Vivan los novios!

I’d say I am now an expert in Spanish weddings. I can tell you how long the ceremony will last (50 minutes) and what will be chanted to the bride and groom throughout the meal (que se besen, que se besen; vivan los novios – Vivan!) and, at least in this part of Spain, what to expect on the menu (ham and lechazo). I just got back from my fourth wedding weekend of the year. We flew to Portland for the first wedding, but the final three have been here in Spain. Boy, do the Spaniards know how to throw down.

It is more common for Spanish wedding receptions to be held in a hotel or restaurant rather than a catered affair in an outdoor tent or winery. They are elaborate and very long. At 3 p.m. we were bused to a hotel in Benavente and started with an apertitif in the garden where a professional was carving and plating  jamón ibérico in perfect geometric shapes. What a day!

Congratulations to Raquel and Fran. Qué la vida solo os traiga felicidad! Con mucho cariño, vivan los novios!

IMG_2779 IMG_2780 IMG_2789


Welcome wagon. Sangria, beer, orange soda, two cocktails: one with rum and the other with tequila

Welcome wagon. Sangria, beer, orange soda, two cocktails: one with rum and the other with tequila


This makes me not miss catering.


Manchego, fresh white anchovy, green olive. So good I couldn’t even get a picture of a full plate.


Crepe-sicles with blue cheese mousse and walnut, a side of gold rings (my hand not shown).


Blood sausage morcilla on vol-au-vent, spoons of slow-cooked pork gizzard. All that slow cooking couldn’t turn that gizzard into gold.


Super pre-lunch, pre-wine selfie for my Mom


Let the four-hour meal begin.


My cigala almost crawled off the plate. Sweet and wonderful.


Roasted hake with potatoes, clams, and pine nuts


Between fish and meat: a lovely mojito palate cleanser. Menos mal. We were so thirsty.


Suckling lamb slow cooked in a wood-fired oven. A big Castilla treat.


A Fariña down! Not my doing.


Very gooey, so-so dessert. The ice cream was good though.

And they keep going!

And they keep going!


After-dinner treat


Spanish James Bond


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