meta name="p:domain_verify" content="8b08da541f8a920e6 Marie Z Johnston: March 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Poached Rhubarb with Mint Sugar

My dear friend Susan from Carmel Valley is in Paris for a few weeks which presents a terrific opportunity to do a lot of walking, re-visiting some great spots in Paris as well as exploring new places we are curious to discover.  Susan has been here many times, so mercifully, these re-visits don't include the usual suspects (Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, etc) which also means we get to skip those long lines that have returned to Paris along with the  marvelous Spring weather.

Poached Rhubarb with Mint Sugar and that other thing...

Talking Susan into going to one of my favorite markets in the 12th was easy, as was roaming the side streets in this interesting and artisanal neighborhood. 

Inside La Gazzetta at lunch, before the crowds arrived

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Barcelona - Day 2

If someone were to ask, I would say that the most important piece of advise for anyone traveling to Barcelona is: DO NOT eat breakfast at your hotel.  Beat it out of there, head to the nearest covered mercado and slide onto a stool at the busiest cafe you can find. 

Coffee in process at the Universal

Monday, March 14, 2011

Barcelona by the Sea

It's been a busy month. A very busy month.  Walls coming down, tile going up. Time spent in trains, planes and yes, automobiles.  Lots of miles, lots of photos, but no writing.  I was just too busy using my left hand to pick up my fork. Especially in Barcelona, Spain.

Stuffed roast peppers, chicken empanada and tomato rubbed bread
Barcelona is a confused city.  I was there about 15 years ago, before the post Olympics 'Renaissance' (ie: the demolition of entire older neighborhoods) and the building of high-rise, pastel colored, apartment complexes began.

Many of these projects have been abandoned mid construction and so they sit, fenced, with their cranes inactive, waiting for the economy to improve. Historic neighborhoods have been impacted as well; their lively streets scarred by abandoned, yet still fabulous buildings with the ground and first floor windows all bricked up. 

The upper floor windows gape, randomly open, giving a view into crumbling ceilings while pigeons fly happily in an out.  It is odd indeed, yet the spirit of the people is lively and the food remains glorious.

A market stand featuring only pork products