Thursday, April 17, 2008

City Girl

I was grubby. I hadn't had a shower and I was stinky. So there was no way I could go.

I'd been working at cleaning the yard of leaves, trash, sticks, etc., taking frequent breaks since my knees still bother me. The groomer called to say Tandi was finished early, but was having a good time, so I wouldn't need to rush over to get her. Tandi needs all the socialization she can get, so I kept working awhile more and soon it was 2:45, later than I'd planned. Rather than jump in the shower, I just jumped in the truck, pink garden shoes, straggly hair, dirty clothes and all. The groomers didn't care--they'd been dealing with dirty dogs all day.

On the way back, Tandi trying to climb into my armpit, I heard a guy on the radio interviewing some guy from The Grand Re-Opening of The Tailgate Market. In my little town. I didn't even know there was one, but the guy said he had prawns. Prawns?! My husband LOVES prawns! I don't ever remember having any myself, but I am the original shrimpaholic, and ginormous shrimp HAS to be better than regular!

When I was pregnant with DD, my dad used to take me over to Catfish Cabin in Birmingham. On Mondays they had All the Boiled Shrimp You Can Eat. Tuesdays were All the Froglegs You Can Eat, don't remember Wed. Thursday was All the Fried Shrimp You Can Eat, and Fridays they provided you with All the Catfish You Can Eat. I know they hated to see my dad coming. My dad could put away all of the above and I was my dad's daughter when it came to shrimp. On Mondays we would peel and eat and peel and eat and call for another plate and peel and eat. On Thursdays, we would just eat. We could not be distracted by the plates of hush puppies and bowls of cole slaw. We were on a mission. Did I mention they went out of business long ago?

I SO love shrimp! Remember in Forrest Gump, when Bubba is explaining all the things you can do to shrimp? Bubba: "Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it."

Well, not exactly; he forgot shrimp scampi. And shrimp and grits, which I'd never had before moving here. Omigosh, that stuff is wonderful!

Sorry. I was momentarily distracted. The radio. So I listened a little more closely to the announcer; the tailgate market is open every Thurs. from 3-6pm from now til October. It was 3:15. I was a good 20 minutes away from home, 25 minutes away from the tailgate market and I was grubby. What to do?

I opted for home. J-Man barely got "hi" out of his mouth before I was telling him the prawn story. "I know how much you love them," I said. Psychology. "They are really advertising on the "Q". I don't know how much longer the prawns will be there."

"How much are they? Where did they come from? How big are they? What time do they close?" He can be maddeningly DENSE sometimes. "Come on, let's go on down there."


"Look at me," I told him. "I can't go like this and it's almost 4:00. You go. Get however many you want. I'll put the chicken back in the fridge and we'll have shrimp instead."

It took three times for him to understand the directions, but he went--and came back with six pounds of prawns. SIX pounds! Right now the shrimp are coming from Florida, but later they will come from up the coastline. J-Man said the place smelled like a wharf, the shrimp were so fresh. He was about the 7th person in line, but he came home with 6 pounds. "Oh, yeah," he said. "The guy beheaded and deveined them for us."

Beheaded? Deveining I knew--I usually had to do a little of that with boiled shrimp at restaurants. But beheading? They have heads?
I opened the plastic bag. HOLY COW!

Do you see the SIZE of those things?

Dang! They looked really real! I mean, they didn't look like the little pink shrimp I usually peel and eat. Thank goodness J-Man had the guy behead them. I would hate to go shrimpless the rest of my life. Never mind the waste of good Prawns tonight.

Got out the Zaterain's--enough to cook 4 pounds of shrimp, it said.

Well, we were eating about 1 1/4 pounds, but there was no way to divide the bag of seasonings. I put on my gloves (no WAY I was touching those big gray things with blue-green tails and long antennae with my bare hands--are you nuts?) washed the shrimp, put the remainder in bags in the freezer, and cooked 14 prawns in enough seasoning for 4 times that many. Oh, well.

Noowww, they looked like the pink, curled up shrimp I usually eat--only bigger, of course.

Add brown rice, (frozen french fries for hubby), a big tossed salad and cocktail sauce. Aahhhhh.

I still haven't had a shower. I'm sporting blue slippers instead of pink garden clogs, and I'm sunburned.

But oh, so content....

And there are 4 more pounds in the freezer.


Mommy Brain said...

Oh MY! Those are some BIG shrimp. They look delicious. I've never been brave enough to cook my own shrimp.

Jacquie said...

That's not even fair showing those scrumptious shrimp to those of us landlocked prairie dwellers...I would do just about anything for fresh seafood...YUM!

Libby said...

Oh man - when we lived in NC, we had a friend that used to pull for shrimp in the river. He always gave us the best deal - how I miss those days of having a freezer full of shrimp. *yum*

Cookie..... said... I know better. I won't be stopping over here again BEFORE dinner. That's ALL I can think of now....shrimp, shrimp and more shrimp. Ah Ha...I think I know what I'n preparing for din-din tomorrow night.....

Pinky said...

Dang! I've never seen shrimp that big before! Mmmm, I like mine fried. Hhheeehehehe, I thought I was the only one who had to sport latex gloves while handling raw fish / meat! Must be a medic thingy.

MightyMom said...

no medic issues here! I'll behead em clean em devein em peel em boil em eat em!! I can think of at least 5 more ways to eat shrimp that AREN'T on Bubba's list too!! mmmmm mmmmm now. Talk About Good!!! hooo baby!

only thing I loves mo than shrimps is crawfish!! oh yeah!!!.....

suck the head of the mudbugs!! uh huh!!

I'm huuuuungry now!