Saturday, February 24, 2007

We can't live in a castle in Spain, but we can live next to one. (and we do!)

The title is a quote from the man made to a nameless child, we do protect the guilty, who was complaining about, well, everything.

Another great line from the man I heard from the kitchen long ago in Canada when a very young child was upstairs in the bathroom. The man had gone to investigate what was going on, and when the child hove into view, he said with some despair, "Stop! That's enough toilet paper to wipe an elephant!" I giggled helplessly downstairs for quite some time.

This weekend one of the daughters, again anonymous to protect the guilty, asked my Dad why he was taking so many pills in the morning...mostly vitamins. The other child, again nameless, answered, "Because he's OLD and he has to take them to glue himself together."

My Dad has been calling them his glue pills ever since.

Rotten kids.

We watched Crocodile Dundee last night, I was aiming at Gentlemen Prefer Blondes or How to Marry a Millionaire, but got overruled by the eight year old, who also noticed that the library has Dundee in LA, which I suspect will be next weeks fare. It was good, we all enjoyed it except for the 'yucky' kissing scenes....It had a couple of good lines too.

The younger one has had quite a social day, played in the street with two little girls her age, and then in one of their houses, then we went for a walk in the mountains with the girls and their older sister, and now they are both over here playing Polly Pockets...some things need little language. This could prove very lovely with two little girls on our very street, her age, and there are two girls the elder's as well. Finger's crossed.

The elder seems to have had a good time over at her friend's house last night, with the added bonus that the mom who is a professional dressmaker gave her some off-cuts of fabric as my duaghter is keen on sewing, although she prefers to make toys. They are starting to fit in more, although they are both finding it hard when the other one has a friend to play with. On the boat, and largely in Canada, they both played with any available kids, so it is a bit of an adjustment when only one is invited.

One of the things that we are finding difficult here is the lack of variety in the food. This sounds a little strange after all the rhapsodising I have done about the food we are eating, but there is feast food, and then there is every day. We don't eat much meat at all, it is expensive, and we have the ethical cushioning that I anyway think the world will be a little better if we eat a little less meat, so the two dovetail together nicely. The man has cholesterol issues, so that rules out most cheeses and gooey fatty sauces. This leaves us with a base diet of grains, beans, fruit and veg. Don't get me wrong, we are complete hypocrites, and if something sumptuous and yummy slaps down in front of us, we're all for it, but on a day to day basis that is not the norm. Unfortunately here there is white flour, white rice, superarborio style only, and white pasta. That's it. No corn meal, no masa harina, no varieties of rice, no basmati, no muesli, granola or oatmeal, no barley or kasha or quinoa or millet... not even whole wheat flour. The veg selection is pretty limited to your classic mediterranean, which is good, but I am very very fond of Asian veg, and tofu, and lots of interesting and different stuff. The spice options are also very limited. Think oregano and basil, we have found hot peppers anyway, but only one type.

The limits on our diet that we self-impose of little meat or dairy are not onerous when we have a good variety of other options and seasonings, but that is proving a mite problematic here....then there is the issue of cookbooks. All of mine are ON THE BOAT like everything else, and it is a wee bit frustrating.

I like to cook out of cookbooks, I like to plan for the week ahead on a weekend morning while I am still hungry, and then buy what I will need, and then all week, I only have to chose off the list and not have that dreaded period of "what am I going to cook for dinner?" and then you think of something, and don't have the I cannot even look up some of my favorites, or look up different and new things. GGGGRRRRRRRR. We can't go out for all our meals unfortunately.

I will admit that I am starting to find it very frustrating, we will be looking in Barcelona, even if it means hauling five pound of flour, and twenty pounds of rice home on the bus. And fish sauce, and curry powder, and chili powder, and hot sauce, and oatmeal, and corn meal, and and and.....gggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

I miss my cookbooks. Crap.


Beth said...

Love the "glue pills" remark! Having kids is wonderful - gives you such a different perspective of the world.
I'd send you my cookbooks in a heartbeat - they're only for show around here!
Hey - you could try looking for recipes on the Internet.

oreneta said...

Beth: I have looked, but it is kind of like looking for recipies in a room crammed full of cut out items from women's mags...there are unimaginably huge mountains of them, but there is no editing for quality or preference...I have looked up some dishes, like when the little one wanted smoothies, but it still isn't ideal.

Dorky Dad said...

Crocodile Dundee? Do they even make that movie anymore?

Boo and Trev said...

You can get a lot of good recipes from the internet. The BBC site has excellent recipes and there is a really good veggie site called Nene Valley organics. I am sure there are others too

Helen said...

If you have favourite cooks they often have recipes on their websites as well, so you can look there. or favourite mags the same - it winnows it down a bit.

I don't know how the Spanish do it. In the days when they really used to siesta you could see that they did get the same sleep as non-Spaniards, but now they don't siesta and still stay up till all hours. When we did a choir tour of Spain we had to feed the students mars bars and coke before the concert to keep them going (all we could get in a local little shop and anyway why would we want to eat at 6pm when we hadn't eaten much all day and were going to be standing singing for the next 2 hours or so. Then at midnight we were sitting eating a huge meal when all we wanted was to SLEEP!! Wierd metabolisms,

oreneta said...

Boo: I'll give those a shot, the only one I keep getting is either trailer cool whip and jello recipies, or serious restaurant style foodie dishes.

Helen: I so believe it with the tour in Spain, we arrived at my husband's cousins place at about 10:30 at night, and by 11:00 we are sitting down to dinner with two kids, 7 and 10 then, who had gone way way way past hunger.

That's a thought about the websites too...thanks a lot.

oreneta said...

DD: YES, amazing isn't it...and the crappy sequel too!!!

Nomad said...

Love it....very funny...

I can SO see it...especially the TP comment...


oreneta said...

Nomad: It was hilarious, especially his horrified/annoyed/amazed tone of voice.