The Time I Lost My Adventurous Eater Side

So, I guess I owe you guys a story about deep-fried shrimp heads. Sure, I could save it for another day, but why not go ahead and tell the tale.

I Shall Try Anything Once

When I was in college, I went out with some friends to a local sushi restaurant for a evening of delicious eats. I expected fun times, but I didn’t expect a dare so shocking that it would shake up my entire outlook on trying new foods. You see…somewhere in my early twenties I decided that life was too short to not try new things – namely in the food department. I thought I should be adventurous! My eats-motto became: I shall try anything once. As it turns out, this motto can take you on quite an adventure…especially at a sushi restaurant! I’d tried some pretty interesting things over the years: from pheasant to rattlesnake. But on this night at the local sushi restaurant semi-awkwardly located in the deep south (South Carolina), my motto turned against me.

I was out with some co-workers from Macaroni Grill and the rowdy bunch were all about having a good time and getting a little crazy. Things started out ok with the usual suspects – edamame, hot tea, and maki rolls. But things took a turn for the worse when the topic of crazy sushi-restaurant appetizers came up, and one of my co-workers/friends raved about the deep-fried shrimp heads. “They taste like buttered popcorn!” he exclaimed. My friends and I looked around with much skepticism and plenty of raised eye brows. We didn’t believe him. Maybe it was his spikey hair? Maybe it was his tilted grin. But, when he ordered said deep fried shrimp heads, none of us wanted to taste the things to validate his claim. That was…until he dared us to try them with dessert being the prize for successful downing the bizarre appetizer. He turned to the only two girls at the table and bargained with us, “If you and Anne share this deep-fried shrimp head, I will buy you both dessert!”

Remember now, I’m a waitress in college. Read – I’m broke. Free dessert sounded pretty awesome. I always wanted dessert, but I didn’t always want to pay for it. Plus the boys at the table were looking at us like they didn’t think we could do it, and I just had to prove them wrong! So Anne and I looked at each other, and with a shoulder shrug, decided what the heck. Let’s go for it. I mean…I said I would try anything for once, and that should mean anything, right? Riiiiiiiight? I remember looking at that giant bowl of shrimp heads with their deep-fried-golden-brown coating and crispy looking whiskers pointing tauntingly at me and thinking…how bad can it be? Anne and I slowly picked up one of the shrimp heads and started to pull it into two pieces so we could share. *Warning stop reading if you’re squeamish* I was actually looking forward to trying the shrimp head and all it’s “buttered popcorn” goodness until just as the shrimp head was almost in two pieces, a tiny black mound fell out and onto the plate below. “It’s the brain!” shouted the boys at the table. As I stared at the tiny black “brain” of the shrimp, I could feel my desire for not only the shrimp head, but also for dessert slowly drifting away.

But whether I actually wanted dessert or not, at this point I was committed to the dare. We said we’d eat that shrimp head and by goodness, we’d do it! I gathered all the courage I could and placed the golden brown shrimp head in my mouth. *crunch crunch crunch* And the flavor? Did it taste like buttered popcorn? I certainly didn’t think so. I think I was still too freaked out by the “brain” to think much of the shrimp head. I chewed as quickly as I could and gagged the shrimp head down. I did it! I ate the shrimp head! I sat back, smiled at the boys like “I told you we could do it!” and admired my bravery. Anne and I looked knowingly at each other. We sure proved those boys wrong! I was proud…and yet…also slightly disgusted. What had I just done? I’d just eaten a freakin shrimp head!

And although I wasn’t really feeling hungry any more at this point, we went ahead and cashed in our on free desserts. Anne and I suffered our way through bowls of green tea ice cream with confused half-grins and turning stomachs.

We may have lost our appetite for dessert, but at least we’d gained the pride of successfully completing our deep-fried shrimp head dare.

***

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Moving on to a more fun topic – I got a new oatmeal bowl!

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Ok, it’s a mug from Anthropologie, but eating oatmeal in mugs is the cool thing to do, ya know?! ;)

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I had rice milk oatmeal with chia seeds. On top – sliced banana, coconut flakes and some of my homemade Honey Roasted Cinnamon Wink Almond Butter.

Have you made this almond butter yet? It’s aaaaamazing! Do it!

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I taught my second Zumba class at my new class location on Wednesday. It was so wonderful! I had 53 people in my first class, but that one was free. I wasn’t sure how many would actually want to come back for round 2. I’m happy to report I had a stunning 27! Hazzah! I couldn’t have been happier. We have a lot of new participants in class, so I’m looking forward to getting to know them more. So far, I’m seeing lots of smiling faces and that is wonderful!

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After teaching Zumba and then going to “secret dance class”, I went out to dinner with my friend Sarah at Hawthorne’s Pizza.

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Sarah

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Moi

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And instead of blogging, I decided to take some me-time and relax on the couch with Bailey, hot tea, and a book.

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I’m reading First Things First by Stephen Covey. I’ve heard great things about this book over the years and actually started to read it several years ago. I’m excited about picking it back up. I hope to learn some good time management skills. :)

Reader Question: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever eaten? Was it for a dare or just for fun?

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