Last weekend I found myself in the gentle rolling hills of the Andalusian countryside: I was invited to eat a luxurious lunch cooked by a friend's mother. I don't know if you're familiar with Spanish mothers, but they like to cook and more importantly, they like to feed. She created a typical multicourse feast for yours truly! Naturally, I documented the entire thing to share with you. Here, learn what a traditional Spanish meal entails.
Cheese and Beer
The lunch begins with slices of manchego  cheese. They must be paired with an icy cold beer. Seriously, the Spanish mother insists!
What else goes with queso y cerveza? Chorizo! She brought it out on a tray with a knife and let me slice it into chunks.
No Spanish meal is complete without bread fresh from the bakery. This Spanish mama's style is casual; she served it straight out of the bag.
Tomatoes With Anchovies
It's a good thing I like anchovies, because next up was a plateful of tomatoes topped with the little fishes.
Ribs in White Wine Sauce
After the cheese, chorizo, bread, and tomatoes, I was starting to feel a little full, but these pork ribs were too tasty to pass up. They were actually my favorite part of the meal! The meat fell off the bone and the finger-licking-good sauce was a simple mixture of garlic, onions, and white wine.
What's not to love about juicy, melt-in-your mouth meatballs in a rich homemade chicken broth? I gobbled up the meatballs and was immediately offered three more! I told my host I was too full to move.
"One is never too full for gazpacho," she said, pouring me a frozen glass of liquid tomatoes.
Such a large and hearty meal is not followed by a heavy dessert. Instead, the Spanish eat cold fruit. I was offered two types of melon . . . .
. . . and cactus fruit! This exotic treat is native to the Cordoban countryside and happened to be growing on the property.
What does a Spanish mother do after making such a lavish meal? She takes a long and much-needed siesta. However, before she heads to her bed, she gave me a mojito to sip poolside! In Spain, mojitos are made with rum, peppermint, lemon juice, and brown sugar.
Cafe con Leche
After her nap, the mother promptly brews a cup of coffee.
The afternoon coffee hour is when the Spanish enjoy sweets like pastries, cookies, and cakes. I sampled these cinnamon-sugar churros that were crispy and delicious.