• The Week-Long Spanish Picnic

    by  •  • Featured, Life Skills, Travel

    Laying tapas on a rug is like a bird feeder but for James. If you do the same he'll be warbling in your yard by week's end

    James and I are off to Scotland for eight days tomorrow on another one of our domestic road trips.

    For those of you not currently in the UK, the extra days off we’re getting for the royal wedding mean that if you take just three days of annual leave you get eleven, blissful, uninterrupted days off which Londoners will use to flee the city, abandoning the capital to protesters, wealthy inbreds and visiting American tourists who have won breakfast television prizes for making asses of themselves.

    Oh, and the King of Tonga because apparently that corrupt, pompous closet case merited an invitation.

    When planning this break a couple of months ago, we ummed and ahhed over whether to leave on Thursday and get the full eleven days in Scotland.

    Figuring that there wouldn’t be all that much to do in Scotland on a weekend that has two religious holidays we left it until Easter Sunday to depart on the Caledonian Sleeper.

    And I’m so glad we did!

    In three years we haven’t had weather this good in London during a holiday.

    So, slightly worse for wear after an evening of drinks and music the night before, we teamed with the theme and went Spanish on our food choices. And I mean proper Spanish, not my delicious-yet-retro paella.

    Of course, the reason for this is paella-related.

    If I get up early enough of a weekend -and I can’t sleep through a hangover so I certainly did- I have a ritual that involves drinking a whole filter jug of coffee and flipping through a selection of cookbooks from my (increasingly large) cookbook library.

    The thing about “moving countries” in a culinary sense is that you essentially have to replace your storecupboard with whatever the new baseline ingredients happen to be.

    Chickpeas, red onions, both a sweet and a hot paprika, frozen squid, jars of chargrilled peppers and artichokes… thanks to my ongoing paella experiments were all to hand.

    The only thing left to do was go out and buy a few of the fresh things to go with it (along with some ridiculous impulse purchases that I absolutely do not regret) and get on with it.

    A week of recipes

    Let me explain the title.

    Obviously you don’t get as fat I have gotten several times in my life without having eyes bigger than your enormous stomach.

    And in case you hadn’t noticed from the change in direction in the recipes section, I use weekend cooking to decompress.

    However, there is a trick to this.

    On a normal weekend you only have two days off and you don’t want to spend all of that time cooking or it defeats the purpose of decompressing and starts to compress you again. (Everyone still needs to sit around in their sleepwear for a couple of hours talking constantly about having a shower but not being bothered to actually do it.)

    But we have eleven days off. I could cater the fucking royal wedding in that time and still be relaxed for my return to work.

    Which is why we made all the things you see above. For lunch. For two people.

    And I really must emphasise the we in that.

    Individually, tapas are easy to make. When you try and run five or six -which you have to if you are going to serve them to guests- you really need an assistant chef to clean around you, chop and otherwise co-pilot.

    Or -and here is where I finally get to the title- you just cook one or two of these at a time. Seeing as it is much more likely that you will use these recipes in a piecemeal way there seems little point (and SEO value) in dumping them all on the one post titled “tapas picnic for fat fucks”.

    So, while we’re away, the good robots at WordPress will publish a pre-written recipe each day… for a week.

    Happy Easter everyone!

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