web analytics

Hard core mailbox

The ferociousness of this object doesn’t really communicate in black and white. It’s a big rusty iron box attached to a cement pillar with a big rusty iron chain. The board says Lifeboat House Mail. There isn’t a slot in it, so I guess the postman as the key. Or, you know, it hasn’t been used in years.

Field trip to Dungeness this afternoon. It’s a long drive for us, but we needed that. This is the stick-y out-y bit of SE England that’s the closest point to France. It’s where all the hundreds of ‘refugees’ have been landing.

You might not know about that. Reporting is widely suppressed. We are being invaded by a hostile army of fit young men, with the complicity of the government. Whatevs!

Were weren’t there for refugees. We were there for fresh fish. We bought plaice fillets for tonight and I got some excellent jumbo shrimp.

That’s when I discovered the “peeling shrimp” maneuver is one of the last fine motor activities my damaged fingers refuse to do. I did my best, but I ate an unfeasible amount of chitin this afternoon.

Also an unfeasible amount of cocktail sauce with homegrown horseradish root. Ketchup, lemon juice, horseradish and a squirt of sriracha. Delicious!

Sadly, I had more cocktail sauce than shrimp. Happily, I discovered cocktail sauce goes well on a ham sandwich.

Because I have the sophisticated palate of a labrador retriever.


Comment from Mitch
Time: July 21, 2021, 8:28 pm

There’s a pretty ferocious mailbox out at Area 51 too. People like to write things and put stickers on it.

What did you do to your fingers Stoaty? I don’t remember you writing anything about that.

And now I’m hungry for shrimp.

Comment from Pupster
Time: July 21, 2021, 8:52 pm

Same as Mitch, what’s the deal with the digits? I do not like to peel the shrimps, give me jumbo coconut shrimps fried up in big batches.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: July 21, 2021, 9:10 pm

The nice thing about living in Florida is that one can generally find peeled and deveined shrimp for sale!!!

Comment from dissent555
Time: July 21, 2021, 11:19 pm

man, NOW I’m hungry.

Never go to the grocery store when you’re hungry.


Comment from Uncle Al
Time: July 21, 2021, 11:36 pm

Cocktail sauce is good, but I prefer eating fresh steamed shrimp à la lobster, dipped in melted¹ butter. Maybe a little sprinkle of lemon juice first, maybe not.

1. I lack patience when it comes to eating good food, so I’ll never be the one to take the time to clarify or otherwise mess around to create “drawn” butter: I’ll just melt it and dip stuff in it!

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: July 21, 2021, 11:47 pm

Sorry to hear you’re having a difficult time with your fingers, Mme. Ermine. That runs in my family and so I know how frustrating it is.

When my late mother had her options similarly severely curtailed, she dropped back to an older and much easier seafood option that we all enjoyed fully as much as a shrimp dish. She called it Mussels à la provencale but her style was quite a bit simpler and just as satisfying as some of the fancier recipes. A quick look online turned up this one that looks close.

Hint 1: the tomatoes are optional.
Hint 2: the broth is important; sop it up with crusty french bread.

edit p.s. — We were introduced to this dish while living in Buenos Aires where it was known as Mejillones a la Provensal.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: July 22, 2021, 12:10 am

Of course there’s always “poor man’s lobster”, Uncle Al:


Comment from BJM
Time: July 22, 2021, 1:16 am

Stoaty…are there crabs in Dungeness?

One of the PNW and Northern California’s bestest critters of the sea is Dungeness crab dipped in drawn butter with a squirt of lemon. Oh my word…and the Motha’s are huge! We usually buy one crab per person, boil em up, clean, toss a plastic table cloth over the kitchen table add with a thick layer of newsprint and pig out. The season is short so we tend to stuff ourselves when they are available

Yum…now I’m hungry too.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: July 22, 2021, 4:27 am

Darn. And I managed to develop a shellfish sensitivity. Used to be I could just take a benedryl or two and be fine. Then one day after we moved here to coastal Georgia, south of Savannah, it really took me out. Lost a few days off work. Humbug.
But where I was going: Cocktail sauce is a good substitute for straight ketchup almost always.
Old Bay crab dust is good for stuff, too. There’s a place nearby that, I think, uses old bay on their french fries. They taste really good. Next time we get plain french fries I’ll have to see if we still have some on-hand and give it a try.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: July 22, 2021, 10:28 am

“she ate the crab and the dab,
And the plaice and the dace,
And the maker-eel, and the picker-eel,
and the really truly twirly whirly eel,
all the fishes that she could find in all the sea
she ate with her mouth…so….
Then she smacked Uncle B. ”

That sounds wrong somehow, would Kipling object do you suppose?

Cocktail sauce and shrimp – nom nom.
And homemade actually tastes very nice on good (we must emphasize GOOD, oh best be-lov-ed) saltine crackers.

Can one have that for breakfast?


Comment from drew458
Time: July 22, 2021, 2:11 pm

An unfeasible amount? You’ve got to be chitin me!!

PS hope you aren’t impacted by the new “pingdemic” as the government app closes down society just 2 days after your PM opened it. Raise your hand if you feel you’re being played!

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: July 22, 2021, 2:48 pm

Being played would imply going along with the first Greek Kabuki tragedy and then going along with the 2nd as well.

Not happening, their science (masks that don’t stop a virus, distancing, pretending you’re safe in a restaurant if SITTING without your mask but not if you’re walking around, and a vaccine that doesn’t seem to prevent you from contracting the virus…) is almost on par with swinging a deceased feline around their heads by the tail, in a graveyard, at midnight, while they dance backwards chanting “Mary had a little lamb” in Swahili.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 22, 2021, 3:51 pm

BJM, the dungeness crab is named after the port of Dungeness, Washington – which no doubt got its name from Dungeness, Kent. I’m always amazed when a new British place pops up with a name I’m familiar with in the US. We all know it happens, I just didn’t realize how many of them.

Drew: I just didn’t download the app. You don’t have to and most of us haven’t. No pings for me.

As for my hands, I occasionally do something stupid and unknowable in my sleep that irritates a nerve in my neck. I did it so hard a couple of months ago that my arms were inoperable for a couple of days. They’ve slowly gotten better and the only thing that’s really still impaired is making a pinching motion with my right index finger and thumb.

Those movements are, sadly, banjo picking imperatives.

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)

Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.

<< carry me back to ol' virginny