On Friday, July 4th, I turned 31 years old, and to celebrate, here are 31 facts about me that you may not know about (or maybe you do).
1. What I like the most is reading. I love getting lost in words.
2. I buy too many books, so my “to read” list gets longer and longer each month, without me ever getting to finish it. I even buy different editions of the same book, (specially books by Jane Austen).
3. I cry a lot, and about almost anything. Specially about stories with a happy ending.
4. I love how every morning Lord, my dog, asks for cuddles. It’s the best thing about waking up.
5. Nothings helps me get better like a kiss from my nephew.
6. I love people, and I am mostly agreeable (90% of the time).
7. But, there are times when I am extremely rude and disagreeable, and feel like not talking at all. I have even hidden from people, just to avoid saying hello.
8. I understand that not everybody is going to like me, but it’s sometimes hard to stop trying to make everybody like me. I’m always like “here I am, look at me, be my friend, I’m cool”.
9. My mom is my best friend, but sometimes I’d kill her.
10. I adore my family, they mostly come first. But, I cannot wait to be able to miss them (cannot wait to get away from them for a while).
12. There are too many things on my To Do List. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get through it.
13. I miss you, even though I was the one who decided to stay away from you the second time around. It is hard, but I stand by my desicion.
15. I’m addicted to Instagram.
16. When I grow up I want to be just like Judi Dench.
17. I can spend days without checking my messages, but, there are other times, when I am connected all day long and cannot keep away from my phone or computer.
18. I love watching Korean dramas & tv shows. I love how “white” their humour is on telly.
20. I love Twitter, but sometimes I do question the use we make of it.
21. I am afraid people are going to find out that I am not as clever as I pretend to be.
22. In my eyes, Gwyneth Paltrow can do NO WRONG.
23. I cry a lot more over pain inflicted on an animal, than on a person.
24. My goal in life is to have a little house in Cornwall.
25. I want to be a father. I’d like a boy and be name him Eneko.
26. I hate excercising. I just do because I have to.
27. It’s been week since I last baked. I just eat it all, so I cannot bake for a while.
29. I hate books (and movies) that do not have a happy ending.
30. I would have loved to have started crafting earling. I’m so hooked on crochet and patchwork.
31. I’m in love.
I don’t think there is anything (food-wise) that says KOREA as much as kimchi does. Actually there is no Korean meal without its small plate of kimchi. It is the mos clasic of bachan dishes that adorn every Korean meal. Basically, kimchi is fermented vegetables. It was a way to preserve vegetables and have flavourful food all year round (it can be used up to six months after the fermenting process has started).
There are many different types of kimchi, but nappa cabbage kimchi is the most common and the perfect one to start learning how to make your own kimchi.
When I was living in South Korea, I tried kimchi many times, but its strong flavour was a bit too much for me. It isn’t an easy flavour for Westerners to start with, specially not for a 14-year-old Spaniard boy. It’s strong, salty, and quite spicy. Very characteristic. It was in another trip I made to Geoje some years later, when I was in my twenties, to teach Eglish to Korean children, that I started loving kimchi.
The greatest thing about making kimchi, is that is a big enterprise, so it is awesome to make it with friends. It is great to turn it into a communal event, something that is very common in Korean, in the small towns, and big families, and it is still done today.
Kimchi can be eaten by itself, or in a lot of recipes.
Easy Kimchi (Mak Kimchi)
This is a very easy recipe to double, or even double the doubled recipe (if you catch my drift). In Korea they wouldn’t normally make kimchi out of only one cabbage. So, maybe it would be a great thing to do. I have always thought that throwing a Kimchi Party would be sooo much fun and a great way to learn how to make it. Anybody up for it?
- 1 nappa cabbage
- 2 Tbsp. salt
- 190 ml. water
- 2 Tbsp. rice flour
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 4 or 5 cloves of garlic
- ¼ onion
- ½ Tbsp. fresh ginger, skin off & chopped.
- 2 Tbsp. fish suace.
- 80 g. gochugaru
- 1 or 2 spring onion(s), julienne
- 1 carrot, julienne
Cut the cabbage into bite sized pieces (as in pictures). On a big bowl (or the kitchen sink) clean the cabbages, up to three times. The dissolve the salt into water and bathe the cabbage on the salty water for, at least, two hours. Then rinse and dry it well.
