I feel like we are on the cusp of something here and the excitement (and certain amount of fear) that new opportunities bring is not exactly a situation that I am used to. The last time I felt that we were on the cusp of something, that something was bankruptcy. This something is on the opposite end of the spectrum. While the uncertainty of the future is always daunting, I have to admit that if all goes as planned the lives of my entire family will be better. Busier…but better. What is that something? Well, I don’t want to jinx it but lets just say that there is a place not far from us that is the home of a country music icon and her family wants to partner up with our family and make a whole lot of wine. Very exciting indeed!
In other news, Summer is truckin’ right along here. The usual heat and humidity of the South has recently been replaced by an unseasonably cool Summer. While a day at the creek is never something that the kids will turn down, it’s hard to do much swimming when it’s 79 degrees, but the kids are giving it their best shot.
The garden is a bit of a bust this year. So far, I am successfully growing a lot of weeds and stink bugs. I have had quite a bit of success with the broccoli, potatoes, and strawberries this year. It’s a great year for cool weather crops, but the tomatoes are struggling with a mole, stink bugs and what I think is a late blight. Can’t do anything for critters and fungus. On the up side my four artichoke plants are doing really well and I will harvest at least one artichoke this year! Fingers crossed I can overwinter those babies and be swimming in artichokes next year!
As far as cooking goes, I’ve been pretty lazy about it this Summer. A full schedule and a lack of motivation to get real creative has kept me from experimenting much. We did get a delivery from our Seafood Santa (a family friend who brings us fresh seafood from the Gulf) and we treated ourselves to a fantastic shrimp boil not long ago. The leftovers were turned into this refreshing shrimp salad with homemade mayo. I’m a fan of homemade mayo especially when you splurge on expensive meats like wild caught shrimp. It makes all the difference.
Lemon Dill Shrimp Salad
- 1 lb shrimp cooked
- ½ cup chopped celery I like the heart with the leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- ½ - 3/4 cup dill mayonnaise recipe follows
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh dill or 1 T dried
- ¼ t . cayenne pepper
- ¼ t . kosher salt
- 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
Chop shrimp into small chunks (about ½ an inch) and combine in a large bowl with the celery, onion and lemon zest. In a food processor or blender, pulse together the egg yolk, vinegar, dill, cayenne and salt. While the blender is running, slowly pour in the oil until the mayo is thick and creamy. Taste for seasoning. Fold ½ cup of the mayo into the shrimp salad and stir to combine. Add more mayo if desired. Add in the juice of the lemon and a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Serve on a salad, crackers or a crusty loaf of bread and enjoy! Keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days.