I can’t remember if I ever wrote about Gosia moving to a village near Miño so by the way, Gosia has moved to a village near Miño!! It’s already been a couple of months ago now and it’s around 25 minutes from Coruña but it’s in such a cute village and it’s so nice to be outside of the city noise. It makes for a little less spontaneity and a little more planning for the weekends but it’s not much of a difference for me as someone who makes plans to make plans. And for sure, it is a million percent worth the extra travel time as well because the house is a DREAM. Like a real this-should-be-in-Grand-Designs-kind of dream because for all of the open plan space (upstairs and downstairs) and open stone walls and the terrace and the garden and the kitchen island (!!) it’s only a tiny bit more than what I pay for my apartment and it’s definitely more than triple the size.
So with Harley and Mark both away this weekend, Kaska and I joined Gosia for a little weekend getaway in the country. We stopped by the supermarket on the way to stock up on food and fuel for the grill (!!!) and set to work on our country lifestyle and snacking on cold watermelon. Gosia and Kaska prepped the grill outside while I made the pastry for dessert. It took a while to get the coals burning hot enough but thinking it would take a lot longer, we marinated the fish in oil and herbs and garlic and lemon at the last minute and put them straight on while Kaska prepped the prawns.
And then suddenly in no time, the fish was done and verging on burning and we hurriedly tried the get the fish off metal rack. And from then on it was non-stop running back and forth from the grill to the kitchen to the grill and back again getting the prawns ready and cooked and then the padron peppers and I prepped the asparagus while we waited. And oh, the salad! We forgot about the salad! And then a few minutes later holy shit the peppers! They were already so soft and falling through the gaps in the rack! Between the three of us, we only lost two to the coals and with Gosia’s hands protected in her gardening gloves we managed to flip the rest over to cook properly on the other side. We set the table and opened our beers (because yes, we forgot to make the sangria as well, but honestly nobody gave a shit at this point) and collected the peppers off the grill. Kaska loaded it with the asparagus and we resigned to the fact that we’d probably have to have them tomorrow morning because ohmygod we had so much food and all we wanted to do was sit (at last) and eat what we had already.
The fish was cold and I put too much lemon on it but it was perfectly cooked and the skin was crispy and it was still super tasty, even if it was super lemony. The peppers were perfect and smoky but the prawns were the best. I don’t know how else to write about it and at this point I feel exhausted all over again just having to write and relive our grilling experience.. they were just.. the best. We sat for the first 10 minutes in silence just eating and then breaking into celebratory talk on what we had just achieved. Our first ever outdoor grill (I’m not entirely sure why I haven’t just called it a barbeque) done all by ourselves from start to finish – sorry but I am super proud of this.
Once everything was tidied and wiped down, finished making the rest of the dessert – salted honey pie, by the way. We used a makeshift rolling pin (large water bottle) to roll out the pastry base – well Gosia rolled it because of my embarrassing excuse for muscle strength – and I put together the filling. I should have paid more attention to the recipe beforehand because I forgot that we had to strain the honey mix and because Gosia only had a fine strainer for tea, I spent the next hour pouring it through bit by bit and watching it drip into three separate cup-fuls. Meanwhile, Kaska made the sangria and finally finally I put the pie in the oven, set the timer and we had a whole 40 minutes to rest before the first check!
We watched the first episode of The Flight of the Conchords while we waited and another episode while the pie was cooling. And then after that it was back-to-back until 4am only taking breaks for the toilet/pie/sangria/showers and one final walk to the bins outside. I woke up to the sound of the cockerel and a fly in my face but after a really great lie in. The rest of the lazy morning was spent preparing more food (!!) for breakfast and pretty much non-stop eating again thereafter. Gosia picked fresh basil from the garden and we ate it with tomatoes and mozzarella and truffle-infused olive oil. We at the grilled asparagus from the previous night and topped everything with avocado and a perfectly fried egg. We cleared the table and after a wipe down, went straight back into the honey pie for a breakfast dessert. Kaska and I finished the rest of the sangria that was left over and I carried on snacking on crisps and watermelon while we sat on deck chairs in the garden under the sun.
It was such a dream weekend!! On the way back to Coruña we stopped by the garden centre and I bought a ton of things to bring my balcony back to life. I’ve been meaning to sort it out for so long – it’s just been keeping dead plants and empty pots and dry soil and dust. And I feel like I still need to sort out a lot of things in my apartment actually and I have been meaning to (always) for so long now but you know, I think buying more stuff for it is already half way there! Pots of fresh herbs and lavender are now awaiting to be replanted in the little box I bought to hang over my balcony. And to have this little reminder of the dream-countryside-village life in my own apartment is the perfect remedy to all my after-work slumps at the end of the day. So this is me finally missing a home with a garden. After a whole year of missing busy city life and now it's life in suburbia that I'm dreaming about again.. Uff there is no winning! Let my balcony be my new happy place until the end of summer.