Friday, February 16, 2007

Friday Florida Food Post: Shrimp Tales

(Last Sunday's supper)
Back when I was free to bring home girlfriends, they would eventually be invited for that first dinner at our house. It was always informal, and often my Dad would break out his shrimp frying skills and treat us to an all you can eat shrimp fry.
We would eat and talk and as we did, the shrimp tails would pile up on everyone's plate. Eventually, he would turn to the new girl, feign surprise and announce, " My goodness, look how many shrimp tails are on your plate!" This might be accompanied by a showing of his plate which had way less tails on it than it should. I believe the dog beneath the table was his accomplice.
Of course the new girl, (insert any female name here) would blush, and mutter something like, "..But they were so good, ... ", more blushing and then the beans would be spilled. We'd chuckle and Dad would look forward to the next time.
The first time I brought the future Mrs. FC home from college, Mom asked me if she liked shrimp (Yes) and so I knew what was coming.
So there we were munching fried crustaceans when the moment came. Dad leaned over to get a look at her plate and THERE WERE NO TAILS!
Not the first tail and yet, the future Mrs. FC had obviously been keeping up with the rest of us.
The dog wasn't in on it ... he was down under Dad's chair playing his role.
So, instead of his usual tease, he asked, " Honey, where are your shrimp tails?"
She looked down at all our plates with their mounds of little shrimp butts and said,
"OH, ... I EAT THEM"
We stared at her as if she had eaten the table's center piece.
"You EAT the tails?!"
We may have said that in perfect unison, we were equally amazed.
"Try one, you'll see", she said as she slipped a crunchy tail into her mouth.
I did.
She was right, they were tastey and crunchy, a perfect mix.
Well, I thought so at least, but I was newly in love.
Over the course of a marriage, I have been completely converted and now neither one of us leaves shrimp tails on our plates.
Dad still does.
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26 comments:

pablo said...

Wait a minute! this doesn't look like a weather report.

The MacBean Gene said...

Those look good! I sure do miss that Florida seafood. Actually I miss all the local Florida food. My wife thought mangos were OK until our neighbors, who live down there in Stuart, brought us some from their trees, now she's a Florida mangoholic

vicki said...

I'm STILL awake and now I'm cold AND hungry. Maybe I'll go back to sleep and dream of shrimp, get up and go to the 4th Street Shrmip store and then, NOOOOO! fly back to Chicago for a zoo weekend.

FC- Just WRITE the definitive cookbook already! These even smell delicious. Like scratch and sniff.

threecollie said...

Wait til paintmh see those...there will be no stopping her and someone will have to go to Rotterdam and buy her some frozen shrimp so she can have a fix.

pablo said...

You mean there are people who don't eat the tails? Must be the kind of folks who put sweetener in their iced tea!

Hurricane Teen said...

I don't eat the tails, I have always just been taught to suck the meat out of them with my teeth. My mom has eaten the tails before, but my family does not usually partake in this practice.

And now you've made me hungry.

Deb said...

Do you eat the shells of those boiled peanuts too?

roger said...

what a tale!

Alan said...

I process my shrimp tails through a hen. They're delicious when prepared that way.

....Alan {laughing}

Aikäne said...

Hey, thanks for my platter! Aren't you going to fry up some for yourself?

Do you have a bottle of Firecracker Teen's pepper sauce? I might never leave.

SophieMae said...

Those look SOOOOOOOO good! I could just crawl into the monitor and.... mmmmmmm mmmmmmm mmmmmmmmm... Since I have no time for shrimp sauteeing today, I think I'll head for Barnhill's and fill a plate. Not even in the same league with yours, but any shrimp in a crave.

Duller eats the tails, so I just throw mine on his plate.

robin andrea said...

Now you've done it, fc. I'm going to have to have some shrimp this weekend. It's been such a long time. I don't think I'll try those tails, though. Great story about the missus.

Paintsmh said...

Shrimp, I want shrimp. This is said with a high level of insanity. Shucks and it is snowing so I can't go get some. Darn it. You florida men are going to kill me.

mockingbird said...

I always eat the whole fried shrimp
with some datyl pepper sauce from
St Augustine!
Since 1966!

