Sorry for the late post today. A morning playdate and afternoon chores have turned my regular schedule on its head. No matter... its good to be upside-down every so often. Good for the circulation.
In answer to some of your easier questions...
How did you develop that beautiful wildflower meadow?
Sadly for you, (since it means I have no tried and true tips to give you) but gladly for us, we have done absolutely nothing other than a couple of mow jobs each year to maintain/develop our meadow. The flowers (Oxeye Daisies, Red Clover, and Catsear) are all invasive species originating in other countries, but are now wide-spread weeds in our area. Not that I'm complaining too much, since I adore that field, but I wonder what native flowers would be growing in our meadow if the intruders hadn't been introduced to American soil?
My best advice for developing your own meadow, based on reading I've done in the past, is to gather or purchase seed from native wildflowers to sow in the Fall or Spring. You could also have the soil tested to see if it is lacking in any vital nutrients and check with your local community college to see if they have an expert on local native plants; we've found that our community college is a great resource when it comes to valuable information for taking care of our bit of forest.
When do you expect to release "Baby, its Cold Outside"?
Beginning of September! I'm hoping to have an additional Christmas-y design ready to release at the same time, so stay tuned, and get those red and green threads ready!
Is cooking Paella over coals important?
And have you tweaked your recipe now that you've tried it a few times?
No... cooking the Paella over coals is only important if you're using a giant pan that is way too big to fit on your stove top. I purchased a pan specifically sized to fit on my round grill, because we wanted Paella night to be an event, rather than just regular old dinner cooked in the kitchen. There are a bajillion variations of traditional Paella, and plenty of recipes online that are specifically geared for smaller batch cooking in the kitchen.
The only tweaking I've done to the version posted here is the addition of Paprika, which is a perfect flavor compliment to the Saffron, in my opinion. I don't generally measure spices, but a generous sprinkling over the surface, when adding the salt and pepper seems to be just right.
The last time I prepared Paella was just a few weeks ago, and one of our dinner guests eats a Kosher diet, so I left the sausages out, and it was still fabulous. Wanna see?