Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Spring in Santiago

Spring has finally sprung! After a long and very dreary winter, it seems that spring not only sprang, but jumped all the way into summer. We've had several days of warm, sunny temperatures, and people have been soaking up the sun like there's no tomorrow (because, meteorogically speaking, in Galicia, there may not be). 


The plants, too, have been eager to enjoy the change of seasons. Out at the farm, my raspberry bushes are taking over the garden, and maybe (maybe!) I will be able to eat more than three raspberries at a time this year. The blueberry plant, too, has tons of flowers and hopefully will yield ripe blueberries before the birds get to them. We even discovered wild strawberries growing in the underbrush! True to their reputation, they were tiny and misshapen but, oh, so delicious. 


Spring is definitely my favorite vegetable season. We've had a bumper crop of spinach and have been eating it at all meals, all week. Popeye would be proud. I've also managed to find fresh radishes at the market, which is something that rarely happens. Ecologically grown, these radishes were the sweetest and spiciest I'd ever tasted. If you don't like radishes, try growing them yourself. They've got nothing to do with the tasteless blobs you get at the supermarket. The fava beans and peas are quickly ripening on their vines, and strawberry season is melting deliciously into cherry season. Oh, and don't forget the new potatoes! Tiny, delicious, with transparent skins, nothing is better than some fresh Galician pork roasted with new potatoes and garden peas. With berries for dessert!

But it's not just the plants that have been blooming. We also have some brand new baby bunnies!
In the Alameda, the roses have been blooming. And after a recent renovation of its central pond and fountain, the ducks are back.


A few years ago (ahem, during the crisis), the pond's resident ducks started mysteriously disappearing. My own unfortunate take is that they ended up on someone's dinner table. It was actually headline news in the newspaper, because nothing crazy ever really happens here. And now, a few years later, they are back. The ducks are unique, colorful, and a hoot to watch. In fact, our new hobby is taking a walk over to the pond in the late afternoon and feeding them any old bread we've got lying around (I save it now on purpose). There are two black swans, two white swans, two peacocks, and a host of other small ducks, not to mention the usual gangs of pigeons and sparrows that find sport in attacking each other for the meager crumbs we give them.


Spring also means the beginning of the festival season. Though Galicians celebrate holidays year-round, summer is really the best time to find food festivals, outdoor concerts, and fairs of all kinds. For the third year running, we participated in the Feira da Primavera in San Pedro, though it was so busy this year that I didn't manage to take any photos at all. All of our friends came by to visit and we sold out of apple pie, cheesecake, carrot cake, lemon bars, and almost everything else. You can see our bright green tent in the picture, buried in the throng of people on the street. The festival is always a lot of fun, but it's best when it's warm and sunny, and people are enjoying free outdoor concerts, cold beers, and food handmade by a variety of vendors (that's us!).

Photo courtesy of El Correo Gallego

We've got several more fairs lined up and have already been making plans for another summer of local tourism and festival-hopping on the weekends. And I've also been making big plans for the rest of the spinach, and the favas, and the peas, and the potatoes, and the lettuce, and the tomatoes...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Wild Abandon



I have always been fascinated by abandoned places. I love seeing ruins of former glory, wondering what these places looked like when in they were full of life. It's the same reason I love shipwrecks and archaeology. Luckily (or maybe not), Galicia is full of abandoned places. Some of it is the effect of the great migration from tiny aldeas to cosmopolitan cities; sometimes it's due to longstanding conflicts over inheritance. Sometimes people just plain don't have the money to fix up their old buildings (and, in a place that's been inhabited for over 2000 years, we've got plenty of old buildings). 


Either way, it's astonishing to see how quickly (and how effortlessly) nature reclaims our works. Vines snake up into roofs and break through cracks in windows. Moss clings to old stone and creates a velvety silhouette with only a trace of human intervention. Birds make nests in old rafters, and animals find shelter under old grain silos. Stones come loose and fall away. Plaster peels from walls. Wooden beams are slowly whittled away by time, rain, and brutal winds. Eventually, entire villages are enveloped back into the forest, to come back from whence they came and return to the Earth all its materials, which were only on loan to us temporarily anyway.

