Monday, February 13, 2012

La familia Grau

I have told you before about our neighbours and how delightful they are. Yesterday we were privileged to enjoy a meal with them in their beautiful house across the road.

Armed with a bottle of wine, we made our way across at the appointed time and were greeted by the two dogs, Luka and Nero along with the daughter who has the same name as her mother. It is apparently quite common here to call a child by the parents name.

Our first stop was the kitchen to see Pepe and Eladia (senior) finishing preparations of the first course which was to be seafood. At the same time, Pepe was preparing a paella for us with pieces of sea bream which had been cut across the fish. I watched carefully as he added the ingredients making mental notes of how a Spaniard goes about this traditional dish. I was particularly keen to learn how you get the rice to be of a sticky consistency.  I think I understand now but could still do with another lesson or two:-)

From the kitchen, we retreated to the dining room where the table was beautifully set out for us. At the table were Pepe, Eladia, Eladia (the daughter) and her boyfriend Quino (I have probably spelt his name wrong).

As I said, the first course or entradas were mariscos served of course with bread, olives and crisps.

Then came the paella which was served on its own but with alioli and a squeeze of lemon to garnish it. There was also a bowl of lettuce of a type that you find typically at this time of year.  See the finished dish here.

For the dessert we had a special pudding that Eladia has adapted from a German recipe. I could best describe it as being similar to bread and butter pudding but with the addition of cinnamon which is a very popular spice here in Spain. It also had layers of apple and a squeeze of lemon inside. Certainly it went down well leaving just sufficient for them to have today.

We rounded off the meal with coffees and brandy. Pepe was clearly in a relaxed mood because he followed his brandy with with a couple of gin and tonics.

A memorable meal in the company of wonderful people. Many thanks to Pepe, Eladia, Eladia and Kino for making our Sunday so special. 

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