Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bits and Pieces

We're back to steamy hot weather. It's oppressive and makes life outdoors difficult. I've wanted to do a bit of clean-up work on my travel trailer for weeks now and since the weather is so nice....chose this morning.

My home is covered and shaded by oaks, hickories, and two large Longleaf pines. Leaves I have in abundance. During the Spring of the year catkins flower and die and then rain down covering all surfaces with not only their spent yellow pollen but also brown dead catkin debris. My travel trailer and house suffer for it.

I gathered items needed for work, opened the trailer and set the a/c to 75. I checked the toilet and, sure as shooting, it was dry. Not a good thing. The rubber seal needs a bowl of standing water or it dries and cracks and then it's time for money, like that.

Back outside I pulled out the awning, set my step ladder and went to work. With a high pressure water nozzle I jetted out the rain gutters and cleaned the awning. Fun work in the heat, really.

It's amazing how much leaf matter collects between the awning and gutters.

Ready to clean.

I cant the awning to help the water drain.

And here is another shot, boring stuff, huh. I let it drain and dry for most of the day. Today we have sunny and partly cloudy weather. With my luck a thunderstorm will build within the hour.

After I closed shop yesterday I took Sweet Wife and Little Bit to the fish market. I needed a few pounds of fresh shrimp for today's Shrimp Creole. I'll be using my friend Kitchen Witch's granddaddy's recipe.
While we were there Sweet Wife asked if I'd prepare a fish dinner for last night's meal. I chose Vermillion Snapper, fresh from the Atlantic. We're lucky to have one of the best fish markets in the city. They get six to seven daily deliveries.
I like this little (so to speak) fish market. But, they have one heck of a nice scam. When I purchase any seafood item I always ask for the whole fish, or if shrimp, head on in the shell. I utilize the back bones and heads. and those shells, for stock. Stock is expensive when purchased. With just a little effort on my part I can have gallons in my freezer; it's prefect and adds flavor lacking in water to creoles, chowders, bouillabaisse, pilaf and other rice dishes.

Now, my friends at the fish market, with full knowledge most people only want fileted fish and heads off shrimp, keep those backbones and heads and place them on ice on the market floor with a marked price of $1.50 per pound. Think about it. You've just paid $6.99 for a pound of fish and walked out with only filets.
Fine, it's their business and if people are foolish enough to leave them another profit market, good for them. Nearly every chef in our city walks in and buys these wonderful stock ingredients at a, comparatively speaking, cheap price and present high priced meals to the same public.

My Little Bit at the fish market. She wanted to know if 'it' would bite.

The above was, 'it.'

Fresh shrimp from our local waters. This is for Arsenius...

Sweet Wife at the market...she doesn't know I took this photograph, hence the reason it's here...

Stock prep.

I never add herbs or seasoning to any seafood stock as it has a way of over-powering the final results. I simply bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer (most of the time) over night. Strain and freeze. With tonight's Creole I will use shrimp stock from my freezer.

But first I have several pounds of shrimp to peel and clean...see you guys later.