Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Chores, chores

Hello, everyone.

We're on our second day in a row without rain--still partly cloudy, but no raindrops--and my sweetie has been on a tear in the yard. He mowed yesterday, and cut the grass shorter around the pecan trees, too. That way if a nut falls, we'll be more able to see it.

The nuts have been falling already, too. I'm a little surprised. Most of the nuts on the tree still look like this:

But we opened the first one and it was very sweet.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

It's been a cookin' mornin' today

Hello, everyone.

I have been busy in the kitchen today--first, because I needed to take four dozen cookies to the funeral home for a parishioner's wake, and second, because I was almost completely out of yogurt. I took pictures of the cookie making, so that's what I'll write about today. (Maybe another day I'll do yogurt. Or not--there are a lot of sets of directions for good yogurt online.)

Last night I was muddling around and thinking about what kind of cookies to make, and found this recipe:
An oatmeal cookie recipe that promises to turn out 4 dozen. Well, either 3 or 5 dozen depending on the scoop size. Good enough! This is my King Arthur Flour baking book.
Then I rounded up the oatmeal canister, the raisin box, a can of honey-nuts, and semi-sweet chocolate chips from the cupboard. This morning I added to the collection 2 sticks of butter, the eggs (guinea eggs this time), flour and so on and so forth.

The dough bowl looked like this:
I took this photo after I'd already filled one cookie sheet full of cookies. I used an iced-tea spoon to drop the dough onto the cookie sheets.
The spacing used, and the results from that spacing:

I wish I'd been more careful with dough placement. These particular cookies were fine, but I got a number of the later ones too close together. They came out of the oven fused on one or more edges. I had to cut them apart with the spatula to get them onto the rack for cooling. Oatmeal drop cookies need to be separated by at least 2 inches. Even when they're small cookies.

And the packaged cookies, ready to go:
You can see that I recycle my containers!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Update on wall decorations

Hello, everyone.

I did some more looking around after my last post, and found this: a poster of the old-time route from St. Jean to Santiago de Compostela. It's mostly the route we walked, so it will be perfect on the wall between our Compostela certificates.

You didn't think we'd neglect to frame those, after all that walking, did you?

This morning I worked on a new sewing project--took a break from the quilt squares--this one is a case for my pastry board. I knew the 2-D measurements of the board, and guessed how much to add for thickness. Oops. Not big enough. I will now add a gusset to the sides of the 19x25 inch silver taffeta bag. Maybe I will put carry straps on it, too, as long as I'm messing around with it and have to remove the side seams anyway.

A picture for today: it's been so very, very dry for so long in south Texas, and now the fall rains have returned. (Last year they were a no-show.) A fruit of the returned rains:
The big mound of Duranta shrub, formerly a lot of mostly-bare sticks, is now covered in blossoms. And new leaves!
(Updated to add the link to the map poster)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ideas for projects, maybe

Hello, everyone.

The last couple of days have been pretty calm around here. We had rain--and in Texas that's a welcome thing--and my birdies have been getting a walk in the yard most evenings. They're laying--green eggs for the hens and brown for Mrs. Guinea--and so most days we have home-made eggs for breakfast.

I have been wondering about what to make the centerpiece of our wall display, now that the Compostela certificates are framed and hung in the living room.

There was some thinking of maybe putting a poster of the Camino route, but there aren't a lot of those floating around in our neck of the woods.

Then I wondered about possibly putting one of our pictures from the route in the middle of the grouping.

Another pilgrim took a picture of us both, standing with a really cool carved waymarker on the outskirts of Santiago.
My sweetie's photo of the Cathedral doors.

The Cathedral, which is undergoing restoration just now. (The Portico de la Gloria is all blocked off by the scaffolding.)
My sweetie's photo of the Botafumeiro swinging on Corpus Christi Sunday.
There are other photos, as well, perhaps less exact to Santiago de Compostela--the zero kilometer marker in Fisterra and suchlike. I'm not sure which I like. 

On another note, I learned at our Altar Society meeting that the cauliflower salad was a hit. I will write down how I do it, in case anyone wants to try it out and maybe ring changes on the idea.

