One of the things that we had been looking forward to in Spain was paella, and luckily we know some paella pros. Even better, Diego’s parents, Manolo and Nani, invited us over for Sunday lunch with Diego’s sisters and their families. After we whined for a while (mostly Julie), Diego agreed to make paella.
Our plans started on Saturday with a trip to the market in Santa Cruz. In Tenerife we have been enjoying wonderful sea food, which I suppose makes sense given that the Canary Islands are, well, islands. But what I have enjoyed eating the most are the potatoes. For mysterious reasons, the Canaries boast a wonderful variety of spuds. My favorite were the so-called black potatoes, or “papas negras” as they are known locally (bottom right in the photo below). These are typically cooked by dipping the potatoes in salt water before baking them. The skins become extremely salty and the inside of the potato tastes naturally buttered. The potatoes are often small, so you eat a whole potato in one bite. I dream of a world in which I can get a bucket of papas negras at the movies.
Eventually, I managed to tear myself away from the papas negras, and we enjoyed looking around the rest of the market. The fruit looked particularly tasty.
But enough about fruit and potatoes. We were here to get ingredients for paella, so we headed to the seafood stalls.
The selection was phenomenal. All the characters from the Little Mermaid were there.
We got what we needed, and headed home.
The next day we headed to Manolo and Nani’ss house with our seafood. Diego was our master chef.
He tended the paella with care and experience. Meanwhile the kids, as usual, added an element of danger to the process, racing around near the open flames.
Of course, the Hubbard girls had to wear hats in the hopes that they would not become Las Chicas Rojas. Fortunately, the nearby traffic did not distract Diego, who was done curtseying in his apron and was all business.
The results were magnificent.
We were delighted to be there, and Manolo and Nani were wonderful hosts. I particularly enjoyed talking a bit of law with Manolo, who both is a lawyer and enjoys reading legal philosophy.
As expected, we ate. And ate. And ate. Then there were desserts, so we ate some more. If given the chance to do it all over again, we’d probably eat even more.