Back From Barcelona

This is just to say that I haven’t gotten lost in the wonders of Barcelona (though that is extremely possible and thoroughly tempting) and I have, indeed, made my way back to my little tropical isle and into the arms of my small but much-loved-and-missed family unit. The heat and my family weren’t the only ones waiting to welcome me though. As anyone who takes a holiday from work knows, you return to a Goliath of tasks and an email inbox bursting at the seams (thank goodness I upgraded to terabytes!). So a proper post will have to wait a bit…I do hope you will all be patient!

Meanwhile, as I have done in the past, I hope to bribe your patience with holiday photos. This was a short trip but any amount of time in Barcelona, no matter the length, is magical.

Half of the trip was for work…and really, that’s all you have to know about my very normal day job.

After official business was dispensed, I visited with a beloved godmother and we chatted and caught up and laughed and ate.

She took me to one of the oldest restaurants in Barcelona that is still owned by the same family – tucked away off La Rambla; a place beyond cozy where we enjoyed a plate of glistening jamon iberico and pan con tomate and such a platter of grilled seafood so good it made my heart (and tummy) swell.

She also introduced me to her neighborhood xarcuteria (charcuterie) where I stocked up on all manners of jamon and chorizo. It’s the kind of place where one of the owners tends the counter and they always remember your name and offer you bits of free things for tasting or for taking home. Although this is not unusual in a city full of such gems.

I finally bought my Nespresso machine, and an aeroccino, and as much coffee pods as my already straining suitcase could carry. Suffice to say that C and I have been enjoying it much too much as we begin the wonderful journey of figuring out which of the “grand crus” are our favorites.

I pay a visit to my favorite church of all time, the Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi’s staggering masterpiece. I have gone every single time I’ve been in Barcelona. What I love most about it, aside from its general awesomeness, is the very fact that it is unfinished. As such, it is different every time I visit. This quality which I know frustrates some people is what I find most exciting. The first time I had been it had practically no roof, aside from the towers you walked through the grand façade to scaffolding and sunlight. Now it has a ceiling fashioned to look like a canopy of trees with well placed holes to let in the sunlight still. A magnificent work in progress, started by a master and carried on through the ages…much like man ourselves?

Of course I make time for the market, La Boqueria, another favorite. Although I cannot take any of the gorgeous fresh fruit and vegetables, I buy my share of dried peppers (pimientos choriceros in particular) and ground spice mixes to compensate. At this point my suitcase is about to have triplets. But I do manage to sneak in some ventresca de bonito del norte in extra virgin olive oil. And beluga lentils!

And I have fresh figs for breakfast and dessert. Yes oh yes.

The trip was short, but it was a full as my straining suitcase…which barely made it through check in.

And now I must return to that mountain of work that demands my attention. I hope this tides you over until I can get back to proper cooking and blogging. Meanwhile, if you have any specific questions about the places I visited or the goodies I bought feel free to email me!