Lately I feel like I’m on the verge of becoming the stereotypical crotchety old lady. The one who mutters under my breath about “kids these days” and “hell in a handbasket” and then wonders why people avoid making eye contact with me as they pass by. All I need to complete the transformation is a housecoat, hair rollers, and a coffee mug full of gin as I sweep my porch. Ok, maybe that is a bit of a stretch. Because anyone who knows me knows that my coffee mug would be hiding vodka or wine….never gin.
Who knew that I would feel so old and tired at 42? But when you’re young and daydream about what the future holds, you totally gloss over the unglamorous parts of being an adult. Things like pulling weeds, taking out the trash, paying bills, and navigating the tough patches in relationships. What you think about is the freedom of being an adult when you get to call the shots.
You certainly don’t imagine what it will feel like to work a full day, slog through rush hour traffic with a cranky toddler as your backseat driver, and arrive home to discover hair balls and cat vomit deposited throughout your house. Or as I like to call it, Wednesday.
Oh, and when you do finally get in the door, clean up the vomit, change a diaper, and set the toddler up with enough toys to stock an aisle at Target, you are expected to make dinner magically appear. After dinner there are dishes to wash, clothes to fold, emails to return, bed time for the toddler, lunches to make, and deep breaths to take. Glamorous, right?
Some days I handle this with more grace than others. And on my best days, I have dinner mostly prepped and ready to go in the fridge. Because let’s be real, if I didn’t we would have cereal for dinner as often as we have cereal for breakfast. And as glamorous as that may sound when you’re young, at 42 I can tell you that it’s really not.
Chilled Avocado Soup with Shrimp
Adapted from Cooking Light Good Mood Food
BAH Note: Cooking Light calls for low fat sour cream. I got feisty and used regular. Let your conscience (and your waistline) be your guide. Yes, this dish has several components. But they can all be made ahead of time. When you’re ready to serve, just put all the pieces together.
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 1⁄2 cups diced peeled avocado (about 2)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3⁄4 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound shrimp, unpeeled
- 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup corn kernels (about 2 ears if using fresh)
- 1⁄4 cup chopped red onion
To prepare soup, place chicken broth, avocado, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Cover and chill.
For lime cream, combine sour cream, cilantro (if using), lime juice and zest, and salt in a bowl. Stir until combined and add additional lime juice to get the consistency you like.
To prepare shrimp, heat oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Spread the shrimp into a single layer on the sheet pan, coat with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes or until the shrimp is firm and cooked through. Allow to cool thoroughly before peeling.
While the shrimp roasts and cools, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until the onions begins to soften. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally to allow the mixture to brown and char a bit.
Serve the chilled avocado soup garnished with the shrimp, lime cream, and corn mixture.