Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spanish Spring - Tortilla Española

Spring finally arrived in Golden Valley, Minnesota, yesterday. How do I know? I ventured outside without thinking of putting on a coat or hat, left the door to the deck open for more than ten seconds, and felt that faint glow of sunburn on my face at the end of the day. Things have been perking up for a while in the fields and woods hereabouts, too. Bluebirds at Highland Park Reserve, for example. Hilary and I drove to Hastings the other day, saw some loons in Lake St. Croix near Prescott, Wisconsin, song sparrows and phoebes in the park near the locks in Hastings, and quite a few kestrels on the wires in farm country, too! Egrets in the roadside swamps again, and a colony of elegant but unidentifiable terns well out in the Mississippi by Gray Cloud Island. (Unidentifiable from the seat of a moving car, at any rate.) I’m not sure what any of that has to do with Spain, but last night I made a gazpacho, and tonight I peeled a few potatoes and made my famous Tortilla Español. That’s a complicated way to make four potatoes and an onion, to be sure, but if you’ve got the time, it’s well worth the effort. I made the dish from memory, and inadvertently cut the oil involved by three-fourths. No wonder it stuck to the pan a little! Still, I pulled it off alright, like a seasoned pilot landing a 747 in an Iowa cornfield. God was not my co-pilot. All the while I was flipping the potato pie back and forth from the cast-iron pan to the white Noritake plate (part of a wedding gift from my uncle and aunt in Lincoln) my efforts were bolstered by the unearthly shrieks of Ginesa Ortega, flamenco cantaora extraordinaire, and her guitar accompanist Chicuelo. I hadn’t heard that CD in a while. I love that stuff.

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