Tuesday, December 30, 2008


It's shrimp fishing season in Maine, a time which we look forward to every year. Maine shrimp are not nearly as big as the Gulf shrimp most folks are accustomed to seeing. They are small and have a very sweet flavor and it's a lot of work for the amount of usable shrimp we get, but they are well worth the effort.

We purchased five pounds worth this morning and spent the afternoon prepping them.

First, we rinsed them and then Spike and Sluggo, the ever curious duo had to inspect them.

After giving them the sniff test and deciding they were not interested in the smelly little crustaceans, they went on to other, more exciting adventures before their designated nap times.

Never ones to waste anything, after boiling, beheading and peeling the shrimp, we put the peels and heads into a pot and simmered them to get all of the good flavor out of them.

After straining all the liquid out of the pot, the little carcasses were strewn upon the compost heap. After the crows have their fill, there won't be much left for the garden.

The resulting liquid was then brought to another simmer; carrot, celery, onion, bay leaves and parsley were added and then simmered until the broth was reduced by half. The resulting flavorful shrimp court bullion will be frozen and added to the next cioppino or boulliabaise I make.

On another topic, I noticed this beautiful knitted hooded cardigan in one of my knitting books. It's a gorgeous lacy pattern and I couldn't wait to get started. I made a working copy of the pattern, made sure I had the correct size needles and stopped by Shirley's, my favorite yarn store, and picked out a lovely raspberry red cotton yarn.

The problems began as soon as I reached the lace part of the pattern. For some strange reason, I kept coming up short on stitches and after "tinking" (that's knitting backwards, or tearing out all the work you've done) numerous times, I became disgusted and put it away for a while. I'm happy to report that I've begun again with renewed vigor and think I've found my problem. We shall see. I'll update occasionally.

In the mean time, I've made several eco market bags as they are mindless knitting and keep my fingers occupied while sitting in front of the tv in the evenings. Here is a picture of the latest one but I have to run out to purchase another ball of yarn for the handle. These bags take me an evening or two to knit and make great gifts. Rather than wrapping my gifts in paper, I just put them in these bags. They stretch nicely and can be used for grocery shopping, a book bag, or whatever.

The pattern is free and can be found at:



I also finished another hat - this one is for me for a change! Kinda looks a little "gnomey" don't you think?

Life is sometimes frustrating, but still good!

Hugs, Giddy


Kerri said...

There you go again! Mmmmm..shrimp! Or prawns as we call them in Australia. We used to get Myall River prawns..also small and sweet. They were the most flavorful. Yum!
Fancy Spike and Sluggo not being interested. Perhaps they were waiting for you and H to shell a few for them :)
Ross says he thinks you look delightful in your lovely cardigan. He's a real comedian, isn't he? I hope the frustration lessons as time goes on. I've been there and done that!
Love your gnomey little hat :) It's just the right gnome color!
Thanks for the New Year wishes, dear Giddy. We're wishing back to you and H much joy and many blessings for 2009.
And of course, Jasmine and Molly send greetings to your handsome boys :)

Giddy said...

Tell Ross "thanks", but even in my best days, I never looked like that model! '-)