Patrick Talks about Food

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 [2011]. 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 …

JP: Oh!

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?

PM: Basil!

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.

3 Replies to “Patrick Talks about Food”

  1. I would’ve liked to have heard more too.

    I listened to the recording again just now. There was no indication that there was more to the story….. He’d left a long pause, then went on to talk about the train tracks.

    Sadly, I’ll never be able to get clarification from him now.

  2. Mmm, that’s one of my favorite salads too. Have to remember to plant more basil this spring.

    Wish you’d let him continue the story from when he dropped the milk bottle… 🙂

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