Home for the Holidays, Traditions in Oregon and Spain

By Regina Winkle-Bryan

Barcelona Holiday Buzz

For the first time in many years, I am going home for the holidays. My other home, that is, in the United States, where I grew up. Living abroad is exciting and I adore travel, Spain, and Barcelona. But living here is also a sacrifice in a way, because I miss out on those special moments that my family shares together each year. Christmas is a good example, as are birthdays, Thanksgiving, anniversaries, and weddings.

Oregon Christmas...same but different

Needless to say I am happy to have the ways and means to head back to Oregon this December for a visit. After some holiday cheer on the west coast, I will zip back to Spain to spend New Year’s Eve and Reyes (Kings Day, a more important holiday here than Christmas) with my Barcelona familia.

Merry Christmas or Feliz Navidad

I know that back home in Oregon we will celebrate with large family meals, hams, pies and wine. Here in Spain, the celebration will not be that much different, though some of the ingredients will change. There will be ham, but of the cured variety, and there will be wine, though it will be from Rioja or Priorat instead of from the Pinot-producing vineyards in Oregon.

Back in Spain for the tail end of the holidays, I’ll team up with Nancy to cook up a holiday feast for New Year’s Eve with friends, sure to last way into the night. A feast is no easy task! Your Scoopettes will be shopping the markets for the freshest seasonal ingredients for our delicious spread. We’ll scan La Boqueria Market for chocolates, candied fruit and select roasted nuts. We’ll shop  La Barceloneta Market for plump prawns for a holiday fish soup . And we’ll pop into La Concepcio Market for bountiful flowers to grace the feasting table.

Shopping the outdoor markets is where to get the best produce and fish (and meats) in town. Save the supermarket for soap and other boring household goods. The outdoor market is where real chefs go for inspiration and the perfect ingredient that the recipe calls for.

Happy Holidays, and Happy Feasting from The Scoopettes!

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