In the book The World Without Us, author Adam Weisman explores what would happen if humans just disappeared tomorrow, leaving everything -everything- behind. It's fascinating to take a look at what would disintegrate almost immediately (most siding used in American homes), and what would never, ever, ever disappear (all the plastic in the world). As proof, Weisman talks about various parts of the world where reclamation by nature is already taking place, such as the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, the area surrounding Chernobyl, and even parts of New York City.

Since I love seeking out and exploring abandoned buildings here in Galicia, I thought I'd put together a gallery of images. To me, these places are a poignant reminder that we're really not the ones in charge, and no matter what happens to humans in the future, nature will keep on surviving in its own way. In fact, all of the images are from places within the Santiago city limits - you don't have to go far to see nature at work, reinventing, recovering, and reclaiming Galicia as its own.





Tuesday, April 1, 2014

48 Hours in London

mind the gap


Even though I've lived in nine different countries, and traveled to dozens more, I've actually never been to London. I know! That seems unbelievable, especially considering the amount of times I've had to pass through Heathrow on my way to somewhere else. But the opportunity just never came up....until now.

big ben...note the illustrious sneakers hanging from the tree
Under the guise of checking out famous London bakeries as "market research" (ha), I told Isaac we should take a long weekend. It was March, after all, and prices were low, and fortunately, London is one of the few places to which we can fly directly from Santiago. So off we went!

...and they still have telephones inside
It's always strange visiting a large, well-known city, because you always have so many expectations of how it will be. You've seen the monuments in movies, you know its street names by heart, and you love to annoy your husband by singing the litany of nursery rhymes that involve said city (I think I sang "Do you know the muffin man?" down the whole of Drury Lane). You want everything to be just as you've imagined it from pictures you've seen, and yet you hope to feel something more when you find yourself actually standing in the midst of its magnificence.

london bridge is falling down....oh nevermind, that's tower bridge anyway


The thing that surprised me most about London is how not-old it seemed. Not new, exactly, or modern, just...not old. I suppose I expected more cobblestone alleyways, or more ancient-looking pubs, or something. Though I found London fascinating, I also felt...a little disappointed, I guess, that so many parts of it didn't feel like a place that's been around for a millennium. Of course, cities are constantly reinvented, and even back in the 1600s, the oldest parts of London had probably already been torn down and built upon in the constant cycle of growth and progress.
parliament...hope guy fawkes isn't around

That said...we had a blast. We only had about 48 hours, so this time around we didn't bother with museums, galleries, or libraries. We just walked the length of the town from one end to the other, pausing to look at unique things, and stopping as often as possible for a snack or a spot of tea.

On Friday, when we arrived, we hung around Piccadilly Circus (which is not a circus, but of course who doesn't know that? *ahem*), Covent Garden and Soho, enjoying the atmosphere of quirky boutiques and classic taxis maneouvering between those iconic red double-decker buses. We saw the obligatory Big Ben, Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. We ate fish and chips for lunch and a really good chicken curry for dinner. (I was desperate for foods we can't get in Santiago. And two words: malt vinegar.)

cloister of westminster abbey with the afternoon sun pouring in

On Saturday, after a huge English breakfast (complete with crumpets) we headed out to Notting Hill, with its quaintly picturesque rows of colored flats and tiny shops, and wandered through the Portobello Road market.

notting hill

The market was selling everything from vintage t-shirts to silver teapots, and we wandered in and out of galleries filled to the brim with curiosities. At each stand was what seemed to be the quintessential old British gentleman: white-bearded, dressed in tweed, enjoying a cup of tea (from a porcelain teacup with saucer, of course), and chatting amiably with the other sellers about the good old days when the word "antique" really meant something. One of them had a fascinatingly peculiar selection of books:

I especially love Cosy Chair Stories and Choice British Ferns

After walking the length of Portobello Road, we headed over to Buckingham Palace, just to take a look. The changing of the guard was not happening that day, but we got a good viewing of the guards anyway.
hat's a bit big, don't you think?
We then made our way to the impressive and imposing Tower of London, which is not really a tower, by the way. Of course, I knew that. Who doesn't know the Tower of London isn't a tower? *ahem* We didn't go inside this time, but it is definitely on our list for our next visit, as it sounded pretty interesting, but foreboding as it was (and knowing the stories or prisoners held inside), looking upon the Tower from outside was enough for us.

