'I've been dogged!'
It's a phrase uttered often when visiting our friend.
With 6 waist-high dogs demanding attention one must remember to wear sturdy, washable clothes.
More about the fun later…
First, this is, after all, a food blog, so here's the food.
Grilled Salmon Kebabs
- 12oz (350gr) salmon but into 1 1/2 inch (4cm) chunks
- 3/4 medium green bell pepper, cut into squares to match salmon
- 1 medium red onion, outer 3 layers cut into squares to match peppers
- 6 large mushrooms caps
- 2 tbs Teriyaki marinade
- 1 tbs dry sherry
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 6 skewers
- 1/2 cup Basmati rice
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp molasses
- 1/4 green pepper, chopped
- 1/3 red onion (the rest) chopped
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Soak wooden skewers in warm water
- Mix Teriyaki marinade, soy sauce and sherry in a large bowl.
- Add salmon, pepper, onion and mushrooms to marinade.
- Cut pepper into inch (2.5cm) squares, add to marinade.
- Allow to marinate for 10 minutes.
- When ready to cook, thread salmon and vegetables onto skewers, alternating.
- Cook on barbecue grill for 7 – 10 minutes, turning once.
- Cook rice in chicken stock, soy sauce and molasses until done, aout 15 minues.
- Sauté onion and pepper in oil.
- When rice is done, add to onion and pepper and mix well.
- To serve:
- Divide rice and put on 2 plates. Top with kebabs.
Sunday was the day of the party – his annual brithday party. He was expecting about 20 people for dinner.
Earlier in the week he made 3 curries of varying degrees of heat and froze them.
After our morning walk with the dogs he got all the containers of curry (about 12 of various sizes) out of the freezer and put them in the sun on the terrace.
Then we watched a bit of cricket, the British Gran Prix, a program on defining time (from Einstein's point of view) and one on new theories on the age of the universe.
We had lunch.
We finished watching the Gran Prix and started watching Wimbledon.
Various neighbors drifted in and out to say hola!, to borrow a cup of milk, catch up on the news.
About 4:oo he decided it was time to start making the tapas.
I suggested that maybe he should bring the curries in out of the sun.
He said I could if I wanted to…..
I've done a post before about our different opinions on food safety.
In the US the Food Police (in my opinion) err on the side of extreme caution: Always thaw food in the refrigerator, never let food sit on the counter, and so on.
Our friend has spent a lot of time in India, Sri Lanka, New Guinea, etc., places where refrigeration was not always an option.
His practice is to not worry about it as long as it's going to be brought to a boil before eating.
I brought the food in.
It was hot from the sun.
He put it on the counter and that was that.
Now – here's the good part….. Ready?
At lunch mon mari wanted some mayonnaise.
He opened a new, small jar.
Our friend explained that he would use it to make a salad later in the week as he never kept mayonnaise longer than 5 or 6 days…. even refrigerated. This is not home-made mayo we're talking about, but the stuff in the jar from the store.
I said that it should last at least 6 months in the fridge.
Nope… 6 days at the most and he considered that risky.
Back to the day…
We spent the next hour making the tapas, we took the dogs for a walk, and set up the tables and chairs.
People were invited for 7:30.
Thankfully, we were in Spain.
Misty took up her spot on the wall to watch for guests – and to keep an eye on the village across the valley.
Ghenghis was doing his part by guarding the crisps on the table. He was only guarding them because he doesn't like them. Had it been the smoked salmon it would have been gone in an instant.
About the time the lights in the village came on we were bringing the plates and wine glasses up from the cellar.
About 8:30 everything was under control so he nipped in for a quick shower.
People started arriving shortly thereafter….
He obviously knows his friends.
He boiled the curries, made the rice and dinner was served.
I ate the mild vegetarian curry, wimp that I am.
The woman sitting next to me ate the hot curry – and kept jumping up for more rice.
Oh yes, we were the only non-Spanish there, well, other than our friend.
Dessert was a lovely Strawberry Tart from the local bakery.
After dessert a few of the guys started rearranging the tables and putting aluminum pans on the terrace.
The music came on and one of the women jumped out of the dark corner with 2 flaming batons, lighting whatever was in the pans.
Did I mention one of his friends has a new girlfriend? Turns out she's a Fire Dancer.
We were treated to one of the most fantastic performances I've ever seen. She danced with both batons and torches and it was absolutley amazing.
She was also between me and my camera so no photos…..
She finished with a bit of flaming torch juggling for the kids (of course there were kids there…. Spain, remember?), then the kids got to help blow out all the flames.
All in all it was a fine party.