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How I ended up eating approximately 9,000 shrimp. Damn oil spill.

May 3, 2010

Today I went to Kroger AND Sams. No, I still haven’t been banned from either. Still allowed at Target as well. (The only place I’ve actually ever been banned from was a heinous bar in Hsv called Rodeo’s. I went there when I was 20 with my sister and her then-boyfriend, Rodeo Bob. His name was neither Rodeo or Bob but I called him that because he wore a belt buckle so large I was convinced he had been rendered an eunuch by his shiny accessory. I got in trouble for underage drinking and was kicked out and banned. Really? You HAD to drink to go there.)

Kroger was relatively uneventful. Today all I did was back into the cart picker up boy and try to incite a riot amongst the employees. It was miserably hot and I told them they shouldn’t have to work in such unbearable conditions.

Bratchild had been reading the paper, trying to get more facts for the oil spill discussions happening at school (Seriously?) and after she told me about the gallons/barrels/whatnot, she said, “Mom. This is serious.” Which led to me wanting shrimp to eat for dinner.

First? Kroger hired a Cajun-type person to work in the seafood department and I could understand NOTHING he said. (This will be important later.) I told J that I had considered calling him in Germany to ask him to translate but decided that seemed excessive. (J is from Bay St. Louis and I never could understand a word his father said. Yet I still managed to dislike him. I should probably mention, lest you get confused, that his parents are alive-despite me only to referring to them in the past tense. It’s a coping mechanism.) J didn’t understand why I need a translator as he says I understand him just fine. “Yeah, clearly you don’t have an accent unless you’ve had some drinks and then it’s Irish-not Cajun and that’s hot,” I explained. (It’s true. And he often wears a kilt-he’s yummy.)

So I bought a pound and a half of shrimp and some seafood boiling seasoning stuff, after much pointing and gesturing with this American I couldn’t understand. He was either very nice or plotting to kill me-some days it’s hard to tell. I also think he was trying to sell me crab as he thinks the price will soon go up and they’ll be expensive. (Or he was asking if I HAVE crabs and what my price scale was-like I said, it’s hard to tell.)

Bratchild and I decided to have a mini stove top shrimp boil. I was pretty excited I had a large pot. According to the instructions I was supposed to add the seasoning stuff to lots of water and boil it. Which basically meant the kid and I stood there for a really long time trying to figure out what the weird wooshing noises were-it would seem water makes noises when you boil it-who knew? (To put this in perspective, when I was a child I set the kitchen floor on fire with a pop tart, was allergic to 99% of food for several years, can’t eat peanut butter/chocolate combos as it reminds me of the Reese’s Pieces in the nose childhood trauma and generally I go through about 3 packages of mac and cheese before I have enough left to eat since I can’t drain it without losing 3/4’s of it down the drain. I’m challenged in the culinary department. Boiling eggs is hard ya’ll.)

I swear to jeebus the instructions said to boil water/seasoning and then add seafood and boil it for 25 minutes. So I dumped all the shrimp in, shucked some corn and chopped up potatoes and tossed them in as well. And then I called J. After talking for awhile, he said he’d let us go eat dinner. When I told him it wasn’t ready yet, he was confused. I told him you had to boil everything for at least 25 minutes. You would think I killed someone.  (He was horrified when I made gumbo. It was from a mix-gasp! And I used Italian sausage instead of whatever you’re supposed to use. Hi? I’m a yankee. I say pop. We’re big on Italian sausage.)

“No, that’s WRONG,” J said. “You only boil the shrimp for a few minutes until they’re pink. You add the corn and potatoes first and the shrimp at the end.”

“Whoops, I did it backwards. Also? I thought the Cajun-man told me these shrimp were good for boiling but they say good for BROILING and grilling. I don’t even know what broiling is-I don’t think I’ve ever done that. Do we have equipment for that? I won’t use the grill. I haven’t used one since my lighter fluid/fire/paper towel lighting technique for the gas grill burned a bit of my sister’s eyebrows and arm hairs off.”

J said, “Yes. It’s called an oven.”

