La Cocina Vasca

23 Jan


Yesterday was very spontaneous. After ten days of rain with no sunshine, the sun finally decided to make an appearance. As I walked from the bus stop to the academy, I had an idea: why not have my hour and a half class outside, walking around the different shops, and speaking in English? Anything had to be better than sitting inside a dingy classroom where it was colder inside than outside, and darker and more dreary than the beautiful weather that awaited us.

Lucky for me, I only have one student in this morning class on Tuesdays, and she happily agreed. What a glorious meeting we had for an hour and a half. We spoke in English as we walked around the neighborhood, and I explained the different shops that were missing in my hometown of Shelbyville, KY. She remarked about the similarities and differences during her trip to New York.

We stopped for her coffee and my hot chocolate. She commented pescado frescothat Tuesdays she always goes to the pescadería after class to buy fish. I told her I had always been afraid to go because I didn´t know what to do. So the best part of my day arrived; Carmen invited me to her house for lunch! We decided that she would show me how to get to Casco Viejo (Siete Calles), a quaint part of the city where all the streets run at angles to each other and I get lost every time I go there. When we arrived though, the pescadería was very crowded, and we couldn´t wait in the long line (I had a class to teach at 1530). So we walked back towards Carmen´s house and bought fish at a different one. I learned how to order fresh fish, Basque style, and now have the confidence to do it myself. I can hardly wait! We stopped at a panadería and bought a fresh loaf of bread and at a pastelería and bought some delicious cookies.

Then to Carmen´s house to make the meal. She made it seem so easy. limpiando el pescadoWhy do I complicate matters? She cleaned the fish, placed it in a pan, cut some onions, garlic and tomatos and placed around the fish and then baked it in the oven for about 20-30 minutes. While the fish was cooking, she made the most delicious salad I have had since my arrival in Spain. All with the touch of olive oil. (Have I mentioned that olive oil here in Spain is the absolute best! I don´t know what changes between here and the US but it is somehow infinitely better here.) When the fish finished cooking, Carmen fried some garlic in olive oil and then crushed it in the molinillero. She then poured the hot olive oil into the crushed garlic, added some salt and white vinegar and poured it over the freshly baked fish. I must say, it was delectably delicious.

antes de asar la ensalada

As if salad and fish weren´t enough, she also made albóndigas, Spanish meatballs, in tomato sauce. Heavens gracious, they were tasty. The simple meal was topped off with the scrumptious cookies from the pastelería we had purchased on our way to Carmen´s house.

I could not have asked for a better morning or way to spend my afternoon. I learned a new way to arrive to Casco Viejo, how to order fresh fish in Spanish and enjoyed a wonderful meal with a new friend.


2 Responses to “La Cocina Vasca”

  1. globalexplorer1 24/01/2013 at 01:44 #

    I’m ready to visit Spain, this time for more than a day or two. Thank you for sharing.

    • kschario 24/01/2013 at 02:37 #

      Absolutely need to stay for more than a day or two…It is such a wonderful place. The people are wonderful, and the food is to die for!

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