Who would have thought that at the BritMums Live #BML16 blogging conference in London I would recreate a precious childhood memory of drinking wine from a traditional Spanish porron.
In 1972, aged 8, I accompanied my family on a Spanish evening in Majorca. A whole bus load of us were taken to a large bustling restaurant for a night of authentic cuisine and entertainment. I remember two things about that night: my brother and I amusing the passengers on the bus with a lively rendition of Chuck Berry’s ‘My Ding-a-Ling’ and happily throwing my head back to swallow wine poured from a glass pitcher.
Move forward 44 years and I decide to attend the Experience Costa Barcelona session at the #BML16 conference. It was taking place in one of the small meeting rooms so there were about a dozen of us gathered around a table, curious about the delights to be found in this part of Spain. We were also curious about the promise of food, as if the croissants at registration and crepes with coffee weren’t enough to satisfy a bevy of boisterous bloggers.
I’m sure I can speak for everyone attending this session when I say that it was an absolute treat from beginning to end. A group of entertaining representatives from the region plied us with sweet wine, nuts, raisins, bread, tomatoes and cured meats whilst singing the praises of their country (or adopted country in the case of the lovely Glaswegian lady). We watched a slideshow which included Monserrat, Calella and Malgrat de Mar, learned about their culture and love of Art Nouveau and discovered how family friendly the resorts were in this part of Spain.
Meanwhile, keeping busy, one lovely lady, Esther, was hammering garlic with a pestle and mortar and gradually introducing olive oil to create traditional alioli. We were told how to remove the central piece of each clove of garlic “to stop it repeating on you” and that, once the oil is introduced, “you must keep stirring!”
The room was full of noise and laughter and the aroma of garlic, ripe tomatoes and wine filled the air. The idea of drinking wine from the porron was introduced and Karen, from Mini Travellers, happily donned the bib and had a pretty good go at pouring the wine into her own mouth, with strict instructions not to let the spout touch her lips.
At the end of the session, which we were all loathe to leave, I remembered my old photo from 1972 and, as it had featured in a previous blog post, I was able to locate the image on my phone. Cue lots of shrieking and excitement as our hosts were keen to recreate the moment as best they could. Esther became the Spanish waiter, I donned the bib, tipped back my head and the wine flowed out of the porron into my mouth, just as it did over four decades ago. Saludos!
I think I need to start planning ‘Mum’s Gone To Costa Barcelona’ very soon.
I’ll bring my hat…