Friday, May 13, 2011

Naming Kids. And Boats. And Strippers.

Nearly 17 years ago, as soon-to-be-parents, and before settling on "Carter," we considered a number of names for our son, including Cooper, Conner and Fisher.  (OK.  That last one was just me.)  Two years later, for Darling Daughter, we considered Cecelia, Eliza, Lila and Larissa.  (Again, that last one was all me.)

To make the cut, a name had to meet certain criteria.  Given our single-syllable last name, the first name had to be polysyllabic.  I wasn’t looking to raise a Jane Doe or Don Ho.  Furthermore, the name had to be easily spelled.  Think about it.  I’m “Cheri.”  With a “C.”  No, a “C.”  One “r.”  No “y.”  “I,” not “i-e.”  “S-H-E-R-R-I-E”?  Whatever.  Close enough.

So far as I can tell, though, when it comes to naming a boat, no rules apply.  According to, the top 10 most popular boat names in the United States are:

1. Serenity
2. Happy Ours
3. Feelin' Nauti
4. Family Time
5. Liberty
6. Black Pearl
7. Andiamo
8. Knot On Call
9. High Maintenance
10. Just Chillin'

For my own boat, which is now a year old, friends have also suggested, “Cheri’s Jubilee,” “MeanWhiles,” “Worth Wiles,” “Always Write,” “Cougar Bait,” and, more than once, “Wiles Ride.”

What to do?  Well, when I first began writing Feminine Wiles, it was to let friends and family know that I was all right.  When it comes to schoolwork, I always tell the kids that, if they are able to write, their grades in every class – with the possible exception of math – will go up.  And when I landed a job – after spending a decade as a stay-at-home mom – it was as a copywriter

Yep.  “All Write” it is.

But then, as I was in the midst of writing this post, I heard from Super Sis .  She’s an elementary school principal, and her work ethics and behavior are beyond compare.  So imagine my surprise when she texted the following message:

“This morning, a parent shared with me that, if she were a stripper, her name would be Tess Tickles.”

Tess Tickles?  Tess Tickles?  TESS TICKLES?

Nah.  Just kidding.  I'm still "All Write"!

Shrimp Tacos with Apple Slaw
This recipe has absolutely no bearing on kid names, boat names or stripper names.  It's just really, really good.  Really, really unexpected.   And really, really, easy.  Or should I say, it's "all right"?

1 large granny smith apple, cored and cut in quarters, and then, cut in matchsticks
2 cups of shredded Napa cabbage
1/4 cup canola oil
Juice of one lime (1-2 tablespoons)
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium sized mixing bowl, toss together apple and cabbage.  Whisk together remaining ingredients and toss with apple and cabbage.  Keeps, refrigerated, at least one day.

Shrimp Tacos
1 1/2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup canola oil
Juice of two limes (2-3 tablespoons)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon chili powder

flour tortillas
bottled salsa verde

Stir all ingredients (except tortillas and salsa) together, combining well.  Heat a large skillet over high heat.  In batches, stir fry shrimp just until done -- 4-5 minutes.  Serve hot, in tortillas warmed one-by-one in the microwave --about 15 seconds each.  Drizzle salsa verde over top  and serve with Apple Slaw.

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