Sunday, September 9, 2007

A Farmer's Market Surprise

On the heels of my very industrious Friday came the perfect Saturday. I was up early for coffee with a friend, and out to my little town’s farmers market. I’ve been meaning since JUNE to get out to this market, as it’s brand new this year, and I’ll take shopping under sunny blue skies over shopping under fluorescent lighting any day, all day long.

One of the ‘vendors’ at the farmers market was a town representative. She had a little survey about what other things they could sell, information on the existing vendors and recipes. Two of those recipes quickly became my shopping list. I bought everything I needed for Shrimp and Veggie Stew and Corn and Tomato Casserole right there in the town hall parking lot. Including the best smelling spicy Basil EVER. There was a frappe/smoothie/fair trade coffee stand, a fresh fish stand, a fresh herbs stand, a skin care stand, a raw honey stand and the cutest little old man who called me ‘little missy’ and sold me okra, tomatoes, squash and jalapeno and banana peppers. There was also a big hairy dog named Alice who didn’t sell me anything, but let me scratch her blonde head and wagged her tail for me.

It doesn’t get any better.

I pretty much skipped back to the house to start chopping vegetables for my stew, and right there in my kitchen, is where things got a little freaky.

First order of business on the recipe was to marinade the shrimp in fresh lime juice. I measured the lime juice and poured it into a ziploc baggie – and reached for the shrimp, peeling and deveining ahead, I thought. While not my favorite cooking task, I was completely unprepared for what lurked in that bag. You see, I have never seen shrimps with their heads still on. They have big bulgy eyes, and long LONG antennae things.. and they were looking at me, all prehistorically angry and accusatory. I almost couldn’t do it. I seriously considered throwing them out. It took all of my concentration to slice off their little (freakin' huge!) shrimp heads - while being very careful not actually touch those creepy, bulgy eyes, cuz EW.

In fact, pretty quickly I decided the only way I was going to get through it was to do get rid of those heads (EYES) first. Things got a little better after that, but I spent the next several hours while the vegetables sat in my crock pot debating on whether or not I would be able to actually add the shrimp “just before serving”.

Six hours later, I got over it and added the marinated shrimp.
Not long after that, I was completely over it, because that stew, creepy headless shrimp and all, was awesome.


Tracy Kaply said...

You should call it Creepy Headless Stew.

utenzi said...

The heads are great, Cravey. Once you pull them off they're great for making a sauce. Of course you discard the heads before you serve it.

roo said...

you're brave.
i woulda filled up mojo's puppy pool and threw them in there.
i don't eat shrimp.

rennratt said...

I don't eat shrimp (allergic), but I LOVE the Farmer's Market.

We try to spend as many Saturday afternoons there as possible, every summer.

I love wandering through and purchasing food that I KNOW was grown well.

kenju said...

I think I'd have to buy them with their heads already off. But I'd sure love to eat some of that!!

roo said...

also... can we go?
i'll take you to the columbus one. no one will call you little missy. someone would get knocked out here for that.

tiff said...

Aw shoot - them heads ain't nuthin. They're just the sensory organs of formerly sentient beings that you're EATING.


Anonymous said...

It's called the food chain, Cravey. Aclimate to it. Although the people at the very, very, tip top of the food chain buy their stuff at the grocery store. Just sayin...

kotzebue said...

Ok, so technically shrimp don't have faces, so they wouldn't violate the rule of "I won't eat anything with a face," but [shudder].

You're a brave woman, Cravey-girl!

Biff Spiffy said...


Never feed me those. Unless they're tasty. In which case, you can feed me them, but don't show me the bucket o' heads. Jibblies!