Pa amb oli

Happiness

Happiness

Pa amb oli. If you say it really fast it sounds like baloney, like the sausage. Yet this Spanish staple is far simpler and has found a far surer place in my heart. Pa amb oli means bread and oil in Mallorquin (Catalan). This simple and delicious treat would not satisfy if it were made with what I often consider suburban staples, in the US. The inexpensive, shelf-stable, bread might crisp if toasted but the chemical preservatives would hide the rich taste of whole grains. The crust of sandwich bread could never imitate the crunch of fresh oven roasted, peasant style loaf bread (sold in Spain by its weight). Canola oil, butter or other cooking oils (inexpensive olive oils included here) can not imitate the rich flavor of good olive oil, nor produce the sweet and salty bites of sea salt sprinkled over the top. These three simple ingredients. Bread. Oil. Salt. So simple and so balanced in their flavors might seam dull to an american palate, which is so often flooded with bold flavors, but it is worth your time. Try. Taste the simplicity. Bread. Oil. Salt. Each ingredient rich in its own right, together create the subtle and tender flavors which are a staple in my diet here. Bread. Oil. Salt. Pa amb oli.

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Top 12 from 2012

This post is long past due and something I have wanted to do for more than a month now. Here are 12 awesome things from 2012. Without further ado, here they are in chronological order.

  1. Madison with the BF: I spent the week after New Year’s with my my boyfriend. I spent the week being shown off (introduced) to family and friends and exploring the beautiful city of Madison, WI.
  2. Dance Marathon: I danced FTK (for the kids) at U Iowa’s Dance Marathon. A 24 hour dance celebration (participants are not supposed to sit for down from 6 pm Friday night until 6 pm Saturday night.)that works to raise money for children’s cancer. (more info here) It was one of the hardest experiences of my life. I didn’t make it all the way. I confess. I almost feinted at the end from exhaustion. I would not trade if for the world. I don’t think I will do it again.
  3. Jar meal: My BF and I save all of the money we find, or bet each other, for fun spending only. Slowly quarters, nickles and dimes go into the jar. Our first jar money purchase was a meal for under 10 dollars.
  4. Easter: My best friends and I continued our tradition of celebrating Easter together. After a month of lent it felt great to cook meat and sweets to share with friends.
  5. Being the National Communication’s Coordinator (NCC) for The University of Iowa Associate Residence Halls (ARH) This one doesn’t really have a time, it is several things in one. In 2012 that meant winning the school of the year award in our region, along with several others. That meant organizing three different schools to go together to Boulder, CO. That meant all of the great memories with ARH and NRHH
  6. Hunting and Fishing with my dad: Maybe this makes me SUPER Midwestern  Maybe this makes me sentimental. Maybe those things are both true, but either way, I am always happy to spend what time I can just my dad and I doing our things. Be it fish, foul, or bear.
  7. Moving to Spain: I won’t blither on about this too much. Read back posts if want that (joking…mostly). Let me just say it has been one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences of my life. It all began here (if you are interested)
  8. Madrid: Our first trip with CIEE, just a few weeks into our program, we were off to Madrid for a long weekend. We bonded as a group and I began to realize what this was all about. Check out my post from the time, Madrid in My Lense. 
  9. Sweden: The 5 days I spent in Sweden were amazing. I have never been to a place so different yet so like where I am from. I could read the body language of people. I could see for the first time where my people come from. It was beautiful and so like home I cried on the bus after I woke up from a nap and thought I was home for a minuet. (Don’t tell anyone it is a secret). Posts from that trip: Hello Sweden!, Monday Morning Sunset: StockholmMonday Morning Sunset: SwedenWhat’s Up in Uppsala and, Top Ten Surprises from Sweden.
  10. Peninsula with the parentals: Spending the holidays with my Dad and Connie was great. It was great to get to see them again. It was enchanting to spend Christmas in Segovia, and the New Year in Madrid.

Dia de San Francisco: Also known as gawking at animals day

"Don't I just look fabulous?!"

“Don’t I just look fabulous?!”

While San Francisco was not from Mallorca, the man who founded the city is. (fun fact) For unrelated reasons Dia de San Francisco (Saint Fracisco’s day) is a big deal in Mallorca. It is important because it is the day that animals are blessed by the catholic church. While my Spanish madre was too embarrassed to bring our funny looking animals with us there were some great people/animal watching opportunities as the paraded, from the cathedral to the church of saint Francisco, to be blessed. Check it out!

When cat marries mouse.

When cat marries mouse.

"Oh when the saints go marching in..."

“Oh when the saints go marching in…”

The small lead the large.

The small lead the large.

The dalmatian seamed wired in Palma, where small dogs rule, and than I realized he was walking two goats.

The dalmatian seamed wired in Palma, where small dogs rule, and than I realized he was walking two goats.

This dog was too special to walk, so he road in a basket. The lady next to him has a fish in a pale.

This dog was too special to walk, so he road in a basket. The lady next to him has a fish in a pale.

The prize of coolest animal goes to the lady with the owl.

The prize of coolest animal goes to the lady with the owl.

I can see clearly now…

The rain is gone….

Da da da daaaa dadada dadada… dadada…

The rain bow this morning when I woke up made me feel hopeful. Maybe more hopeful than the day turned out. (not a top ten day in the least. good thing it’s not Friday.) Now that this day is almost over

Now that the day is over, this picture still makes me smile.

Trying to see the world a little clear today.

Trying to see the world a little clear today.