March 30, 2011
It’s a nice sunny day on the way to Malaga, Spain with the temperature of 64. Seas are a bit rocky so they brought the Country Fair inside. This is a time where many ship departments set up booths and passengers play whatever game they wish to get tickets which are drawn for prizes. The casino always has some simple card game, the chefs usually have spice containers that you need to sniff and identify the spices, the housekeepers have two passengers try to see who can put a pillowcase on the pillow the fastest and so on. Norm went and had fun but didn’t win any prizes. I had a cooking class so I missed it.
Cooking class today was Viva Espana and it was a lot of fun. The instructor, Noelle, made paella all during the class and shared all of the steps in between the recipes we made.
First we made Pan Con Tomate which is one of the typical tapas of Southern Spain.
Next we made Gambas Al Ajillo on Scallion Polenta Cakes. This is a typical dish in Northern Spain and is meant to be picked up and eaten with the hands. It is called pitos and when this type of small dish is eaten, it always has a toothpick in it. The toothpicks are collected and that is how the server knows how to charge for these small appetizers which are chosen by each customer.
In Spain, it is typical to have tapas or pitos during the afternoon and dinner around 10 PM. That for sure would not work for me!
The last dish was Garbanzos Ibericos. Sorry this one came out blurry for some reason. It is chick peas, garlic, jamon and baby spinach.
We ended with Sangria Blanca which the chefs made for us to drink as we ate the paella. I had enough of all of the food for Norm to join me at the end of the class to taste each recipe. The paella and the garbanzo dish contained meat, which I don’t eat, but I was able to taste just the rice in the paella and just the spinach and garbanzos in the last dish. I would make them all at home and could make substitutions in each.
Tonight is the second Oceania Club cocktail party and our entertainer will be Dimitris Dekavallas, a Spanish Guitar Virtuoso.