Oops. Another food post. I could have written about visiting the Picasso Museum (his early work - we're talking sketches he did when he was 9 - are surprisingly formal and realistic), going to the post office (where I helped out a Canadian who didn't speak Spanish) to send some things home and make room in my suitcase for the fruits of a shopping excursion, or getting sunburned, but those are all probably less interesting than the class I took from Cook & Taste.
We began our afternoon with a tour through nearby Boqueria Market - one of the oldest and most important in the area. Following our chef like chicks trailing a hen, we wove our way between the stalls watching as she selected ingredients for the meal. I saw some items I sort of wish I hadn't, like tripe, tongues and amorphous blobs that apparently are some kind of mysterious sea creature. But, everywhere you went, the quality and freshness of the produce were obvious. (Nearby restaurants source their ingredients there). After about an hour of wandering we returned to the kitchen and met up with the rest of the class.
At this time I suddenly recalled how my brother once called me a "middle-aged housewife" in reference to my (then) veganism and penchant for yoga, pilates and cooking. When I saw the rest of my peers, it was obvious that I was the only person under 35 - except for a young guy who was clearly dragged along by his parents. What can I say? Maybe I just have an old soul.
Over the course of the next few hours we learned how to prepare romesco (a red sauce of blended nuts, garlic, onion and sweet dried peppers), red bell pepper soup with toasted saffron and cod, paella, and a traditional cake from Ibiza. Despite the fact that I had signed up for the class to get more experience cooking savory food, I ended up helping with the dessert.
Regardless, I had forgotten how relaxing it is to cook in a domestic setting - without wearing a uniform and having someone constantly barking orders at you. Oh, and drinking wine - lots of wine. Once the vino got flowing the guests, who had mostly signed up as couples, started to get more friendly.
But, of course, the best part was eating all of our hard work at the end.