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Last night was my first dinner party as a single blind woman. There is a lot of baggage with this - in my past life, my ex was the OCD cleaner, so I knew the flatware and glassware was sparkling. My ex was also the collector of china and serveware (surprise!) so I knew I had any service piece I could possibly need. I left all that “stuff” behind. I now have the basics and am learning to make every piece a multi use piece and to choose dishes that don’t require sighted assistance.

However, last night, I made an exception. I make a damn good paella and a new friend wants to learn how to make paella. Perfect - I can make the dish and have a sighted friend inspect the mussels both before and after cooking. Everything was a success. My friend pulled out the open mussels before they went into the pan and pulled out the closed mussels after the dish was prepared. It was delicious and no one has become ill.

So, what did I learn from this - some things have to change, some things have to be done differently and some things, when done with family or friends, are even better than they were before


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Of course. This recipe has always worked for me. I use Bomba rice. I find it works best. If my fish monger doesn't have fresh squid, I substitute frozen calamari or some other seafood. I usually use more than a pound of seafood for 6 people - after all, that's the best part. Good luck!


Serves 6

1 lb mixed seafood (mussels, peeled shrimp, clams, squid, white fish
small bunch fresh Italian parsley
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1/2 lb chorizo sausage
4 slices smoked bacon
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 quarts chicken broth
(pinch of saffron)
2 cups paella rice
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
2 handfuls frozen peas
2 lemons

Scrub the mussels or clams. If using squid or white fish, slice into 1” pieces. Pick and chop parsley leaves and roughly chop the stalks. Cut chicken thighs into bite size pieces. Slice the sausage and bacon. Peel, halve and roughly chop onion and garlic. Put the chicken stock into saucepan and bring to a boil

Place a large casserole type pan on high heat and drizzle in some olive oil. Add the parsley, chicken, chorizo and bacon to the pan and stir together. Cook about 5 minutes until the chicken turn golden. Add onion and garlic to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Add the saffron (if using) and rice to the pan with a pinch of salt and pepper, giving it a good stir. Pour in the hot broth and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping all the goodness off the bottom of the pan as you go Put a lid on the pan, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook the rice according to the package instructions. When the rice is nearly done, stir in the seafood and peas, then squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Have a taste and add more salt and pepper and a little extra water if you think it is needed - you don’t want the rice to become too dry. Serve in the middle of the table with some lemon wedges for squeezing over and let everyone help themselves

Serve with warm crusty bread

Hey Cindy -
would you mind sharing the recipe for your paella?
I love the dish and would enjoy learning how to make it myself.

ZZ - Disregard this link; it is used to trick spammers.