June 8, 2008 - Posted by Erin in Food and wine

Another week without a big adventure, and yet, as usual, so full of adventures! The first important news is that it FINALLY stopped raining!!! The bad news, however, is that it is cloudy again today and may rain for the next three days….one step forward, two steps back I guess. The other good news? The light at the end of the tunnel? They finally got my name right at Starbucks!!! A big “muchas gracias” to the creators of the movie “Erin Brokovich” who must have really pushed hard with the publicity here in Spain. I’ve learned that if I say “como Erin Brokovich” then everyone knows my name! Small victories people!!! Although, I am still trying to decide if I should be concerned that I am being associated with a women who dressed like a prostitute….

So what could have been the disaster of my week pretty much turned out to be the highlight. Cooking/baking here has continually been a challenge for me, so I thought cinnamon rolls seemed like an easy enough item to bake in a foreign country, right? I’ve nearly given up on exotic Asian foods, but everyone has butter, flower, sugar and so on, don’t they??!!! It never seems to quite sink in for me that it is actually impossible to make anything here without a massive struggle to find ingredients (much less cooking equipment like rolling pins!). The smallest things can pose the biggest challenges – like the butter (there are no marks on the outside to measure the quantity! It’s just a big brick!), vanilla (no extract!!! only powder!!!), or powdered sugar (it comes in a container that is the equivalent of a spice jar – yes, I have to either crack the thing open or sprinkle it into a bowl for several hours until it measures two cups). But, all’s well that ends well – last night, after being completely certain that my cinnamon rolls would turn out to be a disaster (I actually had Jacob go to the store and buy ice cream because I was just that convinced!), I ended up making the most insanely delicious rolls on the planet – frosting and all!!! It was no small feat, but in the end it was worth it!

Poco a poco, little by little, it’s feeling more like home here. I really look forward to seeing everyone when I visit my other home, in CA, this summer though!


3 Responses to “Small victories”

  1. Hipolito M. Wiseman Says:

    Heyy, Awesome post! I will definatley be coming back soon!=)

  2. cass Says:

    I realise this post is a million years old, but i just found your blog today and I wanted to go back to the beginning as I’m moving to Spain soon. I tried to make muffins when I visited Spain in February this year and it was pretty much a disaster, so I already knew to pack my muffin pan. But thank you for reminding me just how bad it is… now my rolling pin has been retrieved from the “donate” box and is coming as well! So, thank you for this post that you have probably forgotten about.

  3. Erin Says:

    There’s no way this post is forgotten! – after all, the cinnamon rolls were one of my first small victories here in Spain. As you probably already know, you have to set your expectations to low here – you will most likely never find what you are looking for (at least not without a battle), processes will never turn out how they are supposed to, and places that should be open will inevitably be unexpectedly closed! This way, when you randomly find Vietnamese rice paper rolls at the grocery store, you’ll be smiling ear to ear all day long!!

    I was just taking a look at your blog and it looks like you be in the same situation as me pretty soon! If you ever need anything here, don’t hesitate to ping me!

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