man's work

There's an amazing shop near our parents' house in France, which sells everything you need for the home and, being France, a great deal more besides. In fact, quite alot I wouldn't allow in the same postcode as my home... Anyway, one rainy day in January, we went on a trip there to spend some happy time browsing the aisles of the weird and the wonderful (some aisles distinctly more weird than wonderful, but that's another story). The one thing that stuck in everyone's mind were the paella pans, ranging in size from a deux to catering. So this summer, having done a fair amount of experimentation with cooking on wood fires outside, dad found a large, old tin bath and proposed we cook a paella over a wood fire outside. Mum and I didn't take much (OK, any) persuading to pay another visit to the weird and wonderful shop, where we bought a big paella pan, more than half a metre across. Of course dad and the Working Man duly told us it wasn't big enough when we got home... A date was set, an excuse was seized to make a new long wooden table (dad of course) and on a beautiful Sunday when everyone was sure it would rain, men made fire and paella was cooked outside in the glorious sunshine. Man's work obviously, with dad as head chef, and the many, many cooks and stirrers did nothing to spoil this particular dish. It was served up in the shelter of the trees to lots of happy friends who were happily holidaying nearby, and after alot of cake to finish off, worked off with some very competitive, and slightly drunken badminton. Pretty much perfect, destined to become an annual family tradition, and there was even paella left over for lunch the next day... See? We told you that pan was big enough... C

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