Friday, August 31, 2007

seeing Rachel off

So here we are at the airport - -joining Rachel as she drinks her last cafe con leche. The Pamplona airport was busy when we dropped her off and we had to fight for a table at the (one and only) Pamplona airport food/beverage station; I guess everyone else was trying to get in one last Spanish coffee too (it's just not the same anywhere else!); I think we knocked over a few small children as we raced for it! AND (horror of all horrors!) all the regular coffee cups were dirty so we got coffee in a paper cup!

Seriously, though, (not that having to drink coffee in a paper cup isn't serious) we were oh so sad to see our Rachel go. Her absence will be poignantly noted these next four months that she is gone on home assignment; we will miss having her here - - both as part of our family (who will read to my boys? who will encourage me to try new and exciting recipes?) and as a ministry partner (who will remember to put out the napkins when our dinner guest come over, or how will I possibly find a way to meet up with and encourage the countless women that she usually does?)
the house has seemed a bit empty and lonely these past few days; if you happen to run into her during her stay in the States, remind her how good she had it here and send her back our way!

Friday, August 24, 2007

it's tradition . . .

we wait. we don't open the bag and pull out the newly developed pictures until we can all sit down together and pass them around - - observing carefully and commenting appropriately on every print.

we picked up a processed roll of film today and found moment to all sit down together . . . look here for some of my favorites

Thursday, August 23, 2007

cooking in Spain

probably the most important rules in the Spanish kitchen are - - never give a recipe with precise measurements or instructions, and never follow a given recipe exactly. Most recipes I get from Spanish women tend to go a bit like this:
"oh! it's easy! all you have to do is measure 3 cup-fulls of flour
('what size cup?' I ask - - 'oh, you know, just one of the water glasses from your cupboard')
and mix in a few eggs
('how many?' I ask - - 'well, it depends on the size of the egg')
and 8 heaping spoonfuls of sugar, half of an envelope of baking powder, some salt and some lemon rind. beat it all together and stick it in the oven
('what temperature?' I ask - - 'oh, whatever - - a medium-high heat, I guess')" . . . and I don't even bother to ask how long - - I know that I just have to keep an eye on it until it looks "right"

bearing that in mind, here is one of our favorite summertime Spanish recipes (gazpacho!) - - based loosely on a loosely given recipe from a Spanish friend!

4-5 tomatoes - - washed;the riper the better!
1/2 onion
1 small cucumber - - peeled and seeded
1-2 garlic cloves
1 (or less) green bell pepper - - washed and seeded
give it all a good chop (feed the insides of the cucumber to any interested bystanders)

season with:
extra virgin olive oil (oh, maybe 2T)
a lemon or two (or vinegar if you prefer)
salt (1, maybe 2 teaspoons)

lure the interested bystander to blend it all together (I use my Malachai and my oh-so-Spanish blender stick, but certainly, you could use a blender or a food processor) until it is very smooth; I like it best chilled for at least a few hours before we eat it.

so there you have it! let me know if you give it a go - - and what you think (I never would have tried a cold soup recipe before coming to Spain!) AND, of course, what you changed in the recipe to make it your own!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

1. my camera got stolen

2. I cried and told everyone about it (it helped me to feel better)

3. these guys heard about it. they (and some more friends and church family) found a way to buy and send me a new one

4. I cried and told everyone about it (when I told the lady at my local camera store she asked me - - "what church are you a part of? I want to be part of that church!")

I love the church. I knew already that they loved me; if this had never happened, I would have known they loved me by the million other ways they have shown it already. this has just been one more, particularly delightful, touching demonstration of this love. I feel it so much I hardly feel like I need to say it (but - - hang it all, I will anyways!) - - thank you !

Thursday, August 09, 2007

living legally (and oh so cutely!)

We went this week to the police station to, like good law abiding missionaries, renew our boy's residency cards. look how cute these kiddos are! I pulled out the pictures we had taken for last year's cards and had fun comparing them to this year's ID photos.