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January 20, 2013


The name “Paella” comes from the container where it is cooked, a flat pan made of  stainless iron and equipped with two handles.

Traditionally, paella should be cooked outdoors and if possible with orange wood, which in Valencia is relatively easy to find. The firing of orange wood, apart from giving some special flavour to the Paella, provides a constant fire.

INGREDIENTS (for four)

• 500 gr. round rice (about 125 gr. per person).

• 800 gr. chopped chicken which usually include the breasts and liver.

• 600 gr. chopped rabbit.

• 250 gr. of flat green beans.

• 200 gr. of ‘garrofón’. A variety of white large flat beans, typical of Valencia. If garrofón is not fresh add only 100 gr. and you must leave it soak for about twelve hours before.

• 100 gr. of fresh chopped tomato, which is roughly equivalent to two medium sized tomatoes.

• 150 cc. of olive oil.

• Saffron strands or  food coloring, but this last one won’t be the same, of course.

• A teaspoon of sweet paprika.

• Salt

• Rosemery

• Water


The first thing is to level the pan so that rice be evenly distributed and boil all alike. To do this, simply pour cold oil and it should be perfectly centred in the pan.

Once levelled, lit the fire and wait until the oil is hot to start frying the meat. To do this, sprinkle salt on the oil so as  to avoid burning the pan and this way you have already salted the meat.

Once the oil is hot, add the chicken (and rabbit if you have chosen both of them) and  turn them so that all parts are fried.

Generally, larger pieces are left inside the pan, removing the smaller ones to the outside of it to prevent burning.
It is very important to brown the meat well, on very low heat so that everything is well fried. Therein lies the secret of a good paella!

When the meat is well browned, separate the pieces of meat to the edges, where it has lower intensity fire, and fry the flat green beans. Like meat, vegetables should be well fried but not burned, turn them constantly.

When the beans are done, it’s time to add the chopped tomato proceeding in the same way: separate the vegetables to the edges and fry the tomato preventing it from burning. When the tomatoes have released all the water it is well fried.

Once all the  ingredients above are well done, mix all of them and let them fry for 4-5 minutes together. The meat should be nicely browned and the vegetables and tomatoes sauteed well.

Now add the sweet paprika powder and stir quickly to avoid burning.

This is the time to add water to our paella. As reference, we use two cups of water for each cup of rice. That should cover all the container (see next photo) almost completely

As the amount of oil and rice, water measurement is indicative and experience will be your best ally.
Now add the saffron (or food coloring) and garrofón and test the broth salt, adding more salt if necessary. Importantly, the salt in the broth should be tested just before adding the rice and it must be rather salty, because the rice tends to make it bland.

When the broth starts to boil, we will leave it  boil for 5 minutes over high heat. Then cook for 20 minutes with low heat. If the level of water decreases, add some more.

Then, increase the level of the fire and add the rice evenly spread across the pan.
Leave it for 5 minutes over high heat, 10 minutes on low heat. In total, the rice is cooked between 15 minutes. Never exceed this time, but leave a little bit broth aside in case you need it. The rice should be dry and whole grain.
Never add water once the rice has been thrown to the pan.

NOTE: Experts don’t measure the amount of rice but make cross-shaped mounds that protrude a finger from the paella , as shown in the photo!

When almost all the broth has been absorbed, put the sprigs of rosemary on the top of the rice, and remember to retire them before eating.

In Valencia it is customary for people to rest after lunch. Well, we do the same with paella. We leave it “rest” for a few minutes before serving. That usually suits it well, especially if rice has been left a little hard because it helps the rice finish cooking and complete absorption of broth that might still remain.
And if you want to be totally faithful to tradition, eat the paella directly from the pan and if possible with a wooden spoon.

Enjoy your meal!

Valencian cuts in Education. Recortes en educación en la comunidad valenciana

January 22, 2012

Dear students and visitors

Queridos alumnos y visitantes

It is with great sorrow that I inform you that  THIS BLOG WILL BE TEMPORARILY INACTIVE as a way of protest against the attack Valencian public institutions,  especially Health and Education are under.

Lamento comunicaros que a partir de ahora ESTE BLOG PERMANECERÁ TEMPORALMENTE INACTIVO como medida de protesta contra al ataque a los servicios públicos de la comunidad valenciana, especialmente a la sanidad y la educación.

Valencian Government have announced new cuts in spending on the public sector which seriously affect Education.  It goes beyond dramatically cutting down teacher’s salaries (in my case nearly 20% less). For example, did you know that at our school we cannot pay for the electricity bill nor can we spend any more money on any kind of resources?.

I know we all have to tighten our belts when there is a crisis. But this is a scam. We are mired in various political corruption scandals, the region has been left cash-strapped and with hulking debts.

Who has led us to be the most indebted Spanish region? Will they pay for their negligence?

