Is the party over yet?

9 Jan

So, 5th January, the night before our celebration of Los Reyes or The Three Kings. Big Man and I sit quietly contemplating the last few celebrations that lie ahead over the weekend.

A family get together at our house the next day. Yes, we´re ready for that. Saturday a lunch with 10 friends in a nearby restaurant. Oh yes, we´re definitely ready for that. No cooking, no clearing up, and hopefully a lift there and back so we can kick back and relax.  And then Sunday, a meal with 10 other friends in one of their Cortijos in the Campo.  Cooking a celebratory goat.  It should be fun, the host is a butcher and a grower of grapes and producer of wines.  A recipe for a thoroughly good lunch.

Big Man gives our butcher pal a call to finalise the arrangements for Sunday and I can tell by his face and the conversation that something is amiss.  He gets off the phone and says “you know we thought we were going to Rafael´s Cortijo…” Mmm, yes I think, where is this going?  “Well, it seems everyone thinks they´re coming here”.

Oh dear. Oh well. Here we go again. Big Man does a mad dash on Saturday morning for the extras we need, I crank up the oven and get baking, and it all turned out fine in the end.

No recipes today, more of those in a later post, but I thought you might like to share a little in the celebration…and our exhaustion today.

We enjoyed a lovely ham and cheese board with Spanish curado and semi curado cheeses, tetilla (do click on the link if you share my childish sense of humour), a gorgeous stinky stilton my parents bought over, and an amazing hard cheese (rather like a fresh parmesan) which is rolled in rosemary.

We ate home cured olives which the Spaniards were most impressed with. They thought Big Man had made them as they didn´t think a “guiri” or foreigner could make them taste so good…huh!

A chicory (or endive) salad with walnuts and blue cheese dressing lightened things up a bit.

Our butcher pal, Rafael, got to work in the garden doing his job. He looks fierce, but he´s really a gentle giant.

Look at the size of his hands – he couldn´t have been anything BUT a butcher!

Jointing the meat.

Working on the ribs.

Another pal took charge of frying the goat pieces in olive oil, bay leaves, chillies, peppercorns, garlic and white wine.

We tucked into a plate of Rafael´s “embutidos” – chorizos and morcilla.

Of course we ate desserts too, but more of those another day as I´m feeling full up again just thinking about what we ate.

And drank.  A very messy but happy table by the end of the day.

Ok, I think I need another lie down now.


60 Responses to “Is the party over yet?”

  1. niasunset January 9, 2012 at 13:41 #

    I am crazy with olives… They seem so beautiful. Thank you, with my love, nia

  2. The Spain Scoop - Scoopette January 9, 2012 at 13:45 #

    ha, by the end of this holiday season I didn’t want to go out and see anyone! props to you for throwing another party!!!!!!!!! Yikes!

  3. Just A Smidgen January 9, 2012 at 13:53 #

    Wow… the party never ends at your house. What a feast, I would have liked to have sat down and sampled every bit of this… Looks like so much fun!

  4. Florence January 9, 2012 at 13:53 #

    Hi T, Full marks for stamina!! Great to hear the festivities ended on a high.
    Regards Florence x

  5. Mad Dog January 9, 2012 at 14:07 #

    OMG! Well done you – that looks like a fantastic feast 😉
    When I was doing the book shoot in Barcelona, we had an English guy filming it. He insisted that I took him to the Boqueria to help him buy a tetilla.
    You’ve probably seen Spanish Paps and here a once popular Elizabethan pudding, with a remarkably similar look to tetilla!

    • Chica Andaluza January 9, 2012 at 14:40 #

      I think you would have enjoyed it! Just checked out thise links – that was new to me. I need to make Paps now!

      • Mad Dog January 9, 2012 at 15:29 #

        I just looked at your pictures again – I most definitely would have enjoyed it! Glad you like the paps 😉

      • Chica Andaluza January 9, 2012 at 15:39 #

        One day…!

  6. cookinginsens January 9, 2012 at 14:11 #

    What wonderful food!

  7. chaiselongue1 January 9, 2012 at 14:20 #

    What a wonderful party, even if the location was a bit of a surprise! The food looks wonderful, especially the olives….oh, and all the cheeses and meats.

