“I tramp a perpetual journey.” — Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
My wife cried today. Sure, she’s shed her fair share of tears, but this time was different.
‘I’ve lived here longer than any place else I’ve ever lived and we’re leaving this place,’ she told me as we drove. ‘Seventeen years…’
I wasn’t sure how to respond.
‘Me too!’ I said with a smile.
Truth is, I was born and raised in my small northeast Texas town. Like most other youngsters, my goal was to leave. And I did. I returned here though … with a wife and family in tow.
I’ve taken a couple of journeys in my time. They revolved entirely around finances. This journey is different. Sure, it’s an advancement in a vocation that I absolutely love. But it’s also a quality of life thing for me.
Before she spent 17 years in our small Texas town, my bride has called home numerous locales in New York and New Jersey. In between all of those, she hung her hat in a cabin on a huge ship that cruised the Caribbean.
‘Adam probably wouldn’t understand this,’ I once overheard ‘but nothing compares to life on a cruise ship.’
That comment came more than 20 years ago. We newlyweds were on a cruise ourselves and it was probably the first time my wife’s words hurt my feelings. Except she didn’t mean it in the way I received it. She was right. I didn’t understand.
As we embark a new adventure – our first for work and play – I understand now.
Sure, melancholy has reared its head with both of us. We’ve raised our children here and know just about every back road, radio station and greasy spoon. There’s a certain comfort in knowing what convenience store has the coldest bottled soda, or the intersections with the shortest green lights.
But this is our ‘cruise ship.’ And nothing compares.
Ah, the freezer! It’s not much different than a youngster with dreams: full of ideas that rarely come to fruition. So, what to do with some jumbo shrimp and prepackaged flat breads? I’m about to show you … and it’s delicious!
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Shrimp & Avocado Flat Bread
- 3 - 2½-3 oz. Flat bread pieces (any type is fine)
- 1 lb. - Jumbo (21-26) shrimp, deveined and peeled entirely
- 2 - Medium avocados
- ½ cup - Mild salsa
- ½ cup - Queso fresco, Feta or Goat Cheese (crumbling)
- ¼ cup - Sour cream
- ¼ cup - Fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 TB - Lime juice
- 1 TB - Vegetable oil
- Cube the avocados in ½-1 inch chunks and toss with lime juice in a bowl; set aside.
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil to medium-high. (Meanwhile, begin preheating grill or griddle to warm the flatbreads.)
- Add shrimp to saucepan and cook, tossing regularly, until just pink throughout, about 3 minutes.
- Place cooked shrimp in large bowl; add salsa and toss to coat.
- Grill flat breads until warmed and slightly crispy, about 1 minute per side.
- Spread a thin layer of sour cream on each flat bread; add shrimp, avocado chunks, cheese and a garnish of cilantro.
- Slice into halves or thirds for appetizer portions; or leave whole for individual servings.