Monday, February 24, 2014

My Autobiography

(This is something that you will probably repeat a million times in your life when you meet people and speak English. Everyone will ask you where you live and where you are from. )

My name is Maruja. I am 95 years old. (I am 95). I am 1.76 (one meter seventy-six) and I weigh 100 kilos. I have gray hair.

I live in Valencia. I was born in Godella. I was born and raised in Valencia. I have lived in Valencia all my life. I have lived in Valencia for five years. I have lived in Valencia since 1995. Valencia is my home. My hometown is Valencia.

Valencia is a big city. It is a city of about 800,000. The population of Valencia is about 800,000. Valencia is the third largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona. Valencia is on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Valencia is east of Madrid and south of Barcelona.

I am married and I have two children ages three and seven. I have two children, a boy eight years old and a daughter who is two. My daughter attends Liceu Corbi and my son is at the prison in Picassent. I have been married for ten years.

I have one brother and one sister. My brother's name is Justin. He is 15 years old. My sister's name is Barbie. She is 18.

I go to school in Valencia. I study English and French at school. When I finish school I will go to university in Valencia.  

Valencia is famous for paella. Paella is a dish made with rice, chicken, rabbit, green beans, butter beans (garrofó), tomato, olive oil, salt, pimentón, saffron, and water.  If you put anything else in a paella someone from the Valencia Paella Police will come to your house and arrest you.

Valencia is also famous for oranges. There are orange trees all over the Valencia Community. The Moors brought rice and oranges to Valencia.

Valencia has excellent weather. It's always sunny in Valencia. Valencia has about 300 days of sunshine a year. The winters are short and the summers are long.

There are a lot of great beaches in and around Valencia. Lots of people from other parts of Europe come to Valencia because we have great weather. It is always sunny in Valencia.

Paella Recipe
Paella is the most famous dish in all of Spain; it is perhaps one of the most famous dishes in the entire world. Paella comes from Valencia. Paella is made in a large, shallow (poco profundo, deep = profundo) pan called a paella.
Green Beans
Lima or Butter Beans (we don’t have garrofó)
Tomato (grated = rayado)
Olive Oil
Pimentón (Spanish paprika)
Fry the meat very well (brown the meat very well) in olive oil (don’t be shy/timid with the olive oil). Salt the meat.  Add the green beans and fresh butter beans (if the butter beans are pre-cooked add them with the water). Add the grated tomato and the pimentón and saffron.  Add water and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the rice and simmer for another 15-18 minutes.
Optional Ingredients: snails, artichokes, rosemary, and red pepper but only if you live in Alicante.

What is Fallas?

Fallas is a big festival that happens every year in Valencia. It begins on March 15th and finishes on March 19th. During Fallas neighborhood clubs called “casals fallers” build beautiful structures that look like giant cartoon monuments. Tens of thousands of (lots of, a lot of) tourists come to Valencia every year for the festival. There are lots of fireworks at night and children throw firecrackers in the streets. On the last night of the festival the cartoon structures—called fallas—are burned to the ground.

Fallas is a very old festival and during the celebration people parade around the city wearing traditional clothes. The women wear beautiful dresses.

Fallas is a very noisy festival. Every day during Fallas there is a percussion firework display called a mascletà in the city center which lasts only five minutes. As many as 100,000 people come every day to listen to the huge explosions in the city’s main square called the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. Every evening each neighborhood has a street party that lasts until four o’clock in the morning.
Firecrackers – petardos
Fireworks – castillos, fuegos atificiales