This week I fell into a Netflix hole.
I had the week off because Hurley House was closed. My husband and two older children departed for Africa on Monday, which left me at home with my younger two and absolutely no plans. We drank deeply from the well of rest and relaxation.
I work really hard. But I also rest really hard too. Which is how I found myself trapped in a five-day binge-watching vortex. And for the record, yes, the littles and I left the house and did normal things this week. I'm just highlighting my evening watching habits here. My children were not neglected.
Here's how it happened and what I learned.
I started my journey by watching the entire season of Good Girls. It's awful. Formulaic, poorly written, not believable, but it makes the time pass without requiring much, and I really like Christina Hendricks, so I just stuck with it. At the end of that mindless endeavor, I felt a little dumber, so the obvious next choice would be to watch a true story and try to learn something.
Naturally, I decided to watch the Tony Robbins documentary. My only frame of reference for Tony is from Shallow Hal, which is to say I have no frame of reference. Thanks to Netflix I know now that Tony likes to hard cuss at his live events and he is really good at connecting with his emotions for the benefit of others. This element reminded me of one of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite movies and naturally led me to my next selection.
Have you seen Lady In The Water? I love it. In the final scene, the main character, Mr. Heep, discovers the power of tapping into his pain for the benefit of someone else (just like Tony Robbins!). I watched and cried and felt inspired.
Feeling like I was on a roll and deciding that documentaries were definitely the way to go, I hit play on the Lady Gaga documentary. Meh. I love her voice. I could do without the nudity and narcissism.
At this point it was anybody's guess. I landed on a Paul Rudd flick called The Fundamentals of Caring which failed to deliver much more than a mindless jaunt through an almost sad story. It tugged on my heart strings, but not hard enough to do much damage. I emerged unscathed and ready to return to real stories.
I decided to let Netflix do the driving, and see what their algorithm could come up with based on my bizarre watching history. Netflix saw my challenge and decided to ruin me.
I took a hard left and landed smack-dab in the middle of a tragically beautiful true story. Do you know Kara Tippetts? Good gracious. Grab the Kleenex because you're going to need it, and no, I was not okay. Spoiler alert: an amazing woman with a pastor husband and four small children documented her battle with stage four cancer. I fell in love and sobbed my eyes out.
I capped off the week by watching Knock Down the House and renewing my hope in our democracy and grass roots change. I also cried at that last scene where AOC is in front the capital building and talking about finally making her dad proud.
And there you have it. My week off in review, or as I like to call it, emotional trauma a la Netflix. Guess who's all done resting? Guess who's chomping at the bit to get back to work?
Hurley House reopens on Tuesday!
Every single time I make it, I have the same thought as I'm mixing together the ingredients. This isn't going to work. There's no way this is going to work. And every single time, I am dead wrong.
The day I made this for the photo shoot, my staff could not get over this dip. Trust me on this. Yes, the ingredients are odd (spoiler: ketchup and cucumber), but the finished dip is unreal.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but we do not drink shrimp. However, I count Shrimp Cocktail as suitable for the "Drink" category because of the word "cocktail." Roll with me.
Shrimp cocktail is great, but if you want the most amazing, easiest, throw it together shrimp cocktail, check out Ina's oven method. You will never go back to boiling again.
"You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich...."
Types and Sizes of Shrimp by Jessica Gavin
If you are unfamiliar with the sizes and types of shrimp, this article is very helpful. When I buy shrimp, I tend to purchase the largest ones I can find, and I also love paying a little bit extra to get the ones that are already peeled and deveined.
As mentioned above, I am all about paying extra to skip this step, but knowing your way around a shrimp does come in handy. This blog post breaks it down beautifully.
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