What A Week

It was like summer camp, only without the archery, macramé, or nature wedgies. I worked dawn to dusk on an 8 x 80 foot wall in some seriously hot weather, but I got it done, and made a little time to work on the labyrinth too. Dinners are communal, and prepared on a rotating basis, so I busted my ass to be able to contribute on Thursday. Anthony went out and procured all the necessaries, so I made paella for the crew- having remembered to bring my pan with me. Tom- who took the picture below- was incredibly helpful with preparations and a damn fine guy to talk to as well. I felt bad for those on dishwashing duty, because I characteristically dirtied pretty much every pot and surface they have. Outdoor kitchen or no, I can make a mess.

It was pretty straightforward- a shrimp shell broth with onion, carrot, and herbs- lots of saffron plus the shrimp in the rice, with peas from their excellent garden- and clams and mussels to finish. Time and a couple of pescatarians combined to keep sausage and/or poultry out of the mix. The rice expanded to fill my pan, so I steamed the bivalves in the pot with a bit of broth in it, then dumped the accumulated liquor into the rice to finish it before serving. So the shellfish were on the side, with a gazpacho (tomato, red pepper, cucumber, zuchini, onion, citrus, herbs) appetizer, papaya/avo/onion/cilantro/lemon/orange salsa, and salad to round it all out. And wine. I brought up a bunch, and we poured much of it: three rosés (all French) and then a 1997 Teófilo eyes Ribera del Duero (I LOVE THIS WINE BUT IT WAS MY LAST ONE) and a Thackrey Pleiades XVI.

Good times. And it’s good to be home now.


From left to right: Brace, Anthony, Paul, and yours truly drinking rosé out of a jelly jar.

7 comments to What A Week

  • Heather

    I was wondering.

    Pescetarians ruin all the fun, don’t they?

  • cookiecrumb

    Man, you got a big paella pan.
    (But your Mason jar has one of those sissy handles, doesn’t it?)
    It sounds like a dizzyingly great time.

  • We Are Never Full

    that honestly looks fun. there’s nothing like enjoying your food and wine after a labor-intensive (non-wedgie) day. it’s like the old days (well, except for you being able to make paella for the crew in america and drinking rose out of a jam jar!). looks fun. hot guys too – can i come over!?!??

  • peter

    Heather: They ruin most of the fun. Having said that, his dinner didn’t suck.

    CC: Yes, I do. And I know how to use it. (And yes, it did, but that kept the wine from heating up.)

    Amy: It was only camp-like in therms of the feel. The vittles were first-rate. And yes, you can come over.

  • Zoomie

    I’m looking forward to the labyrinthine flowering… happy homecoming!

  • cook eat FRET

    i was wondering too…

    it all looks just wonderful and full of life and artistic and if only you’d had the macrame.

    did those other guys flip out over your culinary prowess and wine selection?

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I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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