Wednesday, July 18, 2018

QUICK SPANISH PAELLA



No one wants to slave over a hot stove in Summer temperatures!

But we all like to eat tasty and appealing meals ;-)

This quick recipe fills that bill …

QUICK SPANISH PAELLA ~ Makes 4 servings

¼ teaspoon Salt * 6 ounces long-grain white Rice * 2 TBSP Olive Oil * ½ cup chopped Onion * 3 Garlic cloves, minced * 4 ounces skinless/boneless COOKED Chicken * 2 cans chopped Clams * 1 can chopped Tomatoes * 1/8 teaspoon Turmeric * 5 ounces Shrimp, shelled & deveined * 1 cup frozen Peas * 2 cups Water

Ingredients measured and at hand saves time in the kitchen ...

1. In large non-stick skillet heat the oil on medium heat and saute onions, and garlic.


2. Add rice, water, and salt; bring to a boil – cover, reduce heat, and simmer about 5 minutes.


3. Stir clams, tomatoes, saffron, chicken and peas into the rice mixture; cover and cook over medium-low heat about 10 minutes.


4. Add shrimp; cover and cook 5 to 6 minutes more … or until shrimp are opaque and firm.


MOD SEDUM LANTERN PLANTER


While in town Tuesday afternoon, I stopped by the $ Store to get some beads to top the poky upended legs of the large tomato cage around my dahlias – noticing that the leaves were spreading and a reaching budding flower stalk needed more support at the base right now, I overturned the tomato cage yesterday morning while watering the dahlia pot and that left the exposed cage legs which could pose a painful hazard to those unawares. I needed to cover those sharp edges … that’s where the beads came into play today:

Beaded protection for the dahlia cage, so people won’t get snagged or poked if they get too close to the plant. I used the large size beads; and they fit perfectly.

While there I spied, and also bought, 2 bags of Florist Moss & 1 bag of Reindeer Moss; these I planned to work into the repurposed wrought iron citronella tiki lantern brought over from the house we sold last Summer and realized once we settled in here that I cannot use them after all because of the high river winds when they kick up … which occurs several times a day here. So, loathe to sell them because I really, really, like the look of them, I decided to turn them into small perched planters around the garden area ;-)

When we got home, I unpacked everything and soaked the mosses together to make it easier to work with it; I like the way the 2 moss’ textures and coloration look blended together …

Florist Moss (dark) & Reindeer Moss (light) soaking for application. There was a lot of water in this bowl, but the mosses really soak it up fast.
I used 1-1/2 bags of this mixed with the Reindeer Moss. ‘Tulip’ brand.
I used 1 bag of this mixed with the Florist Moss. ‘Tulip’ brand.

While the mosses were soaking up the water, I gathered 4 Hens & Chicks sedums (or Houseleeks as they are known in England) from the terracotta basket out by the front flowerbed, and 2 clumps of Blue Spruce sedum gleaned near the front porch – 1 clump in flower; then I collected some potting soil in a coffee can, grabbed a large spoon, and I also cut a large piece of plastic bird netting to line the lantern cup to hold the moss and soil it in place. And I snipped 5 small lengths of coated-garden wire-twist-ties to secure the netting to the wrought iron lantern cup so it would stay put while I worked everything into place:

Plastic Bird Net cut to fit into the lantern holding cup. This is not the size I cut; this is merely for show so you can see what I used to line the lantern cup with ...

It took maybe half an hour to pull together, and it turned out very nice :-D

Grabbing a handful of soaked moss out of the bowl, I squeezed a little of the water out while forming a small pancake of moss in my hands, and then I gently placed it into the netted cup – placing the first pancake on the bottom of the cup and working my way upward to the top: halfway up, I started filling the mossed cup with potting soil, pressing down with the spoon on the soil to make sure it was firmly packed and that there were no empty places. Then I made more mossy pancakes and finished placing the overlapping damp moss all around to the top of the lantern cup, covering the coated wire ties – with twisted ends inside the lantern cup. About 2/3’s down from the top I snipped a small hole in the net and poked 1 baby Hen & Chick into the opening, jamming it firmly into place – this I repeated 3 more times, working around the sides so that they were evenly spaced. I only used 4 because they will grow and spread as they mature. When those sedums were snuggly in place, I gently stuffed the draping Blue Spruce sedum into the top: these sedums look like tiny Spruce branches, and they are actually a trailing ground cover. I used them in the flower boxes of our last home and they looked real nice draping down the sides with their blooming flower stalks curving upward and the bright yellow flower-heads reaching gently to the sun. When the Hens & Chicks mature and start to flower, their pink flower-heads will reach upward too and blend nicely with the yellow …

Sedums planted – 4 Hens and Chicks & 2 clumps of flowering Blue Spruce sedum.
Hens and Chicks (houseleeks) & flowering Blue Spruce sedum.

I like it! And it will look even nicer once both sedums start to flourish, mature, and spread out.

ALL DONE! And looking good.

Now I just have to figure out where to put the next 2 repurposed lantern planters … and what to plant them with ;-)