The recording for this conversation is too large to upload to this site. If there is interest I will convert to a YouTube video and add a link. Let me know.
JP: We are sitting in “Cappucino Restaurant” in Valldemossa. It’s about 4:30 PM on the 16th November . Hopefully the date/time stamp on the digital recorder is corrected now. So … talk about food.
PM: Well, the first thing I remember is walking to school with my first bottle of milk that my mother put in a bag. I was in the first grade. The bag got wet. The bag got wet and the bottle fell through, smashed on the sidewalk and I went back home. I didn’t go to school.
PM: But, she had warned me not to cross the railroad unless I looked both ways and wait for somebody else because the only way to get to school you had to cross the railroad.
PM: Right in the middle of town, actually.
PM: So, that’s the first thing I remember about food and on the way to school on the left hand side there was an empty lot with a …. Some kids had found a dead dog and hung it up in a tree.
PM: Why, I don’t know.
JP: Donna’s brother Chuck went to get a bottle of milk early, when he was a kid, for aunt Phil, somehow broke the bottle, sliced his finger [and severed the muscle or nerve]. That one finger on his right hand, the index finger, it never really grew. I mean, it wasn’t like a stump but he had no control over it. It was always just pointing straight out.
JP: For the rest of his life. H was right-handed, but he used – I think he’s right-handed – but he always used the second, third, and fourth fingers.
JP: What was the biggest adjustment to your dietary habits when you moved to Spain?
PM: Mm, good question! It was such an improvement that …
PM: Shopping was the hard thing because in those days they didn’t have supermarkets.
PM: So you go one place for the meat, another place for the vegetables, and anaohter place for the fruit, maybe fruits and vegetables in one shop unless you were in a big market.
PM: There was a big market in Palma so, we’d go on Saturdays to do our shopping and have lunch with the writing bunch in Palma.
JP: Now in French you have “le supermarket” [FYI there is also the word supermarché] ah just kind of a “franglais” word, em, because the French did the same. They didn’t have a central point for everything. Is there a similar word in Spanish or has it just been sort of subsumed into some other phrase?
PM: Em, well now there’s a supermercado.
PM: It just about put a lot of the small guys out of business of course.
PM: It was happening in Tallahassee already when I was in college.
PM: There used to be a lot of little shops, mom and pops.
PM: I can’t imagine … I don’t think I really learned how to eat until I came to Spain.
JP: And cooking?
JP: Yeah, I didn’t really start doing that until about six or eight years ago.
JP: When Stephanie first got sick?
PM: Mm, Yep. I always made the breakfast and she always made lunch and/or dinner. Great cook!
PM: No reason for me to cook. But then I started to learn how to do me some different kinds of pastas.
PM: This is great with the …
JP: The mint leaf?
PM: No, that is albaca …
PM: What do you call it in English? Em … I can never remember the word in Spanish or in English? and now I just got the Spanish?
JP: Ooh! Okay! I never thought of doing it this way.
PM: This is the real way to do it.
PM: But why do you need basil on a night like this. We don’t have any now. We usually have two pots of basil on the terrace. When winter comes it dies.
JP: For our listeners here, we are having tomato and mozzarella and basil salad in olive oil.
JP: And unlike in the States, the salads tend not to be a collection of greens with supplementals describing the salad but rather, what’s on the list is what you get.
PM: Well, this one is one of my favorite kinds of salad.
JP: Mm! A little bit more?
PM: Finish it!
JP: We’re going to pause and stop this minute and we’ll get another one so the audio files will be a bit smaller.