Last week I received a comment in my post about migas, the pork-saturated Spanish breadcrumb dish, from someone who identified herself as "lobstersquad." The phrase sounded familiar, but I couldn't recall where I had heard it or to what it referred. Curious, I clicked on the link to her website and was astonished by the lovely little world I had landed in.
Ximena Maier modestly describes her 2-month old Lobstersquad as a "food blog with drawings." Ximena is a talented artist, so each of her lovely posts, many of which feature delectable-sounding recipes, are accompanied by one of her whimsical, heartwarming illustrations, which inevitably manage to bring a smile to my face.
I have another reason to promote Ximena's blog here. Ximena is one of the few food bloggers writing in English who is based in Spain!
The 30-year-old resident of Madrid is a professional illustrator (check out more of her work on her drawing blog and click here to hire her). Her work has been featured in Spanish travel and women's magazines, children's books and cookbooks, including one, A Taste of Cuba, which has been translated into English and is available in American bookstores.
Ximena let me know via email that one perk of being an illustrator is that she is often able to work from her home, which just so happens to be located a short stroll from a lovely market. There she often picks up whatever strikes her fancy, brings it home to her kitchen, and lets it simmer away while she finishes her work. Later, she shares her culinary creation with her husband, who she told me is "very happy to eat any experiment, however much lemongrass or cilantro it may contain."
I am particularly smitten with the title character of one of the Spanish children's books Ximena illustrated, Marcela (written by Ana García Castellano, published by Anaya Infantil y Juventil) which, according to Ximena's recent post on the joy of picnics, stars a quirky little girl who is fond of eating cauliflower while on picnic. I wonder if little Marcela would like my cauliflower recipe?
Illustration by Ximena Maier in Marcela - have you ever seen a happier scene?
So, where does the title of Ximena's food blog, Lobstersquad, come from? It's an homage to the famous lobster scene in the 1977 Woody Allen film "Annie Hall," of course! As a fan of Allen's movies, I should have known. In the film, Allen, as the neurotic and crustacean-phobic Alvy Singer, recites the lines I quoted in the title of this post, to Annie, played by Diane Keaton, as their dinner scurries across the kitchen floor of their Hamptons beach house.
If I were you, I'd make like an escaped lobster and scamper on over to Lobstersquad straight away!