This recipe brings back so many memories of when my parents and I first came to Spain. It was not an easy thing. My German father, living and working in the states for many years, had been laid off. He was 62 years old and one day he went to work as usual, was informed that he was laid off, was handed his papers and was escorted by a policeman out the door. Those were his last five minutes working at Siemens in Florida. To make a long story short, he knew he wanted to go back to Europe and taking a massive plunge, that is exactly what he did. The three of us, my Dad, my mom and myself (plus two cats) went to live in his brother´s house in Germany until he found a place to live. My father is a very brave and intelligent man and when he was living in Canada (where he met my mom) he had a friend from Spain who told him about a place called Ronda. The description of the place never left him and when he was exploring places to live, he thought of Spain. Germany was too expensive for us as well as France. Spain was the answer. He went to Spain, while the rest of us stayed in Germany and went to Malaga. (Little did I know that Malaga would be the place where I would eventually end up working as a teacher!) He was there for about 3 days, if I remember correctly, and he called us up and told us he had found a place, a beautiful place, for us to live. The name of the place was Ronda. Being such an intelligent person, the first image of the place that I had was not of beautiful white buildings and mountains. Nooooo…I had the image of the Beach Boys singing, ¨Help me Rhonda¨. So clever haha!
Before we knew it, we were in Ronda, a town in the heart of Andalucía. What struck me was how the sun was shining and the buildings glowed in white. It really was a beautiful place but change is hard. The first few weeks flew by and we explored our surroundings. In our “explorations” my mom and I discovered a few tapas bars. It was fun discovering new flavours and having a laugh. Sometimes we had no idea what we were ordering but we tried it anyway. The beer was 90 cents so we had a ball! There was one tapa, the dates wrapped in bacon, which we were hesitant to try. It just sounded like an odd combination. Well, they turned out to be incredible! And we proceeded to do what we did following every new tapa that we tried and liked..we attempted to make it ourselves. The recipe is simple and delicious. I can’t make these without looking back on our adventures during that time.I hope you like these too.
10 slices of serrano ham or bacon
10 dried dates, seeds removed
Preheat oven to 250°
Wrap each date in a slice of ham or bacon. You can use a toothpick to close the wrapping but it is not necessary. Line a baking tray with foil and coat it lightly with olive oil. Arrange the dates on the tray and brush them lightly with oil. This is especially good if you are using the serrano ham. This prevents it from drying out. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them as every oven is different. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Enjoy! Xxxx Natascha
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