Have I Mentioned SPAIN!?!

So, I’ll tell this in the short version and the long version.  And just this one time, I’ll tell a super-short version first.

I am going to Spain on Saturday!

[end of super-short version]

Jamon a el Burladero

I have been invited as a Canadian Delegate to the 10th Annual Cooking with Olive Oil Conference (el Encuentro Internacional de Cocina con Aceite de Oliva Virgen Extra)  at Consorcio Hacienda La Laguna.   Chef Matt Kantor, my friend and partner in the Secret Pickle Supper Club, is also a delegate and we’ve decided to extend our stay so we can also attend the Fórum Gastronómico in Santiago de Compostela.  After that we’re spending another 6 days along the northern coast before flying home.

In addition, we have launched a new Culinary Travel Site for this and future adventures – FarFromOrdinary.ca.  This first edition of  FarFromOrdinary.ca is the Spain Edition and we’ll be talking food, culinary culture, recipes, wine and a little bit about our travels.

[end of short version]

[start of long version]

OH MY GOD, I am SO excited!!!!!!!!!

I know, too many exclamation marks, but they do effectively reflect my level of enthusiasm so cut me some slack.

My last trip to Spain was wonderful. Gerry and I spent the better part of a week in Barcelona visiting Kathy & Geoff, with a little side trip up to Perpignan, France.

We Oughta Be in Pictures

We spent our days wandering around, sipping sangria, visiting Las Ramblas and watching tourists get purse snatched and then chase the snatchers into a sketchy neighbourhood… not so smart we were thinking.  Then we went for pastries.


Spain has been a bit of an obsession for me since I bought my first Asterix book on the highway somewhere in Quebec between Ottawa and Saint John.  It was in french and was Astérix en Hispanie and I read it cover to cover, over and over again,  even though I didn’t speak French.   My friend Don who would translate it as a bed time story for me could barely get past the name of the Spanish Chief – Huevos y Bacon – without collapsing in a pile of snorts and chuckles. Always a good sign.   Thus was born my love of Asterix and Spain.

Spain was also instrumental in getting the island.  Dad and Marilynn were saving for a month-long trip to Spain when they found that the island was for sale.  All the money they had set aside, and then some, went into getting a down payment and building a corporation to buy the island.  The trip to Spain was postponed until later.  Much later.

But when it did happen, they came home with tales of tapas, sangria and orange trees in city squares, x-pats and Romani (who all thought Marilynn was Romani and would just start talking to her!)  And the music, oh the music!

We spent years trying to perfect our sangria recipe and using random Spanish words like ensalata and hamburguesa.  I still have a string of olive wood beads they brought home for me.

Sangria at the Pintxos Pickle

So you can see why I get a little excited when I get to go to Spain.

Add to that, I’m going to a 5-day Olive Oil Conference!   Really, how cool is that?!?

We’re also working with some local importers and Spanish exporters on getting some culinary tours in vineyards, cideries and other food and drink producers while we are visiting. And we all know how much I enjoy and learn when I get to do that.

So I promise to try and rein in my enthusiasm, exclamation marks and just share the interesting bits about the trip.  Matt & I will be sharing recipes and information type stuff over on FarFromOrdinary.ca, and I’ll be enthusing here between adventures.

[end of long version, told you it’d be LONG!]

Huges thanks:

  • to our friends and connections working to find us interesting people to meet, places to go and beds to sleep in;
  • to our sponsors who so far include:

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

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