We wanted to host an evening of thanks and celebration purely for our immediate neighbours consisting of mainly Spanish and the odd French person in as true an Andalucian style as possible. I planned to cook tortilla de patatas which I can now make to perfection thanks to one of my English classes in the local village. I had gathered a few other local recipies also as a result of my teaching English to the owner of a local reataurant so I was quite confident about the food! The preparations began quite early with our neighbours bringing tables and chairs to compliment our setee which was now sitting on the patio! They also brought plenty of delicious local wine and other drinks to ensure the party did not run dry!
By midnight you could hardly move on our patio as to our delight almost all of the surrounding neighbours and many of their friends had arrived to show us their support, even our local plumber came with his wife and daughter! The food, I am happy to say was a huge hit and not one scrap was left, my tortilla was welcomed with a round of applause after being introduced as being "hecha por una inglesa!" This did not put anyone off and it lasted all of 5 minutes on the plate! However the most memorable point of the evening was not the food, nor indeed the drinks but what happened quite suddenly at around 1 am!
The entertainment consisted of a lot of singing of local Spanish songs but unbeknown to us we had a flamenco dancer amongst our guests. Accompanied to a rather fantastic Spanish CD, the entertainment really took off, with the patio flooded by light from outdoor candles and the flame from the BBQ we were witness to the most spectacular show of Spanish traditional dancing you could ever wish to see. The fact that everyone was relaxed and happy attending this party hosted by us English was simply great.
The night finished at about 4.30 am and true to their generous nature, our guests even stayed to help us clear up and this is where rioja combined with kindness can produce a hilarious moment. One of our neighbours was helping to move our setee back into the house, we did warn him not to lift holding the arms as they would fall apart being a sofa bed, but after the third time of managing to only lift the arm and leave the rest of the setee where it was, we were quite simply no more good and ended up just shoving it though the door to deal with in the morning!
After the huge success of that night we were subsequently invited to several more parties during the summer and we really felt as if we were beginning to live the dream. We have experienced our locals to be extremely generous and hospitable beyond any of our expectations. Can't wait untill New Year!!!!
Next up: Goats and Melons!!!