Lunchtime brought yet another marvelous meal. We began with an appetizer of tiny peppers stuffed with goat cheese, and more cured meats: jamón ibérico, salchichón, and chorizo.

The main dish was a savory rice dish served with tiny monkfish. The monkfish is the hideous gelatinous-looking fish that you see in the fresh fish display at the Pike Place Fish Market. You may recall the monkfish as the one that, when children or elegant ladies approach, lips curled, to more closely examine how disgusting the darn thing looks, the guys behind the counter quickly pull a cord attached to the fish’s mouth, making it appear to “snap” at whoever is nearby and scaring the bejeezus out of the ladies or children.
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Day 2 in Catacurian began early for me – I didn’t sleep well, and kept waking up. Finally I threw in the towel at 5am, and got up to sit outside on the balcony to take in the morning. As the sun came up, the light crept over the countryside, and looked gorgeous. It was a beautiful morning.

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Post-siesta, and more-than-a teeny-bit-jet-lagged, all of us awoke with a pretty heavy head. Nevertheless, we soldiered downstairs and found this scene. Alicia was ready for us!

Ready to cook!

Each station had a cutting board, two knives, an apron, a dishtowel, and a cold glass of iced water. That iced water was especially nice, since temps that first day hit 100 degrees and we all felt a little wilted.
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Once we took a few minutes to freshen up, it was time to enjoy a Catacurian-style welcome lunch.

On the menu: Fresh figs; apple paté and green peppercorn paté; rosemary manchego cheese, an incredible local goat cheese, and some other kind of cheese.

Figs, fresh off the tree

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Fernando  dropped me off at the airport at the hair-raising hour of 4:25am. Nary a café was open, which was probably fine, since at that time, I don’t think I would have managed to choke down a cup of coffee anyway.

I must say, it has been a rather eventful morning so far. In the couple of hours I’ve been here already:

  • I have discovered there is a women’s fitness magazine named “Glutes, ” dedicated to providing tips on sculpting your sexiest backside.
  • I have seen two Euro-dudes dressed like cowboys, complete with jaunty neck kerchief. I actually smelled them before I saw them, as they both had evidently taken a bath in Drakkar Noir before arriving at the airport. Gah.
  • I have seen one burly tattooed guy displaying the teeniest black lace thong – clearly visible over the waistband of his ultra low-rise jeans when he bent over in his chair to get something out of his bag.

And it isn’t even 6am yet!
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