I grew up in a very conservative household. I'm not talking, like… a 'little bit' conservative—I'm talking like A LOT conservative. Rather strict (although Dad was known to bend the rules a little).
And just let me have a Soapbox here for a minute … (Hang on while I climb up!)
Ok , so … why is it that DADS always get to bend the rules?! It seems that we moms are always cracking the whip and the dads get to be the parent who buys the sugar cereals, who takes the kids to the fair, and who buys them ice cream on Saturday evening at 5 PM … RIGHT.BEFORE.DINNER! But 'it's all OK' because they are 'THE.Dad'! Whatever. Moms Rock!
[Down from soapbox.]
When I was 15, we moved to Spain (from France… so it wasn't really that far, but it was Worlds Away from what was currently familiar). Almost 30 years later, I can say that that move turned out good because that is where I met my husband. Yes, I met him when I was 15. And yes, I met him in Spain. I'm hearing the collective "Awww …. That's so sweet." And yes, it IS very sweet because we are more in love now than we were then. Truly.
I remind you that I was FIFTEEN. That is the age of my youngest at the moment and if she comes home thinking she is in love …. Well, lemme just say there'll be heck to pay. [I say "heck" because I'm not a swearin' woman—as far as YOU know!—and because I spent too many years in Utah. Everyone says "heck" there. Except my great-aunt … and she sure as hell says "Hell"! Ummm … I think I just swore. Mom, divert your eyes and stop giggling!]
Let's get back to the beginning of this story, shall we?
So, I was raised very conservatively. My dad would NEVER have considered frequenting a bar. Those were Dens of Evil and he wasn't gonna go there. He was an upright Christian Texas boy and he was gonna raise his family right and take care of us to the death.
Welllllll … (and I repeat … "wellllllll") …
He then made the choice to take his family to SPAIN. The den of wickedness.
You might have an issue with the wickedness of a bar, but in Spain, it's hard to avoid them. Not because the draw of the drink is so strong but because they are full of FAMILIES! No kiddin'! And you can even go there for breakfast! They make the best breakfast toast with coffee. The best. They call it Tostada and I didn't know until I returned to the States that there was something else so remotely different that was called a Tostada. It resembled NOTHING I had ever seen in Spain. Those bars are where I learned to drink really great coffee—café con leche.
We lived in a huge apartment complex with tons of shops, restaurants, and bars on the first floors. All the apartments were above. Originally, we lived on the 12th floor of one building, then we moved to a 2nd floor corner apartment because it had more room and we knew the people moving out. Sweet people that I just reconnected with on facebook. I love facebook!
'Long about noon every day, you could smell the lunch aromas rising. Some of them came from the bars on the ground floor, but many came from the kitchens whose open, large windows all overlooked a communal courtyard. Ohh … the aromas that arose mid-day!
One of the most common was onions cooking. You've heard of Spanish Onions, right? I've since come to realize that what I was smelling was the onions for Spanish Tortillas that are such a very common meal. Homemakers can make them easily for lunch or a light dinner and the bars can make them and offer them hot out of the pan, or room temperature even. They are also commonly eaten between pieces of crunchy bread.
It is so very different from any tortilla we Americans think of. It has nothing to do with flour or corn and is more like an omelet than a burrito.
And yet, it has more characteristics of a frittata than of an omelet.
Put your hand to it and see what you end up with. A frittata? An Omelet? A burrito?