The idea started with reading low-carb fake-potato recipes. One of which was a "Mock Potato Salad" made with cooked cauliflower. Now I must say that while the creamy cauliflower puree that passes for mashed potatoes isn't bad, I don't think anybody will think that the chunks of cooked cauliflower in a salad are pototoes. People are smarter than that. So I don't call if Mock Potato Salad. I just call it:

Cauliflower Salad. I cut the washed cauliflower up in to little bite size pieces and cook it in the microwave. Then I transfer all the tender little white things into a mixing bowl and add some onion (red or mild white, either grated or chopped up) and some celery bits and some bell pepper. Maybe some dill pickle chopped up into little green things, too. And then I put a dressing that is pretty much like the one my sister-in-law uses for potato salad: 3 parts mayonnaise and 1 part mustard. This whole ensemble is stirred gently around until mixed and then covered with plastic wrap while it waits in the fridge for serving time.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Embroidery stuff

Hello, everyone.

I was looking in on Ms. Corbett's page, Needle n Thread, and inspired to put up some pictures of my (not the be all and end all) embroidery transfer method of choice.

I have used it on: my elder daughter's wedding dress (bead embroidery)
Japanese seeds and Swarovski crystals on ivory silk doupioni. Sulky Solvy both stabilized the fabric and held the design. This is the center-front of the dress bodice. At the end of the doupioni assembly, I added fill-in stitches to the seam lines to connect the bodice pieces smoothly to each other and to the band sleeves. It was all quite a project!

my granddaughter's Christmas dress (on corduroy)
Cotton floss on red cotton corduroy. Solky Solvy made a flat surface for the stitching to rest upon and held the design. Burda World of Fashion infant's dress pattern with long sleeves--here rolled up.

a white wrap for a stillborn baby
White and pastel cotton floss on white broadcloth. Tulip center design from (I think) Needle n Thread.com site, lettering created with greeting card program and traced separately after the center was done.
I trace the design onto the Sulky Solvy, a transparent, lightweight, water-soluble interfacing. Then I attach it to the fabric. At the end of the project, the finishing of the small thing or the readiness of a part to be included in a large thing, I pull out the basting stitches holding the Sulky Solvy, pull off as much of the Sulky Solvy as can be removed by hand, and give the item a soak in OxyClean solution. The OxyClean eats the ink and dissolves the remaining bits of Sulky Solvy. (I think the interfacing must be made of starch, as while it holds together for the purpose and tears apart very easily, it has no actual strength of its own.) And then I rinse in cold, clear water and drip dry, carefully pressing as needed and possible.

I have used simple tracing also, in this Thanksgiving themed hand towel:
Another of Ms. Corbett's free patterns. Note that I should have cut the thread between the grass bunches!
And creative adaptation of a pre-printed design, in this portrait of Mister Sexy:
Mister Sexy's portrait, on a chicken-themed dish towel. Sadly, he died of heatstroke shortly after this was done. This is the profile pic I use in my CafePress shop
 The pre-printed design on this towel showed something resembling a Barred Rock rooster in profile, with prominent comb and wattles, using some hideous colors. Bright greens, oranges, that kind of thing. When actual roosters are so beautiful, and not hard to do at all, the use of the Crayola-box, kindergarten-art colors is to cry over. IMHO. But the shape being mostly there, it was easy to adapt.
Mister Sexy, the Ameraucana rooster that we had for a while. This pic doesn't show the green iridescence in his tail, but it does show his Attitude. I miss him.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A short one for today

Hello, everyone.

A little while back, I mentioned that I've been trying to make different crafty things in the shape of scallop shells. The scallop shell is about the oldest of the Camino symbols; the early pilgrims would get the shells when they got to Santiago and maybe went on to Muxia or Finisterre (Fisterra) and then head on back home with their hard-won proof of completion proudly displayed.

These days the pilgrims acquire their scallop shell when they start out, or on the way, and display it while on the pilgrimage. Of course, these days even if you walk to Santiago, you can take a plane to go home again!

Santiago Peregrino not only has a scallop on his hat, he is also shown with scallops on the wall beside him.

Santiago Matamoros has his scallop on his hat here. The Moor underfoot is obscured by the flowers. (Statue in the Cathedral of Santiago)
I was inspired to try to make a peyote stitch beaded scallop shell. It's still in progress--had to undo about half of what had been done and redo--but here are a couple of pictures of the project. (It's about 2 inches wide, those are the #11 Delica beads.)
Earliest photo of the beading. The sketches for a few Camino-themed projects are on the peyote-stitch graph paper next to the dish. (Graph paper from Fire Mountain Gems.)

