Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Weekend festivities

The fourth of July has come and gone once again. This year we spent the holiday at home enjoying the pool and the grill. Andrew bought a few fireworks and we ended the day by sitting out front watching the fireworks display going on in the neighborhood and the kids got to shoot off a few of their own.

Lauren flew in from San Antonio on Thursday night and she stayed in Charlotte instead of catching her connecting flight on into Fayetteville because a friend of hers from Little Rock flew into Charlotte the same day for a visit. So Noah and I drove to the airport in Charlotte to pick them both up.

The following morning I noticed that the upstairs didn't seem to be keeping cool and we discovered that the air had apparently quit working. I am assuming it is the freon that needs replacing. Because of the holiday weekend, it was impossible to find someone to come and service it. So here we sit, Tuesday, July 5th still without air conditioning in the upstairs. Thank God that our downstairs unit is working fine. The problem is, all of our bedrooms are upstairs...

So I have been sleeping on the couch for the last four nights and will be again tonight. The HVAC guy is scheduled to come tomorrow at 11:00. I am praying that tomorrow night I will get to sleep in my bed again. My back is starting to rebel...

Recently I was in the library and ran across this wonderful little cookbook all about shrimp and grits. Sometime after reading this cookbook, I made a trip to Charleston, South Carolina and discovered a place called Hominy Grill. I also discovered their recipe for Low Country Shrimp and Grits. For three months now, I have been obsessing over shrimp and grits. I knew it wasn't a matter of if, but a matter of when I would try my hand at preparing this feast for myself. For some reason, today I decided would be the day. Nothing special about the day, I suppose I felt we deserved it since we have spent the last few days uncomfortable due having no air upstairs, and having to sleep on the couch and the livingroom floor. Maybe it was the fact that Andrew has to go back to work tomorrow after taking a long weekend off. I don't really know why I decided to cook such a wonderfully decadent indulgence tonight, but I did. And I must say, it was delicious!

Having excess zucchini and squash from the garden I have tried to find different ways in which to offer this delicious summer staple to my family. Tonight I grated one zucchini and one squash along with one carrot. I added some egg, seasonings, a little flour and some panko crumbs. And after squeezing the grated veggies for what seemed an endless time and still I was unable to squeeze all of the water from the veggies, I mixed all the ingredients into a bowl and then dropped spoonfuls at a time in a skillet with hot oil and cooked four minutes on each side. The resulting Zucchini/Squash fritters were a hit. At least they were a hit with Andrew and I, seeing as though the kids didn't even try them. I often wonder where I went wrong with those kids...but then I remember that I was the one who allowed them to eat or not eat what they wanted. I have many times gone back to the kitchen to prepare a different meal for a child that didn't like what was being served at the dinner table. So I suppose I did it to myself, and have only myself to blame. But I digress.

Along with the shrimp and grits and the zucchini fritters I sliced and grilled some french bread that I sprinkled with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and dried basil. Grilled it long enough to put a few grill marks with a light toasting and served it with our special dip. Which consist of melted butter, some special seasoning and Andrew's secret ingredient...

Supper was delicious and very special on just an ordinary night at home. It was restaurant quality all at a fraction of the cost that we would have paid were we to have gone out to eat. The only problem is, I told Andrew that I wish I had a sous chef to help me prepare the meal and a bus boy and dishwasher to clean up afterwards.

To top it off, Lauren made a key lime pie for dessert...can't get much better than all of that.

Good thing I have a treadmill coming in ten days. Eating all that bread dipped in butter and all of the butter, cheese, and bacon in the grits, with the bacon grease used to fry the shrimp, and the whipped cream on the pie; well it could really put a hurting on a girl's figure...

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