Going for a song

This week Guido’s super tiny Spanish parents, the super diminutive Rosa and Juan, invited us round to their place for dinner. All I ever hope for when we go round there is a quiet night in with his folks and a big plate of Rosa’s hot and spicy salt and pepper calamari. Guido’s parents might be small in stature, but trust me, their portion size is always huge. Rosa serves it with a homemade chopped tomato salsa like you’ve never tasted before. If she ever bothers to tell me the recipe I’m going to immediately press it into production at a bottling plant and probably become a millionaire overnight.

Regular readers of this blog may remember that Guido’s parents burst out laughing every time they clap their super tiny eyes on me. Apparently the words – hello, or, how are you? – have never before seemed so incredibly funny.

“Hello,” I said smiling at Juan as he threw open his big front door in downtown Dulwich.

“Ha, ha, ha, ha!” said Juan bent over double looking up at me, “you so so funny!” He waved me in and hugged Guido.

Juan is so super tiny and his son is so super tall they kissed somewhere around Guido’s knee caps.Β Unfortunately when Juan starts laughing, it’s highly contagious. So, so do Guido and me. This usually means that by the time I finally find Rosa in the kitchen we’re all almost hysterical but no one can remember what the hell anyone is laughing about.

“How are you?” I asked Rosa, who just happened to slicing vegetables with the same but unaided vigour of a Kenwood food blender switched to its highest setting.

“Ha, ha, ha, ha!” she shrieked, stopping only to point her big cleaver at me, “you so crack me up and into many MANY tiny pieces.” I’m guessing that would be many many even more super tiny pieces. At the time I could smell the scent of her delicious calamari batter mix so I was just praying she’d manage to serve it all up before she fell to bits.

I’ve got to tell you the fish main course was great. The almond cake dessert was terrific too but nothing could prepare me for what came along with the coffee and I’m not talking about that full bottle of liqueur. Let’s just say you can’t miss an electronic organ when it’s got pride of place with a microphone plugged in right in the center of the room. Especially when it comes with a fully integrated orchestra at the press of a button. And when Rosa sings she really puts her heart and soul into it. Some how she manages to make Margarita Pracatan sould like Maria Callas. I’m surprised the neighbours haven’t shot themselves. I’m hoping for their sakes they’re deaf.

After almost a full bottle of Tia Maria, Guido agreed to play a tune on the keyboard. Rosa, Juan and me sang along, and whilst I have absolutely no idea what it was, I think the four of us might now be taking bookings for bar mitzvahs and weddings.Β The clip below is the closest I can give you to the real thing (and boy it’s pretty close).

Rosa might overcook the lyrics to any song she says sings, but her calamari is pitch perfect.

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45 thoughts on “Going for a song

  1. Brilliant post as always. Williams parents first language is not English, so that do battle to understand me so I can relate on that. That however don’t laugh at me but give me blank stares, I have however now learnt to speak their language. Win win. Now be honest was their only a Bottle Tia Marie involved??? Have a great weekend Ivan.

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  2. One thing you’re almost certainly guaranteed during a Spanish meal is great food and merriment. My sister is married to a Spaniard and when the sangria starts flowing, it’s all fun and song. Guido’s parents sound like the kind of folk who know how to entertain. Thanks for inviting us to be part of the evening. Cheers!

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  3. When I first saw the post title, I thought o myself maybe you two were getting frisky and maybe Guido made you hit a high note. Meanwhile, I loved to book the four of you , from the provided clip, for one of my famous Casa happy hours. Will you take requests???

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  4. Rosa is muy bien. Would love to spend an evening with her. Guido could have a career playing piano on cruise ships. Can you two dance? You could make lots of rich widows happy. The piano could use a tune, however. Apologies for perfect pitch.

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  5. Holy cow. You and your in-laws get together so well that you voluntarily sing together around a keyboard? I always knew Europe was more civilized than the Americas. Good singing or bad singing, singing together is a delight.

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  6. Sounds like a great time. Cooking with my late mother in law was one of the highlights of our time together. I’d ask, “how do you want me to do this” she would say, “any way you want – but not like that, that is all wrong!” I miss her. Enjoy while you can.

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  7. If you’re looking for a party piece (and I think you should) perhaps you could take inspiration from the queen of clackers, Sonia Amelio. Though heaven knows what the neighbours would make of it:

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  8. I was trying to work out where I had heard Maragrita Pracatan then saw Hugh’s comment. Absolutely hilarious!! The four of you round an organ giving it your all regardless must have been hysterical! Your in-laws sound an absolutel treat! πŸ™‚

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