Archive for June, 2012
From the look of this website over the past month you would think I shut the doors of my kitchen and erected a huge out of business sign. In truth, I have cooked quite a bit this past month. The strange position of being lazy and busy at the same time as well as severe technological problems have prevented me from sharing my meals with you. Excuses, excuses, excuses. Now I find myself at the business center in my Madrid hotel far away from my dear Eliza and my stove and finally able to put pen to paper or should I say fingers to keys. Despite the severe separation anxiety I am experiencing, Madrid and a little alone time have done me well. While my husband was in a meeting this morning, I found myself strolling the Prado all by myself. Yes, alone…something I haven’t experienced in sometime. With that realization, I made an audible sigh which I am sure my fellow museum patrons assumed to be a response to the art. Think not art history majors on study abroad! I was simply very relaxed. This sense of calm was very quickly followed by a panic to get back to the hotel to see what news Grandma had concerning her babysitting job. I can report that Eliza is doing more than well and enjoying the benefits of a very doting grandmother.
First let it be known that our entire trip was nearly derailed from bad takeout that left me in the ER last week. A few bags of IV fluids and I was ready to rock Europe, but not before a first and last visit to the famed Charlie Trotter’s which is closing for good at the end of summer. The food was about what I expected – well portioned and refined with a hint of modern techniques but still a far cry from its competitors molecular gastronomy creations. Our meal, however, was spent on the third floor of the restaurant, forcing the men to immediately relieve themselves of their coats and swiftly aiding in the smudging of my mascara. The night was topped off with a quick tour of the kitchen which would have been fabulous had a very obnoxious head chef (who will go nameless) not scolded our tour guide/kitchen assistant in a very public and very cringe worthy manner. In total, delicious food, sauna-like conditions, shockingly rude top chef. The morning following our meal we said a very long and very sad goodbye to Miss Eliza and set off for Madrid.
So Madrid… We have spent the bulk of our time here walking around the city and occasionally stopping at markets for an appetizer and a glass of wine. Our favorite so far is the San Miguel Market right near Plaza Mayor. We have stopped by this beautiful market the last two nights for appetizers before heading off to dinner. San Miguel Market is reminiscent of an old train station…think of the station from the movie Hugo and add vendors with fresh seafood, beautifully cured meats and decadent sweets. After snatching up some wine, we grazed the many food options before settling on fresh gazpacho, a generous helping of Iberian ham, a cheese platter adorned with Spain’s finest, chocolate balls filled with Brandy, and yes, another glass of wine. The perfect appetizer. We will be in trouble if we keep this up the remainder of the trip. More to come from France!