Homecoming dinner

March 3, 2011

We be stylin' and profilin', and we ain't nothin' but cool.

Mama and Daddy and Baby Mac (whom I’ve been told I can’t refer to as such, so of course I will) are home. So instead of camping out on my butt at the hospital and making my ankles swell from sitting too much, I’m back in the kitchen.

The toll today: shrimp and grits for the kids to come home to for lunch, along with pimiento cheese. I texted them after I got back from the grocery, of which more later, and gave them the choice of the two. Child B, ever the grab-life-with-both-hands kid, replied, “Can I have both?” And of course, Mama accommodated.

And then I made coconut macaroons. Because I could. And because there were people here to help me eat them.

And then I made a spinach salad and sauteed mushrooms while Son-In-Law 1 grilled steaks. And we enjoyed a bottle of Orin Swift Prisoner, and life was excellent.

It’s always problematic to cook in someone else’s kitchen. You don’t know where stuff is, or what there is, and you go grocery shopping and you think about things that are pantry staples in your house, but are they pantry staples in your child’s house? What’s IN your child’s pantry, anyway? And do you want to know? And how in the blue hell does this child cook without wooden spoons? (Answer: she doesn’t. Son-in-law does, occasionally, but apparently not with wooden spoons.)

Anyway. Shrimp and grits. I’d gone to Kroger down the road, where apparently they are really big on prepared/convenience style stuff and not so much on real cooking, but that’s OK. It’s yuppieville, after all. But seriously, a store where they put the Velveeta all the way the hell and gone on the other side of the store from the pasta? Whassupwiddat, anyway? Of course, at the point I gave up and asked someone, I was standing within three steps of it. Go figger. I did have to hunt to find the pasta. But I persevered, and Son-In-Law is due some homemade mac and cheese before my visit is through.

And they did have decent shrimp for $5.99 a pound, so I bought a couple of pounds, figuring I could do shrimp-n-grits with part and shrimp enchiladas with the remainder. That’s tomorrow or Saturday. I sauteed half an onion (had to get onions; they dont keep them. How do you COOK without onions?) and some garlic; added tomato paste; added Tony Chachere’s Cajun seasoning and some red wine, because I didn’t have any whilte.

FYI. Red wine in shrimp and grits will turn your shrimps black. Doesn’t hurt the flavor. It’s just a disconcerting appearance.

I tossed in the shrimp, let them start turning opaque, added cream, turned it down to low, and covered it and let the shrimps poach done. Grits had smoked gouda in them. It was quite excellent, if it did look kinda funky.

We all enjoyed the macaroons tremendously, and there are still some left, which speaks volumes to either my self-control or my reluctance to make a tee-total pig of myself in front of my children.

I thawed the steaks and let them come up to temp with a marinade of balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Sauteed button and cremini mushrooms in butter and then simmered in white wine (cooking wine I found in a cabinet after I’d already turned the shrimp black). Added some grape tomatos and some chopped carrots to fresh spinach for a salad, and dressed baked potatos simply in butter, sour cream and cheese.

Hard to beat.  Particularly with the Prisoner, of which I was lucky enough to find a bottle of 2008.

Children A and B love my pimiento cheese, which ain’t nothin’ special, but they’re crazy about it. It’s grated Velveeta and extra sharp cheddar, with seasoned salt, a pinch of cayenne, and a scant teaspoon of sugar. Child B has only a fine grater. It ain’t made for Velveeta, but I made it work by plunking the cheese in the freezer to firm it up before grating. So she has pimiento cheese to hold her over for a while. I’m thinking some of that in a corn tortilla tomorrow will make a fine lunch.

Meanwhile, the kids have packed it in, McCallan is snoozing away (she has been an astoundingly good baby, not having made a squawk all day), and I’m about to call it quits too. You and y’mama ‘n ’em enjoy your evening, and I’ll post some food photos tomorrow, I promise.


One Response to “Homecoming dinner”

  1. kate Says:

    They will hate to see you go!!!

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