Friday, November 17, 2006

This just in: Box of Goodies from Spain!


Let me interrupt the Spain posts to say...it's finally here! At long last, my box has arrived! Oh joy!

Ok, I guess this happy occasion actually is related to my Spain posts because all the goodies in this box were lovingly packed away by C and I in Barcelona, to be shipped back to our little home in Manila. We wrapped all our treasures in a ton of bubble wrap, secured everything in place with a bunch of old Hola magazines, and sent them off on a wing and a prayer...and much finger crossing that nothing would be broken on the way.

After much debating about purchases and weight limits, we decided to just ship a box home. So we procured a box at our friendly neighborhood LBC office and proceeded in our mission to fill it up (we wouldn't want the contents to jiggle around in there now, would we?). As you can see in the picture above we stuffed it with all manners of things. Among which are (from what can be seen in the picture):
  • Cola Cao for C - Along with much of Spain's kids, C fell in love with this chocolate energy drink.
  • Cuajada mix fo me - As I mentioned before, I adore this! The best, of course, would be made fresh and not from a mix, but beggars can't be choosers, and with the lack of actual cuajo (the substance used to curdle the milk) here, I will have to settle for this. You can also find ready made cuajada in the groceries in Barcelona (and believe me, I had more than my share when we were there). The best I've tried, barring homemade, are the ones that come in the clay crocks that say "de leche de oveja" (sheep's milk). When I try to make this I'm going to try doing it with carabao's milk...
  • Small clay crocks - From our trip to La Bisbal, in the Costa Brava. This is the place to go for pottery! These little ones would be perfect for individual dessert servings...and for my cuajada. The green pitcher you see is also from La Bisbal.
  • Arroz Bomba - Said to be the best rice for cooking paella. Am I fixing my self up to attempt this finally? Hmmm...I am still convincing C that this should be his forte, as he is the lover of paella between us.
  • Our booty from Zara Home - Now you can dress your house in Zara! Beddings, funky towels, serving utensils, adorable kitchen towels...suddenly you feel like your little flat can also aspire to be a tall, thin, Spanish (or otherwise) model.
  • Chocolate Muesli - This may seem a little off, but for some reason, I cannot find chocolate muesli here. And I mean chocolate, not "mocha" or "chococcino". Chocolate muesli (the crunchy type!) and frosted flakes have been a guilty pleasure ever since I discovered the combination one cold morning in Zurich. Now I buy boxes whenever I can.
  • Toothpicks or palillos - So help me...we had a box! Why not? I love these toothpicks that you find in a lot of the tapas bars in Spain. They are shaped like an elongated oval and will be great for a cocktail party spread.
We also tossed in a lot of Spanish supermarket items that caught our fancy like sopa de cebolla mix, demerara sugar, paella spice mix, little sugar "cubes" in different shapes...and all sorts of odds and ends.

These are water bottles we got at Vinçons, an amazing home store along the Paseo de Gracia. These are glass versions of a popular mineral water bottle. We discovered them through my godmother, who has a couple of them, and immediately went to get ourselves some...aren't they hip? Much like Vinçons itself. Their selection is great...just the right note between functional and cool. The window displays are awesome! Behind the bottles you can see a cute argyle print towel we got at Zara Home.

My kitchen towels! I couldn't resist...we could all use a little inspiration to do the dishes :) That is why I'm always on the lookout for nice "tools" for whatever task is usually considered a "chore".



This is what we were hoping and praying would survive the trip (along with the glass bottles above). The clay pot! We got this beauty at La Bisbal. I can't wait to get started using it! What to make? Beans (Fabada!), stews, adobo, chicken in a clay pot, maybe some cornish hens (thank you S&R!)...any suggestions?

Don't you love getting things in the mail? :)

32 comments:

Mila Tan said...

It is like an early xmas! I always love sending myself stuff when travelling, it's a nice way to extend the happy feelings of being away, like an extra day of holiday.

Most of my boxes tend to be filled with books though, probably need to do less of that and more of home items.

Tanna said...

I'll say you really did stuff it. And you stuffed it with really cool stuff - love the clay pot!!
Must have been a wonderful trip.

wysgal said...

