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Camino de Santiago Part Three and a Minestrone Soup Recipe

04 Nov
Camino de Santiago Part Three and a Minestrone Soup Recipe

This is the list Nancy provided for us to prepare for our adventure hiking the Camino in Spain. If you haven’t read part one and two you can find them in these links. I’m writing this blog three years later. I was cleaning out my drafts getting ready to write about my New York trip last week and came across these great photos. All I can say is that traveling with these women Nancy, Beth and Jeanie was easy, care free and drama free. We all got along magically. There wasn’t a conflict of any sort, which I can’t say was the case for the trip to New York. Here are a few more great photos of my time on the Camino. But first a photo of my son Curtis and his dog Hankster. If you read till the end you will hear about all of our pets at the Smyth house.

www.letsmakemudpies.wordpress.com

My son Curtis with his dog Hankster

Packing  IMG_5415

www.letsmakemudpies.wordpress.com

A local resting on bench in Arzua Spain. The Camino is something everyone should experience. We walked through towns and cobblestone streets. We saw stray horses, chickens, dogs and cats and even herds of sheep running through the countryside. The food was hit or miss. Most places along the trail had Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Tortilla made with eggs and potatoes) which is a staple in this part of Spain. Octopus was offered at most of the fancier restaurants, yet I didn’t care for the way they prepared it. Seen below we are sharing a meal at Pazo de Santa Maria Hotel. They had the best food. We were having their butternut squash soup as a first course. I loved their breakfast offerings too with many home made dark breads with oats on top.

By far, my most favorite spot on the Camino de Santiago at Pazo Santa Maria

This is us from the left Marianne, Sharon, Canadian couple, Jeanie, Beth and me having dinner at Pazo Santa Maria with our friends who happened to be just about everywhere we were.

We were so happy to find this gem  Pazo de Santa Maria located in Arzua Spain while walking the Camino de Santiago. Of course Nancy Solomon makes all of our arrangements for travel. I can’t believe how fortunate I am to get to experience these trips with her.

After walking for hours, we entered the property to be greeted by a miniature schnauzer puppy who ran over a duck pond bridge to say hello. I am a huge fan of these dogs since I’ve had this breed of dog three times in my lifetime. The first miniature schnauzer I had was named Shnopsie. Shnopsie ran away on Easter Sunday and ended up getting picked up by another family who drove him up north several hours away. I remember my family, all six of us voting whether to drive up and get our dog, or to get another dog. I was out voted. I cried and cried to the song If from the Best of Bread Album which was very popular. This was the first time I felt a loss and I was maybe 11 years old. The next schnauzer was named Katy-Did. She was a sweet dog, but she had stomach problems and we had to puree her food in a blender. She threw up all over the house and us kids always yelled “I’m not cleaning it!” The last person to say it had to clean up the barf. At the end of Katy-Did’s life, she moved in with me at Diane Nobel’s house because my Mother sold the house on 1515 Grove Way after her divorce was final to my Dad, and moved into a condo in Orinda with my brother. I lived there and rented a room in Diane’s house in Pleasant Hill with my new born son Curtis and worked as a nanny taking care of a boy named Joel. Katy-Did had diabetes and needed shots every morning, so I took care of her until the end of her life.

https://letsmakemudpies.wordpress.com

My son Curtis in his Mickey Mouse Bed with our cat Woody

My third schnauzer was gifted to me by my husband Ken who bought him a week after we got married in June of 1989. We named him “Coops” after the priest who married us at Queen of All Saints, Father Cooper. He was all black with one white spot on his collar. Coops was a great dog. He made our new family complete. We already had “Woody” our cat for a few years. We got him at an animal shelter for Christmas when we lived in the Northwood Apartments and surprised Curtis who was three at the time. Curtis loved the movie Oliver and would watch it over and over again. He wanted to name him “Catty” but we settled on Woody. Woody was the friendliest cat you ever met. He always wanted to be in your lap. And he was fierce. Once he ran through our family room glass window on Ida Drive when he was chased by my Mother’s Jack Russel Terrier “Corky.” We found him a few blocks away and brought him home. Corky didn’t last long with my mother either. She gave him to a farm in the country where he terrorized those animals as well. Woody lost an eye towards the end of his life, but he was a sweet and loving cat and my kids loved him.

