Monday, July 20, 2015

Life At Face Value. And With Shrimp Burgers.



Uh oh. You’d think – after six years, including a three-and-half-year engagement, and now, nearly two months of marriage – my beloved DB would understand everything about me. We've known each other since kindergarten. He knows where I had lunch the day I graduated from high school (The Mills House). He knows the one food I find abhorrent (cilantro). He knows I don’t snore (except when I do).

He knows that I hate to make phone calls, that in my refrigerator, all containers, bottles and cans are lined up, labels facing out (which, don’t even, because you know it looks good and makes sense), and that I lift my feet when crossing railroad tracks (for good luck).

Truly, even when we're 200 miles apart, I scarcely draw a breath without him knowing it.

But this morning, after yet another weekend of trucking stuff down to his/our home in Charleston from my/our home in Charlotte, I kind of slipped up. I didn’t even realize it ‘til I was getting ready for work.

Me (to my beloved, on the phone): Hey, Baby. Any chance I left my makeup bag there?

He (to me, frighteningly unaware): Yeah, but that’s OK, right?

Me (hyperventilating to myself): THAT’S OK?!? OHH-KAYYYY?!? I’M 52 YEARS OLD! I HAVE MEETINGS TODAY!  I NEED FOUNDATION, CONCEALER, BLUSH, EYESHADOW, EYELINER, AND THAT MAGIC TUBE THAT MAKES THINGS ALL EVEN. I NEED BOTTLES AND POWDERS AND GELS AND BRUSHES AND THAT STUFF THAT MAKES ME LOOK AS IF I HAVE EYEBROWS. JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH! LET ME GET OFF THIS PHONE SO I CAN CALL IN SICK.

Me (to my blissfully unaware husband): Of course it’s OK. I was just curious.

He (innocently): You can just use Darling Daughter’s, can’t you?

Me (to myself): HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY BE THAT NAÏVE? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT SO-CALLED "MAKEUP" IS SHELVED IN DARLING DAUGHTER’S BATHROOM? SEVENTY-TWO BOTTLES OF NAIL POLISH, THAT’S WHAT! IN ANY COLOR THAT ISN’T PINK!  SEVENTY-TWO! AND MASCARA. PERHAPS. PLUS 12 TUBES OF LIP GLOSS. DO YOU NOT SEE A PROBLEM THERE, BUDDY? COMPARE THAT TO THE CONTENTS OF MY MAKEUP BAG! ACTUALLY.  DON’T. PLEASE, DON'T.

Me (taking a deep breath): Nah. It’s just makeup.

He (sweetly, and do I sense -- relieved?): That’s what I thought.

Cripes. I never intended to be deceitful. Perhaps I should just take our conversation at face value. (Bahaha! “Face” value!) I see me as I am, and he sees me as -- his bride. Could I possibly be any luckier? 

(Assuming, of course, that my makeup bag and I are soon reunited.)

Shrimp Burgers
Here's a prime example of my ongoing effort to "fake" things. Earlier this summer, Darling Daughter returns from a fabulous beach vacation where she dined -- many times -- at the Provision Company in Holden Beach, NC. She says she ordered the same entrée every evening -- the Shrimp Burger. "I can make that!" I proclaimed. And without ever tasting it, I came up with something that Darling Daughter says is pretty darned good. Maybe I shouldn't rely so much on makeup, after all.

Burgers
2 lbs. raw shrimp, peeled

1 rib celery, cut into chunks
1/2 Vidalia onion, cut into chunks
1 handful parsley

2 egg whites
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning

1 cup panko bread crumbs

4 tablespoons canola oil

Tartar sauce
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 large kosher pickle, minced
2 tablespoons capers, drained and minced
1 teaspoon horseradish
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper

lemon wedges, as a garnish

In a food processor, pulse one pound of fresh shrimp into large chunks. Remove and set aside. Now, process celery, onion, parsley and remaining one pound of shrimp until coarsely smooth. In a large bowl, stir together shrimp paste, shrimp chunks, egg whites, Old Bay and panko bread crumbs. Set aside.

Stir together tartar sauce ingredients. Set aside.

Form large (golfball-sized) balls of shrimp. In a large, heavy skillet, heat canola oil over medium high heat. In batches, flatten out balls of shrimp burgers and cook, 3-4 minutes on each side, until lightly golden brown. Served on toasted buns with tartar sauce.

Alternatively (and my preference, as well as Darling Daughter's) -- forego the buns, and make mini-burgers (slider size) and serve with tartar sauce or lemon wedges.





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