That evening, also my last night in Madrid, we had dinner with friends of my father at Asador de Aranda. Sitting on the same floor as the blazing oven that cooked their signature baby lamb, I could feel my sinuses clearing up. The rain outside was no longer a nuisance but complemented the warmth inside.
The wine soothed me; the food simply took over my senses.
The jamón, which had become an old friend by then, was welcoming. The black pudding, a first for me, set the pace. And then, the pièce de résistance, the baby lamb cooked in nothing but olive oil, salt and water. After a humane moment of remorse for the kid, we devoured the silken meat and its crisp skin. The only conversation we had during that course was the occasional moan of satisfaction.
The puff pastry and dessert wine that followed were Madrid’s hugs and kisses of farewell to me. The cognac simply sealed the deal – waving good riddance and goodbye to the cold.
Did I wish to be transported back to my home/hotel and doze off into a magnificent stupor till kingdom come at various points of the day? Of course.
But while I could have easily done that, there’s also no denying that I would wake up feeling like I had paid hard-earned money (my father’s) to be sick, all the way in Spain.
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