waterpolo as a warm up for the aperitif...
When you find yourself stucked up in downtown Madrid in a July Sunday, with celsius figures going largely further than 30, an invitation to a lunch-by-the-pool comes as bliss.
The hosts, Blatand and Garbo, are a true cosmopolitan couple with graceful outlook, refraining admirably from speaking the mother language of the overwhelming majority of guests at the lunch table (a temptation my countrymen seem unprepared to resist, when in analogue circumstances). Mirabello arrived in a huge motorbike. The fourth waterpolo player, Tancos, arrived with wife, Presepio, and dog, (Manfred) in matching colours.
The Eden-like tranquility of the garden was only shaked by the shooting competition (with compressed-air carabine) and the occasional diving of Manfred, either voluntary or enforced.
At lunch, the gazpacho was served with the full ceremonial traditions of an High Mass in Latin, and the poussins stuffed with mushrooms were exquisite. Cooking abilities were discussed. Why Spaniard young married-not-long-ago women do not cook anymore? Presepio defended herself claiming that a mere organic, non-canned tomato sauce takes about two hours out of her alloted lifetime, let alone more elaborate receipes. Mirabello entices us with a description of his risotto al fungi porcini abilities and tries to convince the audience that cooking should be added to the Secondary School obligatory curriculum. Blatand remembers how perfectly happy were his children when given a canned meal without removing the can (therefore avoiding the accusation of cheating when you just transfer food from can to plate and pretend "heating" is "cooking"). This blogger of yours timidly confirmed that he can cook too, having stressed, once again, that a creative combination of tastes, textures and colours on a given kitchen effort is quite close to artistic endeavours.
The recent scandal involving a Very ImportantCEO of a German carmaker and his Brazilian escort to several working visits to different points of the globe was also discussed. Unacceptable behaviour, we all agree. Private life and corporate life should not go hand in hand ( to put it prudly). But what really killed the culprit's reputation for good was Garbo's comment: "What a stingy, mean, little man he reveals himself to be! Hundred of thousands of Euros in yearly salary and bonuses and still he has to fill his Brazilian pleasure-hours under corporate expenses!". Unacceptable behaviour, we all shake our heads in agreement.
Manfred stretches himself on the lawn to speed up the drying process after his latest dive into the tempting swimming pool...