not a tower, obvs
Then it was time for tea. One of the things I had most looked forward to was a traditional English high tea, which I haven't enjoyed since Nick and I would spend afternoons at the Peninsula in Manila downing mini eclairs and cups of Earl Grey while waiting for various ministers to show up so we could accost them for interviews. Man, those were the good old days.

cloisters of westminster abbey

We found an out of the way place in the cellar of Westminster Abbey, where the monks had stored food and supplies in the 14th century. It's been lovingly restored and was a refreshing change from the rose-wallpapered and lace-embroidered teas elsewhere. We were served traditional scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam (one of the best things on this planet. If you've never tried clotted cream, please tell me you will, as soon as you have the chance. It's like butter and cream had a delicious, rich, creamy baby made for scones and jam...yum), as well as finger sandwiches (cucumber, ham, and salmon), and an assortment of tiny pastries. We enjoyed our tea as we rested our tired feet and looked over our map, deciding afterwards to head to Camden Town and visit its famous market.

hipster alert
We'd read that Camden was an "alternative" to the Portobello Road market, and I'm not sure what either of us was expecting, but either way, as soon as we stepped off the Tube, we wandered agape at the scene. Unbridled hipsterism: vintage shops lining every street, a mass of people (all bearded and plaid-ed, of course), foods from every possible corner of the globe, and plenty of signs warning us to watch for pickpockets. The whole "town" seemed like one big flea market, selling everything from vintage furniture and records to light-up t-shirts.


We tried our best to blend in. First we'd worried we weren't dressed nice enough for tea, and now we were worried that Isaac's sideburns weren't long enough and I don't own a Ramones shirt. I'm just kidding, mostly...it was a really cool and unusual area of the city, an antidote to the images of uptight white-gloved Ladies Who Lunch that people sometimes imagine Londoners to be.

eating everything from burritos to pho
When we'd exhausted ourselves with peeking into t-shirt shops and wondering what they might sell at the "Amsterdam of London" shop, we sat down to dinner at one of the places claiming to have the best burger in London (ugh, a good burger...one of things I most miss from the US). I don't know if it was the best, but it definitely satisfied my craving...for the moment. Then it was over. Our weekend went so fast. The next day we only had time for breakfast and a walk in the park before it was time to go back home. Luckily, London is only two hours away by plane. Hopefully we can make it back soon; if not for the museums, parks, monuments, and shopping, then definitely, definitely for the clotted cream.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Recipe: Caldo Galego (Galician Soup)


It rained. And rained. And rained. For sixty days and sixty nights it rained. Wind howled through empty streets and whistled in through the cracks between windows and doors. The clouds enveloped our little village, and the world became small, seeing nothing beyond green and gray, green and gray.

Indoors, fires crackled. Chimneys smoked, and the smell of fresh burning wood was in the air. Flannel blankets covered beds and everyone was hidden beneath layers of wool and fleece. On stoves, soup pots bubbled, warming kitchens, bellies, and souls. Outside, the clouds rolled in, the rain fell and beat against the windows, and the wind howled to be let in, but inside, with a blanket and a bowl of soup, all was right with the world.

This is one such soup. It is what we would call in Spanish "reconstituyente," which is like refreshing, comforting, and renewing all in one word. It's been eaten in Galicia since the beginning of time and it's hearty, healthy, and simple - perfect for cold, rainy, disgusting winter days.

It contains only a few basic ingredients, and yet the sum of it all is so much more than its humble individual parts. Some white beans, some fresh hardy winter greens, a few potatoes and a bit of whatever meat you've got lying around is all you need. Start by soaking your beans. Sure, you can use canned, and I have done so many times, but trust me when I say that using dry beans makes all the difference in this soup.

Cook them with some bacon, or a ham hock, or whatever you've got. In Galicia we use salted cured meats, such as lacón, panceta or costilla salada (salted ribs), but just use whatever you have. Some kind of ham or pork is best. I personally like bacon for the smokiness that it adds.

Add some chorizo and potatoes, cut into big chunks. Don't freak out about it. This isn't fine dining, this is home-cooked farm fare. Lastly, add some grelos. What are grelos, you ask? Good question. They're greens. Any kind of greens. In Galicia, technically they're turnip tops or broccoli rabe. Sometimes even kale. Just add some greens that won't fall apart in the soup. Whatever you have. Let it cook a bit, and then serve it up steaming in bowls with a big loaf of rustic bread, and imagine the smell of the fire, the sound of crackling logs, the sound of rain on a stone roof, the fresh cool air of a recent rain on green trees in old forests.

