Spain

Why Spain

What a bonus!

We’re in England for Karma and Rob’s wedding and they’re keen to have an international lunch while we’re here. They’ve assured me that they don’t mind having a lunch just three days before the wedding, which is most impressive.

We’ve chosen Spain for a number of reasons. Karma and Rob met in Spain. Spanish food is totally amazing and is easy to get in the UK, and with all the sous chefs we’ll have on hand, it should be a great family affair.

Lauren and Will and the kids will be there, as will Karma and Rob and their kids, and Russell and Helen. And me!

My experience of Spain

I’ve been to Barcelona twice and Menorca once.  Both are fascinating in their own ways, but very different. Menorca is lovely and I had a wonderful holiday there as a guest of Rob’s very generous-hearted parents. Barcelona is very touristy, and I try to not let the memory of it be tainted by having my purse picked out of my handbag.

The Sagrada Familia is amazing in size, concept and grandeur, and no visit to Barcelona is complete without visiting it. La Rambla is also amazing and it was my first experience of stunning Desiguel handbags. Menorca was my second experience of stunning Desiguel handbags. I love my Desiguel handbags!

Preparation

Rob has borrowed a Rick Stein recipe book from the library, so we’ll go through that and decide what will be on the menu. All I know is that it will be delicious.

Rob had bought a bain marie to take glamping next weekend for the wedding celebrations, and we tried it out. I want one. I really want one. It was fantastic and takes away so much of the last-minute flurry of activity. I want one. I really want one.

The menu

This is what the menu is looking like:

  • Mussels in tomato vinaigrette
  • Patatas bravas
  • Lamb stuffed aubergines with Moorish spices and manchego cheese
  • Serrano ham, lemon and green olive meatballs in tomato sauce
  • Sizzling prawns with garlic, chilli and olive oil
  • Padron peppers
  • Chorizo in cider
  • Crab tarts with garlic, tomato and tarragon
  • Squid rings
  • Lamb cutlets with alioli
  • Chicken with garlic
  • Clams with garlic, anchovy, chilli and slow-cooked onions
  • Toasted almond and lemon meringues
  • Sangria

How good does that sound?????

Here are the recipes for our faves –  Spain best recipes

Click here to see all our favourite recipes.

The food

Omigod! I’m going to have to stop saying it every single month, but our feast was delicious. Absolutely delicious.

I am completely in awe of the quality and quantity of food that Karma and Rob produce in their tiny little kitchen. And Rob and I work very well in the kitchen together – neither of us gets too hung up on stuff, so it’s a very easy gig. And I love being the sous chef. I’d happily be sous all the time.

Rob made quite a few dishes that were not in the Rick Stein book. And I was not able to find all the Rick Stein recipes that we used on the internet, so I have only been able to upload a small selection.

There were so many good dishes that there was no single stand-out dish of the day. The aubergines, lamb with aioli, chorizo in cider, mussels, patatas bravas, paella, chicken in garlic, crab tarts, squid rings. They were all sublime.

Spanish food is not done well or often in Melbourne and so, for us Aussies, there was a large novelty factor. In particular the padron peppers – they look like small capsicums and are grilled on the barbeque so that their skin blisters. They taste delicious, but the novelty is that about one in ten is so hot and fiery that it will blow your head off. And that one in ten is impossible to tell from the other nine. It’s like a game of gastronomic roulette.

Amazing. The Spanish food was amazing.

The drinks

Lauren and Will brought the ingredients for one of the best sangrias I’ve ever had. What a masterstroke putting Lauren and Will in charge of the drinks. Good call, Joy!

Not being a beer drinker, I didn’t take much notice of the beer, but there was a good supply of Spanish beer.

The ambience

The ambience was great. All the family were together, we were all relaxed and looking forward to the wedding. The UK turned on some very pleasant weather, and we were able to sit outside and enjoy good food in great company and perfect weather.

The quiz

Ah! Controversy!

I didn’t fact check the factsheet, and let it say that Spain was the biggest country in the EU. Which it clearly is not. Hello France!

Will wrote the quiz, and Lauren won it. Well done, Lauren!

Here’s the factsheet – Factsheet_Spain

And here’s the quiz – Quiz_Spain

The highlight of lunch in Spain

The food, the family, the ambience – it’s a dead heat.

Where to next?

May is Liam’s birthday month, and he has chosen Russia. He says he chose Russia because the World Cup was played there last year.  And that is a valid reason. But I suspect he also won’t be sorry to be able to scratch such a large country off the scratch map.

So it’s privet, Russia. See you on Sunday 26 May!

My friend at work has lent my the most beautiful cookbook that has lots of Russian recipes in it. I can’t wait to try them!