Paella – The Spanish Way

Well, we are back from our holiday in Spain and are currently sitting it out at the in-laws’ place for a few weeks while they are in France and someone else is occupying our flat. One big home-swapping chain! I can’t wait to finally get back to my own bed and have all of my things in one place but alas, no doubt as soon as that happens we will have to pack it all up again and move into our new home. I am excited about the move (honest)… Just not so keen on the packing and unpacking. I actually think I’m beginning to feel a bit  like the littlest hobo might have felt but with MUCH more baggage!

Our last few days in Spain went far too fast for my liking and we ran out of time to cover all the areas we wanted to visit. However, our final base in Mijas was just what the doctor ordered and we even managed to find some time for a fabulous lesson on how to make Paella from the very lovely Janet Mendal. Janet is an American-born author who has written five Spanish cookery books. I think she was definitely the one to learn from. It was a great help that she wasn’t speaking in Spanish to us like everyone else and as I had never really even eaten a decent Paella before (let alone made one), I really learnt a lot in the hour or so we were with her. Our wonderful host provided us with entrees and wine whilst she cooked up a storm with great ease and explained how things were done. Then we just popped next door, lit up the mosquito candle, poured the wine and stuffed ourselves silly on the terrace. Bliss.

Rather than listening to me ramble on about how to make Paella why not take a look here on Janet’s blog – My Kitchen in Spain (Why would you want to hear it from me – A pure novice? ) Her blog is very insightful and has spurred me on to try and cook some more traditional Spanish dishes in the near future.

Janet has a lovely home just a short drive away from the center of Mijas and we stayed in the private studio next door. It took me a good few days to get used to the bugs in the surrounding area but I think I actually conquered my fears and can now actually ignore the buzzing of the wasps without running around and flapping my arms about like a mad woman with a rocket up her rear end! I tracked her studio down after hours of searching on the net for an affordable place for two, that was private and a bit more secluded than the usual hotel option. Being surrounded by the olive trees and hills really gave us the sense of being part of the real Spain and we were well away from the saturated holiday resorts that most people travel to the Costa Del Sol for.

The only thing that we were not initially looking forward to about the studio was the separate beds, but let me tell you with the weather as hot as it was it was an absolute blessing to be on my own and not fighting off the covers that usually get thrown on top of me when a certain someone doesn’t want them!

I’d thoroughly recommend getting in touch with Janet if you too would like to learn how to make Paella and need a place to stay. It made for a lovely evening and lasted us for two nights, costing much less than the same meal in a restaurant.

Our Fab host showing us the Paella way.

Paella Recipe

Part way through…

spanish Paella

The finished product…

Paella The Spanish Way

Going, going...

Paella in spain


Paella yum

You can see more of Janet’s Studio here if you are interested in hiring somewhere affordable for your trip to Spain:

1 Response

  1. Alice August 17, 2011 / 12:54 am

    That looks awesome – I’ve always wanted to know how to cook real Paella (with a proper crispy bottom and squid tentacles!). I’ve bookmarked Janet’s blog for future reference! x

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