Notes from a Spanish Wedding

May 31, 2011 § 17 Comments

I have only been the beautiful city of Toledo once before for a wonderful wedding.

Guess what brought me back!?

It’s wedding season on this side of the Atlantic too! One of the Spaniard’s cousins wed his beautiful bride on Saturday night.

We spent the weekend with the Spaniard’s family from the farm. As well as aunts, uncles and cousins.

Brother, Spaniard, Father and Sister (Mother socializing)

Such a handsome family!

We clean up nicely!

With this wedding in mind one of the projects that my mom and I completed when I was in the States (read: she completed) was making me this dress! My mother is an excellent seamstress and I felt so special all night knowing I was wearing one of her creations. Thank you Momma!

Model Shot

The entire weekend was filled with beaming smiles, raucous laughter, fine food and city exploration. Just typing that makes me tired… and boy did we arrive home tired!

It’s truly your company that makes any celebration enjoyable. But this view doesn’t hurt either.

The wedding ceremony was a typical Spanish Catholic ceremony. Followed by cocktails, hors d’ourves, and a five course dinner. I am slowly learning what typical Spanish wedding really means, but here is what I have gathered so far.

Notes from a Spanish Wedding

Ceremony

1) There is a lot of exercise involved. Stand up – Sit down – Repeat. This I knew. Similar to a Catholic ceremony in the States. Though honestly I think they add a few.

2) The Bride and Groom’s parents sit (and stand) next to them at the alter. I love this. I love the clear visual of what is happening. The merging of two families.

3) There are no bridesmaids and groomsmen. At least not he way I think of it.

There are no matching dresses and walking down the aisle. Though if you pay attention you clearly know who the honored friends are. They are involved in the ceremony with readings from the Bible. They are still all dolled up! They attend to the guests, fluff the dress, and I am sure decorate the honeymoon suite.

4) The Bride is always 10 minutes (at least) late.

Reception

1) Cocktail time is similar to what I know. Mix, mingle, try to wait patiently for the party to start.

Again with the views!

2) Dinner was a five course sit down dinner. One can get accustomed to things like this.

It must must be noted that at both of my Spanish wedding experiences the Bride and Groom arranged for a special menu for me. The food was delicious! More than I expected. I am so thankful.

The regular menu ranged from octopus, fish and filet. Mine ranged from gazpacho, greens, and vegetables. There was so much food. Hunger was not an option.

3) In the states the dinner and dancing part of the reception seem to be all in one. The first dance can be as soon as the Bride and Groom are introduced, the music starts shortly after the last course, and is paused for the cake cutting etc…

In Spain the party starts after the dinner. After the Bride and Groom have visited every table. After a long time. This is not a problem here. The Spanish are used to partying until 6 in the morning. (I went to bed at 3:30)

The Spaniard and his sister showed everyone how it was done!

4) Speaking of times, we all know that everything is later in Spain. The ceremony started at 6:30 p.m., cocktails closer to 8:30, dinner around 9:30, and the party didn’t get started until 12:30 a.m. If the Bride and Groom were going to consumate their vows I doubt it happened before the sun came up.

Party people!

5) Wedding cakes are out of style here. The Spaniard’s cousin told me that the “cutting of the wedding cake” tradition has vanished in the last few years. I guess they don’t think it’s cool anymore. Don’t worry, I still do!

6) Weddings and celebrations are all about the family and friends. I had the best time with the Spaniard and his family!

I may or may not have had the palate cleansing sorbet dumped down my back on accident. (The server was so sorry!) But that is not what I will remember about this weekend.

Have you ever experienced a wedding from another culture or in another country?

I have always wanted to attend a Greek wedding. Plates crashing, the bride and groom being tossed around…what’s not to love!?

homemade hot happiness

May 27, 2011 § 8 Comments

A pizza stone full of hot happiness right here!

Before boarding my plane back to España I tackled 2 tasks.

  • 1) Make pizza on the pizza stone that your fabulous Aunt Pam gave you.
  • 2) Make the Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust that you bought last time you were home and never got around to making.

Check! Check!

Vegetable Garden Pizza

I followed the instructions on the package using the flax egg* option. Other than the package you need olive oil, eggs (flax or not) and water. Simple, easy and fast!

The crust was delicious, light and full of flavor. My whole family loved it!

Crust + Jarred Pasta Sauce + Every Vegetable You Can Think Of

There was another meaty version that escaped the camera’s eye. It was on the fast track to consumption city.

Speaking of homemade… pizza wasn’t my only project.

More on this to come.

What homemade meal would you want for your send off dinner?

* Flax Eggs – To substitute eggs in a recipe combine 1 tablespoon of ground flax meal with 3 tablespoons warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens to an egg-like consistency. This is the replacement for 1 egg. Double or triple as necessary.

Something’s gotta give

May 26, 2011 § 13 Comments

No, that tissue isn’t for my homesick tears (I lie, yes it is) but it’s also for the perspiration that is gathering on my brow.

It’s HOT.

No, it’s not Florida heat (yet) and Florida humidity, but 30° C, that’s 86° F is nothing to balk at. Especially without air-conditioning. Yes, you read that right. No AC.

Oh we have one. But the Spaniard never uses it.

Until now.

Unless I am at the gym, in yoga, or dancing my pants off, I DO NOT like to sweat.

I do not like to sweat when I sleep and I do not like to sweat while sipping my morning cup of joe.

Something’s gotta give.

“But what about the planet?” was one of the responses I received from the Spaniard during my preemptive air-conditioning discussion months ago.

Hmm… the planet.

As long as I am on the planet I refuse lay awake at night in a state of dew (I did that. In Africa. Africa!)

I also prefer not to break a sweat because I like my coffee hot.

I am all about being green, but sometimes something’s gotta give.

My profuse apologies to our future generations, but the air-conditioning will be turned on.

If Spain wants me here for the summer, the air-conditioning gives.

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