día de la madre
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!
The last day of 2011 has caught me by surprise. In fact until yesterday evening (i.e. the evening of Friday 30th 2011), I was convinced that the 31st wasn’t until Sunday, but it turns out it’s today. I was hoping to have time and inspiration to archive 2011 properly in my cramped brain but that may now have to wait until early 2012. However, this is exactly what in my mind sticks out most after the last 12 months, the constant wait to have or catch a break.
|The Secluded Tea Party – January 2011|
The year started with the Secluded Tea Party that inspired this blog, making friends and getting to know people better. Attending a Business Mums conference and getting to know inspiring women, hiring the accountant who sat at my table before attending her talk about tax.
March saw me going back to work full-time, trying to juggle my work as a freelance translator and the deadlines it involves with a baby without any sort of childcare.
|40th birthday cake|
In April I had my first Mothering Sunday and planned a surprise 40th birthday party at home for my husband, on the day of the Royal wedding. The grocery delivery arrived towards late morning, fortunately when he was outside doing the gardening so I managed to hide the party food and drinks in all sorts of places, like the dryer! Two old friends of his were the first to turn up, one of them he hadn’t seen for over a year because she had been travelling. People kept popping in throughout the day, he told me off because he hadn’t showered and was dirty from gardening. Well, yes it was meant to be a surprise!
In May I had my first Spanish Mother’s Day. We also rented a fabulous Best of Suffolk property in Middleton, The West Ring, to celebrate my husband’s 40th birthday catching up with his closest friends, who joined us for a couple of days of good food, drink, luxury and general togetherness, friendship, fun and laughter.
June was LittleT’s first birthday, another party at home, a lovely birthday cake made by her auntie, lots of lovely visitors and rain! Unfortunately no one came from Spain to celebrate this milestone with her and us.
|First birthday table layout|
June ended with LittleT’s first unaided step a week after her birthday, two days later, as July started, she was taking 10-12 steps at a time before falling on her nappy-padded bum. She was walking.
August was my birthday, my husband took the day off and we had a lovely day together.
September brought the sale of the flat where I lived for many years before moving in with my then fiancé. It marked the end of an era and in a few weeks time it should mark the start of another as we buy a new bigger home for the three of us.
In October I finally had the chance to finish an article that had been going round my head for a while, Little known changing bag brands worth knowing. At the end of the month I went to the Baby Show in London and had the opportunity to meet some of the people behind two of those brands. As well as the opportunity to meet some of my new blogging friends at The Fisher Price Party.
|Drive Confident with the AA|
In November I had huge amounts of work and therefore little time for blogging, Mr Tapas’ work took him away from us for a while both in October and November, but we did manage to find some time to put in an offer on a house and are now buying it. Hurry up conveyancing process!
November also took me to The Secluded Blogfest.
December brought a lovely date with my husband and a special Christmas day for LittleT with lots of lovely presents.
On the last day of the year I have spent some time in The Sanctuary, I first had a facial and then I half wrote this post while sitting in the relaxation room, taking advantage of the fact that the lights were too low to read my magazine and that I had some time to put the year in perspective. I may turn it into a yearly thing, a couple of hours of the last morning of each year to take stock and relax before tackling another year.
Me in 2011? Good overall, although on occasion not great to be honest, a bit down at times, not always the happiest person but, despite my return to work, I have spent a lot of time with my daughter and I am happy to say that that means that I haven’t missed a single one of her landmark moments, I really don’t know how I would have felt if I had got to a nursery one day to be told that she had taken her first step or said her first word. I am delighted that I was always there to see her triumphant face.
It is hard and challenging at times, I do wish I had a bit of time to myself once a week to take stock like I did the other day and to put things in perspective. Spending a little time away from LittleT and Mr Tapas is weird but I think it’s very helpful. It’s good both for me and our relationship that I get to feel like me.
I ask 2012 to give me more time to be a mum, to play with my daughter or
sit down and cuddle with not a care in the world. I ask the piles of unwashed
clothes to calm down. The dishes, pots and pans to stay cleaner a bit longer. I
ask family pressure to go away. I ask my self-esteem to come back. I ask for
freedom to go out with my husband. I ask for flexibility to have time to think,
moisturise and look after myself, and to once in a while have a duvet day!
Happy new year everyone or, as we say in Spain, feliz año.