Day 3: El Quim

22 Mar

Now that I have several hundred artichokes under my belt, I fully plan to put the fried artichokes on my menu of the restaurant I’ll one day open.  Think chips, except artichoke slices AND WAY BETTER. 

I now feel part of the team.  The jokes are flying and although my attempt at humor in Spanish is often lost on most everyone because my humor doesn’t translate that well, I still laugh at my own jokes.  For instance, “Everybody in the pool”, didn’t translate as funny when I said it in Spanish (Toda en la piscina). I was trying to ask if all the meatballs were going into the oil and I made a diving motion.  No matter. I laughed.

Quim’s joke of the day:  Rachel, want to see a Spanish iPhone?  Me: – Looking quizzical because I think I’m not understanding what he says i.e. is there a specific iPhone for Spain?  Quim then holds up an old cell phone with no internet capability, and to it he has taped a fresh apple.  Funny.

Besides all the jokes and fun we have, I am learning things.  I learned to make their spicy romesco-style sauce and their mojito sorbet today.  Ricardo was charged with showing me and there is almost no common language between us.  No matter, I shook my head a lot, as hand gestures and pointing were about 90% of what I needed to understand.  

I am also doubling as a waiter.  Whenever an English-speaking customer comes in, I hear a “Rachel”.  Then, I come from behind the counter and go to the bar to speak with them.  All the guys can see over the bar, but I can’t so much due to my height (also funny).  I helped several people from the U.S. today, as well as a group from Thailand, one from Japan, and another one from China.  Then, I’ve had several people speak to me in French and one couple spoke to me in Portuguese.  When I said I didn’t understand, then they all spoke in English and said that I looked French, and then Portuguese, respectively.   It’s kind of nice to “blend” over here (even if I do blow it once I open up my mouth).   I’ve had a few people tell me I speak Spanish like I’m from California.  Huh.  Even though my Spanish is still not where I want it to be, Quim asked me to translate to an English-speaking couple today.  He was talking to me in Spanish and then I translated in English.  It was a very proud 30 seconds for me.

With the leftover seaweed Quim got for me, he made us a seafood and seaweed risotto for lunch.  It was outrageously delicious. Super creative. With that, he paired a Ribera del Duero, which is a red wine from central Spain. Then, he spoiled me with a gorgeous chocolate cake from the best chocolate shop in Spain – Escriba.  I am getting fat.

I am going to take Bee Leng’s suggestion and make a pesto with the remaining seaweed.  At the grocery store tonight, I actually saw something similar!  It was tomato and roasted red pepper based, with onion, garlic and seaweed.  Thanks, Bee Leng, for the suggestion. I’ll let you know how it comes out.

Tomorrow night, I’m going to make shoyu chicken, rice, and wok vegetables for Diana and her kids.  She’s going to pick me up on her scooter and then we’re going to scoot to her barrio.  Lots of people drive scooters here, since parking is so expensive in Barcelona, proper. In fact, there’s very little parking since the town is so old, as are most of the magnificent buildings, and that means there are only a few underground parking lots and no parking structures. There’s no room for them.  It’s rather lovely.

Off to try to rescue my white – I mean horrendously dirty and greasy not-so-white-anymore – chef’s jackets.  I bought an eco-friendly spot remover made in France. Hoping it works!  Stay tuned for some pics. I’ll remember to take some in the next few days.

 

 

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2 Responses to “Day 3: El Quim”

  1. Janet Draman March 25, 2012 at 7:24 am #

    love that you took a pic of the obelisk in London-I loved the history of that thing when I saw it. Amazing that you loved the same artists as I do-whether French, Spanish or? Mark, never get lost without food in your pack! She has no tolerance for anything when she is hungry!

    Rachel, email is waiting and I need you to let me know if you got it. IT IS IMPORTANT that you get back to me ASAP. Don’t freak, just let me know how to contact you is you didn’t get my mail. Love you mos’aball, Mama

  2. Shannon March 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    I’m vicariously living and loving your posts! We are just back from two weeks cruisin’ the Mayan coast of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras… a far cry from your adventures in Barcelona :o)
    We have tried to dine stand-up at El Quim in La Boqueria, but have never been able to battle the crowds… so exciting that you’re there! Have you been to the small wine shop in the back of the market? They carry some very cool wine…
    And have you been to Cal Pep yet, in Plaza de les Olles? It’s a ‘chef’s choice, sit at the bar’ place that has the best fried sardines…
    We will be asking you for buku advice on places to eat in June – can’t wait to see you :o)
    ¡Todos en la piscina!

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