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Book Fair on the Streets of Barcelona

One of the things I love about living in a big city in Europe is the unexpected things that you stumble upon. As we were walking around the Gotic section of Barcelona, we happened upon a book fair and saw some wonderfully old books–like the kind you would want to have in a library at home, to make your library look like an old library, and to make you look really smart for having read so many old books.

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If I were to have an old, well-established library, here are some of the books, or at least the look of some of the books that I would like to have.

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If I had some of these books, then I would be smart. Wait…that sounds like something from a movie I once saw…it had something to do with The Great and Wonderful OZ.

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Last night at 4:00pm Tessa announced that she had invited a friend for dinner and that he would be here around 6:00pm. Two hours, not a lot of time when you live in Spain and the size of your refrigerator is big enough to hold maybe two days’ worth of food, if you’ve planned well. My wife and I quickly went through what we had to decide what we could make but couldn’t come up with anything. We chose spaghetti because “I” could quickly make it, so off to the market I ran. I actually ended up making a trip to three markets to get the needed ingredients. Now, in Spain, when I say three markets, all three markets were next to each other. Markets here in Spain specialize in narrow lines of products.

While at the first market, I decided on the meat that I would use.  With such a large selection, I couldn’t decide on just one meat, so I got a little of two types of meat, pork sausage and chorizo. I also picked up some bread, the spaghetti noodles, and ice cream. I went to the second market only for the drinks. I found some great fruit drinks there for a great price and that is where I get my drinks now. And for the vegetables, I like to go to the local fruit and vegetable vendors because they usually have the freshest items for a good price. While there, I decided to add egg plant to the mix along with the usual onions, red bell peppers, and garlic.

I took Silas with me and he took the kid’s camera. I did not realize how many pictures he had taken until later that night. He posted on his blog this morning also about the pictures he took while he went shopping with me. Click here to view some of the pictures he took.

With not much time left, I went to work. Here is a picture of what I used. Of the items pictured for this meal, I only used half of the egg plant, onion, and bell pepper and four cloves of garlic, and I did not end up using the canned stewed tomatoes because the tomato sauce was enough.

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I first cut off the outer membrane from the sausages and chorizo and placed the meats in the skillet to get them browning.

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While the meats were browning, I cut up the vegetables and then added them to the skillet.

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I covered the skillet to help hold the heat and moisture in so the vegetables would soften faster. Once the vegetables were softened, I added the tomato sauce, mixed it all up, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.  I also found some italian seasoning mix that Becky must have picked up at some market ealier and added some of that along with some salt and pepper.

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I cooked up some spaghetti noodles and cut some bread.

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And within just a little over two hours from finding out someone was coming over, I/we decided on what to eat, went and bought it, fixed it, served it up and it was very tasty. I especially liked the taste the chorizo added to the flavor.

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Maybe I should start importing chorizo when I return to the states.

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Textures and Sights of Badalona Spain

Here are the textures and sights of my quick trip to the town of Badalona Spain. I am only posting some of the pictures here on my blog. If you would like to see more, click on any of the pictures and it will take you to my flickr account and there I have posted 62 pictures of textures and sights in addition to the doors and graffiti of my previous posts of my walk around Badalona. Please post a comment if you like any of them.

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This cow reminded me of the video I made of my kids in the Netherlands of Moo Coo Moo.

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I hope you enjoyed these.

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Artistic Paintings of Doors in Badalona Spain

As I was walking around Badalona taking pictures, I found these paintings of doors in the old part of town. I guess someone thought that there just were not enough doors in town. I was equally fascinated by these doors as I was the real doors, so took some photographs of them. Which one do you like the best?

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Doors of Badalona Spain

Yesterday while the girls were doing their school work, I caught the Metro to a town just north of Barcelona. Well, when I say north of, they actually touch, but they didn’t at one time. Badalona has origins back to the Roman era of the 1st century BC, so it’s been around for a while. It never got very big so the old part of town was very concentrated and there have been so many battles that most of the Roman buildings are gone, but there were still some very interesting items to take pictures of. In this post I concentrated on just some of the doors that I saw around town. I will post other items in my following posts today. Here they are. Leave a comment of which one(s) you like the best.

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Breakfast the Morning after Spanish Tortilla

As I meantioned in my Spanish Tortilla post, I made extra vegetables to use for my breakfast.  Here are two pictures of what I had this morning.

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And what a great breakfast it was. Two eggs over easy, some of my mixed vegetables, three slices of Salchicón, skillet toasted bread, olives, and a large glass of peach necture. It’s so nice to be able to add flavor to my breakfast without having to cut up more vegetables in the morning.

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Yesterday morning we went to the Els Encants flea market in Barcelona. This market has been held here since the 14th century, making it one of Europe’s oldest held markets (gospain.about.com). This market offered a wonderful display of color and products. Here are just of few of the many wonderful sights the market had to offer.

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I hope you enjoyed the photos.  In the comment section, let me know which one you liked the best. Thanks.

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My Version of Spanish Tortilla

When I lived in Spain 30 years ago, I learned how to make Spanish Tortilla and have made it many times since then. Now that I am back in Spain, it has been a lot of fun to make it again. Here is how I made it this time as well as the ingredients I used.

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Ingredients: Eggs, potatoes, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, zucchini, garlic, tomato, salt, pepper, pork sausage links, sunflower oil, and extra virgin olive oil.

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I start by browning the sausage while I cut up the vegetables.

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As always, I cut up and prepare more vegetables that I need so I have them on hand for other dishes that I can make quickly. Once the sausage is done, I pull it out and cut it up into small pieces.

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I sauté the vegetables in some extra virgin olive oil and butter and add some salt and pepper.

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While the vegetables are cooking, I cube the potatoes. Once the vegetables are done, I pull them out and put in about 3/4 inch of sunflower oil and deep fry the potatoes.

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I cook the potatoes until they are soft but not quite as much as I would if I were making French fries. When the potatoes are done I pull them out.

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I whip up three eggs and then start to combine everything. I add a couple scoops of potatoes and vegetables and then I add some of the sausage (the last tortilla is mine, because it will have a lot of sausage added.)

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I mix it all up and place it in a small, well-oiled skillet.

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Here is a quick video to show how to flip a tortilla.

Here are some pictures of the finished product.

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Of course as with any Spanish meal you have to have bread, but here is my little twist. Add some butter and olive oil in a skillet and soak the bread in the mixture and toast it in the skillet.

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And of course, I had to have some olives.

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These tortillas turned out really good and I have my extra vegetables to be used for other things, maybe my breakfast tomorrow.

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Zandvoort – A Day at the Beach and Photography

This last summer we spent a glorious day at the beach in Zandvoort, Netherland and I spent the day taking photos. Here are some of them. Click on any of them to go to my Flickr account to see a few more.

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Progression of a Great Sunset in Barcelona

On Wednesday we had a great rain.  After it finished raining in the early evening, the clouds began to break up and the sun was able to light up the building in front of our terrace looking east. As we began eating dinner, the sun set a little lower beneath the clouds to light them up.  I took a series of photos to show the pregression of the sunset as the sun dipped lower and the coloring of the clouds began to rise. 

This first series is looking straigt to the east over the Mediterranean Sea with the sun setting to the west behind our building.

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This is a series of photos looking to the left of our terrace to the north-east.

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And finally a series of photos looking to the south-east.

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I wish I had the same perspective took to the west. I will have to find one soon.

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