Monday, September 6, 2010

Paella? But what are you making for him?

So this past weekend was a big weekend for Mr. Flintstone & I. For one, he moved into his first solo apartment. Secondly, this weekend he recieved his first paycheck from his new job. Third(ly?), I was pretty pumped about not having dropped out of law school after these first two weeks of class. & Finally, it was Labor Day weekend. All of these things really mean nothing but it felt like there was some cause to celebrate.
Something you should know about me, Reader(s), is that I will go out of my way to make Mr. Flintstone happy, which I should probably do less of because it recently came to my attention that this mofo likes to fight. I think he feels like it keeps things from becoming monotonous & keeps the passion alive. I have no fucking idea, we're like on opposite ends when it comes to that. I HATE FIGHTING--when I get mad I have to work hard to come down off of my anger & then I over analyze the situation. But to him, fighting's like hot.

On a side note, Reader, you should also know I watch a lot of Nickelodeon & for some reason the characters from Nick Jr are singing "I've got a Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas. If I had a glass of wine, this would be freaking amazing. But I digress.

Back to what I was saying: I will go to no end to put a smile on that chinky face. So on Saturday when he suggested cooking & said he was in the mood for shrimp, I automatically thought of the most romantic Latin dish ever; Paella.

Paella is a dish consisting of shrimp, scallops, mussels, chicken, clams, and chorizo--all tossed around in rice and peas. Right now you might be thinking, "Wow, Lauren can cook like that? I had no idea. How absolutely hot/impressive."
& to that I'd say, "Well actually, no."

But damnit if that stopped me from trying.

So I went to Super WalMart & picked up all my ingredients and then gave my dad a phone call.
Me: "Hey daddy, I'm making paella for [ Mr. Flintstone] tonight and I think I'm going to need some help."
Dad: "Pa' ella? But what are you making for him?"
--The joke here is that pa' ella in Spanish would translate into for her.
Me: "What? Oh. Hahaha. You're so clever, dad. Okay but no really."
& my dad starts telling me all the really complex secrets behind making paella. But they were so complex I stopped listening. He kept saying something about the water level and the rice to which I responded, "Yeah, I got it. They have to be level."
But it suffices to say I took only a few basic tips away from our convo & decided to just wing it.

It was going really well, too!
Until I realized I'd over-estimated the cook time and noticed my rice was drying out & I hadn't even tossed in my clams and mussels! So I added more water.
This is where listening to my dad about the water was important...
Because I effed up right here.
I added too much water. So from then on, my rice was squishy, fat, and sticky. It was still pretty flavorful, but I felt like that stopped it from being an otherwise perfect dish.

There were a few bumps in the road though.
For instance, WalMart didn't have clams in their seafood section, but I was able to find canned clams in the international isle. Trying to be romantic, I also purchased four 50cent candles with the idea of lighting them all before Mr. Flintstone got home.

Right around nine, I stepped out to take the dogs for a walk. When I came back, the smell that greeted me was like a clam market. Those canned clams were not playing around. I decided to break out one of the 50cent candles and hope it would suppress the smell. While I was lighting candles and dog walking, my rice was starting to smoke.
So I went to turn it and came back to crack a window. In those brief moments, the small, cheap candle decided to drip from the small table it was placed on onto the carpet.
I saw this and desperately tried getting it all out. This was, afterall, Mr. Flintstone's brand new place so I felt like it was extra terrible to already start making stains on his carpet.
Then I heard a knock at the door. I panicked a little because I still had wax all over my fingers and knew I hadn't completely gotten rid of the clam odor.
I imagined myself answering the door and my love would walk into his new apartment, sniff the air and shoot me a dirty look. The only response my imagination had prepared was, "Okay, so I may have spilled candle wax all over your new carpet and inadvertently made your apartment smell like clams, but you still love me right?" Cue innocent face.
But when I looked through the peep-hole, it was actually Mr. Flintstone's young upstairs neighbor coming to yell at me about the dogs barking. I wanted to say, "what the fuck do you want me to do about that? they're dogs, they bark." & I was more than a little irritated because I was pretty sure she was having a party upstairs since I could hear all of her whoadies on the patio and she brought a dude with her who still had a deck of cards in his hand. But whatever. That put me in a bad mood for the next half hour before handsome got home.

Mr. Flintstone came home in a bad mood, too. And his temperament was only exacerbated by my story about his up stairs neighbors. But then he was ready to eat and I lamented about the sticky rice. He still loved it and told me it was great, regardless. He even had four bowls!
Sitting together on his couch eating paella, I looked over and felt so blessed just to be with him at that moment and to know that even though I'm clumsy and make mistakes all the time, he still appreciates the sweet things I do.

Right before bed after we'd done the dishes and were turning off all the lights, he looked over to his tv table and pointed to the melted wax still in the candle dish,
 "What is that?"

"Umm, let's talk about it in the morning."


  1. Aww this is so cute. Your attempts are commendable and congrats on him liking it!

  2. Haha, thanks Lexa!
    I honestly felt a little like a failure until he went back for that second bowl. :)
    I really like your 30 days of truth posts! That's a really cool idea & the prompts for each day are super interesting!