Sunday, March 12, 2006

Weekend Herb Blog - Shrimps, Garlic & Parsley

It’s Sunday and time again for Kalyn’s Weekend Herb Blogging Event. My plan was to have a shrimp, garlic and parsley dish for the occasion. I found an awesome one on Epicurious. Since I don’t want to miss the event, I’m sharing the recipe today, but we’re really not eating it until tomorrow since we’re going out with our six year old niece for supper (some restaurant with grilled cheese sandwiches on the menu). So I’ll be adding a photo later.

But first my shrimp story….

I’ve always loved shrimp. Well, okay, maybe not before I was eight. I have very few recollections before that except, of course the snapshots my parents took of me accompanied by stories told so many times they’ve become part of my memory.

Me and my little sister - she always did like a good cookie. I looked and looked but couldn't find one picture of me with food. Funny since just about every shot of my kids involves food - them wearing it, eating it, playing with it....but I digress.

Once I was 10, I certainly remember my fondness for shrimp. When we would go out for special occasions, I would always opt for shrimp – shrimp cocktail with ice cold giant shrimp and a red chili sauce dip; or big juicy shrimp swimming in garlic butter.

In fact, a special food memory of my youth was the annual summer seafood bash that my parents would host at our house for my father’s cousins, one of whom owned a seafood importing business in Montreal. He supplied the goodies. With the exception of my parents, all my dad’s family kept kosher homes and only ate seafood out. So once a year, crates of fresh oysters, live lobsters and jumbo shrimp were delivered to our house and my mother boiled the lobsters and shrimp and my father and his cousins shucked the oysters. The delicious seafood sauce was really was just a bottle of Kraft Chili Sauce mixed with a jar of white prepared horseradish and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. I don’t remember any vegetables or salads, but that’s probably because my eyes were only on the lobster and shrimp. These parties were very elegant, at least to me who was a teenager when I was finally allowed to attend. I still hear the tinkling of glasses and soft chatter and see women in lovely dresses and men in suits – so sophisticated to a fourteen year old!

My younger sister’s memory is more about the crates of live lobsters sitting on our patio all afternoon before the party and her watching them move about. She never did get to attend the party- deemed to be to young by the grown-ups. My mother however had an entirely different recollection. She was always annoyed that she had to do all the cooking and cleaning up since the other women had larger homes and maids to clean up! She felt that the kosher issue was a red herring and that they just didn’t want to do it at their homes or even pitch in at hers. We’ll never know, but whenever I think elegant dinner, I see endless platters of lobster, shrimp, oysters and sparkling white wine. I see white linen table cloths and hear clever banter.

All those memories came flooding back today when I saw this recipe for Perciatelli with Shrimp and Garlic Breadcrumbs on Epicurious. Check it out. Tomorrow I’ll post the picture and my variations.

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