To make the porridge, on a slow heat, dissolve the rice flour in the 190 ml of water. Mix well and keep mixing until it starts to thicken, then add sugar and let it cook for a minute more. Transfer the porridge to a bowl and let it cool (you can use an ice bath for this too).
Combine the garlic, onion and ginger, with a mortar and pestle. Add the fish sauce and mix well.
On a very big bowl, mix the porridge, the garlic mix and the gochugaru. (I recommend using your hands for this). Lastly add the spring onion and carrot.
Once thoroughly mixed, add the dry cabbage and mix very well.
Pack the mixture very tight in tupperware or glass containers. Let it ferment at room temperature for 3 or 4 days and then transfer to the refrigerator. By the 4th day it is ready to eat.
One of my favourite places to visit everytime I go to Madrid is Federica & Co., a “magic garden” with some of the most beautiful shops in Madrid. This garden is located in the interior garden of Hermosilla, 26, in the Salamanca district. Here are located two of my favourite shops: 98&YU and Federica & Co.
It was a bit sad to visit this time, because it wasn’t completely open since they were still going undergoing some remodeling after the fire that occurred a few months ago, but in spite of this, my Mom, Aunts and I had a lot of fun, looking around, doing some shopping and looking at and petting the dogs. I always like the ambience of everything so open, so friendly.
It was a great blessing to visit F&Co. with my family. Specially since it was my Mom who told me all about this amazing & strange haven of shopping in the middle of Madrid.
I never really thought that the passing of a woman whom I only knew through her writing and her books would affect me so. It has been so long since I read her amazing memoir “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings“; so long that I don’t remember exact words, not even all the stories that are told in that book, but I cannot forget the feeling I was left with when the book ended: suddenly I was in love with girl, I felt she was part of me & I was part of her. I wanted her strength. I felt she was talking directly to me, even though I was a gay white man born in the 80s in the Basque Country.
Maya Angelou, inspired me to be a better person; her poems, her television appearances (specially her last appearances in Super Soul Sunday with Oprah), taught me, as so did, & still do, Anne Lamott’s books, the posibility to be oneself, to be hopeful and to learn to listen to God (whatever we might call her/him).
She wrote two cookbooks, “Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes” (2004) and “Great Food, All Day Long: Cook Splendidly, Eat Smart” (2010). From this second book I have rescued this easy & simple recipe, an American classic: popover. Something I had never tried to make. So this is my breakfast in homage to Dr. Maya Angelou, one of the most important women in the last centrury.
Maya Angelou’s Popovers
adapted form “Great Food, All Day Long: Cook Slendidly, Eat Smart” de Dr. Maya Angelou
This is a very simple recipe. They even might feel a bit insipid, but it is because they are a sorf of canvas for great food, both sweet and savory. A bit of parmesan can be added to the mix before baking, if you are planning to used them in a savoury dish. See this as the basic recipe, from which one can grow!
- 2 eggs
- 235 ml. milk
- 20 g. butter, melted
- 125 g. all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 220C and prepar the popover molds (or muffin molds if those are the ones you are using). Beat the eggs slightly and add the milk and melted butter. Mix weel and then add the flour and sault. Whisk vigorously for a couple of minutes. Do not overbeat. It is a very liquid batter.
Fill two thirds of each mold (or ramekin) & bake for 40 minutes.
Hornear durante 40 minutos.
Eat right out of the oven, with butter & jam; or with an egg and some bacon. The can be reheated but they will not taste the same.
I admit it: I get obsessed easily, specially with beautiful things. Emma Bridgewater‘s pottery is one of those obsessions. A couple of months ago I discovered that both Country Living & Country Homes & Interiors (two of my favourite magazines), had advertisements & pieces on a new wallpaper and fabric range designed by this British artist, and they also wrote about her new memoir “Toast & Marmalade and other stories“, now on its way to my house, thank you very much, Amazon.
The thing is, in this last trip to Madrid, at the Living In London store, I found some Emma Bridgewater tinware, and I almost got one of the sets but, I just didn’t have enough space to get them to Bilbao. I’ll just have to wait to buy some pottery through the Internet.
She designs not only pottery, but also lovely things like wallpaper, shopping bags or iPhone covers. I’m already working on my wishlist. I’ll be starting with this major vase form the “Blue splatter” collection.