The Christmas menu in my boyfriend’s family home in the south of Spain consists mainly of mariscos (seafood). The star dish is the gamba roja – large red prawns. The proper way to cook it is with sea water. The problem is getting the sea water out of the sea! Their house is on the beach, but the thought of getting knee high into the sea in December shocks everyone in the family (as it is assumed one will get a cold immediately), and this task builds up as the big challenge of Christmas day.

As someone who comes from a country with proper winter, it was understood that the cold will not affect me, and I bravely assumed the task the first Christmas I spent there. Now it is always up to me to make sure there is sea water for the gamba roja!

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