Gratitude lately; my paean to modern living.
1. El Rocio, Granada
Saturday the 11th of May 2013 we drove an hour and a half east to Granada (capital). Living in Andalusia reminds me often of Los Angeles, where within a short distance one can reach the mountains from the shore. After meeting with the hellacious views of the protruding white-tipped Sierra Nevada mountains, we serendipitously landed in the city's center during the festival of El Rocio. A pilgrimage (walking, on horseback, or carrozas covered wagons) memorializing the virgin, Catholicism, tradition and Spaniards' general giddy and lighthearted demeanor.
Last week I stumbled upon one of the 21st century's fermenting masters and participated in his #fermentfest. (Let's) Feast is an online cooking lesson platform with practical go-at-your-own-speed courses in all things kitchen; fermenting, blanching, roasting, grilling, etc. The lesson plans and recipes, including the mini-fermentation course, are developed by chef and zymologist Jeremy Umansky. After a few youtube videos, cutting board workouts and flick of the wrist salting techniques, I had my prep ready for fermentation. It's alive, it's aliviiiiveeeee - seven days or so after canning, the homemade kimchi will be ready for consumption.
Try it yourself and wow your partner, friends or grandma with old-school preserving tactics. Sign up for Feast's free fermentation class, here.
purple cabbage and daikon kimchi
3. Wild Flowers
The province of Malaga has a bounty of wild flowers and weeds that could stun any florist! We spent the majority of our Sunday hike staring at the spring bulbs and buds in bloom. Nature continues to amaze me.
4. Consistency in the form of inconsistency
I've already waxed poetic about my affinity towards organic eggs from Rio Grande. What I love about buying from this family farm in Coin, Malaga is that I can guarantee that with every purchase I'm going to open a box of X-Large eggs full of a rainbow of earthy tones. I trust that the work they are putting forth and the treatment of the animals is proof in the pudding.
I'm grateful for time. I know that in the months to come life will be much busier, and undoubtedly I'm greatly looking forward to the productive me that will rise like a phoenix. However, I know I will also look back fondly on those leisurely afternoons where I could dedicate a couple hours of no-stress time to cook a homemade meal. Having the proper time to go shopping, carefully calculate my budget, research ingredients and chat with the vendors in detail of where/how/when the product came to market, and finally to make proper decisions to benefit my family's diet - is plenty reason to give thanks.
It's on my reading list, but Michael Pollan's new book Cooked, is said to discuss the idea that if we returned to the kitchen, took time to prepare healthy meals, then we'd all be healthier. "That the family meal is really endangered" and that "There is time crisis in America" he says. Do you agree that America fought for money, while Europeans fought for time?
What do you think? In your household, do you make cooking a priority?
To do list: Go to the market. Select fresh wild fish. Bring home and prepare with locally sourced herbs and citrus. Bake for 30 min. Enjoy with a loved one for an hour and a half long lunch.