Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

Malaga-Day Two, Bus Tour & Picasso Museum

November23

We had planned a full day of sightseeing for this day and started by navigating our way to the Hop on Hop Off Bus. We commenced with a loop around the marina including La Farola de Malaga. We would recognize it as a lighthouse, but the literal translation is a “lamppost”.

The day was gorgeous either for walking or bus touring and we felt blessed to be in this beautiful place on earth.

I was trying to capture this cruise boat but the angle from the bus does not accurately indicate the size of the ship.

I was happy to simply have palm trees in my gaze again. I do love the native trees in my part of the world but seeing palms usually means I have a sundress and flip flops on. That is the attire I feel most carefree in.

These beautiful trees line the main promenade of Malaga and although I have seen them in many tropical cities, they do not grow in our harsh climate.

This part of the tour included some high-end dwellings near the water. I can just imagine the gorgeous views from that vantage point.

I prefer though, the architecture of the neighbourhood called El Limonar which dates back to the late 19th century.

The contrasting architecture of old and not so old was everywhere in the city.

Sister #3 and I deposited Sister #2 in the shade of the entrance to the Alcazaba and made our way to find the Picasso Museum.

En route I took this unusual of someone making a delivery to the rear door of a convent. It is a statue of an angel, wrapped up in red velvet but you can see the wings peeking through.

I was also taken by another tree. I think the craggy but majestic tree on the right is an olive tree. I have admired olive trees all over the world but the one that was most dear, was one in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem dating back to the 12th century.

Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, as we were instructed when we drove passed his home which is now a Museum.

But the second Picasso Museum was beautifully housed here (admission was included with our tour ticket). I have seen larger Picasso installations before, but this collection was particularly interesting when viewing it in his birth city.

Having studied Art History, I was familiar with this important work-Les Demoiselles d’Avignon but had never seen it in person. It dominated one entire wall in the gallery.

I was very taken with this Portrait of Paulo (the artist’s son). I loved the softness of the child’s features and the soft blue hues that Picasso chose.

La Sieste above, fascinated me, imagining that the models twisted like pretzels to depict this. But of course, that is untrue as the positioning was only in Picasso’s minds’ eye and distinguished himself from his predecessors.

I captured this sculpture of an owl for my Daughter-in-law.

As well as this sculpture of a Bull’s Head fashioned from a bicycle seat and handlebars for a Brother -in-law.

This was an early self portrait of the artist when you could still identify his bald head, stubby beard and striped tshirt.

Returning to entrance of the Alcazaba, we fetched Sister #2.

In many places around the squares in Malaga were these special plant holders for plants that grow on our window ledges at home. I have many spider plants but nothing as full and as stunning as these.

We were off on another quest. This time to find a venue where we could watch Flamenco (also included with our tour ticket). That post will follow. We passed these quizzical fountains en route.

Kath’s quote: “Love is the greatest refreshment in life.“-Pablo Picasso

Love-that is all.

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First Taste of Tapas in Malaga

November22

The three sisters love food and are always excited about perusing a new menu. We hadn’t planned om eating in town that day, but our tummies said otherwise.

We started our lunch at Esquina Sanchez with refreshing Victoria beer as well as a complimentary breadbasket. We each contributed a suggestion as to what to order.

One of the primary reasons we chose the south of Spain for our second stop in Europe was because of the food. We once had an excellent tapas restaurant where we live in Winnipeg, so we thought we knew what would delight.

I chose the patatas bravas, remembering my favourite dish from that Winnipeg menu. The name of the dish is “spicy potatoes” but that is not what was served at Sanchez. In addition, I am a French fry aficionado and know that the authentic way to prepare this dish is by taking potato cubes and frying them. This version came with roasted potatoes covered by a sauce that was creamy but not spicy. I prefer when the bravas tomato sauce has a smack of hot smoky paprika.

The croguetas of ham and fish were pretty bland and not like the excellent ones that Sister #2 makes with her Mother-in-Law’s recipe. Croquettes have long been a staple in their home and are made with a thick, rich bechamel sauce, seasoned accordingly, coated in an egg wash and breadcrumbs and shallow fried until a golden.

Sister #2’s croquettes.

We all agreed that the final dish was a hit. Sister #3 chose Gambas al Pil Pil (spicy garlic shrimp). These were meaty, well prepared and lovely when the provided bread was torn and dipped into the delicioous oil.

It may sound like we are picky. Afterall we were in the heart of tapas country; couldn’t we be happy with a local version? It is not that we wanted to diss the place, but we had chosen the restaurant without research, right on the main path that tourists use to wander through Old Town. We wouldn’t let that happen again…

In addition though, I think it was a case of “you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone”. Segovia the tapas restaurant that I mentioned from back home was simply that good at serving authentic tapas with high quality ingredients.

We continued to wander through the streets, loving every minute of our day.

That evening, Sister #3 cooked for us at our Air BnB. Since we loved that shrimp that we had that day, she prepared a shrimp encore with butter, onion, garlic and lemon tossed with beautifully prepared pasta. Alongside was a salad of greens, pear, gouda and muesli enhanced by a raspberry vinagrette.

In the end, it was a good eating day.

Kath’s quote: “Food is for eating, and good food is to be enjoyed… I think food is, actually, very beautiful in itself.”-Delia Smith

Love-that is all.

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Waking up in Malaga!

November21

Our first morning in Malaga, I for one was too excited to sleep in and I made my way to the kitchen before anyone else was up. I opened the shade and this was my reward and surprise! La Trinidad (The Trinity Church) right outside our kitchen window.

I quietly made my way to see the view from the front of the apartment off the balcony and this was my surprise!

The view became even more special as the sun continued to rise.

