We met Ivan, Ryan and Angela at Casa de las Sirenas. It was once a palace, beautiful building, then abandoned, turned into a house for “ladies of the evening” and then the City took it over and it has an amazing amount of cultural programs running.
|I just liked this...|
Walked to Ceramica Lastrucci, multi-generational tile master’s studio, owned and operated by Antonio. Ceramicalastrucci.blogspot.com
He truly is master of his art, showed us a commissioned work in progress for a Bodega called San Lorenzo for it’s hundred year anniversary, located just around the corner from where we live.
|Small bit of detail|
Has already taken him two months, perhaps another to complete. He showed me the technique, small brush strokes, his hand guided, protected and supported by a wooden moveable bar suspended vertically along the top while painting the tile.
|Detail of one of the many angels that adorn his works|
He’s a very welcoming and warm hearted gentleman who really enjoys his vocation.
|Sevilla from across the river scene.|
Now it’s about the food and Ivan’s cooking class here at the flat. Went to the market, Ivan had wanted to go to a real market but it was getting late in the day and we settled on a mercado (grocery store). He sent us off to buy vegetables which we had to weigh and put stickers on while he purchased the meat for the soup.
Back to our flat and Ivan starts, Angela chops the vegetables, I start peeling potatoes and the meal gets done in about an hour.
Pictured is what we would call Ratetouille – vegetable of onion, red and green pepper, egg plant, zuccini cooked and mixed together in order of doneness.
As always with olive oil and a bit of salt as a side, this was my favourite really.
Soup – restorative soup, recipes below, but includes salted beef, pork, bacon, vegetable in raw form, i.e not cut up so makes a broth, chick peas, don’t know why they are important but seem to be.
Tortilla - fried potatoes in a pot with, of course olive oil, limp but not crispy, mix with egg mashed with the potato, to meld together. Fry until done on the bottom, now the trick, turn it over onto a lid covered in oil so it slides, and flip back into the pan for a bit more cooking. This is easier said than done! The chance of getting the concoction all over the kitchen is huge for a novice. Ivan says it is his specialty and even using utensils we had that were non-conventional he did a wonderful job.
|Yes, that's our Chef Ivan holding the results.|
Ivan was masterful at using limited resources, Ryan went to their apartment twice to get a pressure cooker, which halved the cooking time, cutting boards etc, and the special gizmo that made the pressure cooker actually work. A spigot that releases steam, much needed, so learned about that too.
In truth, it was an unscripted experience, again, fraught with obstacle but turned out extremely well. It was scripted in terms of the menu and what to purchase to achieve but cooking in the galley style kitchen with five people took a bit of juggling for space to chop and prepare. Made it more fun I think.
Recipes sent to us by Ivan
PUCHERO – Restorative Soup, Ivan’s Mom’s
Ingredients: huesos espinazo (spine bones), tocino (bacon) fresco, tocino salado (salted), 1 chicken leg and a piece of beef called JARRETE here.
1. clean the bones and tocino in really hot water
2. put them in a big pot covered with water. ( the more water, the more and softer soup you get. BOIL 15 MINUTES ON PRESSURE OR 1 HOUR IN REGULAR POT.
3. Open the pot and add celery, leek, 1 potato in big pieces, chickpeas already watered, carrot and pumpkin if you like (we didn’t). BOIL 15 MINUTES ON PRESSURE OR 1 HOUR IN REGULAR POT.
4. put the meat and the bones aside if you are going to eat it, or leave in the pot for keeping giving flavour to the soup in case of left-overs.
1. half fry the potatoes.
2. melt or whisk the eggs
3. smash the potatoes in the eggs and add salt to your taste.
4. heat olive oil in an appropriate size saucepan, just cover the botton.
5. put inside once the oil is hot mixing the cooked parts at the begining to make it thick enough to turn it up.
6. add some oil to the top of saucepan (if you dont have, use a plate), heat it up a bit.
7. turn it up (flip the entire thing!) letting the uncooked part slide into the pan again, then wait for it to get cooked and... VOILÁ! (easier said than done!)
PISTO – what I called ratetouille
1. dice the vegetables: ovegine (eggplant), zukini, onion, red and green peppers.
2. fry natural, canned, tomato in a separate saucepan or pot. adding half coffe spoon of salt and another of sugar. (20 minutes boiling softly)
3. fry the vegetables in order of priority: peppers, onion and rest.
4. mix everything till it gets melted smashing it and moving it with the wooden spoon.
Combine it with fries, fried eggs, tortilla, fried fish, or... "pasta" jejeje! Spanish for hehehe!
Very important: DONT FORGET TO BUY BREAD!
Now about clothing – Last year we stumbled on a small shop in the Macarena District, an area we are not familiar with. A woman named Petra designs and sews her own linen products. You may remember, I liked her and her product so wanted to find her again. We did and she had a half price sale on, I quite significantly reduced her stock and bought two hand painted scarves as well, after all, a woman can never have too many scarves can she? Petra was very pleased, I was very pleased.
We ran into Steve, our neighbour from last year and he’s living in an artist coop where they have suites and studios in the same building, great idea I think.
Aside: maps of Sevilla are not always accurate and street names change on what seems to be a whim… no wonder tourists stand on the corners of streets, maps in hand, looking puzzled. We have a good handle on navigating this City now, may not always get there the most direct route but do get there.
All for now, Cheers, Bx2 and Lexi Cat