Thursday, June 15, 2006

One of the World's Most Perfect Foods (and a few random musings...)

One of the world's most perfect foods has got to be Shrimp and Grits.

I love this combination - and have not one, not two, but three recipes for it in my regular rotation. Yes, I realize that sounds crazy, but each recipe serves a particular purpose. There's the recipe which is one of the best things you'll ever eat - but it requires a ton of prep, and contains even more calories! There's the surprisingly good Cooking Light version, and then there's the 5 ingredients/under 30 minutes version. So you see, this is a foodstuff about which I feel strongly.

Therefore, I was excited to read in the paper today that Nathalie Dupree (who was teaching us how to cook Southern long before the Food Network was around) has a new cookbook out devoted solely to this subject.

It's called, appropriately enough, Nathalie Dupree's Shrimp and Grits Cookbook.
My very first thought was "how do you write a whole cookbook about just this one food?"
My second thought followed immediately and was "Are you kidding me? You've got three recipes that you use all the time, and you've tried who knows how many to narrow it down to those three!"

The article went on to report that Nathalie is going to be in town next Thursday - literally intown as in just a stone's throw away! - doing a book signing.

SIDE NOTE: You may have noticed a theme in these posts: my world is small. I might live in a big@$$ city, but I tend not to stray too far from home. Pretty much everything I need is within a 5 mile radius of my home. If we didn't like to sleep so much, we could walk to Schecky's school (however, we really like sleeping and would have to get up about 25 minutes earlier in order to walk!) The grocery is close, the library is close, Target is close. I really don't drive much! On an average week, I put about 75 miles on my car.
< /End SIDE NOTE - but remember this fact that I don't drive much, because it'll emerge again in a minute...>

Anyway - I am hoping to be able to attend the book signing - because I do admire Nathalie (I've had occasion to meet her on previous occasions when she would do book signings at the Macy*s where I once worked) and am interested in this book. However, this coincides with the day that I am driving Schecky up to Tennessee to stay with his grandparents (Bubba's folks) for a long weekend. I am hoping that I can get up to TN and back before the 7 pm book signing. If I time it right, it should be O.K.

MUSING ONE: I am kind of excited because this will be the first time that I really gotten to drive my station wagon for any distance at all. It's sad that I've had this car for almost 4 months now, and I very rarely ever drive above 45 miles an hour in it. I think that I've been on the Interstate a handful of times, but never for more than just an exit-or-two's worth of driving.
Additionally, I've been in kind of a "road trip" place lately - just having that urge to throw some stuff in a bag, grab the boys and just GO! But schedules and finances have not been favorable for the impromptu road trip, so I've been good and refrained. I'm not sure that driving up to Knoxville and back really counts as a road trip, but maybe I can fool myself into thinking it's an escape, and it will be nice to see how the car does on the Interstate.

MUSING TWO (and a completely abrupt subject change): I would like some feedback on the book review posts - do you enjoy them? Would you miss them if I quit?
I enjoy doing the reading, and I like passing along the titles that I really enjoy, but two weeks into the summer reading list, and I must admit that I have not particularly enjoyed creating those posts.
First of all, it's a lot of work. And I imagine it's a lot of work for you, the reader, to slog your way through it!
Second of all, I know that I am not that great of a writer to begin with, and I am even less strong as a reviewer. I also feel a tad hypocritical, particularly if I didn't like the book - I'm no writer, so who am I to criticize someone who really is?
Anyway - I just wanted to get your two-cents worth. Maybe I'll continue to keep a list - but not do a plot summary and review unless I like the book??? Please advise....


The Caretaker said...

Your reviews are excellent; but, with my short attention span... and recent track record of library visitation, I'd be just as happy with a simple "thumbs up" or down sort of review.

manda said...

Ok, first of all I have no desire to offend you - but what the hell are grits? I have of course heard of them before, but I've never had it explained what they actually are.We use grit over here to stop our roads from being icy in the winter! I honestly can't imagine eating something called grits!

autum said...

Manda's comment is so funny!! I like your reviews and I think you are an excellent writer. You could just do a review of books you like? Would that be easier? A way of saying "hey, I thought this was good and maybe you'll enjoy it too"

Shrimp and grits... I've never had it and not sure I'd like it. I once got a little bit of garlic in my grits from the margarine and it gagged me. Not sure why, but I don't think I'd like grits mixed with dinner food. It's ok to eat grits as dinner food but with other breakfast foods. Yea, I'm crazy...

Seren said...

Not to make you all self-conscious, but you are so TOO a writer (see blog posts #1 through ...) -- and anyway, what's a writer without a reader? You have all the cred you need. :)