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I was thrilled to be invited to a pre-Christmas family lunch by María Paz (on the right in photo), whom I’ve known since I first arrived in Sevilla over 26 years ago. I thought it was just going to be a casual thing with immediate family so imagine my surprise when I got to her place to find about 30 people spanning 4 generations gathered around various tables set up for the meal. This was supposed to be their usual Christmas Eve gathering, but some of the grandchildren were leaving the next morning for Madrid so they decided it move it up a day.

It was a potluck affair with everyone bringing something they’d prepared at home, with the star dish being María Paz’s famous partridge in chocolate. But really, all the food was wonderful, and there was so much of it. Plus plenty of wine, and desserts galore. I could barely move when it was finally time to move. In typical Spanish fashion, lunch finally finished around 8 pm, but this also included a lengthy sobremesa and everyone (one at a time to cheers and applause) opening their Secret Santa gift. It was total chaos most of the time and I totally loved it. Such a lovely way to start Christmas.  🙂