Something that I miss a lot from home is having the ability to cook every day. For me, cooking is an activity where I can immerse myself in the recipe I am doing, and not have to think about anything else going on in my life. It’s a nice break from my normal routine and I love experimenting with different flavors. It doesn’t always go well, but that’s the beauty of cooking, that you can always change things up and attempt dishes again until you find a flavor that makes you happy.
In an attempt to break out of my routine and get to go cook my own dinner for a change, I decided to take a Spanish food cooking class where I learned how to make gazpacho, tortilla, paella, and tarta de Santiago. Since arriving in Spain, tortilla de patatas and paella have been some of my favorite dishes. I grew up eating tortilla often because my grandmother knew how to make it, but it’s still a fun experience to be able to eat it here too. Because it’s a familiar flavor, it also makes me feel close to home, despite the fact that I’m not Spanish.
It was lots of fun getting to be in a kitchen with tons of fancy utensils right at my disposal (certainly not what I’m used to back at Tufts!) and getting to know other students in Madrid who chose to take the class. I went to the class with a friend but there were many other international students in the class, so it was great getting to talk to them about their experiences in Madrid as we cooked all four dishes together.
My favorite part of the class was learning how to flip the tortilla from one side to the other, I’ll admit I was scared to try because with my luck I was sure to mess up, but I managed to keep the tortilla safe from my clumsiness. After cooking all four dishes, we all sat down and got to taste what we cooked together, all while enjoying a glass of sangria and some fun conversation. At the end of the class, we received the recipes we learned with detailed ingredients and instructions which makes me excited to go back home and attempt to make these once I start to miss Madrid. Growing up in Latin America, there is a wide range of different recipes that I make often, so now I’m excited to add four new dishes to my list of cooking specialties!