I've been out of town for a long weekend, helping my hubby host a shrimp boil for some clients in the midwest.
We shipped 75 pounds of jumbo shrimp up to Milwaukee. That's 3 pots worth - large, outdoor pots that hold about 25 pounds of shrimp each, on propane burners.
I was the prep cook. (My husband is one lucky man!) That means I washed about 75 potatoes, peeled about 75 onions, washed 9 pounds of mushrooms, and washed and halved 4 bags of lemons. Besides all that, 1-2 bags of Louisiana Seafood crab boil seasoning, 2 dozen ears of frozen corn, and a pound of brats went into each pot. Let me tell you, cher, it was goo-oood! Mais, oui! Sixty midwesterners went home happy and full Saturday night.
Unfortunately, there were thunderstorms in the southeast yesterday. Apparently, something - probably lightening - got to one of my air conditioning units here at home. I didn't notice it last night, since I got in late and the unit in the bedroom wing is working. By 10 o'clock this morning, though, there was no question that the unit in the living area was kaput. It was 85 degrees outside here today - and 85 degress INSIDE, too! The repairman promised to be here tomorrow afternoon...
That's near disaster in south Louisiana any time except maybe January or February. But to make matters worse, for some insane reason I spent the day in the kitchen with both the oven, the indoor grill and the range going full blast...
It's called "productive procrastination." I have a lot of email to catch up on by virtue of being gone for 3 days, plus a couple of business projects that really need attention. I'm rebelling against doing any of that, so - in spite of the heat - I went INTO the kitchen.
First I grilled some eggplant, then stuffed it with a mixture of ricotta cheese seasoned with oregano and parmesan and topped with a mushroom and black olive tomato sauce. And a little whole wheat fettucine to put it all on. I got the idea from a restaurant I ate at last week, and mine was just as good even if I do say so myself.
Next, I made rosemary chicken with onion. With a nice side of rosemary potatoes to go with.
Finally, I made about 6 dozen homemade dolmas (stuffed grape leaves). This is only the second time I've tried these, and they were OK the first time, but I put a lot more allspice and mint this time and expect them to be even better. They are still simmering at 11 p.m. CDT. I'll serve them with a homemade cucumber and dill yogurt dip. Yummy!
Both my daughters are coming in Thursday night so I'm cooking up a storm to get ready for their visit. They have good jobs and active social lives and live far, far away. So having a visit is a major event. Having both visit at once is akin to a royal audience.
Somewhere along the way, when I wasn't looking, I got old. But I can still surprise everyone, including myself, with an inspired solution to a tech problem every now and then. And I can still cook an inspired dinner or two when I'm avoiding doing other things!
(I'll post recipes, if anyone is interested...)