If you want to read more

We want Education, not corruption

Public sector financial crisis pushes schools to the brink of closure

Valencia in drive to cut Formula 1 costs

Spanish politician’s 24-metre sculpture prompts accusations of megalomania

El desprestigio político al funcionariado

Miles de ciudadanos se manifiestan por la enseñanza pública

Más asesores que diputados


Victoria and Egenia’s radio programme

January 6, 2012


Vodpod videos no longer available.

Our radio programme. Laura’s tips for Christmas

December 21, 2011
Vodpod videos no longer available.


December 20, 2011

It seems that the “autumn”? is coming, after several months “suffering” weird weather, and deciding in front of our wardrobe what kind of clothes we should put on.

Apparently, the simple action of choosing outfits is an insignificant detail, but behind this daily routine, there is a hidden and alarming situation which has been denounced by enviromentalists and scientics for a long time: Earth is being strongly damaged.

Nowadays, Earth is in rebelion against human race and a good proof of this  is what has happened around the world in the last months: Earthaques, Volcanic eruptions, drought and snowstorms. In fact, the frequency of natural disasters has increased by 42% since the 1980’s.

According to climate experts, Global warming is likely to spawn more weather extremes, and a new report from The United Nations also confirms that the weather will get more drastic as greenhouse gasses continue to be  pumped into the air by burning fossil fuels such as oil and coal. In spite of this state of affairs, what kind of measures are the governments adopting in order to brake this risky situation?. Only “Expectations” up to now. in other words , Environmental Summits mean well, but without reaching convincing and conclusive agreements.

On the other hand, although International meetings have not achieved real proposals to enhance the enviromental conditions, it is fair to point out that several plans which have been taken by Governments, such as leading people to not use plastic bags (at least for free),  not to waste water, recycling or using public transport. They are slowly contributing to changing consumer behaviour and reducing the Environmental impact. Nevertheless, these public awareness campaigns and stratagems have not been enough to slow down the ecological hazardous problem for Earth, and consequently , for the Humanity as well.

To sum up, it is necessary that the Governments try a different and comprehensive approach to the environmental degradation and they have to takle the problem from a realistic and altruistic point of view, that is to say, to get to beneficial decisions, not thinking only about economics profits, but also reasonable humanitarian solutions.

For all of that, personally, I prefer to continue enjoying the “Four Seasons” in this part of the world, instead of  having a “Tropical” December.

Merry “cold” Christmas for all of you!



December 20, 2011

The word citizen is directly linked to the idea of ​​city, where  we all live as a society.  Being a citizen means to be subject to rights including: political (access to political participation, elect representatives, freely express M15, etc), social (access to certain social services) or legal (equality ithout distinction of race or class).

Most dog owners are people who love them and assume the responsibilities they  involve  as our classmate said in his post  “feeding them, taking them out for a walk or going to the vet when they’re sick”, apart from those kind of duties and of the one of not abandoning them, there is one that shows respect for the animals but also proves citizenship,  and being a citizen means to be subject to   rights and duties.
To be responsible   should be one among the caracteristics of being a good citizen.However, people can be responsible and   not be a good citizen, it sounds like the famous phrase  “to be or not to be” , nevertheless  you can understand it  when they leave their dog’s dung all around they  ARE  irresponsible and bad citizens.  I mean  their obligations with other citizens have to be first, even though they seem to be insignificant.

It is said when you step on a dog’s dung you should not complain about it because it should bring you good luck. However, I do not agree and I suppose neither do you, what you get is great annoyance.


December 18, 2011


This is the novel we’ve decided to read this Christmas:

Sarah Waters, THe Night Watch. Hope you enjoy reading it.


Have you remembered to give your opinion about the best films of this century? Check English Culture at EOI VLC in FACEBOOK.

Lydia and Esther’s radio programme

December 18, 2011
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Hortensia’s childhood

December 16, 2011
Vodpod videos no longer available.

If your life were a book, and you were the author…

December 15, 2011

Amy Purdy

Sometimes, circumstances in our life dramatically change and all our plans are broken in a few seconds. That’s what happened to Amy Purdy when she went into coma and was diagnosed with meningitis, with only 2 % chance of living, at the age of nineteen. Since she was a little girl, she always dreamed of being free but then she lost her two kidneys, the hearing in one ear and her two legs from her knees as a consequence of her illness.  After the healing period at hospital, she felt desolated because she thought she was never going to travel around the world as she had always wanted.

Afterwards, she got depressed and stayed in bed for some months. However, she realised that she needed to reinvent herself and broke with the old Amy… At that moment she asked herself: If my life were a book and I were the author, How would I want the story to go? And with the power of her imagination she made a pair of artificial legs in which she won two World Gold Medals snowboarding.

Amy’s story is full of emotion and it’s a very huge overcoming lesson  in which we can learn how we can achieve whatever we want. There are no obstacles if we use our creativity.

I hope you enjoy her lecture, as I have… It’s really inspiring… And if you want to know more about Amy’s biography, visit her website:

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