Whenever I'd travel with my family (think 7 kids + 2 parents) there would be more luggage allowance than we knew what to do with. But since I've begun travelling solo more these days, shipping stuff home is really a much more practical idea --- especially in luggage allowance stingy Europe! =)

Pille said...

Oh, but no picture of the apron?? Nice goodies you've got there:)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Mila! I totally agree :) It's a great way of getting back in the vacation spirit after the fact (when you are very possibly bogged down with work and not feeling very "vacation-like")...we were both so excited!

Hi Tanna! We both enjoyed the free reign we had to get whatever we wanted since we didn't have to worry about lugging the whole lot home :)

Hey Wysgal! I hear you! When I was travelling by myself it was winter-spring-summer-fall in 20 little kilos...had to get creative! Shipping things back becomes well worth the cost...

Hi Pille! Oh no, the apron didn't make it to the photo shoot! It's in the wash :) It's a really touristy one (it's got everything from bullfights to paella to flamenco) but we love its campy-ness :)

mike mina said...

i love the claypot, joey! i probably would have done the same - stuff an LBC box with all the goodies i could find! btw, it's never too late for an LP entry . . . hehehe . . . ciao!

K & S said...

I love all the things you brought back with you, especially those water bottles and towels...cute!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Kat

pinaygourmand said...

I used to love Cola Cao too. It's just so hard to enjoy things that you can't get anywhere in Manila.YAY for travelling. You've got a nice clay pot. Maybe try a Thai dish? Crab with cellophane noodles. Or a "fake" Paella, Clay Pot Rice!

Socky2u said...

I love the clay pot! I don't see anything like that here - even at Gourdo's. I see the quality is different - must be the firing and the glazing. I am so enjoying your stuff vicariously!

Mae said...

WOW. All those goodies! I see you got the Arroz Bomba and the Paella mix! Yey! You're all set. I'm looking forward to your Paella adventure. :)

I love the tea towels and the argyle towel. Do they not do demerara sugar in Phils?

I'm away mid Dec to mid Jan to Thailand and i can just imagine how crazy i'm going to be...

angelika said...

OH how many wonderful memoires you have stuffed into that package. And for the use of that adorable clay pot I think I can recommend you that "global" no-knead bread which Tanna and many more have tried, with the utmost success. I will also try it soon and report back.... Have fun using all things and cherishing the memories connected with them !

Midge said...

OMG: Cola Cao!!! I haven't seen that product on local grocery shelves in years, Joey. :) Chocolate muesli, arroz bomba, and paella mix?!? If I were you, I would feel like I died and gone straight to culinary heaven. :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Mike! I love it too :) We were worrying if it was going to make it but I guess we are better packers than we thought! Hehe :) I am searching my fridge for leftovers but no promises! I'll be on the lookout for the next LP though... :)

Hi Kat! We love the water bottles too :) We just have to find some cool stoppers now...

Hello Pinaygourmand! I know what you mean...I love the anticipation of the treats I know I'm going to get when I travel...but I guess if I had them around all the time they would lose some of their allure...hehe :) Thanks for the claypot suggestions! Do you know some actually say that paella was made in clay pots before? Well, more like a clay dish...they say the same thing about tortilla de patata...

Hello Socky2u! Glad you are enjoying :) I haven't seen a clay pot this size around here either, although I have bought a round clay dish (for cooking) in Rustan's. I also have a palayok, heehee :)

Hi Mae! Will see about who carries the paella torch...C or me :) The tea towels and argyle print towel were from Zara Home...the have such adorable stuff! We have brown sugar here, which I guess is what demerara is, but the crystals aren't as big...although there is a coffee shop here that sells big sugar crystals...Have fun in Thailand! I hope this means more Thai curry posts! Hooray! :)

Hi Angelika! Yes, it was like C and I relived a bit of the excitment of our trip when we opened the box :) I love using things that have happy memories connected to them, not just the memory of buying them at a department store, heehee :) I will check out that global no knead bread now!

Hi Midge! Yes, a cult classic that Cola Cao ;) I really enjoy going to the groceries wherever I visit and getting a peek of everyday eating in a foreign country. I am gaurding my stash well! :)

Mila Tan said...

