Gratitude Series Part II

Hello everyone. Covid is still taking over the world whether we like it or not. We are getting through as best we can, but it's hard when many aspects of life are not the way they used to be.

On day 6 of the lockdown here in Spain I started a gratitude series on social media. I would like to share it here, too, as some of you are not on social media. I will post eight days or so at a time until day 50. All of these gratitude posts are from during the strictest quarantine measures in Spain over March and April 2020. At the end of each post I will include some links to favorite recipes I have made recently. 

Day 14: I am thankful for our terraces. If we didn’t have them, I guess we would be hanging our heads out the window to get sunshine. We eat out here, play, do lessons, and relax. Our terraces make the lockdown manageable.

Day 15: I am thankful for the one moment in the day that I can come together with my neighbors to thank the healthcare workers. It is such a small gesture to give applause to people we can’t even see. But it’s all I can do. I also applaud the police, the grocery store workers, the sanitation workers, and anyone else who has to show up every day. It is a strange divide to be stuck at home while key workers have to show up every day to work in stressful and uncertain situations. My discomfort at home is nothing compared to that. All I can do to thank them is clap. And pray. Join me now, just take a minute and pray.

Day 16: I love the rain. This morning I went out and sat on the terrace. In the dark. I sipped my coffee and listened to the rain, the wind, and the rustling trees. Later, when the sky lightened, there was thunder. Today, I baked bread, cooked a beautiful lunch, and did a workout. Now I’m being crafty with my kids, with dancing breaks. I am thankful for the rain!

Day 17: I am thankful for the opportunity to be creative. I have wanted to learn how to crochet for about three years now. Luckily, I had brought the two crochet hooks I had, and we just happened to have some yarn. Evelyn and I learned together: I started this, and she finished it. And, artwork! For the longest time I wanted to keep our kitchen here bare and minimalist. But with not being allowed to go anywhere, I knew we would need interesting things to look at on the walls. Crafts have been keeping us busy, at least for part of the time. But honestly, guys, it was hard for me to be thankful today. I was stressed and depressed and wanted to stay that way. I hadn’t met my goals yet of exercise, guitar, and Spanish. I was just feeling sorry for myself, and then I jumped up and said, “The day’s not over yet!” Even if I can’t meet all my goals, I can meet some of them. What about you? How are you staying sane and motivated?

Day 18: I am thankful for the opportunity to get my #workoutcomplete thanks to They have tons of free workouts, including yoga, high intensity interval training, weights, and cardio. Who knows, I just might come out stronger by the end of this quarantine!

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Day 19: I’m thankful for my guitar. I’ve named her Constancia, which means perseverance. At times I’ve wanted to give up because guitar is not easy. I don’t always see the progress. But a little perseverance each day helps me reach my goals, and playing guitar is both relaxing and joyful for me. This is probably my favorite purchase in Spain.

Day 20: Today I am thankful for a simple pot of beans, which is sustenance for many people around the world. It is a windy, chilly day. I have my sweater, my slippers, and my beans simmering on the stove, warming the apartment and filling it with a comforting scent. My method: soak beans in enough water to more than cover them with a splash of apple cider vinegar, whey, or lemon juice for 24 hours. Drain and cover them again with cooking stock or water. Today I used water. Bring to a boil and skim the foam. Reduce heat to a happy simmer, add a spoonful of salt, a couple sprigs of rosemary, four peeled garlic cloves, a Parmesan cheese rind and a healthy drizzle of olive oil. Simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove the cheese rind and rosemary stems. Serve with an egg on top, as part of a soup, or simmer longer until brothy and dip homemade bread in them. Be thankful. What food are you thankful for today?


Paella Valenciana This blog lists the ingredients, and you can view the method in a YouTube video, which is included. I make this regularly, but I often increase the saffron, and I let the rosemary simmer during the whole cooking time, instead of just adding it at the end.

Salmon Steaks I have been loving the affordable salmon here. I loosely follow this recipe, but I only use what I have on hand. Sometimes that's just salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil and butter. But follow this recipe to a T or just use it as inspiration, and you'll get a lovely dinner. I love having salmon with asparagus.