www.letsmakemudpies.wordpress.com

My husband Ken holding our dog Coops

Since I’m sharing about our pets, I can’t forget to include Baxter who was a cross between Carion Terrier and Daschund. He brought a lot of joy to our lives. Andrew and my niece Jasmine and I went to ARF during the Christmas Holiday break. They gave away free coffee and popcorn and I’m always in the mood for free snacks. We fell in love with Baxter right away. His name in the kennel was “Grand Master Flash” and he was being pursued by the Sparks family in our neighborhood. The rule of adoption is that all members of the family have to be present before they will release the pet. My husband Ken met us after work and we happily came home with our little bundle of fur.

www.letsmakemudpies.wordpress.com

Me and Baxter

A year before Baxter, we welcomed two kittens Charlie and Charcoal to our home. These animals were found behind the bowling alley in Castro Valley. My sister in law Alyson was a vet tech at a nearby veterinarian hospital and brought them over to us. We only wanted one of them, but couldn’t decide and ended up taking them both. We recently lost Charlie who lived until he was 16 years old. Charcoal died a year before that during Covid.

https://letsmakemudpies.wordpress.com

Our kittens Charlie and Charcoal

www.letsmakemudpies.wordpress.com

Andrew having his morning cuddles with Charlie and Charcoal. Charcoal was his favorite

I would be remiss if I didn’t include my son Curtis’ dog Hankster as well. Curtis adopted him from a shelter in San Jose who specialized in Boxer’s. Hankster had an oncology report and was four years old, but probably much older. Curtis fell in love with this dog who became everything to him. Hank wasn’t long for this world. He had many cancers and cysts which Curtis would pay to have removed costing him several thousand dollars. We took him to the beach with us and he loved it. I would dog sit whenever Curtis had a work trip. Hankster wouldn’t leave my side. He was the first large dog I’ve ever gotten to know. He loved our big yard and would race up and down the hill happily. I hope Curtis finds another dog some time in the future. We have our four chickens and aren’t ready to take on more responsibility. This farm is more work than we can handle as it is.

www.letsmakemudpies.wordpress.com

My son Curtis as a young boy with is cat Woody

https://letsmakemudpies.wordpress.com

The four of us hikers Nancy, me, Jeanie and Beth ecstatic to finally be given our Compostela Certificates proving we walked the Camino de Santiago

Here is the system Spain has put in place to receive your special document. The line is very long and they give you a number when it’s your turn to come back to get your certificate. They only give out a certain amount every day, so it’s best to get in line early. It should be mentioned that Sharon and Marianne rode bikes instead of walking. They usually met up with our group in the evening for dinner. Most of the time they had already eaten and grabbed snacks along the trail. They found the bikes to be burdensome and heavy especially when they came upon a hill when they would have to get off and walk the bike. A few times, we would accidentally run into them and take a photo with them. That was fun.

This is the list Nancy provided for us to prepare for our adventure hiking the Camino in Spain. If you haven’t read part one and two you can find them in these links. I’m writing this blog three years later. I was cleaning out my drafts getting ready to write about my New York trip last week and came across these great photos. All I can say is that traveling with these women Nancy, Beth and Jeanie was easy, care free and drama free. We all got along magically. There wasn’t a conflict of any sort, which I can’t say was the case for the trip to New York. Here are a few more great photos of my time on the Camino. But first a photo of my son Curtis and his dog Hankster. If you read till the end you will hear about all of our pets at the Smyth house.

www.letsmakemudpies.wordpress.com

My son Curtis with his dog Hankster

Packing  IMG_5415

www.letsmakemudpies.wordpress.com

A local resting on bench in Arzua Spain. The Camino is something everyone should experience. We walked through towns and cobblestone streets. We saw stray horses, chickens, dogs and cats and even herds of sheep running through the countryside. The food was hit or miss. Most places along the trail had Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Tortilla made with eggs and potatoes) which is a staple in this part of Spain. Octopus was offered at most of the fancier restaurants, yet I didn’t care for the way they prepared it. Seen below we are sharing a meal at Pazo de Santa Maria Hotel. They had the best food. We were having their butternut squash soup as a first course. I loved their breakfast offerings too with many home made dark breads with oats on top.

