There’s Nothing Swella Than Canela

Friday, April 6, 2012

It feels like New England where, as the saying goes, if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.  Thus far today it has been overcast, sunny, cloudy, stormy and, currently, it is sunny.  If the weather holds we will walk to Zahava’s for tonight’s Seder.  If not, we will go by cab.

The economy continues to dominate the news.  As is true in the US, the two major parties here are incapable of working together to find the necessary solutions.  That assumes that there are solutions.  I am not sure how asking everyone to pull in their belt another notch will succeed in creating new jobs.  People are being asked to settle for fewer services and, at the same time, to pay higher taxes.  Nobody has talked about where the motor is to generate new jobs.  When the construction industry crashed because supply far exceeded demand and because people lost gobs of money in buying properties they hoped to sell at a quick profit, the repercussions were felt and are still being felt all over the economy.

Many foreigners who came to Spain to improve their economic lot have returned home.  The leaders of this exodus have been the Argentineans who have returned home to their now robust economy.  Many Spaniards are leaving Spain for other European countries in hopes of finding gainful employment.  As one scans the paper to understand the depths of the cuts to education, research, medicine, counseling, scholarships – and the list goes on and on – what stands out is that the 13 million Euros that the Catholic Church receives monthly has not been cut.  I will leave it to you to make your own comment and draw your own conclusion.

Susan and I went out in search of lunch yesterday and we ended up at Canela.  The space is warm and welcoming, the background music is always pleasant, the food is good and the service is wonderful.  The staff knows us and that can prove to be helpful especially when one does not have a reservation.  That was the case yesterday, however they separated a four top in two tables of two and offered us our choice of tables.  While we were studying the menu they brought us a plate of olives, a breadbasket filled with rolls and some tomate triturado to spread on the rolls.

We decided to start with some croquetas, followed by an ensalada valenciana and a steak and potato entrée.  Our waiter uncorked a bottle of Tarsus, an outstanding red from the Ribera del Duero and it proved to be a great choice.  As usual, they started us off with an amuse bouche of potato and octopus and a small Ritz-type cracker with a dab of a cheese spread.  For dessert we shared a brownie and ice cream.  We finished the meal with a coffee and a complimentary mistela.

Cristina is a server who works at both the restaurant and the café.  She works the café on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  It was two Sundays ago when I had promised her her very own pearl poodle.  Yesterday I remembered to bring my kids’ backpack with me and I gifted Christina with a poodle, a butterfly, a rose and a frog.  She was quite pleased with everything.

We made our way back home after lunch and did not go out again for the rest of the day.  We watched some TV, played on the computer and did some reading.  I went to bed a little after 11:00 and Susan came to bed a little after 11:30.


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