What IS that thing you made for Spanish class?

January 31, 2012

OVERHEARD IN SPANISH CLASS: “Mr. Alford, this is probably the only class I’ve ever taken where it’s OK to show pictures of naked babies. (Full disclosure-this was for a photo presentation of vocabulary, and the photo was used to show “to bathe.”  It could have been worse.)

Gould teachers often multitask;  just ask your teacher and he or she will tell you all about it (while simultaneously writing weekly comments, planning sports practice, gathering gear for Junior Point, and buying on impulse from http://www.steepandcheap.com/).  There have been days when I actually taught a Spanish lesson while ski patrolling (absolute truth).  In fact, I discovered several years ago that I can save 19 minutes every day if I just eat breakfast and lunch at the same time.  So it is only natural that tonight I am cooking dinner while cleaning the kitchen and writing this Glog (I also have news radio on in the background so I can keep track of what is happening in the world).

So I am multitasking now.  I am making dinner for my family, and our main course is the subject of my Glog this week.  I am making a tortilla española.


Most people think of really flat bread when they hear the word tortilla (either that, or they think of chips and salsa).  And before I explain what this tortilla española is, I should probably dive into a tangent (see?  I’m multitasking in the middle of  of a Glog that is “kind-of” about multitasking).  Here is my tangent, which is mine, and belongs to me:

Why do we pronounce the Spanish words “tortilla” and “quesadilla” like “tortiYa” and “quesadiYa”, but not “llama” like “Yama?”  In Spanish, it actually IS “Yama.”  I’ll file this away under “things that keep me awake at night.”

Tangent over. I am making a tortilla that comes from Spain, not Mexico, and the Spanish tortilla has pretty much nothing to do with the flatbread that holds your enchilada together.  A tortilla in Spain is an omelet (omelette?), and the traditional kind is made with potatoes and onions.  Of course one can make a tortilla with just about anything, but then I’ve heard people say that one can make clam chowder with just about anything.  Just ask people from Manhattan, who think that clam chowder has TOMATOS in it (ewwwww….).

Tortillas are everywhere in Spain, and by everywhere I mean “every house, every bar, every truck stop, every café.”  They are as exotic in Spain as a grilled cheese sandwich is here.  They are comfort food, and so I occasionally multitask by making a tortilla for class, and making one for the many students from Spain that are studying at Gould this year. Everyone wins, and Mr. Alford gets to be hero for a day.  In a very simple way, because tortillas really only have 6 ingredients:

  • potatos
  • onions
  • eggs
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper (the kids from Spain can’t BELIEVE I put this in…)

That’s it.  A little slice of home.  Enjoy the pic below, while you do your homework, make coffee, read your mail, and give yourself a foot massage (hey, it could happen…..)



2 Responses

  1. Avatar Patricia says:

    Hola Mr.Alford, tu tortilla tiene una pinta buenísima, auténticamente española. ¡Enhorabuena! Y muchas gracias por tu tortilla para los estudiantes españoles. Seguro que les encanta a todos. Saludos desde España,
    Patricia (madre de Claudia)

    • Avatar El Jefe says:

      Gracias Patricia por tu comentario aquí. Espero que mis tortillas provean un buen recuerdo de casa para nuestros estudiantes españoles mientras que estén aquí en Maine.

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