ordinary and oddinary

I write therefore I exist.

Preparation for the trip – 1

I’ve already started the countdown to my Korean trip.
This is my itinerary.

From Gibraltar
To Heathrow (London)
Depart 17 Mar 2012 14:55
Arrive 17 Mar 2012 16:55

From Heathrow (London)
To Seoul ICN 
Depart  17 Mar 2012 21:00 
Arrive 18 Mar 2012 16:50

It’s a 2-week stay and I’m going divide my time with the family and the friends. My plan is to spend the first week with the family and friends in Daegu then the second with my good friends in Seoul. With a bit of ambition, I would like to take a few classes (short & sweet baking) as well.

My nephew (my brother’s first born) was born on 14 November, 2011, hence it’s going to be the first time to see him in person. Thanks to the iphone, I’ve had no difficulty to fully enjoy my little additions (I’ve got two more nieces from my sister.) though.  People ask me if I’m excited to see him for the first time. Then I answer ‘yyyyyyyes!!!!’ on autopilot. Well, yes I am but it’s not like when I went to cinema to watch ‘Back to the Future’ for the first time kind of pure and raw excitement. I’m happy for my brother.

And my parents. I think physical distance increses psychological closeness. Of course I miss them and I am immensely grateful for everything they have done for me. I feel sad to see them getting older every day. I find it strange yet interesting to see them adjusting to their roles (grand parents, parents-in-law, retired people, etc).

It’s also a bit difficult to view them objectively when they do or say something in a different role suit as I’ve only known them as my lovely parents. Well I guess it’s not just about my parents. My sister, my brother and even I myself have all had to accept different roles as our lives go on. Sometimes two roles of equal importance clash and call for an immediate solution. And I have been witnessing this a lot lately in my family.

That’s that.
Now fun stuff!

Though they say not to bring anything back, but I do enjoy their lit-up faces when I give the right stuff to them as a present. This time I’ve decide to buy yummy Spanish snacks. There are a wealth of great foodies I’d love to introduce to my family and friends. However, some of them are not viable to carry with me. I’m not going to smuggle a leg of giant  Jamón Serrano or a wheel of Queso Manchego this time. Hmmm they are yummy by the way. 🙂

My shortlist is as follows:

1) Olives

I’ve tried a few brands and to me this tastes the best. Fragata is not too salty and comes with various flavours. I can get them at Morrisions in Gibraltar or Carrefour in Spain.

2) Dulce de Membrillo

This is a quince paste that is practically the national snack of Spain when paired with Manchego cheese or sheep’s milk cheese. A quince is a hard fruit that looks like a cross between an apple and a pear. Dulce de Mebrillo is less jellylike and has got more texture than a normal marmalade. I accidently bought one for diabetes and it was surprisingly nice. It was still sweet enough for me. I cut it in a nice bloc and eat it as its own when I feel like eating something sweet after dinner.  

El Quijote brand is found everywhere and it costs me about 2 euro or less I think.

3) Pimiento del Piquillo

Wikipedia says ‘ Piquillo peppers are hand picked during two harvests between September and December. They are roasted over embers, which gives them a distinct sweet, spicy flavour, more akin to bell peppers than chile peppers, despite their small size. They are then peeled and de-seeded by hand, before being packed into jars or tins for sale.’ I love stuffed piquillos with cheese.

Another pepper I can’t live without is ‘pimiento asado rojo y verde tiras’, which is translated to be ‘(fire) roasted red and green peppers strips’. They are absolutely delectable. I make a gorgeously refreshing salad with onions, pepper corns, vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. It comes in a packet like this and I normally get it from Mercadona. They are available at all supermarkets in Spain, of course.

<To be continued>

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