tasty nom nom an exception to the daily meal


But wait, there is more seafood

I am not from the South. But, I like Shrimp and Grits, a lot, especially Where ya at Matt's. It is so delicious. While I do not have any hope to recreate his, I wanted to try to make a tasty shrimp and polenta.

There are numerous discussions on the best grits, like this thread on Chow. I refrained from ordering grits from Anson Mills, this time, and opted for a locally available Bob's Red Mill's corn grits polenta, and improvised from these two recipes: Shrimp and grits from Bon Appétit and Cheesy Polenta from Giada De Laurentiis.

NMS_2030shrimp, linguisa, and kale

For the shrimp, I started by sauteing shallots, bacon, and linguisa together. After the meats render some fat, removed meats, and tossed in the shrimps. When the shrimps start to turn pink, and before they are cook through, I removed them from the pan. Then deglace with a little of the yummy fish stock from N's cioppino, (flat leftover!) beer, a couple of bay leaves and sprigs of thyme. Reduced the liquid, returned shrimp and meats to pan to warm up and finish cooking.

Served with cheesy polenta, made with whole milk, a lot of extra sharp white cheddar and parmesan, a shot of the yummy fish stock, and sprinkle of oregano. Polenta is tricky to me. Even though I knew it would set up after resting, I still miss calculated and did not add enough liquid to get the consistency I was looking for, it was just a little thick.

Some Tuscan kale was simply sauteed with bacon to go with all the cheesiness. I tried a trick to leave the garlic cloves whole, to flavor the greens, but not ... incur the side effect of garlic.

Untitledsmelt, pan fried

I was surprised there were still little smelts hanging around when I finished my giant bowl of food. Jing Jing, the nearby Asian Market always have these little fish. These were drench with half flour and cornstarch, salt and pepper , and simply pan fried. Mmm. Like.

Really. Seriously. Another two games of Settlers of Catan.

DSC_2038picking starting positions is tricky, I failed miserably this time.

DSC_2046is that J, winning, again?

DSC_2051who pull the block-you move?  and who got frustrated?! 

DSC_2056girls ruled

But wait.

There was sign of life. We set up Imperial. BGG link


All the nations are played, regardless of number of players. Each nation (not players) may hold bonds of other nations.

On each turn, each player moves their nation into 'actions'

DSC_2061taxation level

Taxation, where occupying nations tax their subjects.

DSC_2086Austria - Hungary built up an army and kicked the s*** out of The German Empire

I do not feel like I have a good understanding to write coherently about this game yet. N said it is a lot like Diplomacy.  The few items that stood out to me are:

  • Players and nations (and bank) hold money. Player can use his/her money to pay for items for a nation.Conversely, if a nation is broke, the player who controls the nation pays the debt (i.e. tax, interest, etc) from their personal money.
  • Players on each turn, plays as his / her nations. There is no one to one relationship between player and nation.

Definitely ready for another trial game.

Halloween passed. Daylight Savings Time ended. It is November, time to think about Thanksgiving.

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