Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cooking and Cleaning...a man's job!

Hi everyone! Hope you are having a great weekend. There have been some big changes going on at Win-Win, so I figured now would be a good time to tell you about them since we had a big group dinner last night. Adam, the boy professor, actually found an amazing travelling international job in Pamplona that he couldn't turn down, so he is leaving the school in about two weeks. He has found his friend, Sean to take his place. Sean is from Scotland and kind of sounds like Sean Connery with his accent hahah. It will be a weird change because Erika, Adam and I were finally used to each other but Sean seems nice and is pretty funny. To celebrate Adam's new job and welcome Sean we had a group dinner.

This wasn't just any group dinner though. It was at a Sociedad - which is called Txoko in Basque. It is a gastronomical society where ONLY men can cook. They were started so that men could come together, experiment with food and socialize without women. Txokos actually originated in San Sebastian! Women are able to enter to eat the food thier husbands make but cannot enter the kitchen - which means no cooking and no cleaning - which I think sounds fantastic! Last night there were 3 groups of men cooking and a lot of women waiting around for thier dinners hahaha. Like many very-basque places, this txoko was in a large stone building with picnic tables...very rustic. These txokos have led to Basque cuisine being very refined and famous world-wide. I felt pretty special getting to go to such an authentic txoko - since of course it is invite-only.

Our cooks were Josema (Helena's husband in the apron) and Alvaro (Erika's boyfriend) and they made a delicious meal. It started off with fish soup followed by king prawns: two things I had never tried but thought were pretty tasty. Then we had some salad (yes yes I ate it) and then a huge steak (chuleta) with some foie gras. I kinda skipped the foie and just ate the steak. For dessert we had this slushy drink called Sorbete de Limón. It is a traditional dessert drink and is sooo good. There are two recipes on how to make it - you can make your OWN sorbet but I will spare you that recipe because it seems like a lot of work ha. If you want to try it, I suggest buying some lemon sorbet and champage and then blending them together and ta-da its probably quite similar! Last we had some cheese and quince (which is like a jelly for the cheese) and walnuts.

It was a fun mix of languages because Helena's husband doesn't speak English and Sean, although he has been here for a few years, doesn't really speak much Spanish. After dinner we stopped off at a bar in Hondarribia, and I thankfully didn't see any of my students! By 2 o'clock we called it a night and a good night it was!

I hope you had a great weekend! More blogs to come soon!


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