Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sailing and Lime Rum Shrimp

This past weekend, we rented a Hobie Tandem Island and took off for an afternoon of fun on the water.


It's a perfect boat for around here, because you can pedal/paddle it or sail it, or even shove it around with a regular paddle if you run aground on an oyster bed. Or four. Not that we'd know anything about that.

You can also pull it up to a beach for lunch.

It's a decent leg workout, and honestly a lot more comfortable than kayaking.

And she'll go like nobody's business with a stiff breeze. Unless you're stuck on an oyster bed. Which can cause cursing, harsh accusations, and name-calling. Of course I've only heard about that second-hand.

After a full afternoon, which may or may not have involved a few oyster beds and some colorful language, we turned the boat back in and headed home. Maybe it was in icy silence... maybe it wasn't.

We fished for shrimp (at Harris Teeter) and I figured something tropical would be appropriate. I also thought lacing it with rum might soothe someone's hurt feelings a little. I might or might not have lost my temper on one of those theoretical oyster beds.

Lime-Rum Shrimp is one of my favorite ways to cook shrimp in the summer. It's also a very quick dinner.

Peel and devein about a pound of fresh shrimp. Zest one lime, and mince 3 cloves of garlic. Put a large pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle a little olive oil in the pan and add the shrimp and the garlic and the lime zest. Sprinkle with kosher salt. And don't be stingy with it. When the shrimp start to cook, add a tablespoon of butter, a tablespoon of brown sugar, the juice of the lime you zested, and about 2 tablespoons of dark rum. I ordinarily use Meyer's but we were out, so I used Gosling's dark. 

Pour a separate glass of rum over ice and take it to the person you may or may not have yelled at if you need to suck up a little.

I like to serve this over coconut rice. To make that, just make rice the same way you always do, but substitute half chicken stock and half canned coconut milk for the water. It also goes well with pineapple slaw.

Here's the .pdf if you'd like to take this one on a test sail in your own kitchen.

I'd recommend avoiding oyster beds.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Kids' Sleepover and Ebelskivers

Sometimes we like to borrow other people's children and pretend to be responsible adults - just for a change of pace. Since we recently reinstated the guest bedroom, we decided to snag Ned and Melissa's kids for the weekend.

We picked them up midday and after a quick lunch at a sub place, we went to Greenfield Lake for some paddle boating.

Greenfield Lake is right in the middle of town. It's full of old cypress trees, turtles, and herons. I made the kids man the pedals with Pootie. I had to take pictures.

We puttered around a looked at nature and chatted for a while. I also made friends with other boaters. Well, their dogs anyway. These guys came along and I said "Well, hello! Are you having a good time!?" Pootie didn't even look up. He looked at Liza and said, "There must be a dog in that boat. Andie doesn't talk to people." The guy paddling thought I was talking to him, though, so I had to speak human for a minute. But the dog told me he was having a fabulous time. And that his name was "Shifting Ballast".

I am also called "he who upsets canoes" in my native tongue.

It was a typical August day in the South, which means hot and muggy. Getting in the water is not recommended.

I think the alligators played a part in hiding this in the bushes.

So we stayed in the safety of the boat. And sweated. Poor Levi was about to melt.

After about an hour, we took them back to the house to cool down and make them drink water. We spent the rest of the afternoon in air conditioned comfort, playing games and recuperating. And sending the occasional picture to their parents.

Totally staged, but worth it.

Dinky was stoked to have company. So much so that after the movie, he refused to get down from their bed. I got up around 2:00 AM and he was sacked out right in the middle. About half an hour later, he managed to wake Liza by rocking the bed with his panting, and she asked me to get him down. That took a while. Then he tried to get back up there, so I had to lock him out. He wasn't very happy with me. But the kids slept better.

For breakfast, I decided to make them Ebelskivers. When I was their age, I had a friend whose mom was of Danish descent and she had a very old Ebelskiver pan and used to make them for breakfast after sleepovers. I rediscovered them a few years ago. I've made them for dessert several times. Today I had a helper.

We filled hers with Nutella and Levi's with peanut butter. They were definitely a hit.

Yes, that's my furry child rinsing the dishes in the background. He's such a help!
The rest of the morning was leisurely and sprawl-y and I learned how to raise dragons on my iPad, thanks to Levi. The things these young people can teach you.

I'm hoping the Ebelskivers will butter them up so they won't mind being borrowed again. I'd hate for my dragon farm to fail. Maybe next time Liza can make them on her own and Levi and I can go to town on some Dragonvale.

If you'd like to make Ebelskivers for your little people, or your big people, you can find the recipe here. (Note: I've tried them with standard pancake batter without folding in the egg whites, and they aren't nearly as good.)