Mar 17, 2012


The deed is done. Minor cleaning up still needs to happen, but I'm not too worried about that.  It is done.  By a happy coincidence I now find myself walking friends' dogs.  In Spain.

Antequera feels quite small - narrow streets winding up the hillside between white houses, a multitude of churches peering out above the rooftops.  People notice me: only locals seem to live here.  Cautious eyes therefore follow me around, but an ¡Hola! invariably leads to a smile, a friendly nod, and a cheerful reply.  Just like the Free State.  I notice the old people most: ladies, carefully dressed, made-up, hair just right, discussing everything with their neighbours.  Old men, walking to the post office, standing at a bar, or sitting on benches. Brown, black and dark green are all frequent colours, and always with a hat, leather shoes, trousers and a cardigan or jacket. 

In the market, and everywhere along the roads, large bunches of wild asparagus can be found.  I'm fine with normal sized spears, but these are significantly larger.  Vigorous enough to make me feel almost inadequate.  So, to celebrate, I construct an elaborate lunch for one. 

The woody parts of the stems are trimmed off, then a few minutes in steam to soften.  A bunch of six or seven spears is wrapped in a thin strip of jamón, also from around here.  Good bacon if you are somewhere else.  Then a few minutes in a hot pan, until the ham is crisp.  A restrained dusting of parmesan follows for extra extravagance.  On the side, an oxidised white from Rioja.  I suspect it wasn't intended to be this way, but it turned out well: the colour of wheat, dry as the hills around me, and with a chewy saltiness on the palate.


Marie said...


[effing word verification x 3]

jvdh said...

Maybe you're not human?

Rosie said...

Oh, lovely.

Is 'the deed' the big Dr? I cannot imagine a better celebration than a trip to Spain.

jvdh said...

Yes. The dominant emotion is relief :-)