Fresh Local Veggies

In the Basque country, food an eating are the center of everyday life. I have never taken cooking classes. I was taught to cook and about the importance of eating fresh foods by my mother, and my mother from her mother.

Growing up, I remember her cooking every day, three meals a day for my sister, my father and me. She shopped every day at the neighborhood shops. I used to go along and loved watching her. She knew exactly what products she wanted, always fresh.

Today, I am a food and cooking lover thanks to my mom. Needless to say, I follow her recommendations: Use fresh, natural ingredients and keep it simple!

I feel lucky that I have great local small businesses and farms around my area. Buying seasonal ingredients is great!

They taste and look better. In addition, shopping at small local businesses, is a good way to support the local economy.

Local matters, and if one is a Greeter, much more! 🙂

Let me share with you the photos I took to the box of colorful organic veggies delivered yesterday directly from the farm.

My mouth is watering just looking at them!

verduras 1 verduras 2 verduras 3

Did you know Basques love Mushrooms?

If you are interested in the world of mushrooms, then you must know that the Basque Country is a recommended place.

The world of mushrooms is fascinating and it has a long tradition among Basque people. It begins in the forest and finishes at the dinner table.

It is a common practice here, during the autumn when rains come, that large numbers of people go into the forests to enjoy a pleasant walk while filling their baskets with mushrooms.

Boletus edulis, Cantharellus, Milk Caps and many more have a special place in our gastronomy.

At Bilbao Greeters, none of us are experts or claim to be experts. We simply want to shareour passion for them with you.

If you are considering visiting the Basque Country, and you love mushrooms too, let us know. We will be happy to help you find good local places where to eat them.

Stuffed, grilled, with eggs…… well, mushrooms are delicious! You can eat them at restaurants as a main dish (grilled mushrooms, served with an egg yolk, or with scrambled eggs), as a side dish (sautéed in mixtures with garlic and parsley) or at the bars displayed on the counters as “pintxos” (delicious small snacks).

I do like mushrooms. I must confess that I much prefer the eating to the hunting. The season is now, so a few days ago, I visited my friend at his local bar. He likes foraging for fungi and other wild edibles and enjoys cooking them later. He is really good!

Here are some pictures. What’s more, the food was incredible, the Rioja wine superb and the “Sobremesa” (the talk after the meal in Spanish) great! Of course!

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Walking along the Nervion riverbanks in Bilbao, ahhh so amazing and relaxing!

Yesterday was a pretty nice day out, so I walked up and down the river and stopped a few places along the way. I loved watching joggers, tourists, locals just hanging around and the incredible Guggenheim museum with shimmering and color-changing scales, titanium curves and Puppy, a friendly guard dog. It is a really great way to be outside and still sightseeing but with a lovely atmosphere.

To me, there’s nothing quite like walking on both sides of the river and enjoy at a leisurely pace while exploring how much Bilbao has changed.

And then, before I even realized it, it was dark and the lights came on.

I am very lucky to live in such a wonderful city!

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“That Immense Love… That Hurts So Much”

Ese Inmensoamor ... Que Duele TantoMany congratulations to Carmen Martínez, rhapsode and poet, for such a delightful book that was just released, for offering me the chance to discover the world of poetry, and for being a Greeter.

Motivated by Carmen’s invitation, I attended her book presentation: “That immense love… that hurts so much”, held in Bilbao. I’ve never been interested in poetry, but I was curious and Carmen deserved to be with friends on this important day for her.

Carmen presented her last collection of poems, which is the 11th book of her emotional baggage, as she likes to say. The presentation was lovely. Family and friends joined her in this sensational evening. I was deeply touched to hear Carmen and her rhapsode friends read the poems.

I can only say I was deeply moved, my sentiments flowed, and she won my admiration. The presentation was simply spectacular. At least, it is how I felt.

Now that a great curiosity for the poetry has aroused in me, I am sure that I will repeat.

If you are interested in her poetry and wish to buy the book and CD to listen to Carmen read her poetry, be sure to visit her website: http://www.lavidadecarmen.com/

Thanks Carmen for writing and sharing your wonderful poems with us all.Carmen Martínez

The 18th Korrika on its way to Bayonne (France)

What’s “Korrika”?

Korrika is an event that was started in the Basque Country to raise awareness and money for the Basque language. The first korrika was put on in 1980.

The word “Korrika” is Basque for “running”.

People of all ages run the Korrika.

As Del Valle in Korrika describes the race, “Technically Korrika is a colossal footrace run in relays of 1 kilometers in which thousands or runners, men and woman of all ages, pass through the seven Basque territories carry a symbol identified as the testigo, or witness (baton). The principle objective of the race is to generate popular support for Euskara, the Basque language”.

Each kilometer is sold to raise money.

The money raised by Korrika goes to the continuation of the Basque language, especially to fund teachers and schools of the Basque language.

It is now ran also in countries across the world, as USA (San Francisco), England (London)

2013’s Korrika continues, with great success, its way to every corner of the Basque Country.

This year, the non-stop relay race will last 11 days, 24 hours a day, over a distance of more than 2,500 Kms.

It started in Andoain (Gipuzkoa) and will end on March 24th in Bayonne (France). The slogan is “Eman Euskara Ekarri” (“pass on Basque”)

The 18th Korrika was running through Barakaldo yesterday. Here are a few pics.

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Korrika 18