Esparragosa de Lares, Spain
Today I’m going to tell you about Tita. Or Aunty. Our daily holiday schedule in the village revolved around going to lunch at hers. In Spain, mealtimes are late and lunchtime is somewhere between 2pm and 4pm.
Aunty is the family matriarch and D’s father’s sister. She is a sprightly woman in her 80s, with a good bite to her tongue. You don’t want to get on the wrong side of her because you’ll get a telling off the likes of which you haven’t heard since you were ten.
Everyday she cooked for us in her tiny kitchen that just fits her stove and a small counter top. She has a bigger, modern kitchen but she doesn’t cook in there. In fact, her oven is crammed full of bags of potato chips. I was tickled. But out of the cupboard-sized kitchen came the magic of tortilla, ajo blanco, milanesa (breaded chicken), potatoes in tomato, fried chorizo, lentils, meatballs. Hearty village favourites, served with love and a big loaf of country bread.
Tita herself eats sparingly. But the moment you finish the last scrap on your plate, she’s up on her feet, gesturing to seconds and asking if you want anything else. She reels off the contents of her fridge – beer, wine, melon, cheese, yoghurt, yesterday’s leftovers. When we really cannot eat anymore, she tells us what she is going to cook the next day. And then points again to seconds !
During the village fair, the cooking amounts were larger. Her away children came back. Her “English” brother returned. One evening, at half past midnight, we dropped by and there were all manner of immediate & extended family and friends wandering in and out of her house, catching up with each other. From her chair, Tita was chatting and gesturing to food and drink. It made me think of my grandmother’s house when she was alive.
Enjoy the pictures. I don’t have many of the food because I was too busy eating.
~ Spotted Cow