My husband’s birthday was this past week. It was his second pandemic birthday. One was hard enough for my Aries, but we made it through. Hopefully this is the last he has to spend isolation from the rest of the world. He loves the world. And being in it. And I can’t wait to go back into it with him. I made him lotsa yummy food and wrote him a poem. Now I’m sharing both with you. Go hug your people, if you can. And if you can’t just yet, don’t worry, we’re so, so close. I promise.
The Great Balloon Liberator
The first balloon was raised to a child’s lips,
Probably by accident.
The discarded bladder of the pig their father slaughtered,
For a spring dinner.
The second balloon came with intention,
Filled with the knowledge of the first.
Awakening a magic,
In spectators and skeptics alike.
The third balloon was commonplace.
A parlor trick;
Like cigarettes passing through coins,
Or spirits and sprites turning tables.
The billionth balloon was handed to a little girl by her father,
After getting her braces tightened.
She tied its string too tight around her wrist,
And cried when she had to cut herself free.
The billionth and one balloon traveled in the hand of a little boy,
After a memory made.
He looked up to the sky he believed in,
And let go with an elation unrivaled in time and space.
The girl met the boy when her heart was wary and her wrists still worn.
The boy met the girl when he’d suffered a burn and crick in the neck kept the sky from view.
He saw the balloon ribbon that only needed a steady hand.
And she saw his outstretched arm.
The first balloon was inflated,
Probably by accident.
But he loosened the tie,
And the girl could breath.
And she pointed to the sky,
And the boy could see.
And they watched the balloon float, for a while.
Kiss Kiss Shrimp (Copycat Bang Bang Shrimp)
- 1/2 C mayonnaise
- 1/2 tspn garlic chili sauce
- 4 ‘swirls’ of Sriracha (*I did not measure this well, I’d say it was maybe about 2 T – but all I did was squeeze the bottle and moved it in a circular motion four times into the mayo)
- 1 tspn honey
- 1/2 C cornstarch
- 1/2 C flour
- 1/2 C buttermilk
- 1 lb raw shrimp, tails & shell removed
- Canola oil, for frying
- 1 head Napa cabbage, shredded
- Chives, for garnish (optional)
- A few bowls for breading station
- Various measuring spoons and cups
- Medium mixing bowl
- Mixin’ spoon
- Heavy bottomed skillet pan
- In a medium bowl, mix mayo, garlic chili sauce, sriracha, and honey until incorporated. Set aside. (I used a bowl with a lid for easy tossing later)
- But the buttermilk in a shallow bowl and add the shrimp.
- Mix the cornstarch and flour in a separate shallow bowl.
- Heat about a 1/2 inch of canola oil in your pan over medium high-ish heat until about 375, or sizzling when flicked with water.
- While your oil heats up, take the shrimp, allowing the excess buttermilk to drip, then lightly coat in cornstarch mixture. Do this as quickly as possible – cornstarch can make things sticky.
- Fry the shrimp, about 1-2 minutes on each side, careful to not over cook but brown. Shrimp cooks fast so if your oil is hot enough you should be able to easily go by the color of the breading for when the shrimps are done. Remove them as they finish (going in batches if needed to not overcrowd the pan) and set on a plate with a paper towel.
- When all the shrimp is cooked, toss in the bowl of mayo mixture and toss to throughout coat.
- Serve over a bed of finely shredded Napa cabbage, and garnish with chives (optional)
- Eat with chopsticks if you’ve got ’em!