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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Another Day, Another Spanish Holiday

I would say that today is the culmination of a solid month of Spanish holidays except that it doesn't end today; you'll have to wait until Monday to really get back on track for a normal work week. Today is Día de los Reyes Magos, or the day of the Magic kings. Everything official is closed. Tomorrow, January 7th, is another holiday except no one seems to know why. I have heard it called San Bricolaje (Saint Do-it-yourself or Saint Fix-it) because people use the time off to do repairs around the house. The Spanish love their holidays, no matter what purpose they serve as long as it means a day off work.

After doing a lap around the historic center on Valenbisí I'm at home making a Cocido Madrileño, or chick pea stew. I can't say that I'm a huge fan of cocido but it's a nice dish during the winter, although right now it's 19 degrees in Valencia. They call this dish puchero in Valencia.  I make it maybe once or twice every winter. Kind of like with gazpacho in the summer, it just doesn’t seem like winter in Spain without cocido.

If I publish my video you will see that I made a ridiculously huge amount. The level is almost even with the brim of my huge stock pot; I think we need a bigger boat. I love beans in every way, shape, and form. It's probably what I do best in the kitchen. Beans are poor people food and something that I learned to make back when I was the poorest I've ever been in my life: my university days. There was no meat in the pot back then, just beans and a few vegetables. I put enough dead animal in today's cocido to send a vegetarian into a fit of apoplexy. I’ll try to remember to put my shoe in the vegetarian’s mouth so they don’t bite off their tongue. I’m considerate like that.

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