Today's progress. This is what I do if I sit down in the room with the TV and don't have a book in hand.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cool Cathedral Things

Hello, everyone.

I remember not putting up a lot of pictures of the arches and ceilings structures in the cathedrals, bridges, and gates, because there are only so many pictures a person can put up.

Here are some neat ones that I enjoy:
Burgos cathedral. 
I like the way the crossing vaulting is gracefully arranged. I think it's probably still functional, as you can kind of see the connections between the parts and how they draw down into those umbrella ribs at the corners of the sections.

Leon cathedral--a simpler vaulting design, but still beautiful and functional.
This crossing vault system isn't so decorated. It's just elegant.

Gate in Leon, with Roman centurion atop.
I included this arched gate just because. The centurion on top is quite possibly a lot younger than the gate.

Medieval or Roman bridge. I think this is the bridge that is famous for the Paso de Honor.
This last photo, the bridge that I remember as the one tied up with the Paso de Honor, is quite long, and it has the ancient stones on the surface, or their twins. It's not as horrible to walk on as the Roman roads that had lost there capstones were. It's just sort-of bad. But the day was pretty.

The Paso de Honor is a story of some fellow that was rejected by a lady and took it *way* too personally. He tied himself on one end of the bridge and announced that he was going to fight all comers until either he died or decided that his "wounded" honor was repaired. And he fought a number of fights before getting it out of his system. I find myself not in sympathy with the fellow at all. Maybe he really was a bad match, if that was how he took a rejection.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lesson Absorption is Gradual

Hello, everyone.

I am coming to the conclusion that the Pilgrimage to Compostela doesn't really end when you get on the plane to go home. (Even if you don't have to try again to get out of Spain!)

I find myself trying to process it by, for example, making quilt squares with scallop shells on them.

The first draft of the scallop applique, with color mates. A second draft has been pieced, but not appliqued. I intend to make photos of the assembly of that version, as the angles problem has been worked out now.

(Yes, the scallop square is necessarily applique. I don't even want to think about how tricky it would be to piece that many odd and curved seams. The square would probably outright refuse to lie flat at the end of it, too.)

And trying to make a beading pattern of a scallop shell--the peyote stitch one I started with is presently being "unwoven" back to where I should have bent lines more--but it's a learning process.

Early pic of the beaded scallop picture, right about when I think the design went all wonky. On sheet in background, the pencil sketches for Cross of Santiago, the yellow waymarker arrow, and the scallop shell.

This morning I am thinking that I should just toss over the weaving in progress and start again. Since there are three different threads in it, and at some point one finds it impossible to continue unstringing the threads because of the add-ins and the finishing-offs.

We learned to go with the flow a lot more than once would have been possible. It started on the very first day, when we arrived in Biarritz. There had been a plan for that day--a plan that had involved a lot of looking on the web and considering maps and so on--that involved staying the night in Bayonne, then moving the 20 miles down the way to St. Jean, then the following day (decompressed from plane travel) beginning to walk. This all went by the wayside when we encountered a lady pilgrim from Scotland, who suggested we share a cab to St. Jean. And we did.

I think the pony in St. Jean knew more about what I was doing than I did.

Now I look back and consider what I heard about the weather that hit on the day we would have been starting to walk, and I'm grateful that the plan went by the wayside. Because on May 19 the weather was pretty good. Give or take an evil headwind. Way better than the rainstorms and snow and much stronger winds that hit the next two days, which I heard about from other pilgrims. (I haven't been talking much about the other pilgrims we met on the trail. That's because I don't feel really comfortable spilling whatever they told me, and I overheard, and I guessed without any evidence, without any permission from them nor any expectation that there would be a blog post in the future. It just feels too much like a peeping tom putting up a videocam next to somebody's fence aimed at their uncurtained bathroom window.) On May 20, I heard, the snow was so bad that people were calling cabs to drive up the mountain and get them--one man said that he saw a long string of headlights through the storm, collecting stranded pilgrims to carry them down to start over again. He told of his start when we met him in Santo Domingo de Calzada--he'd decided that he'd freeze to death before a cab could come to him, and kept going. I could not have done that day on that unsheltered trail up the mountside.

