Sunday, October 23, 2005


When I left Spain at the beginning of October, it was hot and everyone was still wearing sandals. Two weeks later it is still pretty damn warm, but clearly, the collective consciousness-- if not the actual season--has turned, and we are in winter. You can tell because even though I was almost sweating in a suede jacket this morning, everyone around me had on sweaters and scarves and was crossing the Plaza de Oriente like it was frozen tundra. And yesterday, the tables at San Gines were once again full of people drinking hot chocolate.

Another sign of winter: huesos del santo, little sugar-coated marzipan cookies that they make for All Saints Day. The holiday isn't until November 1, but in a bit of American-style commercialism, my bakery has begun selling them. The name translates as "saints' bones"; hence the shape. At La Tahona, they come scored like rotini, and with candied chestnuts, apple, or sweet potato where the marrow would be. My favorite, though, are filled with yema--sweetened egg yolk, which should be disgusting, but isn't.

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