Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Back in Beautiful Galicia

I certainly meant to post before now, but soon after arrival and opening the house, etc., I came down with a cold. Here we are arriving in Santiago: True to recent trips, I took pictures of surroundings, etc. but got so engrossed in conversations with friends I forgot to take THEIR pictures. Still, here is a picture of my husband's feet, camera bag, and carry-on, as we left the airport.


Our friends, Terri & David, picked us up, and since they were leaving on a trip of their own the very next day, we all stayed over at a charming casa rural, "Casa de Amancio" not far from the airport, so that we could drop them off and then drive home. "Casa de Amancio" was delightful, reasonably priced, and tucked away down a winding road so that you felt far removed from the heavily trafficked highway to the airport.

See the fresh flowers?
Fresh flowers were everywhere.
There was no fire that night,
but you can see how lovely one
would be in winte
Rajan and I stayed in the room on the left (behind the outdoor table & chair set). For those staying longer, the room is equipped with a tiny kitchenette: microwave, sink, and fridge (where I was able to keep my glaucoma drops that need to be refrigerated.) We showered after our long flight and then met up with Terri & David in the little lounge above.


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Later, we went in into one of the dining rooms (they had three tucked in different areas.) This one was hard to show because of the lights and mirrors, but it was charming. And we had one of the best and most reasonably priced fish dinners we've had in Galicia. The place also offers a nice breakfast. It also seems to be a popular stop-off for peregrinos (pilgrims) walking El Camino, since it is right on the way to the Cathedral, the pilgrimage destination. The speckles you see on the dining room wall are coins people have left.

Then there was the drive home and we were at our beloved village of Trasulfe at last. We love this place. I write poetry to Trasulfe and the surrounding villages and countryside. It all just fills one with such serenity:

Our patio and a glimpse of our
little field across the sheep path. 
A good view of the potatoes our
neighbor Miguel plants each year. 
This is what it looked like when we arrived twelve days ago. We immediately walked over to our neighbors, Eva, Manolo, & Raquel to say hello. Then Eva walked down to our new Dutch neighbors, and then Elías, who frequently comes from Barcelona, came out and joined us. I was too tired to take pictures, but we all had a fine chat.

The time has really flown by: We had already set up dinner dates to have friend over last Friday evening and Sunday afternoon. Before and after, Rajan and I took turns with head colds (nothing serious, but a little vexing when you want to be out and about visiting!) Still, we sit at our window in the galería, gazing out over coffee in the mornings, and that, too, is nice. Meanwhile, Miguel harvested his potatoes (and gave us a huge bag of them). He had spent the week before helping friends and relatives with their harvest, and then last Saturday morning, four men and a woman came with two tractors and an interesting wagon with metal wheels (along with baskets and small and larger buckets) and made short work of it in about two hours. Here is how the same scene looks now:


The little tree on the left is a
volunteer peach tree that, sadly,
hasn't borne any fruit in 13 years.
Sadly, in our area, while the vegetables have done well, the grapes haven't, due to a too-wet spring, mildew, and recent scorching heat. Other fruits are  delayed, if they fruit at all. The fig tree beyond our wall is usually loaded with figs this time of year. This year they are the size and texture of hard, unripe cherries.

In my next post I'd like to take you on a nice river walk we took in Monforte on one of our "revived" days last week. And after that, I'd like to take you on a little tour of Trasulfe itself.For now I'll leave you gazing on our harvested field, imagining all the things one can cook with potatoes.

Which leads me to ask: What is your favorite potato dish, and do you share your recipe?













22 comments:

Vicki Lane said...

What an idyllic place!

Re potatoes -- Garlic mashed potatoes are one of my favorites. Boil cut up garlic and potatoes in salted water till tender. Drain and mash, adding butter and milk. Finish with a generous handful of chopped parsley and other green herbs to taste.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Vicki. Oh, yum, this sounds so delicious I love mashed potatoes and I really like cooking with garlic. I'll definitely have to try them this way.

Elephant's Child said...

What a delightful place. Sigh on the weather front. Some global weather moderation would be nice. Too much/too little seems to be the refrain right now.
One potato dish we enjoy involved par-boiling them, and chopping them into cubes.
In a lightly oiled frypan toast cummin, mustard seeds, tumeric, garlic, chili (and whatever else takes your fancy). Add the potatoes, stir and fry till done.

Jennie Hansen said...

For truly decadent mashed potatoes, add lots of butter, a bit of sour cream, and a drizzle of truffle oil. Magnifique!

Rosi said...

Glad you had a safe and pleasant trip. Enjoy your time in Spain.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Elephant's Child: What a great sounding recipe! It sounds Indian, almost like a samosa stuffing I make at Christmas and Thanksgiving potlucks, with a variation. I don't use the garlic for that dish, but I really like garlic and like to cook with it. I'll have to try this. I know my husband will like it for sure.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Jennie, I've added the decadent sour cream and butter on rare occasion ( Rajan has to watch his cholesterol), but we haven't tried the truffle oil. That has to be wonderful! Yum.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks for stopping by, Rosi, and thanks for the good wishes.

Mirka Breen said...

What a beautiful place. Not the showy kind, but the sort that nourishes the heart. A cold is another matter... Hope your body is doing well onrwards.

Kenda Turner said...

Thanks for pictures of Galicia! Family members living in southern Spain just vacationed there and your photos have given me more of an idea of what they saw :-) Enjoy your time there...

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Kenda! I remember you telling me you had family members in Spain. In the eastern part, I think. If they visited Galicia, this is the type of scenery they saw: hills and dales and lots of greenery, pastures and woodlands, and small stone villages.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Mirka, you put it so well. This really is a place that nourishes the heart. Time slows down. You enter the seasons. It's not unusual to encounter a flock of sheep or small herd of cows on the road and being forced to slow down while the herder prods at them with a staff, urging them to the side of the road. Older people walk the roads continually. They grew up walking to villages 3 miles a way in the days when not everyone owned cars. It's a step back in time.

Sandra Cox said...

What a charming place to stay. Sounds like, per usual:), you had a lovely time.
Sorry you had to deal with colds.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sandra. This was our first time staying at Casa de Amancio, but we will certainly keep it in mind for the future.

Nas said...

What an amazing place to stay in. Looks amazing. I like potato salads but we are on a no carb diet at the moment so have cut out potato too.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Nas. I like potato salad but have never been able to get my husband interested in it, so I don't make it. I have to say, though, the potatoes here a super delicious. It's really had to say no to them. :-)

Mark Noce said...

Wow, very cool! I need to get on your vacation schedule :)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Mark. We haven't always been on this vacation schedule. One day you may be, too. Especially with all of the books you're getting published. (Waiting for your next one . . .) :-)

DMS said...

I love potatoes. Any kind really. Twice baked and mashed are towards the top of my list. I don't have any recipes though.

The place you stayed looks adorable. Love the outdoor seating area and stone wall.

Glad you are settling in and that the veggies are at least doing well.

Have a lovely day!
~Jess

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Jess, I love potatoes, too. Potatoes and bread are my downfall. I like them better than chocolate. I like them mashed, and I like baked, but I don't think have had "twice baked." I'll have to check that out.

Kate Larkindale said...

I love potatoes cooked pretty much any way. Like you, bread and potatoes are my downfall...

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Kate, I'm with you. I think I like nearly every kind of potato dish.