Reunited in Madrid and Giving Thanks [Persimmon Apple Oat Crumble]

Delicious chaos happening in the kitchen.

After spending Canadian Thanksgiving at the beach, my flatmates and I celebrated the American holiday with a slightly more traditional dinner this week.  We were joined by a couple of our Spanish friends, our flatmate’s mum all the way from Atlanta, AND her dog who will be living with us from now on (a little chihuahua, who I affectionately call rat-dog…).  Dinner came together rather chaotically in our small kitchen, as we each made something to contribute to our feast. It was a happy chaos; dancing around each other as we cooked, languages mixing over lively conversation, music blasting, cervezas in hand. We each talked about some thing(s) we were grateful for, and sat down together to a delicious spread of roast veggies, seafood paella, polenta fries, pumpkin pie and this fruit crumble.

Dessert and/or breakfast. Perfect.

My parents and twin made the trip over in October, and I’m so glad I got to show them my home for the year and travel with them around the country.  I had been feeling rather proud of myself, in that I hadn’t been feeling homesick at all since getting settled in, but when Thomas and I met my parents in Madrid I realized how much I had missed just seeing them everyday.  Internet is great for keeping in touch, but it was super to catch up face to face.  We spent a  weekend with all four of us (just missing the two little brothers; you’ll have to come next time, S&R?! xo) exploring Madrid; examining art through the grand museums, enjoying cold sunny days through the streets and the parks, and trying a different chocolateria everday. It sounds cliched, I know, but I really am so thankful for my loving and supportive family — and it’s nice to have two Thanksgivings in Spain this year to remember that, although I know it everyday.

Chocolate, churros, sangria, mojitos…Madrid is tasty…

Gratitude is a nice feeling.:)  Happy Monday!

Persimmon Apple Oat Crumble

Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Gratitude

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My silly twin in action. No one takes me seriously at home.

I know I’m not being original in proclaiming my love for all things pumpkin once fall arrives, but I figured (Canadian) Thanksgiving was an appropriate time to fawn over my favourite season and its treats. Autumn is just so wonderful: sweater weather, the breathtaking trees with their coloured leaves, sunny days and the crisp air, warm comfort food, pumpkin galore…I did scrounge the grocery stores here for pumpkin purée, but no luck so I don’t think we’ll be tasting a pumpkin pie this weekend. That’s really quite alright, though, because I am in España!
These coffees were actually the last thing I made at home before hopping on a plane over here — my lovely mother, (silly) twin, and I sipped our lattes and enjoyed my last fall morning in Ottawa until next year.

When I first started spending (wasting?) my money at Starbucks I could only handle the flavoured coffees, and pumpkin spice was my favourite by far. I would anticipate that day in early September when pumpkin was back on the menu. I don’t have anything against Starbucks, I just can’t afford to maintain that habit– so it was pretty thrilling to enjoy a homemade pumpkin spice latte, that also tastes a lot more like coffee and less like syrup.

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I’m so grateful for the exciting experience I have been having so far, the great people I have met, and my super supportive/loving/overall excellent friends and family — some of whom are coming to visit me soon; I’m grateful for that, too!! Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in Canada! Enjoy your dinners, the long weekend and those marvellous fall colours. I’ll be at the beach!

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20121005-145127.jpg Pumpkin Spice Latte