Feliz Navidad! I’m in Barcelona with my parents – where our minds, bodies, and bellies have been treated royally!
We spent Christmas Eve at Dad’s cousin’s restaurant where we indulged (ahem… gorged) our way through dinner with friends, patrons, and family. Meals all roll deliciously into one here. Like a 24-hour smorgasbord of food, drink, and rich conversation. It started with the soup – a Carn d’Olla. Had it been the only course, I would not have been disappointed! But when the waiter heard our spoons tink tink tink on the bottom of our bowls and a crowd taking last little slurps, he promptly served course 2 (Which was more like 10 courses in one, for the record): patatas bravas, chorizo, paella, and tapas upon tapas upon tapas … oh my! There was langousitines, jamon, even eel! I was instantly appreciative that the Spaniards design not only aesthetically beautiful but also dependably sturdy furniture. The tables held their own as we piled them high with savoury delights. Not one ornately carved leg wavered.
By the time dessert was served, we’d been eating, drinking, laughing, singing for more than five hours. Yet it felt like only a heartbeat had passed – and no one was itching to leave. When the churros arrived – a fried sugary stick of dough dipped in fudgy hot chocolate – the room fell silent. A chorus-like Mmmmmm that echoed throughout the restaurant. The song of taste buds in love.
We popped the corks on the Cava (Spanish Champagne!), picked up guitars, accordions, and bongos, and sang Spanish Christmas carols (Billancicos) while clinking glasses, plucking strings, and dancing wildly until it was officially Christmas morning.
It was an evening of pure joy and elation. My cheeks were sore from all the laughing. Had it not been for the 27 helpings I had, I may have laughed my way to six pack abs. I love how families and friends spend time together here. They talk and eat, sing and visit until the wee mornings – no matter the occasion (oftentimes in spite of an occasion. I mean, who needs an occasion?). It’s So Med.
All of this love has me missing home a little. I’m craving to recreate and share an evening of equal joy, sharing, love, and laughter with my family and friends in Toronto. I want to bottle up this lively fresh Mediterranean spirit and bring it home in my pocket. That, and a dozen sticks of Churros. At least.