I’m heading for book tour soon, and I figure I should get the fridge cleaned out for the nice housesitter who is coming to stay with Peanut and Henry. Which means I’m trying to use up everything that’s in there, or as my friend Augusta Ridley says, “Operation Clean Out The Fridge By Cooking Shit is going better than expected!” That was a post of hers on fb, to which very immature people made various comments about cooking poop. Very, very immature people. Not me of course! (Deleting my comments on Augusta’s page now!)
Okay, so I was doing the usual make-sure-I eat-everything-that-might-go-bad-in-the-fridge-stuff, cooking eggs for breakfast, making pimento cheese with a half a block of cheddar, when someone (um, probably me) left the freezer door ajar overnight and Sam and I woke up to a freezer full of slushy, half-frozen things. I had a bag of wild caught shrimp in the freezer, along with 1/2 a pound of ground beef from Georgia’s own Riverview Farms, where the cows live happy, happy lives (um, until the end. But look, we all have an end date.) The shrimp defrosted in the freezer as did the beef so I figured I should cook both today. Gathering up the fragments leftover and all. I’ll make spaghetti sauce with ground beef for dinner tonight, easy-peasy and delicious. I was going to make shrimp paste from The Gift of Southern Cooking for lunch, but as I contemplated the stick of butter that begins the recipe, I decided to try something a little lighter. I peeled and deveined the shrimp, then poached them in Old Bay seasoning, kosher salt, and apple cider vinegar (adapated from The Gift of Southern Cooking). While the shrimp cooled I chopped up artichoke hearts from Your Dekalb Farmer’s market, and used up the leftover celery and parsley in the veggie bin. I tossed all ingredients together along with a healthy squeeze of lemon, the merest hint of mayonnaise, and a little Cholula sauce. I decided to go all “lady who lunches” and served myself the shrimp salad on some Baby Gem lettuce leaves, topping the whole thing with another squeeze of lemon and some sliced avocado.
I sat on the front porch of my house while eating the shrimp salad. Peanut hung out with me and many, many people walked by as there is yet another festival going on in the city park nearby. These festivals happen about every two months and our streets get quite jammed. My 78-year old neighbor, a devoted Quaker, calls the festivals “the fucking festivals,” but I would never refer to them as that. (Erasing this mornings facebook post right now.)