Thursday, 3 May 2012

Spanish Mothers' Day

This bank holiday weekend, instead of "enjoying" the current British weather from your living room window. How about spicing things up with an exotic celebration? On Sunday make sure you celebrate Spanish Mothers' Day.

Every year Spanish Mothers' Day falls on the first Sunday of May, it makes it easy to remember. In Catholicism, the month of May is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. In fact, Spanish Fathers' Day falls always on March 19th (St Joseph's). I may not be religious but I did go to a Catholic school and grew up in a majorly Catholic country, that's my bit of serious knowledge for you for the day.

Now, let's move on to the fun part, shall we? Yes, if you are a mother or you have a mother you want to treat this Spanish Mothers' Day you may have to put in some effort.

You could prepare some tapas easily at home. Some ideas:

- Fill a bowl with olives (you know, from that olive bar you have been eying up).

What's usually left of the chorizo in red wine, i.e. nothing
- Slice some thick chunks of chorizo sausage and fry them first on their own to release some juices and then add some red wine and let it bubble. Make sure you peel the chorizo first, at least that is the way I prefer it, I don't like nasty surprises. Mr Tapas has this chorizo down to a fine art ever since he tried it at Tapas Revolution.

- Buy a tin/jar or two of anchovies

- Buy some manchego or idiazábal or any other Spanish cheeses that you can find, that's a couple more dishes sorted.

- Get nice crusty bread (to dip in the chorizo's lovely wine sauce and to put the anchovies on), for instance.

- Buy some Spanish meats: jamón serrano or ibérico, chorizo, lomo, salchichón, fuet. Whatever you can get your hands on.

- Buy a few tins or jars of sardines, lay them over sliced boiled potatoes, some people add raw onion to it. It will depend on how well your tummy and breath deal with that.

- Make a mixed salad: buy a prepared bag, empty it in a bowl with some cherry tomatoes, cheese, tuna, olives, sliced onion, boiled egg... anything goes where salad is concerned. My favourite homemade dressing is: a garlic clove stamped on bluntly with the hand a few times, good extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar and grain mustard, put it in one of those handy bottles for making salad dressings or in a jar, cover and shake really well. Adapt the measurements to your liking, whether you like more the flavour of vinegar, of good olive oil or of mustard.

- Get a good Spanish wine, a good Tempranillo. Or a beer, see if you can get your hands on a few Estrella Galicia.

You don't have to do all of these, they are just suggestions for you to mix&match.

Lay it on the table really nicely and you're set. Spanish Mothers' Day sorted for you, your wife, your mother... whichever woman in your life is or is about to become a mother.

If you're doing it for yourself, make sure they know why you're doing it, that they are doing the washing up and that they need to talk Spanish for a little while. And no, no sombreros (they're Mexican!).

A few words that may come in handy: a la mesa (basically short for come on you lot I have just slaved over a hot stove for hours and I need you all to sit down and tell me that you like it).

And yes, this is how we eat at the Tapas household quite often, I love that my husband has taken so well to it.

Of course, you could just take them all out for some tapas, that way no one has to wash up. The fact is that you now have an excuse to do something Spanish this weekend!

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