A mini-getaway with Asher
I’m up early on a Saturday because by ~08:00 I need to be ready to leave with Asher for an overnight swim meet.
It’s not too far- about a 1 hour drive. But this meet will be his first ever “Prelims/Finals” format meet. Meaning, the kids swim in the morning session, and then the top 16 finishers come back in the evening to swim in “Finals”. Kind of like how they do it in the Olympics, except these are 11-12 year olds, and the meet is being held at a high school. 🙂
I wasn’t sure what the competition level would be like, so I hadn’t “assumed” that A would make finals. But the coach sent out the Prelims lists and it looks like he definitely will make finals in some or all of his events, based on the numbers of kids in each event + his seed times.
So I ended up booking a hotel for tonight, because per the schedule- finals don’t get done until ~8 pm! The idea of driving home an hour in the dark, and then getting up tomorrow and driving an hour back fairly early right away for Day 2 didn’t sound super fun.
Ivan wants to go watch him swim, but we also didn’t really want to make Ethan sit in the gym for 2 days straight waiting….Plus, that’s just a lot of time for us to all be there. So I’m going to stay over with Asher, and Ivan may just drive down for one of the Finals sessions, I think. I’m definitely more of the “swim mom” (i.e. I know how it all works way better), so I’m usually the default swim meet parent.
Caldo de camaron (shrimp soup)
In other news….I made caldo de camaron the other night for dinner. It’s a very spicy broth based shrimp soup and one of my favorites.
Basically, the “recipe” is:
- Chop some golden potatoes and carrots.
- Add to a pot of water, bring to a boil/ simmer.
- Add shrimp (I usually buy already cooked ones! But if they are raw, obviously just make sure it’s cooked through.)
- While that stuff all simmers, stir in a couple spoonfuls of Knorr Suiza chicken bouillon powder + a couple spoonfuls of shrimp bouillon. (yes, this exists- I don’t know if it’s in the regular aisle, but I buy it in the Mexican aisle). I’ve made it with just chicken broth before and it’s fine. But the shrimp bouillon helps really bring out the SHRIMP flavor, of course.
- Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, boil 1-2 small tomatoes, ~1/4 white onion chunks, and a bunch/handful of dried arbol chiles (more=spicier. They are very little, so I usually add at least like 8-10, maybe?). Once soft, add that all to the blender (can pour a little bit of the liquid in to help blend, but you don’t need too much). Add a little garlic. Blend. This will turn into a red paste/salsa type thing.
- Once the potatoes/carrots are soft and the shrimp is done, you will add the red paste mix to the soup. *IMPORTANT: you have to “drain” the salsa in a sieve first!! You only want to add the liquid part to the soup- not all of the grainy/thicker chili-tomato mix that is in the blender. So just put a sieve over a little bowl, pour the salsa/paste mix from the blender in and then stir it around so as much liquid as possible drips out into the bowl. You won’t end up with too much liquid- it’s super spicy (due to the arbol chiles), so you don’t need a lot. You can discard the rest of the leftover chili/tomato mix that is too thick to drain through the sieve.
- Stir the red liquid into the soup (like I said- it’s not a lot, but it goes a long way. It will turn the liquid that reddish color.) TASTE it and then adjust seasoning- sometimes I add a little extra bouillon flavoring if it needs it. Let it simmer for a few minutes to mix the flavors well.
- Serve! Top with chopped cilantro and squeeze lime into it, if you want.
(Okay, that ended up sounding kind of complicated, but I swear it’s super easy!! I guess I’m not meant to be a recipe blogger.) Maybe sometime I’ll make it and take pics along the way of the different steps.
I am grateful my bathrobe to wrap up in when I get out of the shower.