I actually love to go grocery shopping, I know, I know, I've said that numerous times. I feel that the grocery store is a place for my creativity to run wild, there are endless possibilities of what to create. I am trying to save money like everyone else, so I try to cook whatever is either fresh and in season, or on sale. Today shrimp and mangoes were a super buy so I made sure I purchased them. Both are so easy to use, and taste amazing. I think tonight I will have this salad for a light dinner, tomorrow I will probably make shrimp tacos with mango salsa to change it up a little bit.
Today at the store there was also a great sale on spices so I stocked up on those, and also had an interesting experience in the spice aisle. I was grabbing quite a few different ones to make sure that I had backups of all of my current spices. I noticed some people were taking note of how many I was getting, but really didn't think too much of it, and honestly didn't care. In the aisle there was also a young woman who really needed some help, she just got married 10 days ago, and was just back from the honeymoon. This was her first time shopping as a married woman, now I am young, I am only thirty, but she was quite a bit younger than me, and this was her first time on her own grocery shopping and it was bringing her to tears.
I asked her I could do to help her or if there was any questions that I could answer. She had two questions; one being what do you do with cinnamon, and secondly how much olive oil do you need to make chocolate chip cookies. Interesting two questions huh? So my personal opinion is that she is going to have a lot more questions than just those two. I answered both of her questions and she began to tell me about her situation and how worried she was. As clueless as she may seem to all of us, she really was a sweet girl, but she had fallen into a common trap of many young women I know. Ever since she was a little girl she thought she would grow up and marry someone rich so she wouldn't ever have to worry about things like cooking. Well she is now 21 and married to a struggling college student, not exactly what she had anticipated, but asked me where to begin. I gave her a few suggestions and told her of a few books and websites that she should refer to. I must admit, I am very curious to see how that all plays out for her. Maybe I should have asked if she knew how to clean...oh well.
As I left the store I thought again about how grateful I am that my mother taught me how to take care of myself, and that she taught me about food and cooking. I am grateful to my mother for teaching me self-reliance, that was a tremendous gift she instilled in me. So here I am back at home with my new spices, and ready to create in the kitchen.
Spicy Shrimp and Mango Salad
2 large mangoes diced
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 serrano, seeded, minced (optional)
1 pound shrimp (medium size)
2 cups greens
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon red pepper
Combine green onions, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, and chile in a bowl. Mix in diced mango. Chill while preparing shrimp.
Cook shrimp with salt and pepper & red pepper, cook till opaque.