I stared in bewilderment at these-
And The Carpenter walked in the kitchen and asked, with an amused expression, as though there was no possible way that I could have remotely considered doing the opposite of what he was saying, “Did you buy shelled and deveined shrimp?”
“No.” I said, still staring, knife in hand.
“Why not?” He said, in a state of mild shock and awe.
“Well, the only ones they had at the store that were deveined were already cooked and I needed to cook them in butter to get the full flavor… and The Pioneer Woman said…”
His uproarious laughter could not be contained! It all become clear to him- The Pioneer Woman told me to, so OF COURSE I blindly obeyed!
I may or may not have a slight obsession with her.
I mean her cooking.
And her books.
And her blog.
Anyway, he bought me The Pioneer Woman’s amazing and absolutely beautiful cookbook for Valentine’s Day and I have been trying out a smattering of her recipes over the last few weeks. This one was the greatest departure for me though. Not only was I going to have to shell and devein shrimp for the first time in my adult life ( I think I did it with my grandmother sometime around the age of 9, which probably really only meant that I watched her and said “Gross!”), but I was also making a largely tomato-based dish.
I don’t eat tomatoes- not in ANY form! No pizza sauce, no pasta sauce, no caprese, no ketchup! I DON’T EAT TOMATOES!
But my family does and I don’t want to raise picky little people like myself. And to be honest, I have been trying to slowly grapple with the fact that it may be more of a psychological than actual taste aversion, which blows my mind and makes me want to commit myself. Although there is that whole texture thing… anyhow- you get the point. This was a break through, to not only be making something with tomato sauce but planning on eating it as well!
What’s that? I just saw a pig fly.
But alright- step one- tackle those shrimp. I called my mother. Why? I have no idea. I doubt she has ever peeled a shrimp in her life. I grew up on tuna casserole and anything from a box. I love her, but it’s true. She’s getting better in her “old age” (she just turned 50, so I really can’t help myself- I have to say that! It’s my official job to tease her!), but seriously- I guess it was just for emotional support.
I contemplated asking The Carpenter to do it, but finally decided this was my battle to wage. If not now, when?!
I managed and it wasn’t even as bad as I had imagined. Many of them had incredibly clean digestive systems which helped me out tremendously. I have to say, though, that I am really glad they didn’t have heads. I’m not one to get sentimental over my food. For goodness sake, I became a vegetarian in high school purely for the reason that meat grossed me out, not for some higher moral cause. But if I had been forced to tear the legs off those babies when they still had heads, I’m not sure I would have been able to do it.
Sentimental over a shrimp. Who knew?!
All in all- I braved the cooking and the eating of the entire meal and it truly was delicious! You just can’t go wrong with The Pioneer Woman!
And I’m tremendously proud of myself! I feel like a bon-a-fide cook now and have greatly widened my palet! Thank you Ree Drummond- I couldn’t have done it without you!