Why I Love This Recipe
A Gourmet Dinner
It was a special day. It was an exciting day. It was my Dad’s 38th birthday. For his BIG day, we were going to do something out of the ordinary. Something he would never think of or expect in a million years. My sister, Jaiden, my mom, and I were going to throw him a surprise party. Even though it was just the three of us, a lot of time, thought, and effort went into making this party come to life.
It was October 16, 2008. The day was gray and gloomy. It was a day that seemed to drag on as slow as a snail. Finally, the last school bell rang and I dashed for my bus. I couldn’t wait to get home and get ready for Dad’s party. As soon as the bus pulled up in front of my house I jumped off and ran inside. It was time to start prepping. To begin, we needed to decorate the house. We splattered streamers of every color across the kitchen ceiling turning it into a rainbow of fun. Balloons of all shapes and sizes filled up the rest of the space in huge bunches. One gigantic silver balloon was taped to Dad’s special chair that read, “Happy Birthday Dad!” In the center of the table was a bouquet of red and white carnations. The table was set with our fine china and silverware. Everything looked “perfect”.
For dinner we were serving up shrimp scampi, a delectable concoction made with a lot of love. My sister and I had put a lot of time into pulling the dish together and let me tell you, it smelled delicious. It was seafood and Italian food at the same time, my two favorites. Angel hair pasta, cooked al dente, was bubbling in a large pot on the stove. While jumbo shrimp was sizzling in a buttery frying pan near by. A fresh loaf of Italian Ciabatta bread was browning in the toaster oven. Crisp, green Caesar salad chilled in the refrigerator. Most importantly, a rich chocolate birthday cake hid in box on the counter. The smell in the kitchen was indescribable. It felt like we were dining in a fine restaurant in Italy.
Finally, the time had come. My nerves were kicking in and I had butterflies in my stomach. We knew that Dad would be pulling into the garage in his Ford Fusion from work at any second. We scampered around the kitchen testing out different hiding spots. It was essential that we chose the perfect hiding places in order to give him the ultimate surprise. I finally decided to hide in the coat closet, in the kitchen, waiting in dark silence. I tried to calm down my breathing, but my adrenalin was pumping so fast. Jaiden hid behind the red couch in the living room, waiting patiently. Mom peeked through the corner of the window ready to give us the signal. Our hearts were beating fast with excitement.
Finally, my dad walked through the kitchen door, completely unaware of what awaited him. We all popped out and yelled, “SURPRISE!!!!!!” The look on his face was priceless. He looked like he was in shock, but at the same time was as happy as could be. A wide smile broke out across his face and his eyes popped out of his head in amazement. He dropped his computer bag and ran across the tiled floor to give us a great big hug. He spun around the room looking at all of our hard work. We all stood their, proud and satisfied by all of our effort. Our planning had paid off. Dad’s birthday surprise was a success! I wouldn’t have changed anything, even if I could have.
The night couldn’t have gone any better. It was just the four of us sitting at our table eating a home cooked meal and sharing stories about our day. It was simple, but it made me realize just how important my family is to me. Sometimes it’s just the small moments and little things in life that mean the most to people. And that is exactly what this memory is to me. I will remember it until the day I die.
Submitted by: "Jackson D."
Ingredients You'll Need
1 pound large (16-20 count) shrimp, shelled* and de-veined, tail-on for presentation if you want
3-4 garlic cloves, slivered, or
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Heat a sauté pan on high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the olive oil and butter.
Once the butter melts, foams up and subsides, add the garlic and red pepper flakes.
Sauté for a minute, or until you see the edges of some of the garlic just beginning to brown.
As soon as the garlic begins to brown, add the shrimp to the pan.
Then add the white wine and stir to combine and coat the shrimp with the butter, oil, and wine.
Spread the shrimp out in an even layer in the pan. Increase the heat to the highest setting and let the wine boil vigorously for 2-3 minutes.