• Are They making Freezers Smaller?

    by Neil Jameson

    The other day I was cruising the grocery store and noticed a two-for-one deal on ice cream. Now, there was a time when a half gallon of ice cream was barely enough for the guys at the firehouse, so I jumped on the deal, forgetting there are only two of us now.

    A half hour later, there I was, rooting around in the freezer, trying to find room for two half gallons of ice cream when I ran across a bag of frozen shrimp, having purchased same on a two-for-one deal earlier this month. Hmmm.

    What to do when there’s not enough room for the ice cream and the shrimp? Obviously, eat one or the other. The shrimp got the short straw.

    I also have an overabundance of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers this time of year. No one has come forth with zucchini yet and I have no intention of cooking cucumbers, but the the tomatoes and peppers cried out to be made into shrimp creole with said shrimp.

    You may ask how I came by tomatoes here in sunless Pacific Grove. Well, my buddy Wayne, who just reached 89, was raised on a farm in Oklahoma. It may be that he went on to a career in dentistry, but deep down inside he’s still a farmer and raises outrageous vegetables in raised beds in his back yard in a mobile home park in San Jose.

    I gave him some of my worms for a compost pile and there’s been no stopping him. My reward is produce from his garden – jalapeños, tomatoes and cherry tomatoes by the dozen and cucumbers. I have gallons of refrigerator dills made with those cucumbers, including one sissy gallon for Her Editorness and one with righteous jalapenos for Yours Truly.

    Shrimp Creole

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1½ to 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined (preferably big ones)
    1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
    1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
    4 ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
    1 cup chopped green pepper, or maybe some Anaheims or pasillas depending on your taste
    1/2 cup diced celery
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    6 cloves of garlic, smooshed and cleaned
    1/8 tsp. chili powder


    Barely boil the shrimp and set aside to cool, at least until they can be cleaned by your assistant. Her Editorness grabs their little tails and pulls the shell right off, picking off any remaining pieces.

    Heat oil in large heavy skillet. Add onion and garlic to the skillet and cook until lightly browned. Stir in tomato sauce, tomatoes, pepper, celery, salt, and chili powder. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and combine with shrimp. Serve over hot white rice.

    Want your creole to have some authority? Use a jalapeño, chopped and added to the skillet with the other vegetables.

    The more peppers you put into the creole, the more you’re going to need that ice cream.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on August 8, 2013

    Topics: The Retired Firehouse Cook


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