My friend Wendy, and her dog Frankie, stopped by for dinner. Wendy and I have spent past years teaching cooking classes in and around southeast Michigan together. No one wants to be around us because all we talk about is food. So we meet from time to time, just the two of us, to cook and discuss this favorite subject.
Tonight our mission was simple: To prepare a delicious, healthy dinner using only one pot and 20 minutes of our time. We are feeling lazy and would rather talk about food rather than spend the evening cooking.
“Sesame” is the operative word for the evening. Wendy explained how sesame seeds are packed with important minerals and natural healing properties, more so than other seeds. She explained that sesame’s high copper content helps relieve rheumatoid arthritis. Other minerals found in sesame seeds help lower blood pressure, as well. As always, I listened in rapt attention to these sesame statistics, as if she’d be giving me a quiz after dinner.
We were committed to getting dinner prepared in 20 minutes. It takes about 15 minutes for a big pot of water to come to a boil. During this time we could easily prep the bok choy, peel and devein the shrimp and prepare the vinaigrette. We did manage to shell the shrimp and prep the bok choy. We would have had enough time to make the dressing but the sesame conversation diverted us from our mission. No biggie. I’d make the dressing while Wendy was timing the insertion of ingredients into the boiling water. The trick was timing everything to the second so it was perfectly cooked.
We were on step 4–Wendy had just put the greens into the pot. She glanced out the window to look for Frankie and he was gone. That darn dog squeezed through the gate and was no where to be found. Understandably, Wendy frantically jumped in her car to find him. But the clock was ticking. She bailed on me. I understood, I really did. But now it was up to me, and me alone, to finish the recipe at the 20 minute “ding”, and we hadn’t made the dressing!
In the last 3 minutes of boiling time, I threw the dressing together and had almost finished grating the ginger when the timer went off: A fabulous dinner in 20 1/2 minutes. Wendy arrived soon after with bad boy Frankie, this time on a leash. The conversation seamlessly resumed where it left off: “Did you know that 1/2 cup of sesame seeds has 3 times the calcium of 1/2 cup whole milk….”