A crustacean meal is always a hit with my family. I have trained and moulded my brood’s palates at a tender age. I have disguised the most grotesque looking and tasting foods, at least where their hate food list is concerned, by adding these little arthropods and it saved my day! The guacamole, for instance. Our shrimpy friends made the difference – a lot of difference. You will know what I meant if you have read my post Guacamole with a twist.
The young Chef
To keep my boys occupied – some days – during the summer break, I challenged them that they took over my kitchen anytime they wanted.
“It’s all yours, my boys.” I articulated.
The younger boy concurred to a showdown. He told me one day – three weeks ago – that he would cover the starter.
A starter was born!
“What’s it going to be?” I checked.
“Well, something with ‘garnalen’ (prawns).” He went through the pages of “The Usborne First Cookbook”, which I bought at the school book fair two years earlier. He flipped through the pages and stopped at Page 6.
“That’s what I want to make, Mam Upsilon”.
Instead of egg stuffed tomatoes, he wanted it to be shrimp stuffed tomatoes. How shrewd 😉
Shrimp – to be precise, grey shrimp – stuffed tomatoes for starter it would be!
The Chef in action
The only help I chipped in was the use of the knife. I sliced off the hoods of the tomatoes, chopped a celery stalk, a small shallot and diced some tomatoes from the hoods. We could re-use the hood as part of the presentation but did not.
The young chef was enjoying himself tremendously, removing the seeds inside the locular cavities of the gelatinous membranes. Once all four tomatoes were done, he carefully transferred them to a microwavable dish.
“Mama, how long?” he asked.
“Start with 3 minutes”, I said. The tomatoes should still hold the shape, not mushy and disintegrated.
When the tomatoes reached the agreeable stage, he let the tomatoes cooled down. While waiting, he whistled a tune – the Flo Rida “Whistle”– and prepared the stuffing.
In went the grey shrimps in a clean bowl, a little squirt of mayonnaise, the chopped celery, shallot, diced tomatoes, and freshly milled black pepper, a sprinkle of dried basil and little droplets of fresh lime. Mixing, mingling, twirling, stirring….
By the way, the chef’s favourite part was scooping the mixed shrimp stuffing into the ‘bowls’ of tomatoes.
I just had to take closed ups of the pretty looking thing before the vultures devoured on them. LOL!
A leaf of fresh basil sat majestically on every hill of the shrimp mix. So pretty! The young Chef was on seventh heaven.
“Mama,” he said gleefully, “I will serve the starter at the table.”
“No probs, son,” I smiled cheerfully. “That’s my challenge to you and you have earned it. The victory’s yours.”
Chilling up gingerly
The four shrimp stuffed tomatoes went in the fridge just to chill for a while before lunch time.
While my younger son made the starter, I prepared the main course and my older son – who did not want to be in the picture – made a pretty successful dessert of Marmalade Ginger Loaf, much to his and my surprises! The recipe can be found on pages 58 and 59 of The Usborne First Cookbook.
The thrill of Victory
I did not have a loaf tin; hence, I had to get by with a round cake tin. The result was just as great. I was quite thrilled with the result of the ‘cake’. I did not realize that my son chose the dessert that turned out to be gingerbread! 😀
It was slightly on the dry side, but a scoop of vanilla ice cream complemented the loaf slice very well indeed.
Please note that my older son has less interest in the kitchen domain than my younger brood, but thanks to the easy visual steps of the cookbook, nothing could go wrong.
Or could it?
“Lunch time!” I called out.
The young chef rushed to the kitchen, took four starter plates and arranged them neatly on the kitchen table, while waiting for me to take the dish out from the fridge. With my right hand, putting in the jar of marmalade back in the fridge, I slid my left hand under the starter dish…BUT….
A picture is worth a thousand words
I went pale. I just stood there like a statue, frozen. I heard a cry – a cry of agony, of defeat – Why, oh why? I hugged by son, so tightly, and whispered, “Sorry.”
He did not say a word. He was not angry with me. We both stared at the cluttered kitchen floor.
To be continued…..