By far, my most favorite spot on the Camino de Santiago at Pazo Santa Maria

This is us from the left Marianne, Sharon, Canadian couple, Jeanie, Beth and me having dinner at Pazo Santa Maria with our friends who happened to be just about everywhere we were.

We were so happy to find this gem  Pazo de Santa Maria located in Arzua Spain while walking the Camino de Santiago. Of course Nancy Solomon makes all of our arrangements for travel. I can’t believe how fortunate I am to get to experience these trips with her.

After walking for hours, we entered the property to be greeted by a miniature schnauzer puppy who ran over a duck pond bridge to say hello. I am a huge fan of these dogs since I’ve had this breed of dog three times in my lifetime. The first miniature schnauzer I had was named Shnopsie. Shnopsie ran away on Easter Sunday and ended up getting picked up by another family who drove him up north several hours away. I remember my family, all six of us voting whether to drive up and get our dog, or to get another dog. I was out voted. I cried and cried to the song If from the Best of Bread Album which was very popular. This was the first time I felt a loss and I was maybe 11 years old. The next schnauzer was named Katy-Did. She was a sweet dog, but she had stomach problems and we had to puree her food in a blender. She threw up all over the house and us kids always yelled “I’m not cleaning it!” The last person to say it had to clean up the barf. At the end of Katy-Did’s life, she moved in with me at Diane Nobel’s house because my Mother sold the house on 1515 Grove Way after her divorce was final to my Dad, and moved into a condo in Orinda with my brother. I lived there and rented a room in Diane’s house in Pleasant Hill with my new born son Curtis and worked as a nanny taking care of a boy named Joel. Katy-Did had diabetes and needed shots every morning, so I took care of her until the end of her life.

https://letsmakemudpies.wordpress.com

My son Curtis in his Mickey Mouse Bed with our cat Woody

My third schnauzer was gifted to me by my husband Ken who bought him a week after we got married in June of 1989. We named him “Coops” after the priest who married us at Queen of All Saints, Father Cooper. He was all black with one white spot on his collar. Coops was a great dog. He made our new family complete. We already had “Woody” our cat for a few years. We got him at an animal shelter for Christmas when we lived in the Northwood Apartments and surprised Curtis who was three at the time. Curtis loved the movie Oliver and would watch it over and over again. He wanted to name him “Catty” but we settled on Woody. Woody was the friendliest cat you ever met. He always wanted to be in your lap. And he was fierce. Once he ran through our family room glass window on Ida Drive when he was chased by my Mother’s Jack Russel Terrier “Corky.” We found him a few blocks away and brought him home. Corky didn’t last long with my mother either. She gave him to a farm in the country where he terrorized those animals as well. Woody lost an eye towards the end of his life, but he was a sweet and loving cat and my kids loved him.

www.letsmakemudpies.wordpress.com

My husband Ken holding our dog Coops

Since I’m sharing about our pets, I can’t forget to include Baxter who was a cross between Carion Terrier and Daschund. He brought a lot of joy to our lives. Andrew and my niece Jasmine and I went to ARF during the Christmas Holiday break. They gave away free coffee and popcorn and I’m always in the mood for free snacks. We fell in love with Baxter right away. His name in the kennel was “Grand Master Flash” and he was being pursued by the Sparks family in our neighborhood. The rule of adoption is that all members of the family have to be present before they will release the pet. My husband Ken met us after work and we happily came home with our little bundle of fur.

www.letsmakemudpies.wordpress.com

Me and Baxter

A year before Baxter, we welcomed two kittens Charlie and Charcoal to our home. These animals were found behind the bowling alley in Castro Valley. My sister in law Alyson was a vet tech at a nearby veterinarian hospital and brought them over to us. We only wanted one of them, but couldn’t decide and ended up taking them both. We recently lost Charlie who lived until he was 16 years old. Charcoal died a year before that during Covid.

https://letsmakemudpies.wordpress.com

Our kittens Charlie and Charcoal

www.letsmakemudpies.wordpress.com

Andrew having his morning cuddles with Charlie and Charcoal. Charcoal was his favorite

