Wow, what a day. Sunday turned out to be everything I love about the World Cup, and then some. Unlike in 2006, the team I was cheering for won the final. And not just any team, but Spain, who had been fighting the curse of never making it to the final for as long as the cup has existed. Poor Holland, always the bridesmaid, never the bride. But their time will come, in time. For now, I bask in the glory of a well deserved championship for Spain, an exciting game and a fantastic turn out at the house. I still can’t believe I crammed 23 people in my living room/dining room to watch the game!
The food could have not been better. Everyone brought something, and it was a true tapas experience, with finger foods and tiny bites that we kept coming back for time and again, and waaaaaay too much to drink. Martine and Eric brought marinated olives; tomato, tuna & cucumber salad; and banderillas of sausage, potato & lettuce with picada sauce, and an incredible bottle of fino sherry. Rebecca Scoffield made awesome stuffed eggs sprinkled with fresh parsley and chopped chorizo, and her friend Mark brought fried rice balls with eggplant, cheese, pimenton, and other things I can’t remember. Joanie made pan con tomate y queso manchego and a giant pork empanada, and Antonia a tortilla de papa that was fluffy like a pillow. Bec and Derek made lemony meatballs garnished with lemon rind and parsley, Rohit walked in bearing at least four bottles of wine, and Matt his usual 12-pack of beer, this time Spain’s Estrella which he found, of course, at Whip-In. Elizabeth Bray made an appearance with a few bottles of Indaba Chenin Blanc.
I made a pineapple, peach and saffron sangria (sooo good!, Thanks Mary Margaret!) , and lemongrass scented rice, ajar pickled veggies and coconut-curried chicken to represent some of Holland’s favorite Rijsttafel dishes, and because of the whole Paul the Octopus thing, I decided I was going to make one of my favorite tapas: pulpo a la gallega, Galicia-style octopus.
I have eaten this dish many times in Mexico City, but I have never made it myself so I had to seek assistance. In this wonderful age where we are all connected through this medium, I found my new favorite blog from a writer in the Canary Islands, who happens to be from Galicia. His blog, Entremesas, combines two of my favorite things in the world: gastronomy and rock. The author, Antonio, shoots videos of himself preparing his favorite recipes adding a soundtrack of an apropos song. For his amazing pulpo a la gallega it was Octopus’ Garden. I followed his recipe to a T, using potatoes from my garden, and the result was heavenly. Not one bite was left, and people swarmed the table so quickly that I didn’t have time to take a picture. But check in with Addie Broyles, she may have. She liked it a lot and I gave her my explanation of how easy it really is to cook it.
And so, another World Cup came to an end, one full of excitement, surprises, bad refereeing, good refereeing, tears of sadness and joy…oh yeah, kinda like the last one, and the one before last, and the one before…I am sad to think that four years from now I will not have the World Cup party experience at my house, but excited at the possibility of taking a group of visitors with me to Brasil with CuisineXplorers for the 2014 cup. If you are so inclined, start saving and let’s talk in a couple of years.
Now it’s back to earth and writing about the garden, lots going on right now in preparation for fall planting. Plenty of adventures with Rosie and Benji, the garbage can tipper. Cool drinks and food being had at lots of new places, too. Tonight we are staying home for Indonesian-style burgers and tomato salad. Stay tuned.