Preparing in excess for Happy Friday cava

Two of my very good friends here in Stockholm live just 100 meters from my parents. Although I’m at my parents quite often, I don’t see L and R half as much as I would like. But this evening we have a date!

L is a childhood friend of mine who is much wiser than me in so many aspects. Just one example is that she already in her teens fell in love with Barcelona and learned Spanish. (Clever clever girl!) And in Barcelona she found R!
R has also started to try to teach me Spanish, although our lessons are long over due now (I think our last lesson was in January). So I just think we need to start all over. But it is all good since Andréas now finally has come around and wants to learn Spanish too.

Tonight L and R asked me to cook beef wellington, since they have been longing for this but are a bit uncertain on how to cook it. And I am most happy to oblige. I love beef wellington!

Wellington in the making

So now I have prepared everything, and the Wellington is resting in the fridge, while wating to get its cover of puff pastry. It will be great I’m sure. After a few times of cooking this dish I have now learned how to make it quite well. One of the keys is to have a fillet that is evenly thick and max 1 kg. Otherwise it gets to big to handle and falls apart when you roll it in the puff pastry. If you want to try it yourself I suggest Gordon Ramsay’s receipt.

So to night we will have R’s tapas to start, together with Cava, of course! And then Wellington with roasted potatoes, garlic butter and a cream sauce. And to the Wellington more Cava!

First I think we will have Freixenet’s Trepat 2010, since I love this very pale rosé with it’s delicate fruit. And to the Wellington we will have Jaume Giró i Giró, gran Reserva 2005.

I think that it will be all wonderful! But the best of it all is that I’ll have a whole evening with my lovely husband Andréas and my fantastic friends L and R!

 

Happy Friday Cava! And hope that you have a bottle of Cava on ice to!

I don’t think that this much Cava has ever…

…been in Champagne at the same time. I wonder what people would say if they knew we had 180 bottles of Cava in our car, while sitting and trying their champagnes? It is quite funny I think! 🙂

To be honest we love Champagne too. And as I often say; “I drink Champagne when I feel like having Champagne and Cava when I feel like having Cava”. It is just so different.

We have had some nice days here, although France seems to get by completely without working or accessible internet, which is quite interesting. My goodness! No facebook, twitter, mail or blog, and no news. Since we don’t know French we get quite isolated. But we have managed and had nice weather, nice food and champagne, and Andréas and Martin have made two new friends in the cats that lives here at the B&B, Guy Charbaut.

Martin also made a new friend in the Champagne.

After today we have reached a total count of 250 bottles of sparkling, and feel quite content. And it is now clear that we won’t fit any beer in the boot, when driving trough Germany. But we are not to sad about that.
So now we have the last evening here on our vacation (because it will be all driving from here). So we are going out to have a nice meal at Chez Max, where we have been before. So keep a lookout on facebook, and I’ll post some pictures of our last dinner.

See you back in Sweden!

News about the book

Many people are asking me about the book and when it will be available. And actually I have some news now!
I talked to the publisher yesterday, when he called me just as we were going in to the Sagrada familia. And we decided that we will start with the lay out now when we come home from Barcelona. The first issue will be printed in english, so if you are one of the people looking forward to the spanish or swedish version, you will most likely have to wait until the beginning of next year. The translation takes time you know.
But you will be able to get a copy in english at least at the end of the summer, at the beginning of August if all goes well.

I know there are quite a few of you in the states that have been asking me when you can buy the book and unfortunately the book won’t be available in the US in this first issue, but probably the second issue that will come in the beginning of next year. But if you want one now just send me an e-mail, and I’ll send you a book and we’ll fix the matter of payment some how. It is a pretty great christmas gift together with a bottle of cava, wouldn’t you say? The price is not final yet, but will most likely be around 20-22 Euros.

As you can imagine I’m pretty excited, and I can’t wait to finally hold the book in my hands after all this work!

Here are some of all the pictures we have taken this trip and we’ll se if any of them will get a place in the final book. Enjoy!

New experiences in Barcelona

crowded at Can paixano

Today we started with a visit at Sagrada familia, before we said good bye to our friend Kajsa who took the flight home. Gaudis incredible cathedral is truly breathtaking and this time was my first inside the church. (I ‘ll post some pictures later, since I have them on my phone.)
After this we took a walk down to the beach where we spent four hours, and got a bit burned, as the fair skinned swedes we are.

When we were done at the beach we started to walk up throughout the city again, and on the way stopped at Can Paixano, or La champagneria, as many people call it. A very crowded but nice place where you can buy Cava and sparkling wine by the glass and have a snack to go with it.
Can paixano is a very well known place, and the crowd is very international. You will hear at least 5 languages while your there.
We stayed half an hour and met two swedes, just by chance. We swedes just love Barcelona and we are everywhere to be found!
I also had the luck to meet the owner, who I have been tweeting and mailing with. So it was great to finally meet him.

After a glass of cava or two we left and walked through the old town, towards our hotel and on the hunt for some dinner. In the old parts we came across a very small bar, where we sat down for a while. But we stayed a little longer than planned since the service and the drinks were fantastic! Next time you are in Barcelona I highly recommend you to go to this bar and have a glass of cava or try their mojito or sangria! The best in town?

La Alcoba Azul bar, is the name and if you have a map I’m sure you will be able to find it. It’s not far from the Rambla. It is open from 16 – 03 more or less every day. On the weekend they open already at 13.00.

In total a great day in Barcelona. And yes we did get some dinner at the end at a very nice english pub actually. And then off to bed!

 

A very happy Cava lady with a glass of well made sangria

Learning about the lab, biodynamic farming and driving in the montains

It has been a busy day, with three visits. But all great, and we have learned so much!

First we visited Eva at Vilarnau, who has helped me so much with the book and checking so that I have all my facts right.
Today she showed us the lab and how to measure pressure in the bottles and how to count the yeast cells after the second fermentation has finished. Really interesting!

Then we tried the different cavas we had opened with the lees still in side. A great experience since it is Cava that has finished the second fermentation but without the aging.
Eva also gave us some bottles with the yeast still inside to take home and age in our cellar. So now we will have to make the riddling on our own and also disgorge the bottles when the time comes. Luckily, Andréas learned how to do the disgorgment when we visited Giro i Giro this monday.

Tasting cloudy Cava
Counting yeast cells
Measuring preasure

When we had said goodbye to Eva, we went to Recaredo and learned about biodynamic farming. We met the lovely horse Bru, who was working hard in the fields, while the team were planting chamomile, lavender, and some herbs that I don’t really know that well. All are grown for using later in the vineyards as different treatments.

working hardMe and Bru
Me and Bru
A great vineyard

 

After this fantastic visit at Recaredo, we went to Parés Baltà, who we also have visited before. This time we brought our friends Kajsa and Martin and we all had a wonderful afternoon in the mountains and had the chance to try some wonderful wines and Cavas.

waterfall in the mountains

Me, Kajsa and Josep
Martin (or Peter Pan)
Beeeeeeeez!

We all had a great day and I just want to thank all the lovely producers that always take the time to see us when we come to visit. It is always a pleasure!