  8. thecompletecookbook January 9, 2012 at 14:45 #

    Oh what a fantastic day you all enjoyed! Think I would have gone into a wild flap had I realised at the 11th hour that everybody was coming to us – kudos on being so cool!
    Looking forward to the desserts segment.
    🙂 Mandy

    • Chica Andaluza January 9, 2012 at 15:04 #

      Well, there was a bit of foot stamping at the start! And not just me, I have to say …. 🙂

  9. spicegirlfla January 9, 2012 at 15:01 #

    That’s my kind of table Tanya! A well done feast…and lots of empty bottles! I love that platter; I could simply make dinner out of that alone! Everything looks fantastic; you certainly know how to party and feast well!!

    • Chica Andaluza January 9, 2012 at 15:05 #

      Thank you – my mum always likes to sit back and look at the table at the end of a meal when it´s a complete mess…the sign of a meal enjoyed she always says!

  10. ceciliag January 9, 2012 at 15:17 #

    I am not surprised that you need a wee lie down, what a fantastic spread and lovely sunny day AND a butcher.. awesome. I did not get the change of venue so i was waiting at the restaurant but the lovely waiter fellow took good care of me! Hope you saved me some cheese board though.. c

    • Chica Andaluza January 9, 2012 at 15:30 #

      Ah, sorry no one told you about the change, but it sounds like you had fun anyway! And yes, sunshine too. All this good weather is making me nervous – it´s so freakishly warm for this time of year….

  11. mcfdekker January 9, 2012 at 15:19 #

    LOL they say the Mediterranean diet is the best to lose weight, but after seeing all that food, I’m starting to have my doubt 😉 I guess it’s only valid for day-to-day food and not Holidays period kind of feasts!!

    • Chica Andaluza January 9, 2012 at 15:31 #

      I don´t think the last couple of weeks have done much to reduce our waistlines! Hey ho, soup and salad for a while I think 😉

  12. Bluejellybeans January 9, 2012 at 15:27 #

    Todo tiene una pinta buenísima!!! A mi también me encanta ir comer fuera para no tener que recoger al final… pero cuando puedes disfrutar con un grupo de amigos en casa tambien es genial. Veo que teneis un tiempo inmejorable por allí. Me alegro.

    • Chica Andaluza January 9, 2012 at 15:37 #

      Hola Giovanna – estás otra vez en España? Espero que los has pasado muy bien con la familia! Pues si, a veces es bueno comer fuera, pero tener los amigo en casa es también muy divertido. Un abrazo….

      • Bluejellybeans January 9, 2012 at 15:47 #

        Yes, I’m home 🙂 Trying to figure out what to post after such a long break 😉

      • Chica Andaluza January 9, 2012 at 16:07 #

        I´m sure it will be worth the wait! Bienvenida a casa 🙂

  13. spree January 9, 2012 at 15:28 #

    Chica, I mentioned once before that you are brilliant at going with the flow, changing direction mid-stream with such grace and good humor, and here you’ve done it again! You deserve a big round of applause! Bravo bravo Chica! The photos were great, but I especially love the last with its smoke wafting over everything and the table telling the whole festive story! Loved this! Thank you! Enjoy your lie-down. You deserve it!

    • Chica Andaluza January 9, 2012 at 15:38 #

      Ah, thanks so much! I have to say, I´m not a person who stresses out too easily, but when I first moved to Spain all this last minute stuff drove me to distraction. I´m more used to it now…but because I like to do things as “nicely” as possible, a little bit of notice is always helpful 🙂

  14. TheDorsetFinca January 9, 2012 at 16:19 #

    Looks incredible!!! What a party! 🙂

  15. bitsandbreadcrumbs January 9, 2012 at 16:27 #

    I wanted to jump right into the middle of every bit of that fabulous feast! What a fun day and amazing looking food.

    • Chica Andaluza January 9, 2012 at 16:58 #

      Ah thank you – it was a lovely, lovely day….if somewhat tiring by the end!

  16. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide January 9, 2012 at 16:41 #

    Of all the wonderful photos, that last table shot might just take the cake! Looks like a fantastic time. My hands are twice that size by the way. No, not really.

    • Chica Andaluza January 9, 2012 at 16:59 #

      You know what they say about men with big hands….big gloves!! I like that last shot, a bit blurred, a bit tired, but the end of a wonderful day!

