It's only 10:00 AM and so far I've made fruit salad, shrimp, and put meatballs in a crock pot.
That may sound normal for some of you, but for me, I don't wake up in the summer until about 11:00. Oh, my body may be up walking around, but my brain is still nestled under a Pottery Barn comforter.
I'm helping host a luau party for a great group of friends. The party is tonight, and my friend K and I have been planning and shopping and texting all week. It has been a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to it.
Yesterday Daughter and I finished my grocery shopping. A few items on my list were shrimp, mango, pineapple, and kiwi.
In case you're new here, I live in New Mexico. It's not necessarily the easiest place to find tropic-related pantry items.
I was in the seafood department, i.e. the place where they thaw all the fish, when I was faced with a dilemma.
What shrimp should I buy?
I have strong convictions about shrimp (not as strong as say, my feelings on how the X Files ended) and have firmly believed that I should always purchase shrimp from the United States. I've lived along the Gulf and in Georgia. (Plus, I've watched Forrest Gump about one hundred times.) Our Shrimpers work very hard to earn their living. I want to support them when I can.
When we lived in Florida, I always passed on the cheap shrimp from Thailand or Vietnam and went for the unpeeled, fresh shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico. It tastes better. It makes me feel better.
But yesterday there were no shrimp from Alabama or Florida or anywhere else in these United States. We're in New Mexico. All the shrimp is frozen and foreign.
But, what was I to do? A luau party is just not complete without shrimp.
So I had to buy shrimp from an Asian country where I'm sure the people are perfectly lovely and work hard but none of them speak with an Alabama accent.
When we got in the car, Daughter noted my shrimp purchase. She has apparently witnessed my convictions and knows how difficult is it for me to buy shrimp from foreign waters. She also watches a lot of Good Eats, our resource for all food science and knowledge.
"Bad shrimp will be oily and smell like gasoline," she said.
Nearly quoting word-for-word the instructions of Alton Brown, she referenced his show about purchasing spoiled shrimp, but her quote also reminded me of one thing.
Unless this gulf oil spill is capped, contained, and cleaned up, everything in the gulf will be oily and smelling like gasoline.
But it isn't just about shrimp literally wreaking of oil and gasoline, it's the fact that this whole thing just stinks.
Stinks to high heaven.
To you shrimpers and oyster men and deep sea fishermen along the banks of the Deep South, we're rooting for ya. We're praying for ya.
We're hoping for the days when we can all sit down together at a picnic table covered in newspaper, dump a big bucket of peel 'n eat shrimp, with lots of paper towels and wet wipes nearby, and enjoy a great meal from the great Gulf of Mexico.
Until then, I think I'm going to pass on the shrimp from foreign waters, whether it tastes fresh or not.
We can eat meatballs for a while.