Mockingbird

Cathy S. said...

Oh, man. Don't tell my fiendish personal trainer who would kick my butt, but I am going to have to go to 4th Street Shrimp Store for dinner tonight. See what you started! Shrimp prices are going to skyrocket from demand once people read your post.

pissed off patricia said...

What kind of breading or batter do you use?

Thanks to hurricane teen and a link he gave me I have a brand new bottle, and I might add my first bottle, of Minorcan Datil Pepper Sauce. I'll mix it with some mayo and gobble up a whole bunch of those little critters this weekend. Add in a tossed salad and some homemade garlic bread and we'll have a feast!

I eat the tails but not that little plastic looking thing that comes between the tail and the rest of the shrimp. How's that for scientific lingo? :)

Have a great weekend! Also, stay warm. It's supposed to be 33 down here tonight.

ImagineMel said...

hello there...just wanted to tell you I didn't have shrimp (tails are awesome BTW) but did have some smoked sausage from the new meat place in town that was rather tasty. Bought bacon and pan sausage too for frying in the AM with some homemade biscuits and blackberry jam. Also (and this deserves caps) I BECAME A GALLONEER TODAY! YAY me! I feel good about my existence and it didn't hurt a bit! :) Happy weekend!

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

You may not have gotten any snow, but it was sure cold there.

My daughter-in-law was the only person that I knew that ate her shrimp tails, so I tried them and they aren't bad. It all depends on my mood if I eat them or not.

Mrs FC was clearly different than all the rest of your girlfriends and that's why you married her. hehehe

Floridacracker said...

Pablo,Mac, Vicki, ThreeC,
You first four got there before I wrote a single word. Pablo you might fit in well at our table. Vicki ... in my spare time?? Thanks tho!
Mac, oh a good mango is a wonderful thing.

HTeen,
No accounting for taste.

Deb,
No, I draw the line there, but I eat apple cores. Does that count?

ThreeCollie,
You shouldn't have to go to Europe to find shrimp.

roger,
"it's a whale of a tale to tell you lads, a whale of a tale that's true" ...kirk douglas, 20.000 leagues...

Alan,
I sure hope you mean as chicken and eggs.

Aikane,
We make our own.

Sophie,
I only eat mine until I start to get full, then I throw mine on her plate too.

Robin,
Shrimp fear me. I hope you enjoy yours!

Paintsmh,
Psssst, whine to your mom! Be extra pitiful ... we're suckers for that.

Mockingbird,
Welcome to Pure Florida! Good to see you know what hot sauce is the best! Gotta be datil.

Cathy S,
Take your personal trainer!
So this shrimp shop is something pretty special huh?

POP,
Noooooo! Don't cut it with mayo!
Sacrilege!
Your feast is just how we do it.

Mel,
CONGRATS ON ALL THOSE LIVES SAVED!!!
WOOHOOO!
Good thing you gave blood before all that sausage. No need to raise some injured persons cholesterol.

Floridacracker said...

Sandy,
Yes, I figured there might be more mysteries there.

Floridacracker said...

POP,
OOPS, I forgot to answer your question.

This was Osteen's Restaurant's recipe from the Seasonal Florida Cookbook.

Basically, a roll in flour, a dip in an eggwash, and a light dusting of cracker meal.
Mrs. FC and I liked it, but prefer our own single (lighter) coat of cracker meal only.

Cathy S. said...

4th Street Shrimp Store is the best and Wednesday is all you can eat shrimp night. Here is a review. If you are in St. Petersburg, it is the best place to eat. Tell your USF bound girls to try it when they get homesick for your cooking.

http://www.frommers.com/destinations/stpetersburg/D40764.html

Laura said...

LOL, what a great story!
Stay warm up there!

Floridacracker said...

Cathy S,
Thanks. It looks like we'll be visiting the area alot for the next 4 years.


Laura,
Hey! It's 34 here at midnight.

SophieMae said...

DAWG! I only WISH it was 34 here! One thermometer says 22, the other 26.4. WAY BRRRRR!!!!

Floridacracker said...

Garsh Sophie,put another log on the fire!!