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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Things I Like About Spain + My Daily Salad

Cafe's everywhere. This one overlooks the beach, post workout.
I like so many things about Spain, specifically, the Costa del Sol where I live. I suppose you could call this a gratitude post in honor of Thanksgiving. What things are you grateful for in the town you live? If you were to move there all over again, what would you notice? Here is what I like about my locality. 

1. There's always somewhere to get a snack, meal, coffee, or drink. Indoor, outdoor, near the beach, in a park. The photo below is in the park near our apartment. My kids play while I get a double espresso and do my Bible study. Everyone's happy.

Cafe in Parque del Sol in the Costa del Sol (Park of the Sun in the Coast of the Sun)
2. When I get to the "gym" early, I get to see the sunrise. At least 3-4 mornings a week, I leave before anyone else wakes up and run, walk, and/or do yoga near the beach. I can feel the anticipation as the water comes in view and the sky is just starting to lighten. It feels like a gift every time. I pray, listen to worship music, and feel in awe of a God who creates such beauty every single morning.

I love this view first thing in the morning.
View from my yoga mat.
3. There are many beautiful fountains and statues. Literally, art is everywhere. There is an appreciation for beauty here that permeates every part of life. 

Fountain in Parque de Malaga

Fountain we see each time we walk to church
4. Here, you don't pay anything to dry your clothes. The sun does it for free. Some apartments have terraces, but the ones that don't, well, you just kind of lean out the window to hang your laundry, and hope you don't drop anything. 

The clothesline at one of the apartments we stayed at
5. Why am I so pleased about the trash system here? I have no idea. But along sidewalks every 2-3 blocks are various chutes for organic trash, plastic, metal, paper, and glass. There is no set trash day. You just bring your bag of trash or recycling whenever it's convenient and drop them in one of these chutes. It's picked up at night. No smelly trash can to lug to the alley. 

Trash/Recycling system along the sidewalk
6. The food. Oh, the food. Super fresh vegetables and fruits that we can get right around the corner. Meats and cheeses of the finest quality. Delicious olives, and olive oil that I pour on half of what I eat. Conserves of tuna and anchovies. Wine for under $5 a bottle. And even sourdough bread.

My everyday salad
This salad pictured above is a version of what I eat most every day. I used to be really fancy and use a lot of ingredients for my salad (which I would still happily eat) but lately I've been zeroing in on the fine ingredients I get to use, and keeping things more simple. The following is not so much a recipe but a method of how to build a good salad. 

My Daily Salad
Serves 1

A few leaves of good, crisp lettuce, chopped
3-4 anchovies, diced
A matchbox size of blue cheese, crumbled
1/4-1/2 avocado (depending on the size of it) diced
Really good olive oil
Sprinkle of flaky sea salt (I like Maldon)

Optional items to surround your salad: 
-Any veggies you like that don't quite go well inside your salad (for example, I find carrots a bit too crunchy to be right in the salad, but I like them on the side)
- Olives
- Sardines, lunch meat, leftover dinner meat, smoked salmon, etc.
- A bit of bread with butter and cheese (my favorite)

Method

Build your salad. Start with the washed, chopped greens. Add the anchovies and blue cheese (or whatever pungent toppings you like). Top with avocado, sea salt, and lots of good olive oil. Then, add the extras to the perimeter of your plate. Have some lemon water and feel happy. 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Rebekah, what a nice post! I loved reading some about your routine and the things you like about Spain. I also might make your salad 'recipe' after the holiday has passed -- it looks so fresh and tasty.

I have been thinking about things I like where I live, too. I'm new to Wisconsin, and it's not where I thought I'd end up, but I love the wheel/circus community here, and I really like my job too! It feels very small town, which is mostly nice. We don't feel nearly on edge about crime. I live about three blocks from the circus space where I can train and pitch in to do little chores to keep the (all-volunteer) place clean and welcoming. I'm getting to do things I never anticipated, like Cyr wheel and teeterboard!

I have a nice commute by bus, which is not stressful because of the good public transit around our home and throughout the city. Double bonus because I'm not confident driving in winter weather, so I'm going to just stick to public transit until the snow and ice are gone (in May or so!). I'm also looking forward to new things, like walking out onto the lakes surrounding the city, and feeling what it's like for this formerly inaccessible part of town to turn into a large recreation area that is accessible for most of the city. I like the quiet of snow here, and I like the way the slow pace of life enables others (and myself) to be more thoughtful and kind. I could go on.

I also miss you and wish we could tumble some together. Amanda and Margaret from Sokol are coming up for a wheel workshop that is happening here in two weeks and staying with me! I hope that you can come someday for one.

Sending the best for your family, and happy expat Thanksgiving to you all.

Amanda from Sokol :)

Rebekah Kuk said...

Amanda, so nice to hear from you! Thanks for sharing what life is like in your part of the world. It's nice you get to experience a "real" winter. Being from New England, I love snow and miss it in Baltimore. I thought this would be the first winter season I wouldn't see snow at all, being in Spain and all, but we went to Sierra Nevada last weekend and got to see some snow.

I'm glad you feel like you're where you're supposed to be. It sounds like you have so many opportunities for every area of your life: work, play, tumbling. How is/was the wheel workshop? I hope everyone enjoyed it.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving as well, and Merry Christmas! We will be spending it in Portugal.

Take care, friend.