I am always looking for new holiday meals, but I am afraid this one is beyond me for President’s Day. I just don’t have a big enough pan. But one of our co-workers, Maria Milligan, does. She keeps her own blog site called Mountain Man Living. Because we share so many common interests, occasionally I have to dig into her posts—she is probably the best writer I have ever known and a great cook too.

A couple of years ago she got this enormous Paella pan and had to try it out. But, this was a pan beyond belief. Apparently the pan is part of the presentation of this meal, but I am sure a 5-gallon Dutch Oven could handle it (believe it or not, I found one online today). With all the food in it, you would need a crane to move more than its 100 lbs.

PaellaPaella is a Spanish dish prepared by simmering together chicken, seafood, rice,vegetables, and saffron and other seasonings. It usually is for a large banquet or huge family gathering; just look at her production above. 

Of it, Maria wrote:

If you ever need to feed (and impress) a lot of people in a remote location, consider paella. It sounds like a fancy foreign dish (because it is), but it is also easy to make, delicious, and can feed a crowd.

CampfireOur campfire paella happened when [her husband] Gordon’s cousin gave us a three foot paella pan for Christmas (she thought it was funny, and figured it would be fun at the cabin). As soon as we had a long weekend, we took it up into the wilderness to try it out.

What made this whole experience more exciting was that it was actually our first time ever making paella. Nothing says first attempt like making enough food to feed dozens of people.IMG_20151003_160757917

Our recipe wasn’t exact. We built up a healthy fire and let it burn down to make plenty of coals. We heated some oil and fried several onions, then poured most of a ten-pound bag of rice on top and toasted it a little [most Paella recipes call for burning the rice, so Scouts will be great with this recipe].


We poured in water and chicken broth to cover and then giggled as we dumped in cans of tomatoes, tablespoons of spices and pounds of chicken quarters and sausage and covered the pan with tinfoil The whole thing was just big enough to be hilarious the whole time.

Once the rice was mostly cooked we added seafood, peas, and some more spices. When the mussels and clams opened up we ate, laughed, and ate some more.

We may never make that much paella again (barring a huge party at the cabin), but I’m sure we’ll find more uses for that pan.

There are many versions of this recipe online but I like this Traditional Paella.

At the Voice of Scouting, we are all anxious to hear how you adapted this recipe and how big of a Dutch Oven you used.



Darryl Alder
Darryl is a retired career Scouter with more than 30 years of service. However, his pride in Scouting, is his volunteer service as an Associate Advisor, Varsity Scout Coach, Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, Chartered Organization Representative and Commissioner.


  1. Avatar
    Jarom Shaver says:

    Love paella. When I got called to serve in Spain, everyone told me about paella and how good it was. I was not disappointed when I had my first paella. Awesome dish.

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