Monday, 13 July 2015

Vicar's Kitchen: Tapas Hour

It is a year now since I was in Barcelona for a month working for a church over there. Lots has stuck from my trip and I look back on it as a very happy, happy time but one thing in particular that has gone the distance is the introduction of a summer time Tapas hour!

I absolutely loved this about life in Spain. Because people tend to eat later, after the worst of the days heat has begun to fade away, about five or six, when you get in from work, is the perfect time to have a few little plates of tapas and a nice glass of something.

In Barcelona this evening ritual was held on the balcony of our apartment from which I could see the sea and the church perched on the top of Mount Tibidabo. Here in good ol' Blighty it is held on my patio or in our dining room with all the doors open.

There isn't so much of a view, just our garden shed with tumbling ivy growing down over it and a few pots filled with lettuces that I'm growing but it is still pretty lovely with the birds chirping away and soaking up the last of the days heat.
A very special Barcelona view from our roof terrace

So if you fancy instituting Tapas hour in your house, here are a few tips!

1.Keep it simple

The best tapas dishes for Tapas hour, in my book, are the ones that come straight out of the fridge and require minimal preparation. A block of Manchego sliced into little strips (Tesco Finest does a really delicious and pretty inexpensive one), some chorizo chopped and briefly fried until it releases its orange juices and crisps a little and a pot of olives and sun dried tomatos. Grab some tooth pics, put your feet up and go to town!

2.Wash it down with something special
Part of the joy of Tapas hour is the chance to let the day go with a big 'ahhhhh!' To aid the relaxation process a lovely glass of something nice certainly helps. In Spain I often had a glass of Rioja, here I tend to have a bottle of Sherry in the fridge which I either have as it or as a Sherry Spritzer. To make a Sherry Spritzer pop some ice cubes in a glass with some lemon slices. Fill the glass a third full with sherry and top up with soda water. Lush.

3.Good company

One of the joys of Spanish life was the amount of time that people just happily sit. Nothing was rushed, lunches ran on for several hours, sitting and just staring off into the beautiful view was a completely acceptable, in fact highly recommended, past time. I love Tapas hour at home because it creates that same feeling. We both work odd and sometimes long hours so Tapas hour gives us a chance to touch base, catch up on the day or just enjoy the sunshine and quiet together.

So there we have it, Tapas hour from my house to yours. Enjoy! x

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