Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category


Posted on December 23rd, 2011 by by Valerie

Spanish Christmas Customs 5 – Saints and Canelons!

San Esteban/Sant Esteve My Catalan mother-in-law could never relax on Christmas Day.  Plates with remains of chicken or turkey were whipped from under our noses, earthenware dishes hauled away for scrubbing. While we were still gut-busting our way through turrón, cava, coffee and brandy, or already flaked out, bloated and snoring, in armchairs, terrifying crashes, […]

Posted on December 20th, 2011 by by Theresa

Spanish Christmas Customs 3 – the villancico

Villancico The Spanish word for Christmas carol has its origin in the old Castilian word villano, meaning ‘villager’ – as opposed to noble or squire. During the 15th and 16th centuries the villancico was a jolly sort of song-and-dance knees up for country folk, and it was only in the following centuries that the songs […]

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Posted on December 18th, 2011 by by Theresa

Spanish Christmas Customs 2 : building the belén

OK, so you know what a belén is, but it took me years to realise that Belén is how the Spanish say Bethlehem, as in ‘O Little Town of’. I had always assumed that it just meant ‘Christmas crib’ or ‘Nativity Scene’ – which, of course, it does. Neither translation, however, does justice to the […]

Posted on December 17th, 2011 by by Theresa

Spanish Christmas Customs 1- Fleecing the relatives

Yes, yes, you’re all familiar with the Three Kings, the 12 lucky grapes and the big fat Gordo Lottery.  But you don’t know everything about Spanish Christmas customs, do you? Whatever, you can always refresh your memory and load up with extra bags of useless information for all those Christmas parties.  We start the countdown […]

Posted on October 22nd, 2011 by by Theresa

Muffled prawns, please: the best Spanish menu ever.

Oh, how we laughed. It’d been a long time since any of us had browsed such an inscrutable menu.  We worked out most of the items, though we did have a problem with ‘black poplars’ (the bilingual among you, start racking your brains …). I won’t spoil your fun. Here is a sample of the […]

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