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    The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine  
    December 18, 2003    PAGE 9       > About LCL Magazine      > Cover Page      > Inside Cover      Feature Pages:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12    

Featured Articles
 Photographs: Proof of Life?
 The Perfect Gift
 A Homemade Christmas
 Jo Cordi's  Lifestyle Series
 Snapshot: Ruby Tuesday
 Baking Up Holiday Sweets
 Wrench That Stole Christmas
 But For The Grace of God
 Travel: Memories of Madrid
 Party Food!
 Cooking with Jarret Hughes
 Holiday Treats or Traps?



DaVinci Gourmet Sugar Free Syrups

            Memories of Madrid by Bill Beaty

The travel bug bit Bill Beaty at a young age when he realized there was a big world beyond his small Oklahoma home town. Between work and vacations, he's made more than two dozen trips to Europe, the middle east, and Hawaii, and he spent two years in Japan courtesy of the U.S. Army. He and his wife, Lenna, live near Dayton, Ohio where they are saving for their next trip to Europe.

It was just a little jug pulled from the back of the cupboard for some obscure Thanksgiving dinner purpose. A simple piece of pottery, really. But in that small jug rested the tale of a trip to Spain I'd never forget... The writing on the little jug brought memories flooding back. The inscription says:

D'a Quiemada
Echegaray 17-19

You see, the working class Taberna used the little brown earthenware jugs to serve the house wine, Sangria, or even tap water. We have two of the little jugs, and I learned a lot about my wife's determination the day we came to own that set.

The Prado We were in Madrid, the best kept secret in Europe, a sunny city with the best art museum (The Prado is a whole cut about the Louvre), the best sidewalk cafes (try Spanish tapas over any other snack food in the world), and the liveliest renaissance quarter, Old Madrid.

This was our second trip together to the Spanish capital. My wife had gone with me on my last business trip. I worried that she could take care of herself while I worked, but her first day alone outside the United States or Canada, she found El Corte Ingles, a department store indistinguishable in look and feel from Dillards, or any other large American chain. She'd bought a shirt, no mean feat for a non Spanish speaking stranger, and later that day she did what she would do in America, she returned the shirt! She could survive in Europe without me to guide her.

Back to the jugs. We were staying in the Hotel Ingles, which claims to have been the favorite of Virginia Woolf. It was around the corner from the five star hotel where middle eastern diplomats had just met for the Madrid Peace Conference. The Hotel Ingles had seen better times, and in those pre Euro days, a suite was just $68.00. (Its now $112.) I had retired from my job on Friday, and we had decided not to wake up our first morning of retirement and wonder what to do for the rest of our lives. Instead, we left for 16 days in Spain. We'd worry later about the future.

The Hotel Ingles featured lovely balconies overhanging Echegaray Street, in the heart of Old Madrid and the center of a pastime known as taxca hopping, going from bar to bar for the featured drink and tapas. Our balcony overlooked the street and was perfect for pictures. My wife used the balcony every day to read or to work the USA Today crossword.

Down the street from our balcony, in full view, was the world's largest paella pan. The Taberna D'a Quiemada kept the pan, at least six feet across and six inches or more deep, in front of the restaurant and cooked the paella on an open fire in full view of passersby. We knew it was a tourist trick, but every day we marveled at how good the rice and chicken and clams of the paella looked. On our last day, a Sunday, we decided to have the paella for lunch.

The paella wasn't that good, but the little brown jug our drink was served in caught my wife's eye. A row of them decorated a shelf on a wall of the taberna. She came up with a dozen uses for the jug back home. We could serve drinks in it when we had our family in for paella night; it would be perfect for drinks on the deck, and we might even use it for flowers on a future dinner table. By the time I got to dessert, my last flan of this trip, she had decided not to leave Madrid without a pair of the little jugs.

I remember the conversation well...

"They probably don't sell them," I said.

She gave me that look. Such a simple reason had never stopped her before.

The waiter came; I paid the check; and my wife began her spiel.

"Senor," she said, "I would like to buy two of these jugs." She held up the jug on our table to demonstrate.

"They are not for sale," the waiter replied.

"May I speak to the manager?" she asked. I was always the one who asked for the manager. I knew she was determined.

While we were waiting for the manager, she turned to me. "Give me five hundred pesetas and wait outside," she said.

I gladly agreed. I would protect my wife against raging bulls, but she was in unfamiliar waters. She was going against a Madrid restaurant manager. She didn't speak his language. He didn't speak hers well. There was no way she could win.

I walked outside and stood in the sun. Echegaray Street was full of Spaniards on their Sunday stroll. Time went by. I looked inside. My wife was standing there, not moving and the restaurant manager was gesturing wildly. I looked up and down the street. If the police came, I could at least hold them for a minute while she made her getaway.

Then I heard her behind me. "Honey, are you ready to go?"

I turned, and there she stood, an I-told-you-so look on her face, clutching two earthenware jugs against her coat.

"How did you do that?"

"Simple," she said with a wry grin... "I told him I didn't speak Spanish, and I refused to leave."


"He finally said he'd sell them to me, just to get rid of me. But he wanted five hundred pesetas each. I told him I only had five hundred pesetas, and I had to have two jugs."

"Why did he give in?"

Jugs "I just refused to leave," she said. "He finally gave up."

That night we packed the two earthenware jugs with our dirty clothes and brought them home. There they sat on top of the refrigerator. They remained there for years until a new refrigerator purchase caused them to be exiled to the back of the cupboard... until finally for Thanksgiving dinner they made their long-awaited appearance.

The jugs came out of the cupboard — seemingly just to celebrate the event with us, since they weren't used. They simply sat on the kitchen table amid all the serving pans and dishes... the spoils of battle, I'd guess.

Maybe I'll make a big pan of paella...

        Copyright © December 2003  Bill Beaty and Low Carb Luxury
        Title photo Copyright © 2003  Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Almonds

  • 1 c. roasted unsalted almonds
  • 2 hot red peppers, or red pepper flakes to taste
  • 4 T. butter
  • 2 Pork Tenderloins, 1-1 lbs. each
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
For the Sauce:
  • 6 T. white wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 lb. butter
Preheat oven to 400F.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Almonds Chop almonds to coarse consistency (may use food processor, or purchase pre-chopped ones.) Seed and chop peppers fine.

Brown tenderloins in melted butter until well browned. Remove from skillet and pat on almond/pepper mixture. (Reserve the rest of the almond mixture for sauce.) Season with salt, pepper and return to skillet.

Place in oven and roast 30-35 mins (to 160.) Remove and let stand while preparing sauce.

For sauce, place vinegar, juices, almond mixture, and cumin in pan and boil down until liquid is nearly evaporated. Add any pan juices and boil down briefly. Whisk in butter, piece by piece over very low heat. Butter should stay in suspension.

Serves 6 — 1.3 effective grams of carbohydrate per serving.


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