I would be remiss if I didn’t include my son Curtis’ dog Hankster as well. Curtis adopted him from a shelter in San Jose who specialized in Boxer’s. Hankster had an oncology report and was four years old, but probably much older. Curtis fell in love with this dog who became everything to him. Hank wasn’t long for this world. He had many cancers and cysts which Curtis would pay to have removed costing him several thousand dollars. We took him to the beach with us and he loved it. I would dog sit whenever Curtis had a work trip. Hankster wouldn’t leave my side. He was the first large dog I’ve ever gotten to know. He loved our big yard and would race up and down the hill happily. I hope Curtis finds another dog some time in the future. We have our four chickens and aren’t ready to take on more responsibility. This farm is more work than we can handle as it is.

www.letsmakemudpies.wordpress.com

My son Curtis as a young boy with is cat Woody

https://letsmakemudpies.wordpress.com

The four of us hikers Nancy, me, Jeanie and Beth ecstatic to finally be given our Compostela Certificates proving we walked the Camino de Santiago

Here is the system Spain has put in place to receive your special document. The line is very long and they give you a number when it’s your turn to come back to get your certificate. They only give out a certain amount every day, so it’s best to get in line early. It should be mentioned that Sharon and Marianne rode bikes instead of walking. They usually met up with our group in the evening for dinner. Most of the time they had already eaten and grabbed snacks along the trail. They found the bikes to be burdensome and heavy especially when they came upon a hill when they would have to get off and walk the bike. A few times, we would accidentally run into them and take a photo with them. That was fun.

Well, I’d better get to writing about my New York experience next. It was fun to find this draft and remember this vacation. This trip was taken in October of 2019. The world changed in March 2020 when the pandemic hit. Things haven’t gotten back to normal yet, but at least we have vaccinations and boosters that keep us from serious illness and hospitalization. Both of my parents (my Father is 84 and my Mother is 80) have survived thus far and for this I am grateful.

Grandma Nilda’s Minestrone Soup

Ingredients:

2 C Small White Beans

2 lbs  Beef Shanks

12 C Water

1 bay leaf

1 t black pepper

1 t Kosher Salt

1/4 C Olive Oil

1 Clove Garlic, minced

2 Carrots Sliced into coins

2 small onions, chopped

4 stalks Celery chopped

2 t Italian Seasoning

1 t Accent

1 t Beau Monde

½ C red wine

1 C shredded cabbage

4 stalks of Swiss Chard chopped

1 zucchini sliced

2 C whole tomatoes or puree

1 C Grated Parmesan cheese

2 T Olive oil

2 C  macaroni shells

1 t Red Wine Vinegar

¼ C Fresh chopped Parsley

Instructions:

Soak beans in a bowl of water overnight or for several hours.

Sear beef shanks on all sides in a large pot on medium high heat. Place beef shanks in a large pot with water, bay leaf, and pepper. Bring to a boil and skim off foam. Cover and simmer for three hours. Remove meat from the pot. When cool enough to handle, trim off any fat and remove the bones.

Drain soaked beans and add to the stock pot with the meat. Cover and simmer for one hour. Add salt, spices and wine.

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Saute carrots, onions, celery adding the garlic in the last few minutes so it doesn’t burn. Add the cooked vegetables to the pot of beans and meat. Add the tomato puree, cabbage, and chard to the pot.

Cover and cook gently over low heat for one hour. Add zucchini and macaroni and simmer for 15 more minutes. 

Serve minestrone soup in a bowl with a generous Tablespoon or two of parmesan cheese on top and fresh chopped parsley.

Enjoy!

Do you have a group you travel with? Do you have a story you would like to share in the comments? I’d love to hear.

Thank you for reading and following my food and travel blog.  I hope to share more recipes and stories soon.

Teri

Well, I’d better get to writing about my New York experience next. It was fun to find this draft and remember this vacation. This trip was taken in October of 2019. The world changed in March 2020 when the pandemic hit. Things haven’t gotten back to normal yet, but at least we have vaccinations and boosters that keep us from serious illness and hospitalization. Both of my parents (my Father is 84 and my Mother is 80) have survived thus far and for this I am grateful.

Do you have a group you travel with? Do you have a story you would like to share in the comments? I’d love to hear.

Thank you for reading and following my food and travel blog.  I hope to share more recipes and stories soon.

Teri

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2 responses to “Camino de Santiago Part Three and a Minestrone Soup Recipe

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