When I woke up that tuesday morning all I could think of was the fact that the stores were going to be opened, and thus, finally, we could get some cooking done.
So as early as possible Liz and I set out in our gorgeous red BMW and I figured out a trick that would literally save our entire trip.
I used the parking break on the hills.
It seems so simple and stupid now, but I was honestly willing to sit in our house for the week rather than travel around Galicia if it meant having to deal with steep narrow roads all week.
So I tried it in the driveway on the way out. I backed up into the hill that was the garage and instead of panicking and stalling 14 times as I inched closer and closer to the wall, burning the crap out of the engine to the point that the whole yard smelled of burnt oil and engine for the rest of the day, I put the emergency brake on, got into first gear, released the break and rolled forward as if nothing traumatizing had ever happened.
By the time we got out of town I had done it successfully 13 times without stalling or rolling backwards even once, and that's when I knew everything was going to be okay.
That and driving to the gas station 4 times a day for food and beer through the insane hairpin turns and hills with crazy Spanish drivers honking at me to hurry up had significantly improved my "gear shifting" confidence, so we strolled into town like a couple of people who had driven steep narrow roads all their lives.
I was cured!
We could travel!
But, today was for making amends for the three days of nary a flame lit to cook.
I'm sure you can imagine the disappointment I felt from being in my favorite culinary country for 4 days all told and not having had really cooked anything yet, so when the "what should we do today" discussions began I squashed them with anything other than "getting that grill going."
So we did.
Liz and I headed into the slightly-bigger little town one over from ours as there was a fish store, and farmers market that I wanted to buy everything from and after a classic "fuck it" parking job that left us half in a "no parking" zone, and half in a "tow away" zone, we walked into the fish store.
Sadly, because the boats were probably still out after the holiday weekend, there wasn't anything there that looked good (frozen shrimp, small, older-ish looking fish) so we went to the farmers market and bought every fresh vegetable we could find.
On the way back we stopped in town to buy regular groceries, along with meat and wine and ran into a bunch of our new friends we had made the night before at the bar. We were greeted with warm hellos and awkward "you're cutting in front of us" explications in Galician, but 18 bags and a billion Euros later we had a house full of food, and a wood fire grill that was beckoning.
I don't believe I took any other pictures than the food ones I'm about to share, but we spent a nice relaxing day in the pool, reading books and walking around and other general what-not's.
It was a nice day.
However, when things got dinner time-y Chris did the great honor of getting the fire going as I broke down the meat, including a chicken with it's head and feet still on that was skinny by American standards and actually looks as if it used it's muscles, a lot, which actually made taste like something.
Here's some pictures:
It being Spain I used a little pimenton, olive oil and fresh herbs I found in the yard as my marinade.
Here's the grill, in all her "I wish it was mine" glory...
And here's my favorite little fire tender:
And a few more...
The bright orange covered meat is lomo (loin) coated in paprika and so soft you could cut it by just thinking about it, as well as a nice hunk of "meat" that looked cow-y, although between my non-Galician/spanish and the guy at the stores "no speaky english" I can't be sure which cut, or animal for that matter it was, but it grilled up nice and steaky.
Here's some padron peppers (from right up the road!) with mushrooms on a rosemary branch:
And some onions in sherry vinegar:
Here's the finished product:
And here's my kids refusing to eat any of it!
So this was the first night cooking!
Tomorrow, thanks to the parking break trick, we gain the courage to venture forth into the land and sight-see, complete with all the gorgous small-town-in-Galicia pictures you could shake a stick at!
So until then my little friends,