Since my sisters were still sleeping I opened my bedroom window and hung out above the street as I sipped my coffee to see yet another beautiful church.

We had a lovely breakfast of cheese, pears, baguette and jam as Sister #2 volunteered to traipse to the grocery store just down the street.

We followed our hosts directions as to how to get to Old Town, just happy to stroll and discover. We peaked down the street on our walking route and saw the church of the Sacred Heart built in the 20s.

Soon we came upon a gorgeous square with a fountain that served as a guidepost for us for future days. Sisters two and three had a 3 minute rest.

We explored the many sides streets of quaint shops and restaurants.

Another short stroll ahead and we were at Malaga’s Cathedral. We wanted to spend some time in the shadow of the cathedral as the day was becoming warm and we craved some shade. Instead of stopping at this cafe,

we found benches at one of the cathedral doors.

This fellow was pretty fascinating to watch, especially when we saw him later in one of the streets, pulling his genie lamp in a cart behind him.

Since we were still acclimatizing to a tropical climate (from Prague just hours earlier) when we came upon this lush urban oasis, we rejuvenated there.

I have enjoyed Bird of Paradise” in bouquets before but had never seen them in a garden.

There were tiled “sectional couches” (or so they resembled) right by this fountain so we claimed them for a beautiful rest, pinching ourselves that we were in summer-like Spain in October.

Adjacent to the park was this glorious avenue and it was from there that we retraced our steps.

This was the entrance to Fortress Alcazaba. In the Arab period, the sea which was close by lapped up against the lower walls. When we took a boat tour later in the week, we could see the castle and its walls from the water.

By this time we were peckish and looked longingly at the shaded tables full of people enjoying their midday meal. So we grabbed a table at Sanchez!

Kath’s quote: “We all have a hungry heart, and one of the things we hunger for is happiness. So as much as I possibly could, I stayed where I was happy.”-Mary Oliver

Love-that is all.

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Next Stop Malaga”Home Sweet Home”

November19

When I travel, I am not so interested in feeling like a tourist but a local that happens to “live” in a certain place for a short period of time. Because the three sisters all love to cook, having a well stocked kitchen is ideal. We also needed a place with an elevator and proximity to the main activity area. I was so happy to find an Air BnB apartment that ticked all these boxes and more.

The kitchen had a full sized fridge as well as a cook top, microwave/convection oven as well as a number of small appliances. It did not have a dishwasher but Sister #2 and I were happy to do the dishes when Sister #3 cooked.

The view from the kitchen window was gorgeous and opposite this window was a washer and dryer that we made good use of.

This was the kitchen from the front hallway. The classic kitchen table and chairs provided a lovely space which was closed off from the living room (which we had converted to one of three bedrooms). This way we could let Sister #2 sleep while we early risers could start the day with coffee and a chat around the table.

Later in the day the kitchen was filled with a soft light. I love this picture!

Sister #3’s bedroom was perfect for her as she prefers an open window to ac and this room did not have the former.

I loved the room that I got when the afternoon sun shone in the windows.

As well as my view of Malaga waking up in the morning.

Soon after sunrise, the street below was filled with parents walking the kids to school as well as shopkeepers on their way to open up for the day.

There was plenty of storage so Sister #2 and I shared a closet.

This loveseat folded out to provide a sleeper. So that is where Sister #2 lay her head. It had double doors that shut off noise from the other bedrooms and the AC was uber effective in this room.

Here are wider shots of the living room which was open to another eating area.

We enjoyed a couple of lovely dinners served with the host’s real china in this beautiful dining room. There was even liquor on the side shelf!

Perhaps best of all was the cozy little balcony off of the dining room. It proved to be a quiet space for solo reading or for all three of us to share a Happy Hour.

Kath’s quote: “Peace, comfort, quiet, happiness, I have found away from home.” – Mary Boykin Chesnut

Love-that is all.

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Departure Day Prague

November18

I didn’t take this photo of a sculpture to honour Franz Kafka on our last morning in the square but I couldn’t leave my recounting of Prague without posting it. Fascinating people came from this fascinating place.

We searched for a cafe with tables and chairs in the sun, to have our last coffees and get caught up on life. Sister #2 doesn’t wear sunglasses. She hasn’t learned our secret that they hide the wrinkles for photo opportunities.

We were whiling away the time, when something interesting to us occurred. A gentleman sitting a couple of tables over from us, overheard that we were Canadian and asked us if we followed hockey. I am a big supporter of our hometown team so I replied: “only the Winnipeg Jets”, to which he said “oh you are from Winnipeg. Have you ever heard of Thomas Steen?” Steen, originally from Sweden (where this man was also from) had recently returned to Sweden after living for 40 years in Winnipeg and raising his NHL hockey playing sons in our city. Last night when I was at a Jets game, Thomas Steen was introduced to the adoring crowd as part of a ceremony to celebrate another Scandinavian hockey star-Teemu Selanne. What a coincidence that this connection would occur 1,000 miles away from Winnipeg!

Our final order of business was retracing our steps to order trdelniks from the shop owner above. Sister #3 and I both selected Nutella and were duly impressed by the creamy (not too sweet ice cream) placed into a cylinder cone unlike any ice cream cone we had ever tasted. It was decadent and didn’t fit into our typically nutritious diet but we loved the taste and it was fun to wander down the street for the last time, taking tastes as we walked.

With this last photo it was good-bye Prague but not quite yet.

We still had time to kill before our UBER fetched us so we had one last visit to Pekny bistro for delicious tea with honey, said farewell to our young friend at the apartment front desk and were whisked away, beautiful memories in tact.

Kath’s quote: “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” -authour unknown

Love-that is all.

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