“Huh, who knew,” I said. “Well I don’t know why you’d put the corn in first. You’re only supposed to boil corn on the cob until it floats. That’s how you know it’s done and I don’t understand since it floated like the second I put it in the pot.”

I think he sighed. He was pretty much convinced we were going to starve in his absence. One day last week, bratchild and I had ice cream from Cold Stone and pretzels from Target for dinner. He took me to Sam’s before he left and wanted to know what I was going to eat while he was gone. I said we should probably stock up on pudding.

After all that, my cooking endeavor failed. I tweeted before starting this epic journey that this was going to go like everything else does for me-either wonderfully well or ending in fire. (Remember the pop tart and the kitchen floor from above? I STILL eat pop tarts straight from the package. The kid didn’t know until recently that you could eat them any other way.)

And I was right-it ended in fire. Not a REAL fire, don’t be so dramatic. Bratchild was convinced her mouth was on fire. So I made rice to counteract the hotness. And let me just say, long grain “white” rice with twice the fiber of brown rice? It’s not white. It’s tan. And sticky. And gross.

I ended up eating all the shrimp. With the situation in the gulf, I didn’t want to waste it. And bratchild? Let’s just say we supplemented my overly-hot/oddly cooked veggies and paste-like rice with peanut butter cookies and tootsie pops.

From now on, I think I’ll save the cooking steps and go straight to the ice cream/pudding/peanut butter food groups for our meals. It’s safer for everyone.

© Amy Lloyd Mayfield and Amy’s Blam, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amy Lloyd Mayfield and Amy’s Blam with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. May 3, 2010 9:30 PM

    Please don’t invite me over for dinner. I’ll have to turn you down. That is, unless your husband is home. (You are seriously funny/dangerous in the kitchen!)

    • amyblam permalink*
      May 6, 2010 8:32 PM

      I’m dangerous LOTS of places.

  2. Melissa J permalink
    May 4, 2010 6:47 AM

    WOW! you know better than to try cooking! you should have asked me over to do it for you. I might not eat shrimp but I can at least cook it. also, I was mentioned a couple times in that blog….I remember you getting kicked out of Rodeo’s I was so embarrassed! and I will still not go near you and an open flame out of fear of losing more hair!

    • amyblam permalink*
      May 6, 2010 8:33 PM

      I still feel a little bad about it.

  3. May 4, 2010 7:24 AM

    Hmmm. We should definitely never be in the kitchen together at the same time. We might cause the Apocalypse. But for the record, I think peanut butter cookies and tootsie pops make a damn fine dinner.

  4. May 4, 2010 7:43 AM

    Good to know that you can make such a sacrifice for the environment. Have you tried Dinner By Design, which is closer to Hobby Lobby than Target? Really good food & they’ll either help you make & take it yourself, or they already have yummy entrees, side dished & desert ready to go and with instruction I’d even trust my husband to follow. (And you are not the worst cook I’ve heard of. I actually dated a guy who ruined Cup-A-Soup and his roommate wouldn’t even trust him with a toaster & PLAIN bread!)

  5. May 4, 2010 2:03 PM

    I, too, am not the cook in our family. I CAN cook, I just don’t like it. I’d rather just eat it.

    But, last night I cooked and it was delicious, but it traumatized me to exert so much work and so it’ll probably be a long, long time before that happens again.

    Cooking sucks. It’s why God made Carrabba’s.

    I’m glad you ate the overcooked shrimp. Their oil-slicked friends will thank you.

    • amyblam permalink*
      May 6, 2010 8:35 PM

      It’s just so INVOLVED. And messy. Now I want calamari.

  6. May 4, 2010 8:15 PM

    tootsie pops for dinner? i am triple jealous over her. seriously triple jealous.

  7. May 4, 2010 10:21 PM

    I have no comment. Other than the fact that holy hell woman – you are hysterical. Also? I want to give you a hug. And teach you how to cook. For realz yo. It’ll be fun. We’ll wear tiaras and boas and drink wine and you won’t burn a thing!

    • amyblam permalink*
      May 6, 2010 8:34 PM

      I just envision me trying to cook drunk and somehow ending up with the feather boa wrapped around my neck getting stuck and somehow catching on fire.

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