Thursday, April 18, 2013

April catch-up

Besides lazing about, enjoying the great weather, what have I been up to lately? Lots, actually. I can't believe April is more than half over...feria season is just around the corner, summer is well on its way, and there's so much to do now that all of the dreary winter weather has been replaced by endless sunny skies, practically overnight. 

All that sun and playing outside has made me a bad blogger, so let's catch up. Here are some highlights from the first half of April:

-We met Spanish chef Angel León! He runs Aponiente, the (only) Michelin starred restaurant in El Puerto, where we celebrated our 6 monthiversary

The event was organized by the base and was really interesting - Chef León's concept is completely different than most Andalucian restaurants, focusing on the sea as a diverse and sustainable resource for creating modern versions of traditional dishes that would normally use meat. Yes, this chef is recreating the Spanish people's beloved pork products with seafood. We were immediately struck by how innovative and intelligent he is. 

Please ignore the fact that we both have terrible handwriting, like an angry 5 year old.

He explained the development of some of his signature dishes, while his team created them on the spot. Even better - we were able to taste them, along with sherry pairings! 

A couple of our favorites - fish made to look like a fresh radish and plankton risotto, which was amazing. 

At the end of the night, we were able to meet Chef León, snap a picture, and dazzle him with my Spanish stumble through introductions and a quick conversation about his restaurant.

-We bought some roadside asparagus! The same day that we had our table-side radish service in Olvera, we drove to Arcos de la Frontera on our way back to Puerto.

There is one stretch of road that is known for people selling wild asparagus and we've passed them many times without stopping. But after one weird food experience that day, it just seemed like the right time. 

5 euro bought a large bunch of fresh asparagus, tied neatly with a bow made out of reeds. 

-We accidentally went to feria in Vejer de la Frontera! We normally go out with a group of friends on Wednesday night and last week we went to Vejer for Moroccan food (at El Jardin del Califa, so good, go now). It just happened to be the first night of the Vejer feria, and we spotted the entrance as we were leaving, so we decided to check it out...

I had a few rebujitos (Graham was driving, so none for him), did a little dancing, and we didn't get back until 4 am. Oops.

For the record, I have no idea who these guys are, they were just really excited about being in my picture.

It was a small feria and very casual, but made me even more excited for feria in Puerto and the surrounding towns.

-I made it through Lent without caving! And I've stuck with it. I've noticed that I'm drinking more water, especially in the mornings, but a cafe con leche in the afternoon has become my best friend when I need a little pick-me-up.

-I crossed another item off my resolutions list! We went hiking in Grazalema last weekend. (Which you probably already know if you keep up with Instagram. When I'm not consistently blogging, it's a good place to look for updates.) I'll have a whole post on our trip soon. 

-Last but not least, I'll be doing a giveaway in the next few days! Nothing too crazy, just a little Spanish something that I pretty much can't survive without on a daily basis. So, don't be a stranger!

What have you been up to? Is your April flying by? 

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