we took a trip to spain with miles davis tonight

okay, so we didn't really go to spain. but in my heart, i badly needed to get away. and tonight was just the escape i was looking for.

remember me talking lately about the film we'd been watching on jazz? well, the portion that covered the career and work of miles davis mentioned that there are three must-have recordings that anyone interested in in davis's music should add to their library. miles ahead, porgy and bess and sketches of spain—all collaborations of davis's playing and the arrangements of gil evans.

well, being that we are big lovers of jazz and really appreciate groovy album covers, we had to get sketches of spain after hearing a snippet of the album and after seeing the cover art. we looked for it yesterday at the used record shop. they did not have it, so the search will continue. but we were still itching to hear the music of this cool cat. {i knew he was a great musician, but until the film, i did not know just how cool this guy was.}

anyway, we bought the cd at borders today. while in the store, i said, "oh, how fun would it be to have and/or make some spanish food while we listen to the cd tonight?" so after our purchase, we went next door to world market for some spanish fare. not only do they have a fabulous international wine selection, but they have several interesting food products from all over the world—as you may have guessed by the name of the store.

we found four spanish wines, one of which was sangria. {i do like a glass of sangria, and i often get one when i go out for tapas with family or friends.} i got the sangria and some other white spanish wine. b. got two spanish reds for himself. we also found a box of ingredients to make paella--a spanish rice dish. i had never made it, but we knew we liked it, because my mother-in-law made it when we last went to florida to visit b.'s parents.

i thought of getting a bottle of spanish olive oil to pour in a dish and sprinkle salt on for dipping bread into as an appetizer. but you know how expensive olive oil is. so i grabbed a container of spanish green olives instead. these were for the paella, too, but only my half. b. won't go near olives. {poor guy—he just doesn't know what he's missing.}

now all we needed was some fresh ingredients to add to the rice mix—this is the part where i was just wingin' it. so we went to the grocer to buy red, green and yellow pepper and some mini shrimp. oh, we threw in some red onion, too. i did not need to buy cilantro. i had plenty of that in my herb garden at home. but we still had no appetizer to have while we drank wine. cheese! spanish cheese! i don't even know what kind, but it was spanish and it was tasty! we nibbled away at that little block until it was gone.

wine and cheese actually went with christopher parkening's classical spanish guitar recordings--as did the paella preparation. but when the meal was done cooking, that was miles davis's cue to start blowing his horn. wow! was that paella delicious and was that recording all it was cracked up to be!

we ate in the cozy living room on the floor at the coffee table. this 60s-designed and furnished room of our house was the perfect setting for a spanish meal with the relaxing jazz from the 1960 release of sketches of spain. a little stay-cation much needed for my state of mind. i took the opportunity to get lost in the music and flavors of spain.

here is the paella. i can't say enough how tasty this turned out to be. i included the recipe below my cooking photos, just in case you would like to try it too.

paella recipe
  • one box of vigo yellow rice/paella seasoned seafood dinner from world market
  • one half of each of one green pepper, yellow pepper and red pepper {cut in pieces}
  • one bag of frozen or fresh shrimp {not jumbo size shrimp}
  • one small red onion {chopped}
  • fresh cilanto
  • spanish green olives stuffed with anchovies {cut in pieces}

follow the instructions on the box. after getting to the step where you are supposed to simmer for 20-25 minutes, add the peppers, shrimp, onion and cilantro to allow those ingredients to cook with the rice. then, just before serving, add olive pieces.

happy travels!


apriliniowa said...

That is a fabulous CD and you're night reads perfect. You can't go wrong with a glass of red wine and Davis. & I might have to try this recipe.
p.s. your glass tea light holder is so so pretty. it looks like a hens and chick plant made out of glass. or an artichoke unfurling. tres pretty.

~Hurricane B~ said...

I am glad you got a break, even if it was just by staying in. Sometimes that is the best kind and making something you never have before with your best friend and love is the greatest.

i really love that first photo you posted above the post, it has a 1960;s look to it with the faded look a bit.

Steve Gravano said...

Excellent post. What a great way to unwind, great food, red wine and Miles!

Char said...

gorgeous shots and i love how you made the evening an adventure!!! how romantic and that looks so delish

simply blogged said...

That looks so good. I love a good spicy dish.

Lady P. Umbrella said...

what camera did you use to take the first pic? i love it's vintsge look. your a great photographer. i hope i'm as good as you one day...