I once lived in an apartment with a ladybug infestation. That was weird. I’ve also dealt with ants, slugs, weird smells, bad pets and roommates of every sort. Living in Spain has been mostly normal considering the dozen or so other places I’ve called home. Our place doesn’t smell, I have great roommates, enough space and light. We have an excellent landlord and no pest problems. There is a portion of our hallway that has been broken since October. Although I enjoy complaining about it, ever since I applied duct tape to the foam covering, it’s stopped tripping me and I don’t really care anymore. Recently, though, we’ve had some unexpected visitors. Moths. It began a few weeks ago when I was pulling laundry off the line and my hand grabbed not a sock, but a large fuzzy insect. I was startled, but not scared. I see few bugs here, and I have found that I miss the tiny buzzing lives that are prolific in the South (except mosquitos, of course). Anyway, about five moths came in with my laundry. With the fair weather, we keep the windows open, so even more have fluttered their way into our lives since. I’m rather indifferent to their presence. I’d take moths over mosquitos or other biting bugs any day. My roommate from Syracuse, however, is terrified of them. In her defense, they also scuttle out at the most inconvenient times and places, and they are rather big. She calls them bats. I think if we had a bat problem, then I would be concerned.




(click the pic for your Goonies reference of the year). But for now, they just add to the list of small things that make life in Spain different.


Game Over


Well, it seems as though attempt one is terminated. We will try again. Mold won the day. Of course, rain won winter here in Spain. After it raining everyday since January (an exaggeration of maybe 4 days without rain) the sun is finally out. So round 2 here I come.

Cinnamon Apples/Manzanas Canela

First, make sure it’s kind of cold out. Then give yourself a quiet afternoon.

Turn on some music. I recommend The Lumineers or something folk.

Sit in a kitchen chair with about 4-5 apples and begin slicing and dicing in even chunks.

The chunks go in a medium saucepan. Take your time. It takes longer if you can’t find the cutting board, and the knife you have has a bent tip.

Finish cutting the apples at the same time the album ends.

Put about 2in of water in the bottom, a little bit of butter, a little sugar and a lot of cinnamon. Also a pinch of salt.

Stir it around, and put the pot on medium heat.

Continue to relax for the next hour. Stirring occasionally.

Patience is key. You may have to add more cinnamon or water or a touch of milk.

Keep it simmering. Keep tasting, and wait until the apples are good brown, and only a third or less of the apples are still holding shape.

Spoon some out in a bowl, and jar the rest for later.

Enjoy the music and smell of home for the day. Let it seep into your bones.