Recipe: Caldo Galego (Galician Soup)
Serves 4

*This isn't really a recipe. The measurements are Galician Grandmother measurements, wherein nothing is actually weighed but simply estimated or eyeballed per person.

250g dried white beans (about a coffee cup full of dried beans per person)
A few slices of bacon or a ham hock or other salted pork (rinsed if salted)
Half a chorizo per person, diced
4 medium potatoes (about one per person), peeled and cut into sizable but edible chunks
A big-ass bunch of greens (that's the official term), such as: kale, broccoli rabe, turnip tops, chard, spinach, or whatever you've got lying around, cleaned and stems removed
Unto (similar to lard...if you want to be really traditional about it, you'll need a tiny bit of this, about the size of a walnut. You could also use olive oil but honestly, no fat is necessary for this dish.)

1. Soak your beans. I find white beans tend to soak faster than black beans, and for me, just six hours was plenty. Just put them in a pot with cold water, and leave them there for a while.

2. Cook your beans. If you're using bacon, dice the bacon and cook it in the pot first. When it's cooked, add the beans and enough fresh cold water to fill the pot about 3/4 of the way. If using an already cooked ham hock or other cured meat, just add it to the pot with the beans and water. Cover and let the beans cook for about an hour on medium high heat. Stir occasionally, removing any foam that has gathered on the surface.

3. While you're cooking the beans, you can blanch the greens. This is step is totally optional, but can help with two things: 1) it will help reduce the bitterness of any especially bitter greens, such as kale; and 2) it will keep the soup from becoming an unappetizing shade of green, though this is purely aesthetic. Just boil the greens in a separate pot for a few minutes to soften them. Then rinse them under cold running water to stop them overcooking and retain their green color. Chop them a bit if the leaves are very large. Feel free to skip this step entirely, but then make sure to cook the soup long enough for the greens to become soft and silky.

4. When the beans are pretty much cooked (they don't have to be totally, completely done as we'll keep cooking them), add the potato chunks and chorizo. Make sure to keep the pot at a rolling boil as you add the potatoes.

5. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft and easily pierced with a knife. Finally, add the grelos and taste for salt. If you used a salted meat, you probably won't need any additional seasoning.

6. Finally, add the greens and let cook until greens are soft. Taste again for seasoning. The soup should have taken on an almost creamy consistency, though it remains a broth. Eat immediately or save for later. It's even better on day two. Don't forget the bread!

Recipe brought to you by Galician grandmothers everywhere

Monday, January 20, 2014

Almost Famous


So, I was recently on television, and I can confidently say that the only thing more nerve-wracking than appearing on television is having your house also appear on television.

No, wait. The only thing more nerve-wracking than appearing on television and having your house appear on television is having to cook in your kitchen, on television.

No, wait. The only thing more nerve-wracking than appearing on television and cooking in your kitchen is also having to practice yoga...on television.


No, wait. The only thing more nerve-wracking than having to cook, in your home, and then practice yoga on television, is having to also do your own hair and makeup (Ree the Pioneer Woman knows what I'm talking about!).

No, wait. The only thing more nerve-wracking than appearing on television, having to do yoga, doing your own hair and makeup, having your house appear as well, and having to cook in your kitchen, is having to also sing...karaoke...on television!


Oh, and if that weren't enough, how about doing all of this in a language that's not your first language, and is also not even your second language?

Yes. I think that's about as nerve-wracking as it gets. Oh, don't forget you also get to do all your own cleanup! On television!


The story:
A while back, a crew from the local (but surprisingly popular) Galician channel came to film me for a program about foreigners living here in Galicia, where I demonstrated by baking abilities (or lack thereof) and spoke about life here...in Galician. Here are some things I learned about being on TV, and cooking on TV:

There are always more dishes. No matter how clean your kitchen is, it will stay that way for about 26 seconds, and when you don't have a dishwasher, or a magical dish-hiding fairy, and you are making three cakes, on television, there will always, always, always be more dishes to wash. Always. I swear to God they materialize out of thin air when I'm not looking.

