Photo Adventures with Curiosity and Learning

March 4, 2012 Off to Losa - Lucia's Parents Place

Where we went in and out of the village

what a day!!! Paella at its best

Preparing Paella - the old fashioned way - over an open fire

It all started with a trip to Lucia's home place, Losa -

mar 04 6723 losa

Walking around - there were all these narrow streets and alleys - so for Rachel - a collection of alleys.

mar 04 6725 alley

From inside the Romero home - roofs

mar 04 6739 roofs

Terrace view

mar 04 6742 terrace view

Looking at roofs

mar 04 6748 roof view

And through a window

mar 04 6752 through window

Then off across the street to the Paella kitchen - here is Lucia's mom

mar 04 6763 kitchen

On the fire was the paella pan + rabbit + chicken + spices - all quietly bubbling away. The video shows this early stage + lens focus noise. Other than that - just the paella bubbling

mar 04 6765 cooking meat

Part 1 - cooking the meat and spices

Now we wait for several hours - so walking about the village

mar 04 6772 church

An alley for Rachel

mar 04 6785 alley

Another alley

mar 04 6792 alley

Walking up a hill to a cemetary

mar 04 6801 cemetary

And a small shrine

mar 04 6804 virgin place

Walking back - the cemetary

mar 04 6807 cemetary

and the village from a distance

mar 04 6809 village

Another alley for Rachel

mar 04 6810 alley

and another

mar 04 6811 alley

and another

mar 04 6812 alley

The cooking is going well - note the almond shells - waiting to be added to the fire. Another no-so-secret ingredient

mar 04 6817 cooking chicken rabbit

Another view of the kitchen - with lemon tree and Lucia's mom cracking almonds for Christmas sweets

mar 04 6820 lemon kitchen

A closer view of her craftmanship

mar 04 6823 cracking almonds

Another view of the kitchen: Lucia's brother, Juanmi, mom, kids and Lucia

mar 04 6826 kitchen

The Professor of Paella and her student

mar 04 6830 kitchen

Stirring the paella

mar 04 6835 stirring

Now - the critical part. Adding the rice. The main idea is to make a line of rice across the middle of the paella pan - then once all the line is constructed - to carefully mix to the left and right until the cook is totally satisfied with the result

mar 04 6839 adding rice

A video with narration - Lucia's brother, Jaunmi - a student of their mom - building the line of rice - Part 2 - Building a line of rice across the middle of the pan

Here is Juanmi mixing the rice - Part 3 - Mixing the rice

Mixing the rice

mar 04 6843 mixing

Adding rosemary - another critical step

mar 04 6851 adding rosemary

Another view - this is the mom's critical task

mar 04 6853 added rosemary

Now to adjust the fire. Initially the fire was concentrated in the center of the pan and radiating outward - for the meat cooking phase. Now its critical to restructure the fire - moving it from the center to the perimeter. In addition, orange tree root wood is used for the rice-cooking phase - about 20 minutes

mar 04 6857 orange wood fire

Part 4 - Reorienting the fire toward the perimeter of the pan. The wood here is from roots of orange trees - a critical secret ingredient

Simmering paella

mar 04 6864 simmering

Now the most important phase - the taste test -

mar 04 6866 taste test

Cooling the liquid

mar 04 6868 cooling broth

Juanmi tasting the liquid - hmmm - needs a bit more salt.

mar 04 6871 brother taste test

Confirmation by mom

mar 04 6873 mama taste test

Orange tree root wood - and almond shells for the perimeter fire

mar 04 6877 orange wood perimeter fire


mar 04 6885 simmering

Simmering - I can visualize Josh deciding its time to add to his culinary skill set

mar 04 6890 simmering

Paella is now ready

mar 04 6896 paella ready

Extracting from the fire

mar 04 6898 paella extraction

Transport across the street

mar 04 6904 paella transport

Careful transport

mar 04 6906 paella transport

Now to serve - we all ate from the paella pan - super because you could get what you really liked. Me? The liver and rabbit and chicken - then the bottom crusty rice - yum

mar 04 6912 paella served

After lunch - another exploration to their orange grove up a narrow street

mar 04 6915 narrow street

About 5 km - an orange grove tended by Juanmi and dad

mar 04 6918 orange grove

Almond trees

mar 04 6920 almond trees

Orange blossoms - was quite cold and Lucia's dad is quite happy to see the buds of blossoms

mar 04 6922 orange blossoms

The family - minus mom

mar 04 6924 lucia family

An orange tree

mar 04 6927 orange tree

And lots of oranges. Approximately 150 kg oranges are harvested from each tree

mar 04 6929 oranges

We drove to another orange grove - different type of Valencia orange

mar 04 6931 orange grove

Then an area with new trees - a different type of fruit

mar 04 6933 new trees

In the background a shephard moving his flock

mar 04 6935 sheep herd

New trees

mar 04 6938 new trees

A sample of a 125 kg/tree configuration - I asked about harvesting and they replied that they sell the oranges on the tree. The buyer harvests them. Nice strategy

mar 04 6941 125 kg per tree

Serious Valencia oranges

mar 04 6945 valencia oranges

Then off to another place - fresh water from a mountain spring

mar 04 6946 fresh water

Seems lots of folks come for fresh water

mar 04 6948 fresh water

A view of Losa

mar 04 6954 losa

Another view of Losa

mar 04 6956 losa

Lusia's family (minus mom)

mar 04 6958 lucia family

Off to a lake - Clouds

mar 04 6960 clouds

A cut of the mountain - worn by the river below

mar 04 6963 mountain cut

Outflow from the dam

mar 04 6968 outflow

The lake

mar 04 6975 lake

Flow control - sort of a huge shutter

mar 04 6977 flow control

mar 04 6980 dam outflow

The lake - then back to Lucia's home and back to Valencia.

mar 04 6983 lake

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer