Confession No. 134 — My kid said what? (Recipe: Creamy Meyer Lemon Shrimp Scampi w/ Artichokes)

He’s our fourth child and without a doubt, the most forthcoming with his words. Following are a few conversations that happened in the past year — before he turned seven on December 19.

Keeping me honest
At a drive-thru convenience store, I was behind a carload of boisterous young men. The clerk handed them a case of beer and they handed it back to her. I saw her roll her eyes and walk away. They laughed and high-fived one another. After handing them a different case of beer, they paid and drove away.

‘So, could they not make up their minds?’ I asked at the window.

‘The passenger was obviously drunk and I think they were playing games with me,’ she responded.

‘Did they at least tip you?’

‘Seriously? No … I’m not exactly a favorite of drive-thru customers.’

‘Well, you’re my favorite,’ I said, as I handed her a dollar.

‘What about mom?’ the boy suddenly yelled from the back seat.

And they make Scotch at a distillery
The route to the boy’s school takes us by an old Schlitz plant. It’s been closed for years.

‘Do you know what they used to make there?’ I quizzed the boy as we crossed the rail spur tracks on West Cotton Street.

‘No. What?’

‘Well, they made beer there. It closed a long time ago though … A place where they make beer is called a brewery,’ I added, trying to enlighten him.

‘I know what it’s called,’ he snapped back.

‘You’re six. How could you possibly know that?’

‘Because Peter works at a brewery on Family Guy and they make beer.’

Mark McGwire wannabe

‘If I had steroids, I could kick the ball right through the net.’ — The boy, following a soccer game during which he nearly scored his first ever goal.

He’s no super hero

Me: ‘Are you Superman?’
The Boy: ‘No.’
Me: ‘Your shirt says you are.’
Him: ‘It’s just a shirt.’

Goodnight, Dad

‘I hope you sleep tight and have a good nightmare.’

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If  you’re one of my three European regulars, the following recipe is not the formed/deep-fried version served in Great Britain alongside chips (fries).  Neither does it use the Norway Lobster (also known as scampi) as its primary ingredient.  And for you 14 Americans who stop by occasionally, I’ve deviated slightly from the classic stateside version of a dish commonly found on restaurant menus. The result — a zesty, creamy dish with toothsome artichoke hearts and plump shrimp.

Creamy Meyer Lemon Shrimp Scampi w/ Artichokes

Creamy Meyer Lemon Shrimp Scampi w/ Artichokes

5.0 from 1 reviews
Creamy Meyer Lemon Shrimp Scampi w/ Artichokes
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 5
  • 1 lb – Extra large (21-26 ct) Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 – Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 TB – Extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup – Dry white wine
  • ½ cup – Heavy cream
  • 2 TB – Butter
  • 2 TB – Meyer Lemon juice*
  • 1 tsp – Fresh lemon zest**
  • 1 TB – Fresh Parsley, plus more for garnish
  • Artichokes - 1 (10-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed; or 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and quartered
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Prepared pasta, rice or Orzo (pictured)
  1. In a large saucepan, heat the garlic and olive oil together to medium.
  2. Once garlic begins to sizzle, add shrimp.
  3. Cook shrimp, stirring regularly, until mostly pink – about 2 minutes.
  4. Remove shrimp and set aside.
  5. Add next 7 ingredients and turn heat to medium-high, stirring regularly.
  6. Cook sauce until slightly reduced, about 3-4 minutes, then add shrimp.
  7. Warm through and serve immediately over pasta, rice or orzo, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
* - Substitute 1 TB plus 1 tsp Lemon juice and 3 tsp Orange juice
**and ½ tsp (each) of zest


  1. My MIL has Meyer lemons coming out of her ears (literally from her tree in the back yard). Thanks for sharing the kid wisdom!

  2. Oh those conversations!!!! They are just priceless. You just gotta love the speech of child so free of artifice. Thanks for sharing them.

    Your scampi looks delectable!

  3. ‘Most forthcoming with words.’ Yeah, I have one of those too. I mentally cringe when we’re with others and Sophie jumps in the conversation because I never know where it’s going to go. Adam, that photo is lick-the-screen fantastic. I’d probably go with rice so it could soak up some of the sauce, but I definitely wouldn’t share. I still need to get my hands on some meyer lemons though…one of these days.

    • adamjholland says:

      Thank you, Christiane. You can never go wrong with rice. And Meyer Lemons are the bomb. (I’m surprised you’ve never cooked with them.)

  4. Sounds like a cool kid 🙂 And this has just been added to my grocery list! Making the taco meatloaf tonight! Thank you!

  5. I only just started seeing Meyer lemons in my little town recently. I will have to splurge and buy some one of these days. What a gorgeous dish!

  6. So did you take your own Superman shirt off? Keep it on Adam, you never know when you’ll have to toss the glasses & leap off a tall building with that boy around.
    Now this is shrimp the way shrimp should be done. I love how you didn’t wimp out on the garlic. I do believe shrimp & heavy cream are going on the grocery list this week…thanks for reminding me how long it’s been since I’ve made a shrimp meal.

  7. The recipe is gorgeous and I want to make it but the comments from you son? Priceless! You can’t get those moments back, can you? I could probably use a few of your “comma splice” comments though…..maybe if i told you I was actually a Bulgarian? hahahaha!

    • adamjholland says:

      True that, Kelli. I have similar notes/memories about Christopher — on a 3.5″ diskette. I really need to dump those off of there before the only 3.5″ drives are the ones on display at the Smithsonian.

  8. Heh, I need to start keeping track of all the whacked-out things my 7-year-old says. I ask him all the time, “where on earth did you come up with that?!” Kids are funny. He’d be all over that shrimp–He inhales them like they’re his last meal!

  9. Insert Cuss #1, #2 aaaaaannnddd #3. Quit, damn. I have enough shit to make.

  10. You are DEFINITELY on to something here!! This looks ssssssooooo yummy!! 2018 may be our year!! Where you ACTUALLY get me to eat something that touches!!

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