Monday, December 31, 2007

Twelve Grapes, Redux

You may or may not remember that Spaniards have a quaint New Year's habit of eating, in rapid succession (one with each stroke of midnight, it's supposed to be) twelve grapes at New Year's. This seems to me to be a hazardous custom (grapes are round and can easily be choked on), and do you really trust a crowd of drunk (well, if it's just turned New Year's they're probably not drunk yet) people to administer appropriate first aid? But I digress.

So, this year it's the 31st of December again, and, until about an hour ago, I didn't have any grapes. I thought about acquiring the grapes, sure, but I didn't remember really seeing a lot at the fruit stands, and then yesterday was Sunday.

I don't really leave the house before noon, and so once again all factors were against me in grape acquisition.

I went to the fruit markets, and the first stand was closing, and they had no grapes. The second and third stands were also closing, the fourth was open but had no grapes, and the fifth and sixth were also open but, again, grapeless. But a guy at that last one told me to go to the fruit stand that said "Belen." (I was confused, because why would a fruit stand have a crèche, but then it turned out that that was the stand's name.) I went there, and a woman was buying the last nice big container of grapes.

Apparently, I looked purposeful enough, and sad enough at seeing the last basket of grapes sold that the woman automatically put the grapes from the proverbial bottom of the barrel and the literal bottom of the display basket into a bag and gave them to me.

There are probably a couple of dozen, and once I remove the ones that are well on their way to being grapes, I should be all set to greet 2008 like a Spaniard!

Alternately, I could just go to the supermarket and pick up one of these:

These are bizarre! They are canned, seeded, peeled grapes, sold in twelve-grape packs. They even say "Special for New Year's Eve." And the big supermarkets have them at the ends of the aisles and by the checkout right now (or, they probably did until sometime this morning.) Talk about a niche marketing idea.

Happy 2008, everyone!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 03, 2007


So, this year the Valencia family is going to be spread out for the holidays. Pablo´s staying in LA, I´m staying in Spain, and the crumblies are staying in NJ.

We wanted to do something together, though. We were thinking of a conference call, which´ll probably happen anyway, but we´ve all agreed that what we really like to do together is eat together.

The plan is for us all to make the same dishes (they don´t even have to be had on the same day) and take pictures of ourselves eating and sharing them. We´ll take pictures of us passing plates over to the person next to us, and toasting with the people on either side. We´re going to gather the pictures and then it´ll be the whole Valencia family together!

The menu, so far, is going to be¨:
penne in sun-dried tomato and vodka cream sauce
caramelized onion tartes
something salady

We haven´t decided on desserts yet.

Care to join us?

*or Hannukan´t. We still haven´t come up with a proposal for an Eidquivalent. We also tossed around FauXmas and Ersatznukkah.