Simple Shrimp Boil

Old Bay mug

Most shrimp boil recipes include corn and potatoes (and sometimes sausage), plus they make enough to feed an army. But, I was cooking for one (that’d be me) and I just wanted the “flavor.” The simpler, the better.

Recently I acquired this Old Bay mug (don’t ya love finds like that?) and I knew all I wanted to fill it with were shrimp and rice. (I’ll save the corn and potatoes for company dinner.)

In the time it took to cook the rice, the shrimp were prepped, simmered, and done — nothin’ else to do except spoon a dollop of each into my mug and eat!

Simple Shrimp Boil

(adapted from recipe #262 in 365 Ways to Cook Fish & Seafood by Charles Pierce… and Old Bay, of course)

3 sprigs fresh parsley (save some for garnish)

2 bay leaves

2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half

2 strips lemon peel

1/2 tsp. black peppercorns

1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning

1 cup water

1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)

1/2 tsp. salt

1 lb. large shrimp in the shell, deveined with tails intact

1 cup cooked jasmine rice (prepared per package directions)

1-2 green onions, including tops, thinly sliced

Place parsley, bay leaves, garlic, lemon peel, peppercorns, and Old Bay seasoning in a piece of cheesecloth (hint: I used a coffee filter) and tie with kitchen twine.

Bring water, wine, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add seasoning “bag”; reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 to 10 minutes.

Add shrimp; cook until pink and just beginning to “bend.” (Beware of cooking them until they curl into an “O” — it stands for overdone!) Drain well and discard seasoning bag.

Serve shrimp atop cooked rice. Garnish with green onions and parsley. Feel free to add a salad or steamed veggies and warm French bread for a complete meal.

Old Bay seasoning

FYI, I peeled the shrimp before serving and shared half with my hubby. (They made a flavorful shrimp fettuccine Alfredo, but he ate the evidence!)

‘Twas the least I could do after he constructed this to make my life easier.

Simplicity reigns at the lake. Ahhhhh…

Ramp.JPG

Enjoying shortcuts to happiness,

~ Kim

Sailing, Sailing, and a Boating Accident

Sailboats

In my lifetime, I’ve paddled, rowed, trolled, pontooned, canoed, and boated, but I’ve never gone sailing.  It looks so serene.  (Or maybe I don’t have a clue and it’s really hard work, but the idea still appeals to me.)  Wind-driven bliss…

Sailboat

These shots were taken on an outing with my son (when I was in Minnesota), including a stop at Slippery’s Tavern (in Wabasha), featured in the movies “Grumpy Old Men” and “Grumpier Old Men.”  Yup, there really is such a place.

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Apparently the local Hot Rod Association was having an outing, too.  This one was my favorite… :)

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Hot Rods

Although the “new” Slippery’s doesn’t resemble the one in the movies, it was still fun to sit on their waterfront veranda and watch the boats go by.

Slipperys Tavern veranda

Which reminds me… whatever means you use for water fun, please be safe!  You don’t want to end up at the bottom of the lake like I did.  (Say what?!)

When The Man Of Few Words & I first moved here, we were anxious to launch our newly-acquired (albeit ancient) boat for our first-ever outing on Lake Eufaula.  Bear in mind, this lake is huge, it’s rife with obstacles (rocks, trees, etc.), and it’s 600 feet deep in some points.

After a delightful day on the water, Russ & I headed for home — not fast, mind you (we had a teeny, tiny Evinrude) — but, we weren’t wearing life jackets, being experienced sea dogs and all.

Did we have them on board?  Yes.  On?  No…

Along came a wake from a cabin cruiser farther down the lake, slowly and insidiously as “Jaws.”  Bam!  One minute I was hugging my hubby and the next, I was under water.  Besides the shock of realizing I wasn’t in the boat, there was disorientation to deal with…  “Which way is up?!”

Thankfully, I remembered the Jacques Cousteau shows I watched as a kid (funny, the things that enter your mind when you’re drowning) and did what his divers did.  Follow the bubbles.

The force from the swell and the physics involved swatted me out of the boat like a ping pong ball and catapulted me twenty feet under.  (I know this because after I stopped spinning, it took 4 or 5 strong lunges to reach the surface.)

Then I waited for Russ to come and get me.  Only he didn’t.

Unbeknownst to me, the steering cable snapped and the throttle broke off in his hand.  There he sat, hundreds of yards away, while I was treading water in the middle of a very large lake.  (Which, I can attest, is nothing like treading water in a pool.)

After shouting and waving frantically at him to throw me the “floatie” — (the floating seat cushion) (which he did, but it was still a long way off) — I started swimming toward the boat, aware that I was also smack dab in the middle of a “water traffic lane.”  Without a colorful, buoyant flotation device to alert folks to my presence, I was basically a sitting duck.

I swam faster.

By now, I was getting tired, so I flipped over and back-stroked in the direction of my beloved, now a hundred yards off.  Incredibly, I bumped into the “floatie” on the way there with my eyes closed (!) and grabbed it like it was manna from heaven.  (To me, it was.)

When I finally reached the boat, Russ hauled me over the side and we quickly resolved “why he didn’t come and get me.”  (Never assume…)  Then, as we stared incredulously at each other wondering “what just happened?!”, the pain from my injuries and hypothermia started to kick in.

