Showing posts from March 10, 2013

Madrid in 36 Hours, 1 Cooking Lesson, 1 Tapas Bar and 2 Pastries from the Mercado de Maravillas

Most trips, jet lag doesn't bother me. Today it did.

Yesterday I spent the day with Kathleen Berger, an opera singer, and her chef-husband Manuel Alba Garrido. I tagged along with Kathleen when she had a music lesson with voice coach Tony Madigan. What fun to hear her practice scales and phrasing in preparation for a performance in a week.

In the apartment they share with their four cats, Manuel showed me how to make an authentic Spanish dish, one served in most tapas bars: a tortilla de patata.

Made with a potatoes and eggs with onions (or without onions the barbarian way, as Kathleen explained; whether one puts onions in a tortilla de patata is a topic of debate in tapas bars, fueled by glasses of red wine) and a lot of loving skill, the tortilla does not have tortillas.

Similar to a frittata, but not a frittata. Similar to a quiche, but not a quiche. The tortilla is light but filling, deliciously comforting.

Manuel made a tortilla with a filling of thinly sliced Spanish ham and fre…

What's Up With Spam Comments?

You'd think part of the fun of posting online is hearing back from readers. The whole internet-is-great-for-community-building notion seems like such a good idea. The reality is kind of different.

For articles I wrote for NY TImes Dining and Huffington Post, some people would contribute thoughtful responses. But there were always those people who clearly had a pent up need to vent and my article gave them the opportunity to rant and rave anonymously.

Reading those comments was no fun.

The other sort of weirdness that comes from writing on the web are the spam-comments, sent for nefarious purposes (if you click on the link will your computer become infected and turn into one of the digital zombie hordes enlisted for god-knows-what-purposes?) or to do I-don't-know-what.

And how did the individuals or the bots behind their comments choose my web site and the specific articles? Why didEasy-to-Make Rotisserie Chicken and Roasted Vegetables  attract so many spam-comments?  What does…