It always feels odd when Denny is away on business. It's not that I mind being by myself...I have more to think about and do than I ever find time for. And our home is a welcoming space, enlivened with cats, birds and books.
The thing is, after 13 years together, it feels odd to be without him. The small daily chats of life go unspoken. The morning hugs ungiven. We talk on the phone each night but don't always remember what we'd wanted to share at ten or noon or six.
If I know he'll be gone, I hoard a few novelties to spice the time. For the last trip, I got the new Cooking Light 5ingredient 15minute Cookbook (I swear that's how the title is written on the cover). A new taste adventure, just right for time alone. And fresh gulf shrimp were in the market the day after they came out of the water... I had a fine evening with Chili-Lime Shrimp and smokin' rice. Try it for yourself (as adapted from the Cooking Light 5ingredient 15minute Cookbook):
1 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup chopped green onions, divided
1 lb peeled & deveined large shrimp
1 1/2 tsp chili powder (I used my favorite--Nambe' chili powder, a med-hot single-pepper New Mexico powder, but try it with your own favorite single-chili powder)
2 tblsp fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
1 1/2 tblsp butter
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Heat a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat and add oil. Add most of the onions (saving just enough for garnish) and cook a minute to soften. Add shrimp and chili powder to pan; cook 4 minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add juice, butter, and salt to pan; stir until butter melts. Sprinkle with remaining onions. Serve over rice.
Serves 2-4 people, depending on hunger and politeness.