There's a LOT of waiting around. Like, a lot. And a lot of repetition of steps, and feigning surprise for like five takes in a row. My level of acting ability goes from scant to nonexistent with each "Cut! Let's try that again!" 

People either love or hate to be on television. Most of the friends that agreed to appear on the show were more than happy to talk to the camera, but a few times we surprised unsuspecting clients in bars or shops that practically yelped when they saw the cameras and ran screaming in the other direction. I totally understand.


But there's plenty of goofiness that happens, too. One of my favorite moments was when we went to pick blackberries for a pie, and the steps we filmed did not provide enough blackberries, so the director set the whole camera crew to rummaging through the blackberry brambles to help collect more fruit! Then, later, as we were cutting a cake for a scene with Isaac and I having coffee, we finished up and I asked if anyone wanted cake. The crew yelled in unison, "YES!!!!"

But maybe the best part was just spending the day visting various friends around town, and having them say really, really nice things about me and my bakery. On television. It warmed my heart to know that people support this crazy American girl who foists her cupcakes and pies on everyone she knows and drags them into undesirable adventures, like being on TV. I'll be eternally grateful for their kind comments and general willingness to appear with me in public. Now if only they could do the dishes...

Oh, and if you'd care to watch it, here's the show! Unfortunately, it's in Galician with no subtitles, but don't worry, the feeling of secondhand embarrassment is universal!

(all photos courtesy of TVG)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Rural Getaway in Asturias

So, after our adventure in Piornedo a couple weeks ago, you'd think we wouldn't be eager to head back out into the mountains any time soon. Oh, but you don't know us very well. 

Actually, our experience in Piornedo left us wanting more, so for my birthday weekend we decided to celebrate being on Christmas vacation and rented a cabin in rural Asturias. As you probably know, Asturias, adjacent to Galicia, is my second-favorite place on Earth. It's so incredibly beautiful, and there are always baby lambs. 


We rented a rustic cabin (requirement: it had to have a fireplace and a good view) in a town with a population of five, including us. The place is actually a little once-abandoned village that's being slowly reclaimed and renovated by caring owners, who also have their family home, a museum, and their own forge on the premises. Oh, and they had baby lambs.

We didn't have big plans in mind; in fact, our biggest goals were to eat something delicious, read the books we'd brought along, and make sure we didn't run out of firewood. The little cabin was cozy and warm with the crackling fire, and the owners gave us all the farm-fresh eggs and potatoes we wanted. Upon arrival, we lit the fire, took a nap, stoked the fire, ate a humble dinner, and went back to bed. It was perfect.


The next day we ventured out for a little fresh air and a morning hike. On our walk, we found a sign pointing to hiking trail that promised a restaurant at the end of it, which is basically the only way to get me to hike somewhere. Before I knew it, we were walking through the woods to lunch.


It was quiet and cool, but not too cold. We heard the lambs from far away, calling for their mothers. We passed rivers and waterfalls and holly bushes in bloom.

We talked as we walked, and walked, and walked, and we didn't realize how long we'd been walking until we eventually came upon another tiny town, nestled in the valley. 


There were only a few cabins and a mesón, and there wasn't a sign of anybody around. We pushed the door open hesitantly, and found two old men and and an old lady sitting down to their lunch. We asked if the restaurant was open. They assured us that it was and beckoned us over to a table near the fire. They poured us some cider and then asked us to wait as they finished their own lunch of soup, bread, and cheese. We sat drinking in the dim warmth and talked about the Spanish Christmas lottery, which of course none of us had won.


When they had finished, they brought us bowls of hot soup and then a plate of pork ribs and fried potatoes, which were delicious. Dessert was requesón (something like a cross between Greek yogurt and cream cheese) with housemade honey from the hives in the garden.

We sat for a while after lunch, watching the fire and smelling the old wood and stone of the restaurant. Finally we ventured back out for the long walk home. The air was cool and fresh, and urged on by the sounds of the lambs, the way home seemed faster than before. When we got back to the cabin, we lit the fire, climbed in bed, and continued our vacation schedule (book, nap, fire, nap, dinner, book, fire, sleep). 

