A bubbly blonde woman is sitting in our living room, drinking coconut vanilla tea and dragging our wedding into reality, kicking and screaming. She is showing us pictures of someone else’s nuptials and asking questions about ours. Questions we have no answer to yet: what will we do, who will be there. She is the wedding photographer, and holy crap. This is really happening.
It feels like yesterday when my man got down on his knees in a turtle pit. It isn’t, though. It’s been four months, and not an awful lot has happened since then. We’ve settled on a vineyard as the site for the wedding, which should look lovely in late summer. Fat grapes on the vines, a riot of colors in the garden and bumble bees buzzing around. (I have no reason to think there will be bumble bees, but it seems appropriate for a vineyard in September, no?) Thing is, we’ve only seen it in the middle of winter, and the difference two seasons will hopefully make is enough to make a wooden building and two acres of land seem unreal. Like a dream, and it hasn’t sunk in that we won’t be waking up.
We’ve drawn up a whole stack of guest lists, not quite deciding who’ll we ask to be there. (If only we could invite everyone, and still have a small and intimate wedding. If you have ideas on how to make 100 people feel like “small and intimate”, I am all ears.) We’ve talked about a barbecue for dinner, or country bread for lunch, but no meal has been planned. We’re floating around in a bubble of “some day”. Or, rather, were floating around in a bubble of “some day”, because then a short, cheery photographer showed up on our doorstep.
Somewhere between “so I’ve been taking pictures at weddings for years now” and “… but really, it is all about the story that you want to see unfold” I woke up. We woke up, I think. And now we have to decide what to put on the invite. But first: dinner.
This is what we had right before the photographer showed. Chosen mainly because it would be fast enough to squeeze in between getting home and meeting the photographer (and a little because it involves only a few dishes, shortening clean-up time), it tasted surprisingly good too. The tomato sauce is light and herby, there are plenty of juicy shrimp for greedily biting into and soft, salty chunks of feta to balance the acidity of the tomatoes and make every bite feel luxurious. Eat it with crunchy bread and feel a bit dreamy.
Wedding or no wedding.
Shrimp in feta tomato sauce
based on a SimplyRecipes recipe
- 2 cans tomatoes (get Italian cherry tomatoes, if you can- they taste so cheery)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- dash of olive oil
- large handful of fresh cilantro, leaves and stems separated
- 60 gr feta, cut into small chunks
- 300 gr large shrimp, peeled; raw or part-cooked
Heat the oil in a large, oven proof pan or skillet over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until soft. Chop the stems of the cilantro and add them to the onion. Then add the garlic, give the contents of the pan a good stir and cook until the garlic has lost its raw edge. Add the tomatoes, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or so, or until the sauce thickens a little.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. When the sauce has thickened to your liking, stir in the shrimp and the feta. Put the pan in the oven and bake until the shrimp are cooked through. My parboiled shrimp only took about five minutes, raw shrimp will take 10 minutes or so. While the shrimp are cooking, tear the cilantro leaves into rough pieces. When the shrimp are done, take the pan from the oven, scatter over the cilantro and serve. Crusty bread was mighty fine with this.