Thursday, December 8, 2011

Patatas Bravas & Mashed Potatoes

This year Lisa and I celebrated Thanksgiving twice:  the first being the Sunday prior when we prepared a traditional mini-Thanksgiving feast and the second being Thanksgiving day when we wandered around Barcelona.  Our pre-Thanksgiving feast featured all the usual items (albeit in smaller quantities) -- slow-cooked turkey breast, mashed potatoes & gravy, green beans with slivered almonds, made-from-scratch cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie -- whereas our actual Thanksgiving meal was a couple rounds of mojitos, some sangria, a small bag of potato chips, and, eventually, several tapas dishes.  And instead of cold and dreary weather in Vienna, it was sunny and warm in Barcelona.  The sunshine alone was reason enough to pour forth the gratitude on this Thanksgiving weekend... 
Dusk settling over Barcelona harbor
Then there was the overflowing-with-mint mojito.  Thank you, Cubans.
Mintiest mojito I've ever had
And the indulgent, greasy goodness of a bag of potato chips:  Thank you, American chef behind the creation of the modern-day potato chip.
Potato chips, mashed potatoes -- I suppose either one will do for Thanksgiving day
And thanks to those who didn't openly ridicule our fashion faux pas:  twinners!  
Lapping it up on the tiled, sinewy bench surrounding the Banc de Trencadis at the Park Guell
Also a nod to that which inspired such architectural brilliance from Antoni Guadi:
The La Sagrada Familia Cathedral anchors the city and is still under construction after more than 100 years
This facade is the real deal
The interior of this cathedral rivals that of any other cathedral in the world
Lastly, thank you, Spain, for the genius behind combining fruit and wine and bringing chocolate back to the Old World. 
A (nutritious!) meal in a glass...
Moderately spiced patatas bravas complimenting a sweet and fruity sangria
Spanish hot chocolate so ridiculously thick and sweet...
...it's served in a mini-mug with a spoon.

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