Prior to that, I didn’t realize I’d hit the side of the boat when I was pitched out; my entire left side was bruised and my ankle was swollen and throbbing.  The sun was also beginning to set and the temp was dropping rapidly.

Following a long, slow trip back to the boat landing (several miles away) with me shivering uncontrollably in a damp beach towel (which I had to share with the broken throttle handle to keep from cutting my hand) and Russ maneuvering the motor with his legs (it was the only way he could steer), we finally made it back to shore.

Moral of the story:  Wear your life jacket!  Old sea dogs can (and did) learn new tricks.  We will never go out on the water without wearing our life jackets — ever again.

Which brings me back to sailing…

Have you tried it?

This is as close as I’ve come:

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FYI, I’m on hiatus ’til the 8th, so Happy 4th of July a lil’ early!

Also, be sure to enter my giveaway if you haven’t already.

And most importantly — be safe!  It’s much less painful than being sorry.

Enjoying the prospect of wind-driven bliss with a life jacket,

~ Kim

Waiting For The Rain

The lake is so low these days, there’s a forest of driftwood trees jutting up beyond the shoreline like wooden soldiers, standing at attention, waiting for the rain to deliver some much needed relief.

Once the lake rises again, they’ll be submerged — present, but lurking under the surface.  So it is with my resolve.

Lately, every time I make a measurable advance in one of my pursuits, a drought of mind and spirit follows, seemingly sucking it dry.  I wonder if the lake is aware of this constant emptying and refilling; I know I am.

The lesson I’ve learned is to pay attention.  Previously, I thought that meant paying more attention to my pursuits.  Putting in the extra effort.  Moving forward at all costs.  Sacrificing sleep to stick with it.

Finishing what I started, and all that.

But after experiencing the gnawing fatigue of being “on duty” twenty-four hours a day while I was caring for my father, I’ve come to know that ebb and flow are good things — inevitable things.  My cup isn’t going to run over just because I think it should.

It’s okay to be tired.  As long as I take time to rest.

It’s okay to be motivated.  As long as I recognize my limits.

It’s okay to push forward.  As long as I honor my needs.

It’s okay to set aside dreams.  As long as I pursue them later.

Now I’m paying attention to the lake, observing its ebb and flow.  And like the weary wooden soldiers at the front, I, too, am waiting for the rain.

Enjoying a moment of introspection,

~ Kim

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Water, Water Everywhere, and Not A Drop To Drink

I took these photos during the Oklahoma drought of 2010.

It’s happening again.

With temperatures climbing to near 100° F, I’ve watched the lake get lower (and lower) by the day.  It’s scary.

(I’m not an activist, nor a fanatic, but it concerns me.)

Last year, one of my friends published a post that I can’t get out of my mind.  (http://www.wasslaweekly.com/2011/10/one-drop-of-water/#respond)

I hope you’ll read Nasrine’s excellent suggestions.  (And watch the video… a mere 15 minutes of your future.)

Causes come and causes go, but this one’s personal.

Each one of us is responsible for the water we consume — or waste.

I’m especially conscious of it as a food blogger… water to wash, boil, simmer, do dishes.  Drink.

All it takes is one person — ONE drop — to make a difference.

What will you do to make an impact on the world’s water supply?

Your water supply?

Please choose to make a difference.

Enjoying a glass of water,

~ Kim

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Friendship Renewed (Rhapsody In Blue IV)

It’s been awhile since Old Boy and I spent a morning together.

Friendships are like that sometimes, advancing and receding like waves along the shore.

Thankfully, good friends understand and good friendships withstand undulation.

When I heard Old Boy’s familiar aaawwwkkk sounding low across the water, I grabbed my camera and headed for the bluff.

He settled onto a branch and I settled onto a boulder.

We eyed each other tentatively.

Then, as good friends do… we picked up where we left off.

Comfortable in each other’s presence…

Happy to be ourselves.

“Birds of a feather flock together.” ~ Aristotle

Friendship renewed is a sweet thing indeed.

Enjoying the prospect of reconnecting with you in the coming weeks,

~ Kim

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Treats & Treasures II

Let it be known for the record that I am not a shopper.

Or at least not your typical shopper…

(Unless you count going to the grocery store amongst your greatest thrills.)

But, every once in a while, a girl’s gotta shop… in which case, I head for the Flea Market.

And then… I come home with my “treasures.”

“You got what?” is the typical response from The Man Of Few Words, accompanied by a grin. :)

(He’s grown accustomed to my avante-garde acquisitions…)

Meet my new paper weight...

Inevitably, they’re linked to…

Water.

Which brings me to these babies — $3.00 for a set of six!

(Believe me, I count my blessings.)

Which leads me to an ongoing debate…

which I’d like to settle, once and for all.

Is the glass half-empty or half-full?

Look again, people… it’s overflowing.

(Even when it’s empty.)

Enjoying the inevitable,

~ Kim

Rhapsody In Blue III

This afternoon as I hung out the laundry, a thought occurred to me.  Most days are an accumulation of ordinary moments.

Then I looked up at the old tree across our back yard.  At first glance, it was just a silhouette against an azure sky.

But upon closer inspection, I noticed something wonderful.

The difference between mundane and memorable is love.

Enjoying the magic of ordinary moments,

~ Kim