I am firmly of the belief that when one goes on pilgrimage, God watches. And now I see that the evidence of His guiding hand was there even on our very first day in France. I look back over the walk and see many more things like that than I realized at the time, too. Directions--unsought--from strangers, more than once. Lodging when we couldn't find it. Encouragement from a passing pilgrim. Too many times to count, really.

Before I close this post, a feet picture set:

They look a lot better two months after returning than they did in Pamplona, don't they? (I will let you go back to that post if you want to see something really scary.) The purple toes are coming right along, the athlete's foot is gone, the blisters are gone. So, if you go and find yourself covered in blisters early on, just go to the pharmacy and get the bandages and use the antiseptic--hand sanitizer if that's what you have on you--every day and change bandages a lot. Wear your shower sandals in the evening so the feet will air out a lot.

Final note on feet: life is not fair. My sweetie only had one blister the entire 500 miles. But he had a new plantar fasciitis develop--the second one--which bothered him a lot. And the Roman roads with their pokey rocks were very hard for him--made his feet more sensitive to other pokey rocks later on. Ibuprofen gel, yes! Ibuprofen at bedtime, yes! And foot rubs.

I encourage anyone reading to make the pilgrimage. And accept that once you do, it will take root inside you.

We are now reading Mr. Kelly's Kindle book about the Via de la Plata, and Mr. Brierly's book about the Camino Portuges. Who can know whether we will be blessed to make another pilgrimage in the future? Or even to repeat the Camino Frances, the route we walked this summer?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Concluding our Camino

Hello, everyone.

At this point, having gone over the Walk, the bus/train tour, and the visit to Madrid, it's time to run over our trip home at the end of our pilgrimage. (After that, I'm sure there will be ruminations. And considerations of future travel. And possibly we will go hiking in other places--day hiking, that is--and that will appear. And cooking, and crafts, and so on.)

Our plane reservation was for July 3. We checked out of our pension, having tossed all manner of little bits that were broken and just making our packs weigh more, and walked out the door onto Madrid's street for the last time. We thought. It was 6 in the morning. The sun wasn't up yet, but we could see some clouds building. In fact, it started raining just before we passed the government office buildings on the way to the bus station. I ducked into the nearby door of a bank and pulled the rain poncho out of the pack. It was hard to put it on by myself, but my sweetie hadn't noticed me steppign aside. (Love that taffeta swish in your ears!) About a block later he figured out that I wasn't right behind him. I got to see him start turning back to try and find me. So I called to him and we joined up again.

It was raining and it was dark and we were two dark clad poncho covered figures walking down the street, obviously carrying big things under our ponchos. The passing police cars didn't even look twice. Maybe they see a lot of tourists wandering the street at that time with backpacks? I don't know.

We got to the bus station, repacked our ponchos and boarded the express bus to the airport. A little while later, we got off at the last terminal of the four. Oops. We should have gotten off at the first one. So we rode the inter-terminal bus back around and found our airline. There was already a line. (We later learned that during our weeks of no-television, the US government had decided to have an official sense of concern about people who might have disappeared and then reappeared and had US passports.) The lady handling pre-checks took our passports, had a conference with another security lady, and asked if we had our Camino passports. As happened, we did. (Crystallized effort in those little bits of cardboard. We were taking care of them!) We did our little dance of opening each other's pack and pulling out the document and handed them over to her and she had another conference with the other lady. Then she came back and stickered our packs as being pre-approved. We figured we were doing fine and had judged the length of line we'd be in right and all was cool. Then we realized that the line at the United Airlines desk was moving v-e-r-y slowly. Each and every passenger group was getting an interview at the desk. When we got up there, we realized that the poor reservation agents were having to reschedule everybody. (The prior day's storms in the eastern US had made a hash of their schedule. And apparently they had no functional contingency plan that didn't involve days on end of fooling around.) They conferred with us--forecast an arrival two days later than originally planned--and kept our original reservation in place while also making just-in-case reservations so we'd get home somehow. Somewhen.

We got coffee and roll. (As usual, we'd delayed eating anything until the morning was well started.)
We went through the assorted collection of security gates. At some point we were informed that because of flight delays, the airline would feed us lunch. So we reported to the lunch zone and had a sandwich and bocadillo and drink. (At least I think it was both sandwich and bocadillo. I remember thinking that it was basically two sandwiches.) We hung around for a while, got the lucky number for pat-downs, peeked out the window at approaching dark clouds, boarded the plane. Our 11 am departure had turned into about 3 pm but we figured we were still okay. Then we heard the roaring on the roof of the plane. Madrid was having a historic hailstorm.

