Thursday, January 17, 2008
Back from relative paradise
Tiia-Triin came home from Barcelona with a memory card full of photos that look like they're from upscale architecture magazines -- half as many photos as taken in the entire six months in the States. I'll (as the current family historian) be posting them at our photosite the Refuge in the coming days. "Gingerbread house" gets bandied about when talking about our own Old Town, for lack of a better term for the ornate medieval architecture, but some of the fanciful modern buildings in Barcelona are closer to the sagging graham-cracker wall and melted icing look of the houses we used to make in elementary school.
The slightly staggered layout of this post is not intentional and nothing to do with surrealism. I just don't fully understand how photo alignment behaves in blogspot. It would be nice if they made it either completely codable or completely what-you-see-is-what-you-get.
Tiia-Triin also brought me a cookbook of 1000 Catalonian recipes (in Catalan) and was sweet enough to translate some of the headings. I couldn't help thinking last night that reading Catalan is a little like reading Spanish after getting hit hard over the head. The French element is just perceptible. Hence llet is milk -- clearly more like lait than leche. But it's pronounced "yet". And there are also instructions such as treure-les, which also sounds French. And separeu-ho, w.hich sounds...enthusiastic, like something a knight might say to a horse or a sidekick.
WIthout resorting to Google, the recipes are like those football score puzzles where you have some of the outcomes and you try to solve for the rest of the matches. For example, "arengades". Sounds delicious. But what are they? Well, you can eat them cold (arengades fregides), you can slice them in half by the espina (a spine or stem?). They can be grosses and grasses (big and fat or big and greasy?). You can serve them with a half kilo of raim. What is raim? Well, another recipe calls for white raim which comes in grans. All, which is garlic, also has grans, so it must be something like cloves of garlic.
So for now I'm no wiser as to what can be but is not always white, has cloves and is used by the pound. :)