Monday, July 29, 2013

Two Summer Dinners

This weekend, we stayed in Seattle for the first time in weeks. We've been swanning off to Orcas, Bellingham, and Birch Bay almost every weekend this summer so far. It's been lovely, but I was looking forward to spending my Friday afternoon at home instead of cramped in a car during rush hour traffic. At the same time, I was worried we'd be hot and bored. It's always breezy and a little cooler up north and in the islands, and our old house retains heat like nobodies business. But! We had such a pleasantly full weekend and while not all of our super fun moments were photogenic, they were all incredibly idyllic in real life.

On Thursday night we were invited to spend Friday night on my business partner, Todd's boat. He recently bought a 39 foot Bayliner that he's about to LIVE ABOARD. I think it's true that the only thing better than owning a boat is having a friend that owns a boat because we had SUCH a lovely night out on the lake Friday night. Another couple joined with their almost 2-year old boy Henry and Todd's girlfriend Andrea also came. I ate my weight in chips and dip before grilling steaks on the back of the boat. It was the perfect summer in the city type of night.

On Sunday night, we finally repaid our neighbors for the amazing mussel dinner they hosted in May. We decided to get out the paella pan and have a paella party. It was such a nice night with great company and I'm about to toot my own horn and say that this was some of the tastiest paella I've ever had. All the forces aligned and the BBQ heat was just right, the chorizo was especially tasty, the crust on the bottom the perfect amount of toasty but not burnt. Photos from last night:

It took a little over an hour and a half from start to finish to grill the paella, so we snacked in traditional "picos", manchego cheese, olives, marcona almonds, and sugar snap peas while cooking.

You can see the kids all wreaking havoc on the princess tent in the back of the yard. I think you could hear their squeals from 2 blocks away, easy.
Grayson (2.5) about to infiltrate the girl's princess party.

The paella begins! First up was browning the chicken in oil. While I did this, the kids ate mac and cheese and snap peas.

Chorizo and onions go into the chicken fat:
Adding, garlic, tomatoes, saffron broth and pimenton:

Penny's little sister Daphne hijacks the pudding and causes outrage amongst the 3 year olds:

Nestling the chicken back in while the rice soaks up more broth:

Tucking in the prawns, mussels and clams, and sprinkling in some peas:

Glamour shot:
Impatiently waiting for the shellfish to open:

Proud chef:

Ta daaa!

We popped a movie in for the kids to watch inside while we all enjoyed the paella outside. There was only one moment of screaming and crying from within to distract us from our second helpings. So, not too shabby.

I had this weird moment during dinner of realizing that this is so much like the childhood I grew up with. Except that we are now my parents in this version.  How many times did my parents pop a movie in and pull the sofa bed out of the couch for Kristin and Craig and I to snuggle into while they were probably drinking wine with Kristin's parents; trading stories about how charming and annoying we all were? Little sister Daphne was tucked in at home (2 very close doors down) and monitored using the crafty system of FaceTime and iPhones while the "older" kids watched The Rescuers. Much in the same way that my and Kristin's little brothers were probably tucked in while we watched The Never Ending Story or Time Bandits (except let's be honest - they were probably being monitored in more of a "cross your fingers they stay asleep" sort of way back in the early 80's). 

Edie and I made a chocolate zucchini cake to have after the paella, but I guess I didn't take any photos.  Our neighbor grew the zucchini and we put it to good use making it as unhealthy as possible by making vegetables into cake. In fairness, it was good, but didn't hold a candle to the star of the evening - the paella. Also in fairness, there is only about 1 serving left of this giant bundt cake and we just made it yesterday morning so I guess it wasn't terrible either. 


sandralbruton said...

You got some great shots off Todd's boat. And I don't think I've ever seen Jeff look so relaxed?
Your Paella makes my mouth water, wow!
Thank you for conjuring up memories for me. xo

Laura said...

loved the fam photo of the 3 of u on the boat !
BUT; we want some of that paella!!!
xoxox Uncle Ross and Aunt Laura
p.s. we don't have wifi much while traveling but when we do we enjoy your blog very much!