From bus window

Piles of hail in drifts all over

And of course it all happened at the start of rush hour.

First the pilots had the mechanics come out and look the plane over. Then they got a spot in the departure line. Then we got into the line and were #2 when the pilot crew looked at their watches and schedules and cancelled the flight! >:-(

Apparently they'd been in the plane so long before getting in the air to come over the water, and been delayed so long at the gate from the storm, that they would exceed their regularoty maximum time on duty before the plane would be landing in the US. (Don't you think they could have figured that out before pulling back from the gate?) So we deplaned and followed an airline person to a bus and rode down the road to the Trypp by Windham, which was brand-new and quite nice.
A little sitting area, with a TV
Twin beds

There was a renta-a-comp in the lobby. We used it to email our family that we weren't going to be in on time and to look on the weather news and figure out what had happened to us.

The hall. With one of those electric
circuits you have to plug your key into.

A dryer and some toiletries on the sink
 (Dinner was cafeteria food, and one of the few not-very-good glasses of wine I had in Spain, but it was there. We'd learned a lot on our pilgrimage. We weren't sharing our room with 90 other people, which was something.)

Even fancy facilities and a real tub

At 5 am we all got back onto the bus and went back to the airport. Where the long-suffering reservation desk attendants had come in early to try and redo all of an entire planeload of passengers' reservations. Again.
We went through the security zones again. They opened the very last checkpoint really late for us (not for them, they were in early for their work day most likely--but it was only 10 minutes before our new, revised boarding time) and insisted on doing the patdowns all over again. I was so embarrassed when the poor young man had to put his (gloved) hands inside my hiking boots. They were nasty by now! I even apologized. And I was very glad that we'd checked our packs! Because they were opening and patting through everything in people's carry-on bags. All I had to carry on was my trusty Aggie bag, with our cameras, the Kindle, and not much else.

We got onto the plane again. Took off. Landed. Went to customer service right away in Dulles to try and get to Houston as soon as possible. (Also put the batteries back into the Blackberry and called home!) Got to Houston. Got stuck in Houston. Apparently the powers that be had only scheduled 2 flights to the Valley from Houston on July 4. With the little bitty planes that they've been using lately. We didn't get seats on either of them. So we had to spend yet another unscheduled night in a hotel. (And the one in Houston wasn't nearly as nice as the one in Madrid had been. To protect the guilty, I won't name it. I think I worked really hard on forgetting the name, in fact!) Woke up at 5 am in Houston and took the shuttle ride to the airport that another stranded passenger had asked for--they'd awakened early and left already, but we did have another little group with us in the van--spent our "meal vouchers" on food at the airport, and got onto a flight home. It was now July 5.

But we were home.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

It's not Madrid, but it does relate to Spain

Hello, everyone.

I know I told y'all that I really liked the octopus (pulpo a feira) that we ate in Galicia. I liked it so much that I trawled the internet and found a recipe to make it.

That was all kind of academic at the time, because I had no idea how to find octopus to cook. Then my grocery store (HEB) suddenly stocked thawed, cleaned octopus in the fish counter. Thank you, HEB!

Last night's dinner, in three photos:
Ready to dip into the boiling water

The instructions say to fill a large pot with water and get it boiling. I used a 20 quart stock pot. When it was boiling, I added the peeled whole onion and let it get acquainted with itself for a couple of minutes. Then I rounded up the long handled meat fork and used it to dip the octopus into the boiling water. Removed, stood tapping foot while water returned to boiling, Did the dip-and-remove-and-wait thing one more time. The next time the water came back to a boil, I put the octopus in and left it to cook. I set the timer for 45 minutes. (This octopus was previously frozen. And we know that freezing meat tenderizes it somewhat.)
Ready to check doneness

When the timer went off, I pulled the now-curled octopus out and put it onto the cutting board for the doneness test: cut a chunk out of the thick part of a tentacle and see if it's tender. It was. I cut the tentacles up into bite sized chunks. I also cut where the tentacles join into bite sized chunks. I didn't cut the head up. (The head I serve to the dogs and cats afterward. They love it, too.) Then I transferred all of the chunks to a bowl.

