My littlest guy, Evan really REALLY likes to talk. He talks in the morning. He talks at night. He talks at school. When we go for conferences his teachers always say, “He’s so smart! And social!!!” When my little fella trudges in from the school bus looking all crestfallen and defeated, it’s always because he “pulled a card” (for those of you that aren’t familiar it’s the equivalent of getting your name on the board… DEMERIT!). For talking.
Evan sometimes talks just to hear himself talk. Like when he gives us a five-minute dialogue about socks while we drive down the road. Or when he ponders why one cereal is crunchier than the other instead of eating his breakfast at 6 o’clock in the morning.
Most recently, Evan came into our bedroom at 10:30 pm. I might mention that I send my children to bed at 9. So he wanders in, like as if it’s the middle of the day, while he is supposed to be sleeping, and says, “Mommy? I think I know how the squirrels come in our yard.”
Chad and I looked at each other and cracked up laughing. In the interest of not encouraging random late night dialogue about squirrels, I told Evan to please go to bed.
But my kid did not forget. Over a couple bowls of the crunchier cereal the following morning, Evan carefully laid out the squirrel traffic pattern for me, beginning with the dirt road across the way and ending at the bird feeders in the front yard. These are the things that keep 9-year-olds up at night.
And by the time he quit talking his cereal wasn’t crunchy anymore.
The only tried and true way to quiet my little chit chat long enough for the rest of us to get a word in edgewise is to make shrimp for dinner. Evan loves loves loves shrimp.
I found this recipe while reading one of my most favorite blogs: Can You Stay for Dinner? Read it.
In a medium bowl stir together 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1 tablespoon canola oil, 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 finely minced cloves of garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add 1 pound raw peeled shrimp, tossing to coat evenly, cover and refrigerate. Soak your skewers in water (this keeps them from burning up on the grill).
After at least an hour, skewer the shrimp.
Grill the shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side.
I served this deliciously sweet and spicy shrimp with a creamy lemon risotto and roasted asparagus.
Spicy Brown Sugar Shrimp from Can You Stay for Dinner?
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cloves of finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound raw peeled shrimp
Combine the lime juice, canola oil, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, minced garlic, and salt in a medium bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate, letting the shrimp marinate for at least an hour. Soak your skewers in water. Skewer the shrimp. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side. The shrimp will be a pretty and opaque pink.
**Note: I didn’t have any limes on hand so I used the juice of one lemon (it had been zested and was patiently waiting to be used for something). It was more than the tablespoon that was called for, so I ended up with more of a marinade than a rub. It was delicious, but lacked the sugary spice coating shown in Andie Mitchell’s original photos. I also used smaller shrimp (41-60 count) in the interest of my wallet. The moral of this is super flexible, crazy good recipe.**