It was a welcome respite from the stress of the previous months and a way to get a good dose of the fireplace that I long for every winter, and which we sadly don't have. We left our cozy little cabin and got back to Santiago just as reports began coming in of a big storm on the horizon, so we stocked up on cheese, chorizo, and wine, and settled in at home to continue our vacation of hibernation and enjoy the holidays. The only thing missing was the fireplace. 

Oh, and the baby lambs.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Piornedo, in search of snow


This Christmas we are staying here in Galicia rather than going home to snowy Chicago for the holidays. Although staying at home has its advantages (no international flights, making steaks for Christmas if we want, spending a week on the couch with hot chocolate and whatever's on Hulu), there are definitely things I miss about Christmas in the States. Of course I miss my family, but also Christmas carols (Spaniards don't really do Christmas music. Their most popular song involves fish that drink from the river because Jesus is born. What? Yeah), houses decorated with Christmas lights, and snow. So when we stay here, we make an effort to play lots of music, decorate the house to my American standards, and go in search of snow.


Which is how, this past weekend, we found ourselves on the way to Piornedo, a mountain village snugly nestled within the Ancares mountains of Lugo, a place we were sure would be pretty snowy this time of year. We weren't completely wrong - as we exited the highway and took the winding country road up the mountain, we saw that it had snowed sometime recently, and the icy dew was still clinging to the shadowy banks on the edge of the mountains, but there was snow (something we'd be eternally grateful for later). Nevertheless, the drive was beautiful as we wound our way ever further into the valley, and the mountains rose higher and closed in around us. The road became curvier, with nary a guard rail or warning sign to be found. Driving in Lugo is not for the faint of heart. 

We started to suspect that perhaps we'd gone wrong somewhere when we stopped seeing villages of any kind and even the truck we had been following had to pull off to the side and give up the trek. The road had slowly gone from well-paved to rutted and muddy with slippery icy patches on the most dangerous of curves. We continued to wind our way around the mountain but soon realized that we had gotten ourselves into a bit of a pickle. We finally reached a dead end that only one option: up a muddy incline with deep ragged grooves where tractors -or vehicles better equipped for snow than our tiny compact Seat León- had dug into the earth as they grumbled up the hill. 

Our car made a valiant effort and then decided that no, right here was a fine place to stay and get stuck. The wheels dug in but grasped nothing. I started to panic. There was no way out. We couldn't reverse down the hill, and the couple of meters of muddy road between the mountainside and a thousand-foot drop wasn't even enough to turn around. The only way was up, but though the wheels were turning, we weren't going anywhere. I was pretty sure we were not going to get out of there any time soon and cursed my failure to bring emergency blankets or extra water bottles.

Suddenly we spotted two hunters at the top of the hill. They were standing there in their reflective vests, arms crossed over their chests, watching us intently, and probably commenting on how the big-city folk from Santiago had no effin' idea how to effin' drive in Lugo. Seeing that we were utterly hopeless, they started down the hill towards us, smug grins on their faces. 

"Any trouble?" they asked ironically. We told them we were trying to get to Piornedo and we'd seemed to have gotten stuck. "No problem!" they said and they both jumped onto the hood of our car. "Gun it!" they yelled and Isaac stepped on the gas, as I yelled for him to please not kill all of us because I didn't want to be responsible for these guys' deaths. "Faster!" they yelled, and sure enough, the wheels caught and the car started up the hill. "Keep going!" they urged, hanging off the hood of the car with their vests and ammo belts. 

We made it to the top of the hill and they pointed us on in the direction of Piornedo. We thanked them profusely and continued on our way. Shortly afterward, we reached a small village with a stop sign, where our country road intersected with a perfectly paved highway leading up to Piornedo (the exit for which we'd apparently missed earlier).

We arrived at lunch and the food had never tasted better than after our brief brush with death. Every spoonful of warm Galician soup tasted like heaven. We reveled in the firelit dining room and the spectacular views from the restaurant, and then took a walk around the village which is famous for its traditional thatch-roofed huts called pallozas that looked like a relic from another time.


We went into one, which was surprisingly warm and dry inside, and marveled at the artifacts hung on the wall and the bunk beds nestled in the roof for a family to sleep. Then we emerged from the palloza's cozy darkness into a beautiful winter sun. There was no snow after all, but it was so pretty it didn't matter. And when we headed home later, passing a shepherdess with her herd on the way, we took the long way round, just in case.