Time for Paella!
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I’m a big fan of watching videos that use the “time-lapse” feature.  I think it’s so cool to see, for example, the US Bank Stadium being built in only a few minutes even though, once they broke ground,  it took over 2.5 years to build.  Viewers would be bored to death if they watched 2.5 years of video footage.  However,  condense it to 2.5 minutes and it’s a guarantee for many view “Likes” on social media.  Imagine the thousands of details that were edited out because everything could not possibly fit in 2.5 minutes. 

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, is another example of when using the “time-lapse” feature is cool.  The interviews of Phelps showing video footage on how he transforms from a young swimmer in Baltimore, MD to a beast of a swimmer competing in the Olympics five times are always inspiring. Phelps’ Olympic career began in 2000 and ended in 2016 (is he really retired?).   Thanks to the time-lapse feature, we can see a very quick version of the races from his early years to major wins from races in all five Olympics.  

Ok, so here’s what I don’t like about the time-lapse feature. WE DON’T SEE ALL THE WORK THAT GOES INTO THE MAKING!  The videos on US Bank Stadium, by using the time-lapse feature, conveniently spares viewers from having to watch 3,497,834  labor hours by trade* and skips the details involved in making a safe, unique and vast venue. As in the case of Michael Phelps, we don’t see videos showing the thousands of hours in the water, early morning wake ups, car rides to the pool and all the food prep it takes to keep an athlete in top shape. Even though these are KEY FACTORS to Phelps’ successful swimming career, producers know that watching all of that video footage would be too much for any viewer to watch.

By now you want to know what all of this has to do with paella.  At first, I thought I should gripe about how our society wants everything done fast and not willing to put in the work. I thought about bringing up our nation’s instant gratification issues and why using time-lapse videos are probably one of the culprits. But instead, my thoughtful pinch for you today is a post about a dish that originated in Valencia, Spain - paella. You’re welcome.

When I found out that National Paella Day was on March 27th, my mouth began to water.  I thought about how fortunate I am to have access to a paella booth at our local farmers market.  And even better news for me! That same paella booth is now also a brick and mortar restaurant! 

Twin Cities Paella  , the booth I discovered at the Linden Hills Farmer’s Market, catered my 49th bday! Now they have a restaurant called  Guavas Cuban Cafe . I’m so happy for them and wish them all the luck! Photo credit: Bethany Meister: Photographer

Twin Cities Paella , the booth I discovered at the Linden Hills Farmer’s Market, catered my 49th bday! Now they have a restaurant called Guavas Cuban Cafe. I’m so happy for them and wish them all the luck! Photo credit: Bethany Meister: Photographer

Paella consists of rice, saffron, chicken, seafood, sausage and so much more.  This rice dish is considered everything from a “meal in one pot”, a “trifecta breakfast, lunch and/or dinner spread”, a “useful way to use all the leftovers” as well as a “myriad collection of flavors”.  In other words, this dish rocks!  If you haven’t tried it, please do.  If you are not fortunate enough to have a place to get some and want to slow things down, try making paella.  Click Saveur for “The Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Perfect Paella”.  I chose this recipe because I wanted to drive home the fact that there are many, many, many steps in creating this masterpiece of a dish: 1. Get a special pan 2. Acquire the proper saffron 3. Brown the protein 4. Add veggies 5. Add aromatics 6. Add tomato 7. Add cooking liquid 8. Start to simmer 9. Add rice 10. Leave alone 11. Cook until dry (but not too dry) and 12. Let it rest. All of the steps are simple, but there are many.  To get some view “Likes” on a video showing the process of making paella, you would definitely have to use the time-lapse video feature in order to fit start to finish into a 2 minute video. Trust me, paella would not taste amazing if you made it in 2 minutes.  

They started cooking about 1.5 hours prior to the start of my party. Photo Credit: Bethany Meister: Photographer

They started cooking about 1.5 hours prior to the start of my party. Photo Credit: Bethany Meister: Photographer

Then it was ready to scoop out and serve to the hungry guests. Photo Credit: Bethany Meister: Photographer

Then it was ready to scoop out and serve to the hungry guests. Photo Credit: Bethany Meister: Photographer

Here is the veggie paella version made off-site to prevent cross contamination for those with seafood allergies. Photo credit: Bethany Meister: Photographer

Here is the veggie paella version made off-site to prevent cross contamination for those with seafood allergies. Photo credit: Bethany Meister: Photographer

Waiting patiently in line for paella dinner. Photo Credit: Bethany Meister: Photographer

Waiting patiently in line for paella dinner. Photo Credit: Bethany Meister: Photographer

My picky eater and my foodie both agree on paella. Hurray! Photo Credit: Bethany Meister: Photographer

My picky eater and my foodie both agree on paella. Hurray! Photo Credit: Bethany Meister: Photographer

Hey, I know it may be boring to learn every detail of what goes into building an NFL stadium and the most decorated Olympian.  However, all of those details are what make either possible. When we’re at the farmer’s market or a dinner party, watching the paella being made, we are getting the time-lapse version. Many details, steps and time that goes into making this wonderful dish are edited out.  Nevertheless, we taste every ounce of effort with each bite. Just like my other two examples, the pay off is beyond worth it. If you’re feeling thoughtful and you’re looking to pinch a buddy - get them some paella on #nationalpaelladay which is March 27th! 

Pinches,

Barb

*source is Star Tribune - By RAY GRUMNEY, EDDIE THOMAS, MARK BOSWELL AND JIM FOSTER, Star Tribune

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