Spain, Spain, Spain … (Part 1)


Ward Family Ready to Board!

We set off to Spain as the first stop on our around the world ticket. We chose Spain because Scotty has a “brother” that lives in Spain. He actually was a foreign exchange student, but they were so close Scotty considers him a brother and he considers Scotty family too.

To be honest we had no plan. For those that know me this won’t come as much of a surprise. I like to leave the days open so adventures can unfold and spontaneity reigns. We landed after two overnight flights. I was so worried about the kids and how they would do, but both of them slept the entire flight both nights … huge relief and answer to prayers. Two flights down, 13 left to go! Oh wow just writing that makes me a little anxious, but so far so good.

We landed in Spain a little tired and off our time schedules. So we slept in until 11:30 a.m. In the Ward family existence that has never happened. It was SO nice everyone slept. From there we winged it. We didn’t know if we were going to go up to the north or down south. We did know we had to be back to hang out with Jonas in Madrid. We had two main priorities. Finding really good food, and getting a feel for the culture. That morning we called up an agriturismo, luckily he had room, and the adventure began. We chose north and we chose well. Honestly, some of the prettiest mountains I have ever seen … and I live in the mountains.

If you have never heard of an agriturismo you have to make it a goal in your life to visit one of these. They are working farms that let you come and stay. They have strict requirements by the government. They can only have up to 6 rooms and a certain number of people that stay. So you feel like you are part of the culture. They feed you a typical breakfast of the area, and help you plan the day with local insights of what to do while you are there. A lot of them also will cook a big dinner with produce from their farms for and additional fee. Some even offer cooking classes. They are ideal for kids because there is room to roam around and play. A lot of them have animals, which is also fun. And they are a really good deal considering all you get. They average around 60-100 Euros a night for a family room, and include breakfast.

Here is the site where I found the places we stayed:
Responsible travel

You can narrow your search by things that are important to you. I looked for a place that was child friendly, had a swimming pool, and a working farm. There are some that don’t have a working farm anymore. I also looked for somewhere that you could pay to eat dinner with them. The places I selected made the dinners from the things they had grown in their own gardens.

Our Home in Spain

The first stop was Carlos’s place, Casa La Cortina. It was seriously up in the mountains. There were only six old rustic homes in his aldea, and old cobble stone streets. He had a fantastic view overlooking the country side.

View from our Home in Spain

I wish I had a picture of the cows that had little bells hung around their necks. It was such a serene place. The only noise that was around was the sound of the bells clanking against their necks.

Farm Life in Spain

Pigs walked around in the road. I seriously felt like I traveled back in time. The home we were staying at was hundreds of years old and all the homes in this tiny aldea were for that matter.

The road was so windy that Isaiah, without warning, lost it all over the seat. Skye looked at him and started puking herself. Turns out Isaiah has motion sickness — we concluded this after another episode later on in the trip. Luckily, Scotty took one for the team and cleaned the car and I cleaned up the kids. Oh the adventures!

View from our window in Spain

And the food …

To be honest, by this point we had yet to have an amazing meal. To be fair, we had only been there two days. But I was ready to have a memorable meal. Carlos offered to cook for us. Since we were there during the off season (fall time) he had time to cook.

cooking in Spain

He made us pumpkin soup that was to die for — rich, creamy, and satisfying. Of course I asked him for the recipe. He also made us fresh fries, and real chicken with veins and bones. I didn’t care because it I knew it was a happy chicken.

I have a few food goals while I am traveling. Funny that I have food goals, I know, but I seriously love food, good food. My goals are to try as much of the local food as possible, and to learn all I can to make it at home. Carlos invited me into his kitchen and gave me the recipe. Guys the best part, the soup is really easy. I think part of the tastiness is every ingredient he used was legit, but I am sure with quality ingredients this can turn out at home.

Pumpkin Soup Recipe (Sopa De Calabaza)

Sorry in advance, he doesn’t use measurements and just said to make it to your liking.

Ingredients

  • 1 small pumpkin
  • 1 medium-sized potato
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Salt

Preparation

  1. Peel and cube the pumpkin and potato. You don’t have to be really exact about it, just cut them up into smallish pieces so they cook faster.
  2. Get a medium-sized pot and put the potatoes and pumpkin in it. Fill it with water so the water is not covering them completely, leaving about 2-inches of potatoes and pumpkin out of the water. Like 3/4 full.
  3. Boil the pumpkin and squash until soft.
  4. While the pumpkin and squash are cooking, cut up an onion into small pieces. Put olive oil in the pan, about 2 Tbsp or so, and cook the onion slowly until soft. You want to cook it for a while so it gets soft and sweet. About ten minutes will do. Drain the water.
  5. With a hand blender or with a normal blender, blend the pumpkin, potatoes, onions and garlic together until fully combined.
  6. Add salt to your liking and about 3 Tbsp of butter. Again add the butter to your liking. Enjoy!

More recipes of Spain to come!

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