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.
‘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.’
‘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
- 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)
- In a large saucepan, heat the garlic and olive oil together to medium.
- Once garlic begins to sizzle, add shrimp.
- Cook shrimp, stirring regularly, until mostly pink – about 2 minutes.
- Remove shrimp and set aside.
- Add next 7 ingredients and turn heat to medium-high, stirring regularly.
- Cook sauce until slightly reduced, about 3-4 minutes, then add shrimp.
- Warm through and serve immediately over pasta, rice or orzo, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
**and ½ tsp (each) of zest