June brings the end of school and the beginning of summer in earnest. In other words, it is actually a bit more hard to schedule a time that works for all three of us. T was traveling in Europe and M was in Asia. We landed a date late in the month.
The outdoors was on my mind (even though we would be cooking indoors) and when I came across this recipe for paella, I knew that was what would lead the menu. And indeed, it would practically be the entire menu.
Menu: I settled on John Willoughby’s recipe called Paella of the Sea from The New York Times that seemed the right one for us. I could make adjustments to manage T’s allergies and M’s non-meat diet. Also, the garlic scape relish appealed to me as it would add texture and some brightness.
I added some roast asparagus on top so it could be a one-pan meal.
Drink: White Wine and Rosé
Dessert: Odile’s Fresh Orange Cake by Dorie Greenspan
The plate has a smiley face sun and it kind of looked like Pac Man sans one slice! I love this cake as it is so simple–light, moist and packed with orange flavor.
My friends are amazing world travelers. In fact, I met M over a plate of cookies at a holiday party in Tokyo. And I was introduced to T by our mutual friend when I was traveling in Vietnam.
M told us about her adventures staying at a ryokan near Mount Fuji; and inventive dishes like uni inside a tomato (!) and Japanese-style Chinese dishes aka 中華料理.
T shared pictures from her meal at 108 in Copenhagen. She joked that she had never eaten so many flowers. The images inspired me to get back to growing more edible blooms.
This year, I traveled to Mexico City for the first time with a college friend. And while I went on and on about the rich culture, art, ancient ruins, it was the food . . . the tacos and tostadas at the food stalls, mangoes from the market, and enchanting dinners at Casa Virginia and another at Gabriela Cámara’s Contramar (that at 6pm, we closed the place for lunch). My Supper Club friends’ eyes were glazing over all the while nodding and smiling. It was time to stop.
But oh, the spicy hot chocolate!