Archive for November, 2014

Tapas in Madrid

Posted on November 23, 2014. Filed under: Spain | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

madrid tapas

A real delight in Madrid is to drop into any bar and order a drink.  Before you know it a small plate of something gets delivered as well.  It is the little freebie each place sends you as a little thank you for stopping in and also maybe a little advertising of the food available on the menu.

DSC06896Some places offered just a few little bullet-shaped crackers and chorizo sausage slices.  This seemed the default tapa, offered when the good stuff wasn’t ready yet, or perhaps at the less food-oriented places.  Several places gave us this standard.  But many others had elaborate little plates with pasta and interesting sauces or baccalao salt cod deep fried and luscious or something with a variety of silky beans with toast.  We often handled lunch easily this way by hopping from bar to bar and sampling the tapa of the day at each.  One way I kept my head about me with the alcohol was to have the Spanish specialty of beer cut in half with lemonade.  I love this light, refreshing drink!

Madrid’s little tapas bars are just a delight.  The area right near the Prado, where we stayed, is full of fun and friendly little joints in which to poke around.  If you find yourself there make time for it.


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Caring for my Hands

Posted on November 18, 2014. Filed under: Health | Tags: , , , , , |

Unguento de la IaiaEpsom SaltsHand bath

Winter in Wisconsin can be brutal in many ways, but the hands take a big brunt of the abuse.  This is because the dry air and extreme cold dry out the skin of the hands and inflame the small joints of the wrist, hand and fingers (29 joints in all).  The body knows it’s not good/normal for fingers to go numb and ache with cold several times a day and it sets up a cascade of discomfort.

This winter I have a new plan:  come in from the cold and immediately treat my hands.  Here’s what I am doing:

1.  Pour about 2 Tablespoons Epsom salt mix into a pan of very warm water.  My current mix includes anti-inflammatory essential oils of turmeric, black pepper, and lavender.  I half-fill a coffee can with Epsom salts and drip in the oils (10-20 drops each) then fill with salts, close and shake it up.

2.  Soak both hands together for about a minute, then one at a time for about another minute each to extend all the digits in the warmth and get the joints loosened up.

3.  Slather with my homemade body butter or with the homemade, “Unguento de la Iaia” I picked up in Spain last month.  This balm is designed for sore joints and the name means, “Granny’s Salve.”  I love this stuff and a future post will definitely be about my adventure trying to reproduce it.  The young gal who made it told me it was, indeed, an old family recipe and that’s got to be good!

As an aside, I apologize to my readers for the lapse in my postings.  I know I owe you promised pictures of my venture into painting.  It will come…

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