In case people want Cola Cao, it's available at Barcino Gourmet, a Spanish food store in Ortigas (opening up an outlet in Makati soon). The guys who own it are from Barcelona so they get stuff from there direct.

christine said...

Yay! Thank God you guys packed those bottles and clay pot well, good job! And I love the Zara towels! :)

Ugh you make me more impatient for my 2 boxes!

Barbara said...

Such lovely souveniers of your holiday Joey. I love paella, and forgive me for boasting, I make a really nice one. It is the Spanish tradition for men to make the paella.

in-JeN-iosiTy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
in-JeN-iosiTy said...

hello joey! reading your posts make me feel like i've been to spain already =)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Mila! Thanks for the heads up! What other goodies might they have? :)

Hi Nens! Yes, we were quite proud of ourselves when everything arrived unscathed :) Your boxes will be here before you know it!

Hi Barbara! I'm sure your paella is great...any tips or secrets to share? :) Funny that you should mention that Spanish tradition because all the famous paella makers in my family are men! As far back as my great grandfather...my grandmother and her sisters remember him standing over his paellera, drinking wine...and then tossing some in :)

Hi Jen! Glad you enjoyed them :) Spain is a wonderful place to visit!

pinaygourmand said...

Oh, where is this Barcino Gourmet in Ortigas? I'm from Ortigas and pity me never heard of this Spanish store. My God!! How can that be?! hehehe

Lori said...

What a brilliant idea! I'm going to start sending stuff home to myself the next time I travel so that I save myself the anxiety of stressing over luggage allowance.

Mila Tan said...

To reach the owners of Barcino, contact Sergi Rostoll at 0906-441-2151. They'll also be opening a branch in Makati at Cava, in the Somerset Olympia, along Makati Avenue. They'll be selling wines and some of the food items by next week.

canDIshhh said...

A box full of goodies! Wow! I'm in awe on how you were able to pack the water bottles and the clay pot! I would have labled the boxes with unending FRAGILE stickers all over!! Yey! for you!! :)

Kakainggit your goodies ah! Especially the supermaket items!! :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Pinaygourmand! The store in Ortigas is in that group of commercial establishments on Julia Vargas...the one with the driving range and Aranaz bags. Mila has also put down their contact details now here... :)

Hi Lori! Yes, it's really a good idea...less stress and more goodies! :) You can also send your dirty clothes along with the box...perfect for cushioning breakables (and perfect excuse to buy new clothes) :)

Hi Mila! Thanks for the info...can't wait to gheck out their stuff :)

Hi Candishhh! Like I told Lori, aside from bubble wrap, I use our old clothes to wrap and cushion the stuff :) I was so happy nothing broke I am now considering working in a balikbayan box company...heehee :)

pinaygourmand said...

Thanks a lot! I'llbe checking it out soon!

Anonymous said...

hi joey! can you please give me the contact details of your LBC office in Barcelona? My mom is going there next week and she wants to send home some balikbayan boxes. Please email me at charlnocom@yahoo.com. Thanks!!!

ChichaJo said...

Hello Pinaygourmand! You're welcome :)

Hi Anonymous! I've sent it to your email already :)

martin said...

just saw this entry and i know my comment might be too late but am wondering: is cola cao still that rare in manila supermarkets after 8months of this post??? i know they are available in s&r don't know about other chains though.

catherine dela calzada said...

hello, off to barcelona in a few weeks and would love to send one of those goodie boxes home. By chance, do you still have lbc's address and no? if so, can you email me at chez.flava@gmail.com.

thanks!!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Martin! I have seen them here before...in the now-closed Gaster Deli...I'm sure you can find them here and there :) We are masters of importing don't you think? ;)

Hi Catherine! I've emailed you the details! Have a wonderful time in Barcelona!

Maria Carmen said...

hai. im a student living in barcelona and im going back home to the philippines in january. do any of you know the address and phone no. of LBC here in barcelona. if so could you please send it to my email. mgpicornell@gmail.com...thank you so much :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Maria Carmen! I’ve emailed you already...hope the info helps! :)