Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Visit With An Old Friend(s)

I’ve commented in the past about how easily I let go of relationships and I’m actually realizing I don’t like that about myself, so when I ran across an old friend, Jeni, from work on Facebook, I invited her down for a catch-up get together.  She advised she’d like to bring her significant other and we were so pleased when he turned out to be someone else we’d had worked with and was also a friend and Bev’s old boss, Ken.  It was such a pleasant surprise to get a two-for-one visit with old friends.

It was a gorgeous fall day so we decided to have it at the dock and I’d advised Jeni we’d provide a lite lunch – well you know how that goes.  Our original plan was for only Avocado and Shrimp Salad With Mango Dressing using the recipe from Lea Ann at Mangoes, Chili, and Z, which we’d had twice before.  Then Bev suggested we serve the salmon cakes we had in the freezer as an appetizer.  This was followed a day or two later with a desire to make a corn chowder recipe she’d seen in the paper.  And finally she advised we’d have to have some type of dessert, so a full blown lunch was at hand with:

Course 1 – Salmon cakes served on a bed of cheesy spinach with remoulade sauce
Course 2 – Corn chowder (I can’t believe she didn’t think of cornbread – I kept quiet)
Course 3 - Shrimp salad with Naan bread Ala Lea Ann
Course 4 – Ice cream topped with hot chocolate, whipped cream, and a cherry

For the salad, we followed LA’s recipe including the shrimp pot ingredients.  For large shrimp that I consider perfectly cooked, I bring the water to a boil, add the shrimp, top with a lid, turn off the heat, and set a timer.  After 7 minutes they go into an ice bath to stop the cooking.  The time can be varied a little for shrimp size.

Bev made the corn chowder starting with a recipe out of USA Weekend, from Pam Anderson of Three Many Cooks and adjusted it to suit her.  It was designed to be made without a dairy product but Bev decided it needed some.

Grilled Corn Chowder With Peppers And Cilantro
Adapted from Pam Anderson 

8 ears husked corn - 4 ears left whole and kernels cut from remaining ears and the cobs scraped to release juice
1 large onion - peeled and sliced ½” thick
½ red bell pepper - stemmed and seeded
½ green bell pepper - stemmed and seeded
1½ pounds potatoes - ½” slices
1½ Tbs - olive oil
To taste - salt and ground black pepper
8 slices bacon - chopped
1 tsp - dried thyme leaves
1 quart - chicken broth
2 Tbs - chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
1½ “ - Velveeta cheese, from regular size block
To taste - roasted garlic hot sauce
To taste - garlic powder

Brush the 4 ears of corn, onion, bell pepper and potatoes with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Purée cut and scraped corn in a blender (you should have about 2 cups).

Heat gas grill, igniting all burners on high for at least 10 minutes, or build a hot charcoal fire.  Clean grate with a wire brush and lubricate with an oil-soaked rag.  Place vegetables on hot grate and cook until just tender about 10 minutes.  Cook corn until browned on all four sides.

Remove vegetables from grill; set aside until cool enough to handle.  Chop potatoes, peppers, and onions, and remove corn from cobs

Meanwhile, fry bacon in a large soup kettle over medium-high heat until crisp.  Add thyme and then corn purée; cook until it begins to bubble.  Add chicken broth and bring to a boil; add vegetables, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until flavors blend, about 5 minutes.  Then add the cheese and when melted, taste and add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and hot sauce.  Stir in cilantro, ladle into bowls, and garnish with cilantro leaves.  This is it in the pot.

We thought the soup was delicious and so did our guests – we ate nearly all of it.  One change Bev said she'd make is to omit the hot sauce and add a roasted jalapeno or two with the other veggies.

The shrimp salad was once again delicious and the heated chocolate topping on the ice cream was left from the Kaluha cake she made a while back – it was delicious this way.

We washed it down with a variety of liquids, including a few sips of Cherry Moonshine brought by Ken - it was pretty tasty.

We had a wonderful visit and promised to work harder to get together more often.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

Two years ago:  Black And Blue Salad



  1. Nothing nicer tahn to share good time with good food and nice people:))You should cherish good friends so hard to find these days:)

  2. Nothing beats a get-together with old friends. More often than not, we pick up where we left off and it seems as we had seen them only yesterday.

    Great eats Larry. Nice to see perfectly cooked shrimp - so often that isn't the case.

  3. That roasted vegie corn chowder sounds exquisite! I've got to try it before our veggies are gone. I just realized I didn't make that shrimp salad all Summer. For some reason that recipe is so flavorful and is filed in my "find of the century" category in my cookbook database. Thanks for the shout out and it's such a compliment that you whipped it up for guests. I like your method for cooking shrimp. Will try it next time.

  4. Sounds like a lovely evening! Good company, good food.. what else is there really?? Love that you reconnected with not only one friend from the past but two!

  5. Your light lunch turned into a feast, Larry. It sounds like you had a wonderful day with your old friends.

  6. The corn chowder was really fantastic. I look forward to having it again.

    And Happy Birthday, Big Dude!

  7. Sometimes, circumstances change and we just can't keep up with everyone. Glad you got the chance to catch up with not one but two old friends!

  8. I swear I have GOT to wrangle me up and invitation to visit y'all!! ;)

    Seriously, glad you are trying to revive old friendships. Very recently Larry I ran across a friend of mine on Facebook too. She and I lived only a few houses away from one another & we were the best of friends back then in those high school days, but as things go, she went off before graduation with the love of her life & I lost touch with her. When we reconnected recently we wrote each other via email and spoke of how we should get together blah blah blah, never did. Kept meaning to call to meet up with her for lunch but let the business of life get in the way. Next I heard, she had died of an accidental overdose of prescription medication. I was devastated & could have kicked myself for not taking the time to spend some time with her. Sure made me think about just how fragile life is I tell ya.

  9. Facebook is a great way to meet up with long lost friends. It looks like you had a wonderful lunch... that chowder is calling my name!

  10. It sounds like a great get-together and wonderful that you met up with her on FB. That proves it is not all bad. lol It looks like you served some tasty food for everyone to enjoy. Thanks for the videos about pan frying!!! They were all informing and I learned some new things which I will be implementing soon.

  11. looks so amazing and yummy .. thanks also for the recipe

  12. I like Bev's idea about the roasted pepper. If this weather keeps up, I'll be in the soup making mood soon!

  13. I agree on how we let our friendships lapse. Maybe we realize their importance the older that we get. Since I'm allergic to shellfish and can't enjoy crab cakes, I'm always on the look-out for great salmon cake recipes. Did you share it on another post so that I can take a peek at it?


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