Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!  This is my 301st post and I was pleased and surprised to discover that in 2012 my blog had 11,000 views.  It’s nice to know that someone is reading what I have to say.

We have been taking life easy the past few days.  It is an enjoyable change not running from pillar to post and just spending a day or two reading and puttering around the house.  Every picture and poster has now been hung and now our only task is to enjoy living in what truly feels like our space.

Saturday night we went out for dinner with Yun and Jim Butler.  Jim, as you remember, is a profession of hydrogeology at the University of Kansas in Lawrence and has spent the first semester here in Valencia at the Universidad Politécnica.  They head back to Kansas this Thursday after a brief stopover in London.  We have had the chance to eat together on several occasions and we wanted to make sure that we got in one last meal together.  Our destination was Q Tomas and we arrived at 9:00 on the dot.

We ordered a number of small plates, some of which we had tried on our previous visit.  We enjoyed espárragos cojonudos – big fat white asparagus that were served with a wasabi mayonnaise, tuna tartar, grilled scallops, huevos rotos con jamón y patatas and a whole fish that had been deboned before it was presented to us at the table.  Everything was delicious. We split three desserts among the four of us and we all agreed that the tart tartin served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream was the clear winner.  We finished the meal with coffee and a glass of port.  We then gathered up our things and walked back home.

Last night we ended up going out to eat with Jordi, his wife, his daughter and several members of his staff.  Jean Luc, our usual waiter at Carosel, was there, as was Eva who cooks alongside Jordi.  Eva’s mother and twelve-year-old daughter were present, also.  We met in front of Carosel and from there we made our way to Delicat where we would see in the New Year.

We enjoyed a goodly number of courses, including some presa ibérica that had been marinated in a teriyaki sauce that was both tender and very flavorful.  We celebrated the arrival of 2013 with the traditional doce uvas, which need to be consumed before the clock reaches one minute past the hour.  Each grape consumed in that time frame represents a month of sweetness in the upcoming year.  We toasted with Cava at midnight and then we managed to spend another hour chatting, singing and dancing.  We took our leave at 1:00 and walked back home.  There were not a lot of people on the streets, as most Valencians tend to celebrate the arrival of the New Year at home.

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