Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Party's Over

Today was the last of my many birthday celebrations. After all of the previous celebration my dear friend Bob took Lee and me out for lunch at P. F. Chang's. PFC is always a treat. I know it's a chain but the food is so well prepared and just delicious. I love it that they offer brown rice. I will routinely have chicken lettuce wraps and Kung Pao chicken. The chicken is sauced perfectly with peanuts and hot chile peppers. I also have a wee bit of a chopstick fetish. I adore eating with chopsticks and the way using them slows down consumption to nibbles of meat and vegetable with rice. I think about Pearl S. Buck and her descriptions of Asian women eating so delicately bringing chopsticks with food to their pink rosebud mouths. I read those books so very long ago but the image remains. I will never eat so delicately and with the same dexterity. Do you know that some people can bring a boiled egg to their mouths with chopsticks. That is awesome. Maybe I could practice with some golf balls. Such a picture.

So you get the picture lunch with a dear friend who I don't get to see much. Of course having lunch out doesn't mean I get to skip preparing dinner for Miss Lee. We ate very late. I made a very simple dinner of barbecued shrimp and corn on the cob. Of course Lee had a piece of Julia Child's cake I made - Reine de Saba. It's a single layer chocolate cake made with butter and rum with eggs separated and whipped and gently folded into the batter. The frosting is butter, rum and semisweet chocolate melted together than whipped over a bowl of ice water to chill the chocolate mixture as it thickens to a frosting consistency. After frosting the cake I toasted almond slices and sprinkled them over the top. That cake is "over the top".

I snagged the recipe for the shrimp from a Weber grill display at Home Depot. In the recipe shrimp is marinated with barbecue sauce. After grilling the shrimp is tossed in a bag with spices. Of course I changed it or as we say "adapted" it. It is yummy and great and the shrimp stay plump and juicy on the grill as I grilled them in the shell. Of course Lee detests getting her hands messy shelling spice coated shrimp but it was all worth it. It was a pretty simple but fun meal that signaled the end of my birthday week. I think you'll like it.

Sack'Em Shrimp

1 lb large shrimp (15 - 20) shell on from Trader Joe's. The recipe calls for peeled and deveined 26-30 size shrimp. I like Trader Joe's because they are easy peel.
1/2 C barbecue sauce
1 1/2 T. chile powder
1 T. parsley flakes
2 tsp. lemon pepper
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp.onion powder
melted butter for dipping

Marinate the shrimp for an hour in barbecue sauce in the fridge. I used Hendrickson's marinade and salad dressing. In a sack place the remaining spices and toss well together. Remove shrimp from the marinade and discard the marinade. Thread shrimp on skewers and grill 3 minutes. Flip and grill another 1-2 minutes. After grilling remove the shrimp from the skewers and toss in the spice sack. Serve out of the bag. Guests can dip shrimp in the melted butter.

This was very messy but very good. I would definitely do this again. So birthday done :(. I so loved seeing and talking to everyone. Next adventure is surgery to remove and biopsy a mass on my arm. I think it's pretty harmless. Just a remnant from life as an alien in my 40's. One does need to pay for one's past.

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