Monday, April 12, 2010

In Search of Saffron!

Thus the season begins. I review my ingredients for Paella and notice that the saffron stores are low. Currently, friend and Paella god "Markito" is visiting family in Barcelona and the arrival of saffron is imminent. He is to return in a matter of days which puts me at ease, somewhat.

Hibernate for the winter - then comes the sun. It's the change of season that spins my way of thinking. Spring weather by nature is inclement; cold days followed by brilliant sunshine. Combine the weekend with clear skies and the back-garden will see much activity. Big salads and fresh breads and chunks of cheese to sate the guests 'til the Paella has cooked and been given ten minutes of repose. In the resting, all flavors blend and the rice mellows while sucking up olive oil, saffron and seafood.

Pictured above is a recent Paella made in the home of my good friend Peter. The indoor variety is good but lacks the savoriness of a Paella exposed to smoke. Yes, I long for a wood-fire in the open air to undertake the next Paella but I shall forever remember the words spoken to me by an old man in the south of Spain; "The best Paella, is the one you have in front of you!" I agree wholeheartedly but cooking out of doors and over fire gives flavor to everything. Most notably, it gives flavor to life.