Tag Archive: job loss

Easy Shrimp Chowder

One of the things I have enjoyed about Facebook is you see different things. If life doesn’t take you to the library to check out various magazines, Facebook brings it to your computer screen.

Provided you ‘like’ said magazine.

Now why I ‘liked’ Southern Living magazine in the first place is beyond me. I am not from the south, I have no plans to move to the south (I have a low heat tolerance), and I have only a few relatives who live in the south.

But this magazine also does drop-dead gorgeous pics of homes. I am willing to guess I drooled over something I discovered by accident.

Right now I am out of work. I was laid off – which is a bummer. But I am still spending a lot of time on my computer looking for new jobs. And that means when I need a break from the depressing grind of filling out yet another online application and survey, I go to Facebook.

Image from Southern Living

Image from Southern Living


Last week, Southern Living puts up a recipe for Shrimp Chowder. They have a picture to go along with it and the picture looks glorious.

The shrimp is floating happily with pieces of potato and tiny bits of parsley. Oyster crackers are strewn about to soak up the wonderful broth that you know will taste wonderful once you make it.

I decided right there and then that Saturday night’s soup was going to be this seafood delight. I announced to the kids what we were going to have and that prompted the 16-year-old to make other plans as he does not like shrimp.

The others were in and even the husband seemed ready to have something a little special. During the week he had bought a double long bread from Wal-mart. We had one half for supper during the week and save the rest for Saturday. However, our dog has been on a bread kick for the last month or two.

Somehow between Friday night, when I last saw the loaf, and Saturday night, the dog made off with the bread and ate it all up without the rest of us seeing him do it.

In the pot

In the pot


You can find the recipe through this link. It was very easy to put together. I started with a chopped onion in an aluminum pot.

The onion sautéed for about 8 minutes. That alone smelled good. Then I added the two cans of cream of potato soup, 3 1/2 cups of milk, and a touch of red cayenne pepper.  I only added a touch because my 8-year-old is not a fan of spicy foods. He loves shrimp but he can leave the pepper on the side.

While different portions are simmering, I start cleaning the shrimp. The recipe calls for raw shrimp but my store did not have raw shrimp in the size I wanted. I needed the kind that comes 50-60 in a pound. So I compromised and bought pre-cooked shrimp in that size.

This made cleaning of the shrimp easier and some people may have come into the kitchen to make sure the shrimp was tasty. All I had to do was gently but firmly remove the tails. Once they were cleaned, the shrimpies went into the pot.

Parsley from my herb garden

Parsley from my herb garden


Next up was chopping up the parsley.

Last year, I had herbs in containers on my front porch. I mixed them with the volunteer snapdragons and it was quite pretty. But it never seemed as if the parsley took off.

When the weather became too cold to stay out, the parsley and rosemary pots came in. That is when two sprouts really took off on the parsley. I would prefer the plant get a little more bushy so those two tall stems came into the kitchen.

I chopped them up nicely after putting in the cheese in the soup and waited for everyone to be ready to eat.

Serving Suggestion

Serving Suggestion


While setting the table, I put out the leftover Monterrey Jack cheese and the small bottle of red pepper. Oyster crackers bought at the last-minute also joined us for supper.

I drank a blush with the soup although I am sure something a little sturdier would have been the better choice.

The 8-year-old complained about the amount of red pepper while the husband added more to his bowl.

By the time we were dome eating for the night, I noticed that there was only one serving left. That went to my daughter after she got home from a school dance.

The next day, one of the 16-year-old’s friends asked if there was any soup left.

He was disappointed.


Have you ever been in a long period of ennui?

I have. Right now, in fact.

There are many mitigating factors. The loss of my job a year ago, the acceptance that some of my dreams will not be happening, my oldest one moving out, my mother having a ‘health incident,’ debt that does not seem to be going away.

I am tired all of the time. I can’t move and creating anything beyond the basics is an effort. My garden is done for the year and that is one easy blog entry every two weeks I won’t have for the next five months.

Picture by Krumdieck

I am hitting a wall. But what I really want to do is bust through.

I read blogs about other people taking a leap of faith, quitting their jobs and moving towards their dreams. I am inspired, I am fearful. I am wondering what I would do if that was me. I push myself to eat right and exercise so that I won’t slide back from the physical gains I have made in the past year. I keep wondering what is next.

What is my dream? What do I want to pursue?

The novel I started writing and re-writing is not getting done. The quilt I started that is for my room is not getting done. I thought about starting a magazine. I think about starting a artist’s colony that would also offer a variety of classes and artistic space for retreats -groups and singles.

picture by o0o0xmods0o0o

What I am really doing is running in place.

I am sewing but not completing anything. I mend the back of my couch time and time again, just to have to do it two weeks later. I clean up the same mess of dropped coats and accumulating clutter every week, every day.

So I have started asking myself what I want. First on the list is to never again have a boss like my last one whose madness was never inspiring. I spent more time wondering how to stay out of her way and being on the good side. That was never going to happen because as editorial, I was not earning money for the company. Granted, I was creating the product the sales staff was selling BUT WHO CARES THE FUCK ABOUT THAT!

I want something that allows my creative side and teaching side to come out. I want to have some status and some money so I can afford the crossover vehicle of my dreams. No matter what I dream up, I can see how it will all happen. But what I want the most from the crystal ball is to know which one would be best. What should I try for that will make money and bring happiness while being an ethical business person? Once that is decided, how do I get the money to make it all happen?

Picture by Seemann

Perhaps if I swirl the last of the coffee in my cup and read the crumbs after they settle I will figure it all out.

Or not.