Archive for August 12, 2006

Reprieve

Wow, this has been one boring week. On Friday I thought I’d repeat Thursday and go to the gym. I was going to swim 4000 metres in however long it took. I figured at least I’d be doing something. Didn’t work out though, I got to my club only to discover that it was closed until Monday. They are doing major renovations to the facilities and I guess they reached a point where they needed to shut down. We do have access to other Claror clubs so we’re not left out completely. Anyhow, I head back home. Now I have to face what I’ve been avoiding all week. Cooking ……………….

A little background here. Jackie and Sebastien had organized a cooking party. All the cooking and preparation was to be done at their place and each person was to cook something from their country of origin. Alex was cooking bobo de camarao and I was making tarte au sucre. I had been stressing about the pie crust all week long and now it was time to organise my ingredients and directions for both the crust and the filling. I found a recipe for pie crust on the web and went with that. Gordon sent me the following recipe for the filling and that’s what I went with…………..

Tarte au sucre (Tante Monique)

Quantité Ingrédient

1 tasse Crème 35%
2 tasses Cassonade
2 Jaunes d’œufs
½ tasse Farine
¼ tasse Beurre
1 cuillerée à thé Vanille
1 cuillerée à thé Lait

Préparation

Préchauffer le four à 400oF (205oC). Battre un des jaunes d’œufs dans une tasse de crème 35%. Mêler la farine, la cassonade et le beurre, et y ajouter le mélange jaune d’œuf/crème. Faire cuire en brassant continuellement jusqu’à ce que le mélange épaississe. Ajouter la vanille. Laisser refroidir. Verser ensuite le mélange refroidi dans une abaisse de pâte à tarte non cuite. Recouvrir de languettes de pâte en damier. Mêler le deuxième jaune d’œuf avec le lait et badigeonner les languettes de pâte avec le mélange. Cuire au four pendant 20 minutes jusqu’à ce que les languettes de pâte soient dorées.

Once I was organised I helped Alex clean and shell the shrimp. She showed me how to remove the heads by twisting it off. Yikes, I was traumatized. I had to cut the heads off ten thousand shrimp, ok maybe not ten thousand but a lot of them. It took us most of the afternoon to clean them then we packed everything up and headed off to their place and I started my pie crust. It looked ok but then how do I know what it’s supposed to look like. I’ve seen bread dough so I figured it should look like that. I finaly got there and then it was time to start the filling. After adding, mixing, stirring and heating I put the pot aside to cool. It did not look very appetizing. Sorry Gordon and Jean, I did not do your recipe justice.

Meanwhile, more people are arriving and cooking space is becoming prime real estate.

I grabbed the oven before anyone else could and put my “creation” into the heat for 20 minutes. What came out of the oven was a boiling mass of primordal guck. Needless to say my worst fears were realized, I had failed as a world class dessert chef, how depressing. I might add that Sebastien runs a chef school here in Barcelona and with everyone running around you could see he was enjoying himself.

What an amazing menu. I couldn’t begin to name all the dishes that people cooked up but I absolutely enjoyed every one of them (except one lonely pie) . There were German, Australian, Spanish, Catalan, Canadian, Brazilian, Chilean, Uruguayan and French dishes. Nat and Mandy brought kangaroo meat, it was great. I have to confess, I had two kebobs of the meat. We ate and drank and enjoyed the camraderie made even better by full stomachs and the warm glow brought on by fine wine.

At the beginning of the evening, Alex was feeling a bit under the weather and running a slight fever. We think it was a touch of food poisoning. She was well cared for by Francisca and Jackie and towards the end of the evening was not doing too badly.

I am constantly awed by the personalities of the people we’ve met here. To me, they are all true individuals who are living life to it’s fullest. Each and every time we are invited to Jackie’s we meet another individual who is right up there. Last night was no exception. Backtracking, Alex and I plan on doing el Comino de Santiago when she graduates and before she starts working and last night we met Franko, a friend of Sebastiens.

Franko

He left the Lake Constance area (border of Switzerland and Germany) in May and did an extended version of the camino. He walked 2444 kms to Santiago. What an amzing period of self discovery he must have had. He was saying that he did not need map or compass as the trail is clearly marked all the way to Santiago de Compostela. I regret I didn’t have the opportunity to sit down and discuss his experiences because it wasn’t really the time or place to have such a discussion.

Last but not least, a hearty welcome home to Ana who was off in Austrailia for the past month. She just arrived home this morning and was already out with her friends……Welcome home Ana

Ana

Today, Saturday is slow. Alex is still not up to speed so we’re just hanging around. Besides, it’s a rainy, cool day (for a change) here in Barcelona. Looks like my boring days are over.

August 12, 2006 at 5:52 pm 5 comments


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