate, y Peta Zetas — esos coloridos trocitos de caramelo “que producen sonido y una sensación de explosión y efervescencia”. Después de eso vino la tarta de dinosaurio de chocolate. ¡Fiebre del azúcar!

Hubo pequeños cuernos de fiesta para todos nosotros. El cuerno de San Geraldo no funcionó. Él dijo: “Tal vez simplemente no sé cómo soplar”. Ejem.

Luke sacó su caja de herramientas y trató, sin éxito, de arreglar el cuerno de San Geraldo.

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Like Lemon Drops

When it comes to living with my clinical depression, mornings are usually my most challenging time. I tend to avoid an afternoon siesta because waking up from one is like experiencing morning all over again.

After a few nights of mediocre sleep this week, I couldn’t avoid a siesta Friday afternoon.

Less than an hour later, I was having another “morning.” As I lay in bed with my eyes closed trying to talk myself into again facing the day, San Geraldo came running in from the terrace.

“I’m sorry to wake you,” he rushed, “But you have to see the rainbow.”

Thanks to San Geraldo, I was able to wake up where the clouds were far behind me.


(Click the images to open a magic lane.)

AND MAKE MINE A DOUBLE!
BIRDS FLY OVER THE RAINBOW…

When all the world is a hopeless jumble…

San Geraldo And The Pig

In the summer of ’82, my parents and The Kid Brother drove up from New York for their one and only visit to us in Boston. We moved, spur of the moment, to Los Angeles a few months later.

San Geraldo thought it would be fun if we all drove to the town of Plymouth (home of Plimoth Plantation and Plymouth Rock) about 45 minutes away. Plimoth Plantation was home to some of the first people to emigrate to America from England on the ship The Mayflower. Four of San Geraldo’s 10-great-grandparents were on that ship.

The “English Village” portion is a living history museum, which means everything is meant to be authentic. The staff stay in character and look and act as if they are living in the period from 1620, the time the settlement was founded, until 1691, when it was abandoned. It’s beautiful and fascinating.

In one reconstructed home, the housewife was preparing dinner. A chicken (or maybe it was a goose) carcass lay on the table surrounded by freshly chopped vegetables and a cloud of flies. The house reeked. Like I said, authentic.

(Click the images. You can almost smell the authenticity.)

FAMILY TIME AT NEARBY WAMPANOAG HOME SITE.
NOW STAFFED BY NATIVE PEOPLE FROM A VARIETY OF NATIONS.

There were pigs out back. The stench was awful, so we quickly walked to the other end of town and stopped, at which point My Mother The Dowager Duchess said, “What happened to Jerry?” He was nowhere in sight.

We had only just passed our first anniversary but I already knew him well enough to know exactly where he was.

“I’m sure he’s back there petting the pig,” I said.

The Kid Brother said, “Are you kiddin’?!?”

And I said, “Nope.”

So, we walked back through the village. There he was, scratching the biggest sow behind her ear and whispering sweet nothings.

My parents wrinkled their noses, but laughed. The Kid Brother scowled and snapped, “Tell him to wash his hands!”

THE KID BROTHER WITH SAN GERALDO.
ONE OF THE TWO WAS IN HOG HEAVEN.

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.”

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.