  17. ChgoJohn January 9, 2012 at 16:49 #

    That was quite the feast you threw together, Tanya, especially considering it was at the end of the holidays and you had house guests the entire time. You and Big Man really pulled it off! Take the rest of today off.

    • Chica Andaluza January 9, 2012 at 17:01 #

      Thank you – I am sitting on my sofa with the pups and watching the fire…don´t even have the energy to read or watch tv today!

  18. Tandy January 9, 2012 at 16:51 #

    Did my invite get lost LOL! Looks amazing and well done 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza January 9, 2012 at 17:01 #

      Damn….I thought I´d sent it First Class! Thanks Tandy 🙂

  19. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise January 9, 2012 at 18:50 #

    What a feast and a wonderful day enjoyed with friends
    I have to say it all looks brilliant but the picture of the olives really made me hungry..they look so tempting

    • Chica Andaluza January 9, 2012 at 22:33 #

      They were the best of the different ones we did – really fleshy and with a nutty flavour!

  20. Christina January 9, 2012 at 19:34 #

    Wow! Looks like you guys had a great time! Lots of great food and company! 🙂

  21. trevorhunt January 9, 2012 at 19:43 #

    Hey, is that sunshine in them there pics???????? And worse still, are you all in shirt sleeves???????? I hate you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Chica Andaluza January 9, 2012 at 22:34 #

      Sorry – but yes we are having freakishly warm weather and it´s been getting up to the mid 20s. Please don´t hate me – I´ll send some your way!

  22. PendleStitches January 9, 2012 at 20:03 #

    If you’ll adopt me I’ll bring Ma! 😉

    • Chica Andaluza January 9, 2012 at 22:34 #

      You´ll have to bring the little ones too!

      • Evie January 9, 2012 at 23:42 #


  23. sportsglutton January 9, 2012 at 20:53 #

    What a fantastic celebration!! But where was I? 😉

  24. promenadeplantings January 10, 2012 at 12:31 #

    I clicked the link:)
    and what a story, a planned but unplanned party – they are the best! And the food, I’ve started to drool so I better go!

    • Chica Andaluza January 10, 2012 at 12:44 #

      That was it – planned but unplanned! It all came together in the end and glad you clicked the link 🙂

  25. TBM January 10, 2012 at 12:51 #

    Looks fun! If I was one of your friends, I think I would prefer eating at your house instead of a restaurant. However, it is a lot of work for you and Big Man.

    • Chica Andaluza January 10, 2012 at 13:25 #

      I think it felt a little daunting as we were just so tired from the last few weeks. But after a couple of glasses of wine, and with good food, friends and sunshine…it was all good fun! And we´d love to have you join us for a meal if you´re ever in the neighbourhood 🙂

  26. kathryningrid January 10, 2012 at 18:51 #

    What a spectacular feast. Delectable foods of so many kinds, not least of all home-cured Foreigner Olives, wonderful guests, an array of dazzling bottles and dishes glinting on a groaning table. Heaven. Your butcher friend has truly astounding hands! They belie the delicacy and refined artistry with which he so clearly treated his subject matter. Glorious post!

    • Chica Andaluza January 11, 2012 at 09:19 #

      Thank you so very much – I wish our butcher pal spoke English so that he could see the beauty of the words in your comment. My translation for him will not do them justice!

  27. Michi January 11, 2012 at 11:55 #

    Oh yes, this looks exactly like my holidays over in Cordoba. Eat. Drink. Eat. Laugh. Drink. Eat, laugh, drink. Repeat 50 more times.

    That goat looks delicious!

  28. Karen January 15, 2012 at 15:48 #

    Hurray to the two of you for pulling off such a fantastic day. If we were neighbors, my husband would be with the guys cooking and I could help preparing the platters. We are totally up to last minute parties…maybe a little stressful but fun when you realize that you got it done.

    • Chica Andaluza January 15, 2012 at 17:22 #

      Oh that would be fun – let me know if you ever want to head to southern Spain and we will make sure we have plenty of parties!

  29. Fired Up Cooking SA February 21, 2012 at 18:08 #

    Oh my word!! My mouth is watering, just looking at those photos! You sure know how to through a party, Chica 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza February 21, 2012 at 18:36 #

      Ooh, that was a long few days! Good fun though 😉


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