The forecast for the next 7 days contains nary a cloud nor a drop of rain. Temperatures here are rounding the nineties and it is enough to melt you. While I do love the freedom to walk outside without putting on five layers and the days that seem to stretch on forever, the heat is breaking my will a bit. By 3 or 4 pm, I am usually languid. By 5 or 6 pm, it is either cold shower or bust. Finally, around 7 or 8, the heat breaks and you breath a sigh of relief that you have made it another day.
On another note, though I feel like I read all day (which is usually fits and starts of reading, actually), my progress has only been so-so. I think I’ve read three books this week (assuming I finish one today), which is about three behind where I hoped to be. I think it would help to be able to read somewhere new, with a/c, and just for a dose of time (say 3 hours, ready…go! and stop after that.) I would also LOVE to read in a café, but when I tried that yesterday, the music was turned up 5 minutes after I sat down and it became a little harder to concentrate. I long for the day the locals discover the beauty that is reading in a café. Today, I’m going to try a place I found right around the corner. It looked spacious inside, and not too busy, which usually means it’s okay to plunk yourself down for a while. (I hope they’re open?)
One of my successes for the week was following through on the two cooking classes I signed up for. It was a great way to hear/use Catalan in a new context (though on Thursday I was pretty tired and used some Spaneesh) and the civic center that hosted was a cool spot just three steps from my language school (which made for a convenient trip). I love LOVE healthy food, especially fruits and veggies and we used lots of them in these recipes. That said, for my taste, they lacked a little punch because they were too depurativo. The woman leading the class was a nutritionist and while I agree that one should be judicious with less “healthy” ingredients, sometimes a hefty pinch of salt or drizzle of oil makes gazpacho-what is really just pureed veggies–truly satisfying. My mom told me I’ll just have to doctor up the recipes, and I’m inclined to agree.
Prepping the fruit tarts…which are filled with not cream, but APPLE.
Discussing fiber, I’m sure.
Also, that’s fruit salad. Call me back when there’s chocolate and we’ll be on the dessert menu rather than the picnic side dish one.
Okay, so they did turn out BERRY pwetty!
These little pistachio-carob balls were pretty delicious.
Cooking class two. My favorites were the yellow (carrot + onion soup) and a pink one (not pictured…a cherry and tomato gazpacho)
In all seriousness, though, cooking for one is a recipe for repetition, so I did love getting to try some new flavors, in a new environment, and with new people. I’d happily do it again. Salt or no salt.
A few more hours of reading and overheating pass…
A good response to heat and extra veggies…
And I met M. in Poblenou on Friday night. I got a tour of her new neighborhood–which is full of bio shops (so at least some things are catching on here) and mom & pop book stores. Coincidentally, (in another American-ish import), there was an artisanal beer tasting happening in her ‘hood, so we bought the 3€ glass and tasted two pale ales, one from Catalunya and one from Euskadi (a.k.a. the Basque country). We had a tremendously good catch up chat, swapped stories from the classroom, and got up to date on each other’s vida sentimental. I have known M. for 3 or 4 years now and every time we get another chance to hang out, I feel even more grateful to have a friend here who is happy to have a tea (or a beer) with me even if it’s been months since we’ve seen each other.
Facing M.’s new flat (YAY!) and beer tasting…with our backs to the sea. She has an amazing view from her place!
My other amiga N. is still in India, so I’ll be flying solo for the next week. Thankfully, I have a new course to take this week (the in-person part of my translation course) and I’m really happy to have the change of pace. I think part of flourishing here is staying occupied and trying as many new things as possible, so I am very much looking forward to it.
Off to try my luck at the coffee shop!