Christmas Dinner In Pedreguer

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The plan for today is to take life easy and finish hanging the remaining pictures in their respective places.   We have a couple of things at the framer’s and they will be ready sometime this week.  That means that we will be able to put the drill away, as well as all the assorted picture hangers that we have managed to amass.

Yesterday we were up at 9:30 so that we could have a leisurely breakfast, shower and dress for Christmas Dinner in Pedreguer.  The plane was to catch the 11:40 train to Gandía and when we arrived at 12:40 Pepe would pick us up and drive us to his mother’s house.  We were at the station by 11:15, purchased our tickets and shortly thereafter we were able to board the train.  Thankfully, a woman who was passing by as we were about to board asked us if were going to Gandía.  When we said that we were she told us to get on the next car.  I looked at Susan rather puzzled and asked what difference did it make.  It turns out that it makes a lot of difference because some of the cards get uncoupled and head off to a different destination.

Pepe was at the station five minutes after we arrived and we climbed into his car and off we went to Pedreguer.  The sun was shining brightly and, although we were wearing jackets, shirtsleeves were certainly the order of the day.  We passed through a number of coastal towns on our way, as well as numerous fields where oranges and olives were growing.  On the train we had passed by a number of rice fields, many of which were flooded.  We chatted along the way and in less than a half hour we were at the front door of Pepe’s mother’s house.

Pepe’s sister, brother-in-law and niece live on the second floor of the house and they were already seated around the table, as were Pepe’s aunt and several cousins.  Little by little more people arrived, many for just a drink and a snack before they went off to where they were going to have lunch.  At one point, there were eighteen of us around the table and the noise level was impressive.

Little by little people began to drift away and when it was time for the meal to begin there were twelve of us around the table.  Pepe’s son, Jaime, his brother Jaime and Jaime’s family had joined us around the table.  In Pedreguer the Christmas meal happens at lunchtime and the traditional dish is puchero.  I have written about puchero before.  It is a stew that is served in several courses.  You begin with the broth of the stew that is served with an abundance of rice.  Next comes a plate filled with potatoes and large meatballs called Pelotas.  Next comes a plate of meat that includes veal and pork along with carrots and a vegetable that is called pencas.  Finally, the rest of the vegetables are served.  Yesterday’s selection included sweet potatoes, cabbage, and garbanzos.

If that weren’t enough, dessert is then trotted out.  We had a choice of some homemade almond cookies, Mexican Wedding Cookies – made by Susan – and a milhojas made with apples.  Then came the cava.  Some fifteen minutes later we all got up from the table and made our way to Pepe’s aunt’s house, which was just down the block.  We would have our coffee there and a second opportunity to have even more dessert.  We stayed for a short while and then Pepe, Susan and I returned to his mom’s house for a brief nap.

We were back on the road a short while after our brief nap.  We were returning by car and, as expected, there was very little traffic on the road until we re-entered the city.  Pepe parked the car and we walked back to our place.  The rest of our evening was uneventful and at 11:30 we called it a day.

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