Three hours, shrimp pitas

I’ve had a bleach tray in my mouth for 2 and 1/2 hours, supposed to keep it in for 3. You know what this means: no eating, drinking (coffee!) through a straw. There is probably no better illustration of my impatience with being in the moment. Three hours feels like 300. Kind of like the 5-minute period of silence we were asked to observe in a Taize worship service last Monday morning at Charlotte’s Covenant Presbyterian. Endless!

And, yet, I know if I could pass these moments comfortably, I would be so much more comfortable in my life and skin. Just being. The most difficult challenge. For me, anyway. I have family members who are extraordinarily comfortable just being, usually horizontal on the couch. (My oldest daughter, though, does a very funny routine about trying to meditate in yoga class and the odd places her fizzy mind wanders.)

I’ve made more candy corn fudge (for a weekend bake sale) and spent way too much time fixing some shrimp. Now I’m going to stick daffodil bulbs in the ground. Last time I bleached my teeth I went for a bike ride and prayed no one in an ambulance would have the tray fall out in her hand.

The shrimp smell heavenly, and we’re going to fold them into whole-wheat pita pockets, just as soon as I get rid of the tray, drive 30 minutes to the supermarket for pitas and feta cheese.

I simmered shrimp in a bit of butter and a bigger bit of olive oil with garlic and sliced scallions, plus a generous sprinkling of Old Bay seasoning. As soon as shrimp turned pink, I turned off the heat, covered them and let them sit for a few moments. Put them in microwave-safe dish with 2 tablespoons white wine, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and 2 roasted sweet peppers (one bell and one cubanelle), sliced into skinny strips. When I put 1/4 cup feta crumbles over top of this mix, I’ll gently rewarm and serve. Yum city.

And, p.s., I’ve finally figured out that to successfully roast peppers, I have to split and seed them, put them on a hot dog fork and char them over a gas burner. After 15 minutes closed in a brown paper bag, the skins really do slip right off! Slice and use them in your recipe and be prepared to be amazed at the extra taste roasting adds.

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