Discover more from Magik
Life Is Good—Shrimp Good!
Too Small for the Headlines
Life is lived in inches and moments. Social media is keyed to show us the big, bad, brash, bodacious, and belittling. It also does some good stuff, too.
I’ve noticed in my recent online travels that we seem to be hitting a saturation point. Before social media, we all knew everyone has an opinion, just like they have a butthole. Except that, with the explosion of social media (for me, it really picked up around 2007), everyone rushed to show their buttholes—erm, I mean, opinions. As the technology for what we could post online accelerated, so did the frenetic nature of the butthole opinions, mine included.
I stay active on social media because I’m a writer, and a pretty darn good one. Social media, or SM for short (dare I call it SM?) offers a route for me to cultivate an audience, for my works aren’t finished till a reader completes them. And, yeah, I am gonna call it SM because it’s both sadistic and masochistic all at once. Up till my transition, I aired my butthole like everyone else and made new friends, while losing old ones … till I no longer cared about my opinion or anyone else’s. Then I began to cull what I took in. I shaped Facebook and the rest to show me things of joy and hope. I mean, I’d always found myself in an SM bubble, echoing my beliefs, hopes, and prejudices back to me like that was the TRUTH with a capital T. So, why not?
When I took the self-care step of limiting what came into my feed, I ceased engaging in the sadism and masochism. Now, for me, SM is another utility, like electricity, water, and gas. I don’t want my sink to flood with sewage, and I don’t let my SM feeds bathe me in the S&M of the madding crowd. I know there are folks out there with crazy, antisocial, hateful, and plain batshit-crazy ideas. I know what those ideologies are and don’t need to poke a toe in them. When I limited my exposure, I found that I could better hear the messages of other folks who aren’t in it for the pain and gain. I’m happier because of it.
So, I’ve noticed that the frenzy of opinion is settling into a routine, and I’d like to think that’s because we’re all treating SM like a utility. Over the past 20 years, we’ve changed the tenor of our discourse, and, after two decades of people screaming, we’re hopefully tired of being hoarse and deaf.
Perhaps that view is because I did intentionally curate my exposure, and maybe I’m deluding myself. I don’t know, and I don’t have to care. You’re here reading this, and you’re completing me. Like shrimp.
Shrimp are good, people. Really good. Little parcels of tender texture and taste. Like the moments and inches of space where I live my life. I like being with Pam. I like saying to her, “Hey, I’ve gotta do another post.” I don’t have to. I like to, like I enjoy shrimp. The meal is made, eaten, and enjoyed in a relative matter of minutes. And it’s yummy, like life.
Because I didn’t feel this way until after I transitioned, I have painful memories of trying to take life in huge, tasteless gulps and gorgings, like I had to forget myself as I filled myself … to forget myself. And the pain of being me.
Now, I just shrimp it. Easy to prepare. Easy to make it tasty. Easy to enjoy with Pam while we watch Sherlock, Anthony Bourdain reruns, or The Great British Baking Show.
I highly recommend taking life in bite-size morsels, provided the sauce is right. And, yeah, the sauce is good. Really good.
Gamberetti all'Aglio della Cagna (B*tch's Garlic Shrimp Pasta)
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 15 min Total Time: 30 min Difficulty: Easy Servings: 4 servings
You'll fancy yourself an Italian chef in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome when you prepare this easy dish for friends and loved ones. The heart of Italian cuisine is the pleasure derived from simplicity of preparation and ingredients. Don't skimp on the Romano cheese; buy a wedge of the real, imported stuff if your budget allows.
This dish works perfectly fine with boxed pasta, but for that extra umph that shows La Bella Vita, reward yourself and your guests by making your own fresh pasta.
Lg saucepan (I swear by a Bialetti)
Lg frying pan/skillet
Fine cheese grater
8 oz (225g) linguine pasta
1T olive oil, plus extra for drizzling, if needed
1lb (450g) shrimp
¼t ground black pepper
1t smoked paprika
2t Italian seasoning
2 garlic cloves, sliced
½C heavy cream
½C Romano Cheese, freshly grated fine
¼C fresh arugula, for garnish (optional)
1. [Optional] Make your pasta per my Pasta Dough recipe (to come in a future post).
2. In lg saucepan, heat water. When water reaches rolling boil, add pasta and cook al dente. When you drain pasta, reserve 1C of pasta water. (Pasta water is Italian secret cooking gold.)
3. While pasta water heats, in frying pan over med heat, melt butter, then add olive oil. Add shrimp, and sauté for 1 min, then season with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and Italian seasoning. (B*tchy Tip: Always crush dried herbs in your palm before sprinkling in to release the volatile oils that make the dish tasty and aromatic.)
4. Cook shrimp to pinkness, making sure to not overcook and toughen. (You can always remove frying pan from heat if there's a delay in the pasta boil.)
5. To frying pan, add garlic (drizzling in extra olive oil if pan is dry), sauté for 30 sec. (Overcooking garlic turns it bitter to taste.)
6. Add heavy cream, using spatula to make sure it doesn't stick.
7. Add Romano, melting it into cream to form a sauce. If sauce is tight/dry/thick, thin with small addition(s) of reserved pasta water.
8. Simmer 1 min.
9. Add frying pan mixture to pasta pan while pasta is still hot. Toss to coat.
10. Garnish with arugula leaves.
Serve with a fresh salad, to be enjoyed the Italian way—after the entree, to aid digestion. Buon Appetito!