I poured Extra Virgin Olive Oil onto the chunks, added a generous sprinkle of ground Chipotle pepper, and salted. I also sliced up one of the short-baguette loaves baked earlier in the day and we had Pulpo a Feira con Pan for dinner. With tinto to drink.

I confess, tinto sometimes is a little too muscular a wine for chicken and seafood, but it seems like the Spanish are keeping their good Albarinos and Verdejos at home instead of sending them overseas where I can get them. Drat. I love the Spanish wines.

(Oh, the bread was made from the recipe in my copy of Bo Friberg's Pastry Chef book...I've had it some years so I think there's a newer one out, but I'm fairly confident that basic baguette is still in the "Breads and Pastries" chapter. I used a pan of warm water on the bottom shelf of the oven for the steam and used the Pizza Tile and the spiffy new French-bread two-loaf pan to bake it.)

If I remember to take pictures, the next time we find frozen sardines at HEB, I'll take pictures of my sweetie cooking them for me on the fire. And likewise for the next time we make Gambon al Ajillo, shrimp with garlic and olive oil. Both of these are also served with baguette slices.

Did I mention that I divided the bread dough into 4 parts when I made it, baking two and freezing two at the formed loaf ready to rise stage? Now all I have to do to get wonderful baguette bread is to thaw out the loaves and let them rise and bake them. Bread dough freezes wonderfully well.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Madrid, City of Art

Hello, everyone.

I did say that there would be a few words about museums in Madrid. Here is the nutshell: A number of great art museums, a fascinating museum of naval history, a cathedral full of interesting chapels and modern icons. Many of them allow the student to photograph the works.

Plan on the Prado taking a day by itself--wear comfortable shoes because the exhibit halls are mostly without any seating to rest on--but you can get a snack in the coffee shop without leaving the museum. They sell the catalog of the museum collection in various languages, get it and you can learn more about all kinds of things after you're home. The Prado is also near a really cool fountain in a traffic circle.

The Reina Sofia museum is about modern art, but it includes some Goya ink pieces from the early 19th century (printed in newspapers) that I found were my key to understanding a lot more about the modern art idea. Not that I am any more sympathetic to the said modern art. There some that I could have sworn were chickens--apparently they were smokers?
hmm. whatever.
 The Reina Sofia had a couple of, um, room size installations that were completely opaque to me. Large collections of paper grids with just a few squares colored in, for example.
This I got a kick out of. It's got the meat cuts diagrammed on the animals. Dunno why the unicorn horns!

The Thyssen seemed to us a better museum than the Reina Sofia--covered a lot of similar time period--but we understood it better, so to speak. I think I remember a lot of neat still-lifes with flowers in one room. Also some harbor pictures. And portraits. One of the portraits is of the original museum donor.

If you can only do one of these modern-art museums, make it the Thyssen. Either one--Reina Sofia or Thyssen--will consume at least a half day.

The Museum of Naval History has a lot of cool models of ships, many cutaway, and a heap of portraits. As you can see from the name, this one is about history. There are old swords, cannon balls, helmets, and maps. It's a government building; they want to see your ID at the entrance. They accepted my driver's license with no problem.

The cathedral is a modern one, not an ancient one, and it has informative plaques on the walls of the various side chapels in honor of various saints. Some are martyrs of the 1930's civil war. The modern icons are painted on the sides of the dome, way up there, but they're large enough to see. They seem to me to adhere to the Eastern conventions of the genre as far as composition and content. The cathedral also has a painted ceiling that is kind of neat.
Almost looks like the ribs of an upside-down ship from this angle

The Museum of Decorative Arts was full of interesting things, but they had no gift shop that I saw, and it seemed to us like the labeling could have been more informative. There were samples of embroidery to be viewed, but you had to open the drawers to see some of them. There were also pottery samples--they had a card guide for that room, but you need to know about the pottery to understand why these pieces matter. There was some really beautiful woodwork.

and more wow
And then one food thing that I didn't get around to the other day, but that really stands out in my memory: Ham Cones!
Yum! And the Enrique Tomas store that sells these was just down the block from our pension.
The post is getting long, so I'll stop now. Need to clean up the drool from looking at the ham cone picture! I miss those things so much.