What do you say, isn’t it high time for another Wednesday recipe? The last few weeks I have lost count of the days and not realised which day of the week it has been. You might have noticed that I have finally cleaned up the back-log of unanswered comments, dating all the way back to March… It was actually thanks to Bejla and Anna in Stockholm that I got around to reply to the comments, since they both did catch-up reading sessions today and wrote lots of comments (thanks girls!). I think that all comments have been answered now, give me a shout if I have missed any! Thanks for reading and commenting even though I have been so bad with responding lately.
O was supposed to have gone back to Puerto Rico yesterday but his flight was cancelled, and I have to admit that I was quite pleased that I got to keep him in Europe. We are staying with our Greek-French friends Y and S, however Y managed to fly to Greece today so we are keeping S company while her boyfriend visits his family. Fingers crossed that the situation doesn’t get worse again and that he will be able to get back to Belgium on Sunday!
It is no secret that O and I love Ikea, but our 4 (yes, f-o-u-r!) visits to the big furniture store in two days (in a row) while we were in Spain recently, was just a bit exaggerated even for me! Especially as we weren’t looking for anything for ourselves but for O’s brother… We did treat O’s father to his first ever Ikea meal and I stocked up on Swedish sweets (Polly and Daim!). The second day we started by having breakfast in the Ikea restaurant, something we have done several times now and it is always surprisingly good (and cheap). To be honest, much better than the meatballs!
Un bocadillo español (a Spanish sandwich)
This is a typical sandwich that Spaniards eat as a morning snack. Since a Spanish breakfast usually just means a cafe con leche (coffee with milk), and some magdalenas (Spanish-style muffins / cupcakes), I guess most people end up hungry after a few hours… Many cafés serve small tapas, and sandwiches with jamón (ham) or a piece of tortilla (Spanish omelette with potato).
2. Spread grated tomato. O has taught me that grating tomatoes is a perfect way to remove the skin. Just grate until you are left with only the skin that you throw away (also great for tomato-based sauces, paella etc).
Since it is Wednesday, let’s continue with an etiquette poll:
During our week in Spain I managed to meet up with a Swedish(-Dutch) girl, L who lives in Zaragoza. Her mother and my mother are work colleagues and when they figured out the Zaragoza-link, they thought that it would be nice for us to meet, which we did last year. It was the first time though that we had time to really sit down and talk, we met in a bar / café* where we spent two hours comparing notes on Spanish experiences. It was great to get to know her better and hopefully we will be able to meet next time with our respective Spaniards.
One indication that the two of us are not so Swedish anymore was how we handled the whole “who-should-pay-for-what” thing: When I went to order a coffee at the bar, the waitress asked me if I wanted to pay for everything on the tab, which included my fellow Swede’s coffee and water (I was a little late, another sign of my un-Swedishness**). I said yes, and paid. Later on I ordered a sandwich (incidentally one with tortilla and tomato as seen in the middle of the photo above) and L had something more to drink, and she paid for the two of us. No big deal for either of us, but I am not so sure the same thing would have happened in Sweden… However, in Brussels this is also the way things usually work when you are in a bar / café with friends, and I like it!
Same thing with splitting the bill after a restaurant dinner if everybody has eaten and drunk for more or less the same amount. I do not like it when you are a big group of people that you might not know (when out with friends and their friends) and everybody ends up drinking and eating so much more than yourself (maybe you are on a budget or you just don’t feel like having a big meal) and you feel forced to subsidise their dinner (or look very cheap if protesting!). However, among our friends we usually keep the same level of consumption and in those cases I think that it is an ok way of doing things. What do you think?
*) Quite a typical phenomenon in Europe that a place acts as both café and bar, serving coffee, alcohol and light food such as tapas, sandwiches and salads
**) Or quite simply due to the fact of being married to a “time optimistic” Spaniard!! (who by the way loves that expression – being a time optimist…)