Hi – my name is Ansley Evans. I’m writing from the southeastern Spanish city of Murcia, capital of the region with the same name. Murcia has been my home since 2009, but I’ve lived in many places before this. Originally from Florida, I went to college in Colorado and then moved to Portland, Oregon, where I was rooted for ten years. My next permanent address (for over two years) was in Avignon, France.
All along, food has played a central role in making and maintaining connections with the places I’ve lived and people I’ve met. Through cooking and eating, I have not only experienced distinct cultures, but also have fed my nostalgia and shared my ever-expanding tastes of home with old and new friends alike. I’m blogging as a way to share the food stories that inspire me, and to take part in a greater conversation about food and culture around the world, exchanging recipes, reflections and ideas.
On another level, this blog is a chronicle of my Spanish education through a largely food-focused lens. To be honest, the fact I live in Spain still surprises me sometimes considering I spent over twenty years of my life learning and teaching French. I continue to see myself as a Francophile, although my bond with Spain grows deeper each day.
While my French education began in the classroom, I’m learning Spanish via immersion. And some of my most memorable lessons have occurred in kitchens, around tables or with my elbow propped on a tapas bar, fork in hand.
Through food, I’ve begun to absorb Murcia’s geography – its seafood-rich coastline, its vegetable-abundant valley and its rugged interior known for tender lamb and hearty stews. I’ve learned recipes from local friends and shared recipes from my past, a process through which we have not only filled our bellies but have also built friendships. Food has been essential to my ongoing adaptation, helping me feel closer to home.
I started this blog as a place to share the experiences, mostly culinary, that fascinate and delight me, both in my immediate surroundings and the places I have visited and lived. I also see this space as a forum for discussion and exchange. So thank you for visiting, and please pipe in!
Why Bread and Onions?
The title of this blog comes from the Spanish idiomatic expression, “Contigo, pan y cebolla.” This literally means, “With you, bread and onions,” but figuratively, it is a promise of love and commitment come what may.
These four simple words thus convey the same idea as the classic marriage vows in English, “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer.”
I have named this blog “Bread and Onions” for several reasons. The title of course in part pays tribute to the reason I live in Spain: my marriage to a Spaniard.
Beyond the marriage context, I also see this expression as a metaphor for the ups and downs of our daily lives. No matter where we call home, life will always have its sweet bread and its bitter onions, its experiences to savor and to overcome together with family and friends.