Spring showed up yesterday and she showed up in a big way.
The sky was blue. The breeze was cool. The sun was warm.
Trees are blossoming, flowers are blooming, birds are chirping.
Walking out into the yard now means that I can smell the trees and the grass and the flowers.
Our asparagus starts and berry bushes came in yesterday so Nick and I will be getting the garden ready this weekend, including building raised beds, planting the blueberry and raspberry bushes, and (hopefully) tilling up some land to get our peas planted.
And last night after work was perfect.
While we were waiting for someone to come look at our old lawnmower, we sat in our rocking chairs on the back porch and I read a chapter of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle aloud. I seem to read this book at least once a season, and Spring is definitely my favorite time of year to pull it back off the bookshelf – or, really, out of the box in the basement since we don’t have any bookshelves in our new house yet.
I’m so excited to have a real garden this year – the space we had at our old house was very tiny and not flat and it made it hard to really grow much of anything. So this year will be fun: we’re planting things we’ve never grown before, and I’m psyched to see what does well.
After some quiet time on the porch, enjoying the weather, I got started on a quick and easy dinner.
And I think I’ve finally made a good batch of grits. Nick enjoyed them, and that’s saying a lot since he’s not a huge grits fan in the first place.
But really – how can they not be good when they’re full of white and chipotle cheddar cheese and topped with shrimp and bacon?
This was my first time to ever make shrimp and grits at home, and it definitely won’t be my last.
While not traditional, I used instant grits (it was all I had in the house) and it still turned out great. Plus, that means it got to the table in 10 minutes, total.
Back porch sitting and shrimp and grits for dinner. I think country life is agreeing with me
Quick Shrimp and Grits
- 2 cups water
- 2/3 cup instant grits
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup chipotle cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 slice bacon, diced
- 1 scallion/green onion, sliced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- pinch crushed red pepper
Pour water into a pot and bring to a boil.
Slowly pour the grits into the water, stirring constantly. Lower the heat to medium-low and let cook, covered, 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the water is absorbed.
Stir in the salt, pepper, and cheese until the cheese melts. Cover pot and keep warm.
For the shrimp, heat a large skillet over medium heat.
Put the diced bacon in the pan and let it brown and crisp up, 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the bacon is cooked, remove the pieces to a paper-towel lined plate.
Lower the heat on the pan to medium and add the shrimp into the pan (yes, with the leftover bacon grease – you don’t want to waste that!).
Let the shrimp cook 1-2 minutes on the first side or until they are starting to curl a little and are turning opaque.
Flip the shrimp over and add the scallions, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to the pan.
Let this mixture cook 1-2 minutes until shrimp are fully opaque.
Place grits on plate or in bowl and top with half of the shrimp mixture and half of the bacon.