Friday night, I had a plan for dinner, but instead of cooking, I had been cleaning. At 630 pm, I needed to pick the girls up from ballet. Bill, slightly feverish and achy, was coming with me so he could pick up his car at the shop. I stood in the kitchen with two full trash bags in hand to take to the big trash bucket outside and considered my options for dinner.
I decided to go with my original plan, Shrimp Destin, which is very very easy and gets 6 thumbs up around here (6 out of 8 is an extremely high rating). I looked over at my 12 year old, watching The Dick Van Dyke Show on the laptop. The shrimp recipe is so easy that, had I been a better mother, this untapped labor source could have been making dinner the whole time I was cleaning. Alas, too late, I realized my neglect. I did not have confidence that this boy could follow the directions on the recipe, and I resolved to walk him through it the next time I cycled through this meal.
To soothe these guilty feelings, I opted to delegate a portion of the cooking to him. It wouldn't put dinner on the table any faster, but would make me feel that dinner was a team effort and not my sole responsibility.
"Fritz, honey, can you make the rice for dinner while I go get the girls?" He looked at me with a willing, but blank, stare. He'd never made minute rice before.
"Just put three cups of water on to high heat. When it boils, add three cups of rice. And then take it off the heat."
He nodded understanding, and when I got home, the task was successfully accomplished. I made the shrimp and steamed broccoli (love those frozen steam-in-the-bag conveniences) and everybody but my sick husband sat down to eat.
Peter, not a shrimp lover, had rice and broccoli on his plate. After his first bite, Fritz asked him, "How was the rice?" Peter gave him a quizzical look. Really, what should one answer to that question? It tastes like...minute rice. Fritz turned to Katie who had only shrimp and broccoli on her plate.
"Why aren't you having rice?" he demanded to know. She knitted her brow. What was the big deal about rice? she seemed to be wondering.
"I made the rice!" he declared proudly.
"You made the rice?" asked Billy. He eagerly started shoveling forkfuls into his mouth. "Mmmmm...great rice, Fritz!" he enthused. And then, right in front of me, he leaned across the table and gave Fritz a high five.
Peter, now understanding the fuss about rice, was quick to include his praise of his older brother's wonderful accomplishment.
Everybody returned their attention to their own plates and eating resumed.
"How's the shrimp?" I asked Billy.
"It's good, Mom," he answered with that polite tone one might expect if one had asked how the minute rice tasted.
I did not get any high-fives.
I should have. This recipe is quite yummy.
1.5 to 2 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup butter, melted
1 Tbl white wine
1 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp dry dillweed
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
Saute green onions and garlic in butter until onions are tender. Add shrimp, wine, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until shrimp is cooked through. Add dillweed and parsley. Serve over toasted French rolls or rice.