We celebrated Father’s Day on June 15, plus it was my birthday the following day. We had seafood fiesta at home to celebrate these special double occasions!
A birthday wish come true…Home-cooked Paella Marinera with mussels, crabs, jumbo shrimps, squid, chicken, olive oil, jasponica rice, saffron mix.

It had been a dream of mine to serve Paella Marinera at home for the longest time. The ingredients were expensive (cost me more than a thousand pesos but I got two big “kawali-ful” of paella which if you get in Mingoy’s will definitely cost you so much more), and to cook it for the first time will not be easy. But what the heck, let’s get it over with! I already gave it a lot of thought (more like year) before pushing through with the idea and besides… we deserve it!

The previous night, I was trying to decipher the recipe I got from the pack of the saffron mix I bought from the grocery. Decipher–meaning it was written in Spanish. I had to call and ask someone what sofreir, cigalas, and hirviendo meant. The next morning, we started early. We thought we would end by lunch time but we were done past 1 pm! It was harder than I thought…I was never good in math so i was trying to figure out whether I’m putting enough amount of this and that for a group of eight; worrying if I placed too much olive oil and that it could turn into a super sebo-ish paella; and was on the verge of tears, thinking that I poured too much water and that I may end up with rice porridge instead…

Levic checking out the paella…Muy bien? Si! Si!

Paw helping out with the paella. She made it better actually. Gracias, Paulina!!! Buen trabaho, mi sobrina!

Good thing Sis, Doc Drew, and the kids arrived late. They all helped out as well. Paula took over one kawali while Donna and Pchie manned the other one…and Sis was barking out orders ala Gordon Ramsey. I relaxed and let them do the work. They brought along with them deliciously grilled boneless bangus (or milkfish) from Fixies, QC. And Mango Torte from Dulcelin. Wow, more food!

My Birthday Cake slash Torte from Dulcelin Gourmet (below right)with yummy cashew-based nougats and mango.

Happy Father’s Day! Dad, the seafood lover enjoyed the feast…

The kawali or thick iron cooking pan that we used was not exactly my type of paellera but it did the job. There was no time to prepare the toppings (e.g. sliced boiled eggs, green peas) to make it presentable. Oh, well, maybe next time!

The paella tasted heavenly (or baka gutom lang kami?)…Good thing we still had sparkling white wine from last Christmas to go along with it. Wine, paella and good company…it was like living out one of those Travel and Living shows that i can only dream about. After a few minutes, we were talking in Spanish…Muy delicioso…Gracias, gracias..or at least trying to rack our brains for phrases we learned from our long-forgotten, short-lived Spanish language courses in college. Of course, we can only remember the curse words though…hehehe.

We were not able to finish one kawali of paella. Mabigat pala sa tyan. At least, we had more of it to last for one more day.

Ah, yes…I deserve something like this…at least once in while…we all do.