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Foodie Christmas Gifts

by on December 23, 2010
 

It wasn’t that long ago that I discovered that the spice, Paprika, especially the Spanish sort had various blends – from dulce (sweet and mild) to agridulce (bittersweet and medium hot) to picante (hot), depending on the type of peppers used (round or long), whether the seeds are removed, and how they are processed. And then we planned our holiday to Barcelona.

snow_2011A few weeks before we set off, I was in Paris at a conference where I met a Filipino lady selling pearls. We got talking and I found out she used to live in The Hague before her move to Barcelona – I smiled, we’d walked many a street the same. I mentioned to her that I would head to La Boqueira to get some ‘red’ spice, assuming that this was the best place. Before I could go on, she stopped me, saying I must head to Calle La Princessa 38, where I would c0me upon a 19th century spice shop.

IMG_8926And so we went in search of the shop one hot Spanish afternoon, and found Angel Jobal, desde 1898.

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Eager to get all the Paprika I could, I strolled in and enquired and almost strolled out again for the smallest quantity I could buy was a kilogram. But then, common sense got the better of me – at the rate it was sold, it was silly not to get a pack or two…….I tried to comfort myself and rationalise the purchase, I could always share it, and that’s when the idea came to make Christmas gifts of it.In the end, I left with a kilo of picante paprika, a kilo of sweet paprika and a tiny box of saffron for Paella and more.

IMG_8884We still visited La Boqueira where we were  fascinated by the colourful produce, most especially the fruit juices. I got some raw Macrona almonds, the first time I was seeing them au naturel as I’ve only ever come across the roasted variety. Anyhow, these were not to share :-).

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Gifts settled, the next step was the jars I would need to house the paprika. Then a few weeks ago, a ‘new mum’ colleague of mine began to talk about her son eating solids. We proceeded to talk about the brand she used and then like a flash of lightening, it struck me – what was she doing with the jars?

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I asked and the rest as they say, is history – two women working together to do a great service for the environment.

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All I had to do was clean jars, open packs,  scoop in…..

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….cut out fabric tops, secure with rubber bands….

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…. make labels and then….

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The pots were ready.

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And thus Christmas gifts were born – jars of spice to be gifted  – one hot, one sweet, with very merry wishes for Christmas – to you all.

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Stay well and lots of love ♥ ♥ ♥.

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What are you gifting this season? A kind word, a shoulder to cry on? Your best granola? Grandma’s cornbread? Share all please.

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