Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fiestas & Siestas

Last night, a few of us in Rena's apartment prepared a little feast, and had a dinner party. Rena and I went shopping and got stuff to make spinach lasagna, and I helped her make it in the kitchen. Also in the kitchen were Ania and Margarida, who were making "Arroz Dulce," one of Margarida's favorite postres from her home in Portugal. It was seriously the best dessert I have ever had.... it rivals gelato, which many of you know I have been enamored with since first having it at age 8.

Arroz Dulce: Margarida cooked rice and milk together in a pan for a loooooooooong time, and after a big added several slices of lemon peel to flavor the dessert (which she took out before serving). Over time a bunch of sugar was added, and at the very end (maybe after an hour of cooking it), egg yolk. This cooked into the arroz dulce and gave it the yellow coloring that makes it famous (Margarida says that the Portuguese like it very, very yellow). When she brought it out after dinner, it was in four small glasses with cinnamon sprinkled in cute designs over the top. Just a little bit, un poquito, warm, it was FANTASTIC. Especially with that hint of lemon :)

The lasagna delicious as well. We all had two helpings - Rena used spinach flavored lasagna sheets, and for the in-between layers, lots of spinach, different kinds of white cheese, sauteed mushrooms (cooked with a bit of garlic and oil). We also had red pasta sauce between all the layers, and on top, that we added liquid white cheese to. This was actually a recipe Rena got off, courtesey of Giada de Laurentiis (one of my favorite Italian chefs). And to drink with dinner? Margarida shared some of her San Miguel cerveza with me. I had one glass - it was very delicious! And it turns out she also loves Corona - then tried my very first Sangria. Absolutely delicious - one of my new favorite drinks. They had the kind that comes in a box, like zuma (juice), and only costs 1 euro. I loved the orange, apple, and cinnamon flavors. The girls told me that sometimes, they cut up apples and oranges to put in their glasses when they have their sangria.


Today, Sunday, we went to the flea market, El Rastro, off of the La Latina metro stop. It was raining and hard to manuever, but a lot of fun for me! I was on a mission to buy a scarf, since Rena had told me they sold them for only 2 euro, and after a while found the perfect one - a pashmina with orange, pink, purple, green - and silver threading through it all. Rena got one too, a dark pink pashmina with a silver paisley design. There were a lot of foreigners at the market from all over, I heard many different languages. Apparently it is nicer, and also more crowded, on nice sunny days (it was raining and windy today). Rena, Ania and I were freezing and soaked after an hour, and headed back to the apartment. After lunch, I took a lovely nap while the girls studied. The word siesta here is actually used as a verb, which is pretty funny. People will say, for instance, "voy a siestar!" I'm going to take a nap! And boy, do I LOVE a good nap :)


mommie said...

From DADDY: que beuna Loo Loo. Boots , jeans, scarves hooray ! You didn't see my E-mail? Tried to E-mail with you from Chico. Anyhow, sounds like you are having too much fun. So, one of Rena's roomates is from Portugal and the other from Italy ? How fun !

Love you,


mommie said...

Hi, the dinner party sounds so international and sophisticated! I must learn how to make all these recipes!! Glad your ankle was ok today and you could go off to the Flea Market...was it like the ones in Italy? We just got home from the lonnnnnnnng drive home from Chico, so we are off to bed with the wild little poos. Skype tomorrow around 6pm???

xoxoxoxox Mommie
p.s. woof woofs from Darcy and AvaFontaine