Sunday, June 01, 2008

Paella Party

"We are so a Stuff White People Like post right now."

I don't know if I'd put it that way (even though I did). What we were was more of a New York Times Style article that Stuff White People Like would have posted about. Yesterday, after a day in the sun at the park (so what else is new), a group of my friends and I made paella for dinner. I know this all sounds really awfully pretentious, and by "this all" I mean arguing for your inclusion in a Times trend piece, but seriously. Let me paint the picture, since none of us remembered our cameras.

Justin just recently moved into a new place, this goofily-floorplanned place with a relatively small, though airy, kitchen, blessed with an awesomely retro stove and a dishwasher, thankfully. It's tucked in between a narrow hallway and a big, high-ceilinged "breakfast nook" type sun room with giant windows that yesterday were letting in golden light and cold breezes. There's plenty of room to cook while others stand around with wine glasses and listen to music, which is what we did. Hot Chip and Spanish wine, here we come.

Paella itself, it turns out, is really easy to cook. Wine glasses in hand, we stirred up two giant skillets, loaded with sausage, lamb, mussels, shrimp and baby scallops. While we were waiting for the rice to simmer, Dan suggested we ad-lib the game of Apples to Apples. He started with the adjective "gregarious," which I won with "bees," and then I threw out "sour," which got me some choice political nouns, and then Ace moved to "vestigial," which I unfortunately did not win with "pennies." (Peattie won with "liver.")

The conversation was also peppered, pun slightly intended, with Ace's question of the weekend: if you had to gender salt and pepper, which would be which? I don't want to taint your answer, so I won't give my opinion, but I will admit that salt is a frontrunner for female. (I pointed out that women like salt more than men, something evidenced by me, Laurel, and the giant pickle I'd eaten as a hangover-appetizer for dinner, which had more than 120% of my daily recommended sodium.) Somewhere in the middle of the cooking time, there was also a brief, though intensely yuppie, conversation about the difference between paella, jambalaya, and bouillabaisse (and just thinking about this is making me hungry.)

That moment was the moment when Pablo, who was visiting this weekend from Edinburgh, and who had already expounded on Dan's and my yuppie lifestyles (which we argue is much more bobo than yuppie, as evidenced by, among other things, the shitty state of our tiny old apartment), looked meaningfully at me across the room and I yelled out "Yuppie!" for him. Then I said we belonged in a Times style piece. Which we do. I love my friends. We are bohemian and bourgeois, techy and fuzzy, political, active, outdoorsy, cultured, mainstream, indie, all that. And nights like yesterday sort of epitomize that. So maybe we don't belong in a Times trend piece so much, we just belong in our lives. And the glory of documentation lies in the recognition and savoring and saving (and remembering) of the variety and, er, spice (saffron?) of life.

Next up: Dirty Apron Kitchen Club does summer picnic. I can't wait to learn how to make me some fried chicken.

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