Childhood Memories of Grandmother’s Patatas Rebozadas
Leticia moved to Wellington from Zaragoza, a Spanish city located between Barcelona and Madrid, over 4 years ago. Like many others new to this city, hearing about Timebank during a gardening class she was taking, she thought it would be an excellent way to get to meet people. Having carried out her research, the Timebank project interested her because people could pay for services with their time and skills rather than by using cash.
An active member for over 3 years now, Leticia has regularly encouraged others to become members. She feels that Timebank has helped her to meet friends, both during the exchanges and at the numerous community events. Services and products are becoming increasingly expensive, but she points out that as this project is ‘more about time, everybody can access the services.’
Whilst Leticia is enjoying her time in New Zealand, she also misses home. In these exchanges she likes to think of herself as offering a little bit of ‘Spain on a Plate,’ for those wanting to experience authentic Spanish food!Leticia involves herself whole-heartedly and counts massages, physio-therapy treatments, nutritional advice and sewing as the trades she has benefitted from. Her own offers certainly have a Spanish flavour with Flamenco dancing, Spanish language and cooking (both classes and cooked meals) as well as offering lifts for people needing transportation.
Her earliest memory of food is the home-made cooking of her grandmother, with whom she spent lots of time as a child. Her grandmother was a very good cook and Leticia thinks that it was probably here that she developed her love for cooking. Patatas Rebozadas was a particular favourite that she learned early on. The sliced potatoes are coated in flour and egg, fried and then boiled in a special sauce made with milk, parsley, garlic and paprika. Leticia also likes Spanish Omelette, Paella and, of course, fish. She generally eats healthily as it’s very important to her and thinks that people don’t really eat enough fish here in Wellington.
For her trades she has given cooking classes and also prepared and cooked meals for special family occasions and birthdays. Sometimes she cooks for people who are busy at work or for those who are entertaining guests from out of town. On one occasion she was asked to attend a farewell party to make Spanish Cocktails!
The satisfaction that Leticia gets from cooking for her Timebank exchanges, comes from sharing healthy food with others, whilst showing how good Spanish food can be. Even if people ask her to cook particular things, for example a favourite cake, she will ask them to try a Spanish variety so that they can experience something new and different.
Although Leticia only gets to visit home occasionally, she will be welcomed with her favourites; fish and tapas. These days in Zaragoza, socialising is more about going out to restaurants for food, but she knows that ‘home’ really means her mother’s food … and that’s still very hard to beat!
Grandmother’s favourite: Patatas Rebozadas
Story by Sue Jenkins