We had a great break. We visited my brother and family in Nashville and my cousin and family in Festus Missouri. We took our food, ate in our car and felt safe. We did not see as many cars as usual but many, many trucks.
It was great to see familiar faces. As odd as it may sound — the most refreshing experience was laughter with family. We played cards, teased and had many laughs.
I returned mentally refreshed, determined to be upbeat in spite of COVID, politics, unrest and all we face in today’s world.
I did not return physically refreshed. We drove 10 hours the last day so we would not have to stay in a strange bed. I was exhausted. Memories of driving straight through from Illinois to Kansas or Colorado are fragments of a long ago past. My reality – 6 hours is a lot today.
Over the break, one Jewish friend reminded me that prejudice has more objectives than race. He wrote of the prejudice of anti-Semitism. Clearly prejudice has many outlets.
As transplants to Alabama, Jeny and I have many tales of what I term — regional prejudice. The tale I want to share about regional prejudice has an upbeat, positive outcome.
Throughout her outstanding career, Jeny consulted in hospitals in over half the states. She was in very small and very large hospitals.
During one consult to a hospital in Connecticut, she worked with a young man who was amazed with her knowledge. Finally, he said— “You don’t really live in Alabama, do you?” She replied yes and asked why?
His reply — “My parents told me everyone from Alabama is stupid.” Putting aside the fact that his parents are expressing racial prejudice, because Alabama has a large black population, the statement is a clear example of stereotyping and prejudice. It was not an isolated experience for us. Regional prejudice is a hurtful prejudice with deadly consequences in history. Along with anti-Semitism it acts as a strong reminder of the range of prejudice in the human condition.
Jeny’s time in that Connecticut hospital was not ruined by prejudice. She made friends with the chef who had been stationed on the Gulf Coast during his time in the Air Force. He loved the beaches and the food. He told Jeny he learned to cook shrimp in the South and had the best recipe. She charmed it out of him.
We use the recipe to welcome newcomers to our state. We try to show them Alabama “ain’t” all bad. The shrimp welcomes well. My upbeat closing is to share the recipe with you. Jeny is worried not everyone will think a recipe is appropriate for my blog. I assure everyone I will not regularly share recipes, but this is a great one and we have used it for fellowship many times—try it you will like it.
HOT AND WICKED SHRIMP
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp black pepper
.5 tsp salt
.5 tsp crushed red pepper
.5 tsp dried crushed rosemary
.5 tsp thyme
.5 tsp oregano
Mix seasonings in a small bowl
Put .25 lbs. of unsalted butter in a sauté pan.
Add the seasoning mix
Add 1.5 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Put heat on low and let seasonings mix and butter to melt,
Put heat on high
- Put in approximately 24 shrimp – depending upon size of shrimp and the pan.
Sauté the shrimp for 2 minutes — stir them.
- Add one/half cup of water and 5 tablespoons of butter.
Sauté and stir for another two minutes
- Add .25 cup of beer at room temperature.
Sauté for another minute or two – you want them to be pink but not overdone.
I often do several batches of shrimp at one time. I repeat the process but I keep some of the juice and do not use quite as much butter with later batches.
Serve with lots of bread and refreshments. I wish all of you were here for fellowship. Those of you who have shared this great meal with us—I hope it brings warm memories.
I prepared some today to use in my gumbo.