Thursday, July 10, 2014

Siestas in Spain: Savouring Every Morsel in the Moment

I have a fondness for all things Spanish. Tinto de verano, summer red wine. Gaudi and the Sagrada Família Basilica. Iberian cured ham. Antonio Banderas. Siestas.
Esperanza takes in the view from the 14th century San Martin bridge in Toldeo, Spain. 

Ah, siesta. That precious time after a big family lunch. The sun is at its hottest. The locals  stay indoors to keep cool. Shops close their doors. Everything shuts down for a collective nap. 

I enjoyed plenty of restorative siestas in Toledo, just south of Madrid. Hubby and I were there during the city's biggest religious festival, the Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi Procession in Old Toledo
The canopied procession route at night.
We fell in love with the historic city and the family who opened their home and hearts to us.

Back to front: Armando, Esperanza, Alicia, Espe, Sagrario, Guille, Javier
Grandma Garcia shows her latest art project.
Every afternoon, around 2 P.M. was family time. Time to talk, laugh and eat. We gathered  around the dining table for a BIG leisurely lunch, usually four or five courses of traditional Spanish dishes.
Seafood paella.
Empanada with tuna, olives, tomatoes and peppers.
The hearty lunch was the perfect sleeping pill before siesta. After a two to three hour break, we recharged with iced espresso. We needed the caffeinated fuel to take us through round two of socializing and munching, which usually lasted into the wee hours of the morning. I think the last time I stayed up that late was in my university years.
Grilled octopus with fried potatoes.

This churros stand is bustling from early morning to early morning.
My new amigo, Pepe at a wine cooperative, Viñedos Camarena   

Back home, the kids and I seem to rush through everything. During meal time, we get ahead of ourselves. Planning. Worrying. Losing sight of today.  

My Spanish friend, Armando taught me a new expression. It reminds that there is plenty of time to worry. And thoughts of the future are for tomorrow.

"Hoy no. Mañana." Translation: Not today. Tomorrow.  A little Spanish wisdom to savour every morsel in the moment. 

Muchas gracias amigos de Toledo. Espero verte pronto en la cocina de AK.