When your kids leave home, it’s a huge transition. For the better part of two decades, chances are when you’re not working or sleeping, most of your time and attention is focused on the needs a
nd activities of someone other than yourself.
Losing that leaves a void. It can bring you together as a couple, or it can tear you apart. We’ve seen it go both ways.
So, before the kids were out the door, we’d started thinking about how we were going to make the best of our new-found freedom together. Not that spending our weekends and evenings running to arenas and music practice and a million other things wasn’t fun, but now we can channel that time and energy into exploring interests of our own.
We knew early on that needed to be more than just “Netflix-and-chill.” I toyed with getting my pilots license, but found that one trial lesson was really all I needed. Attempts at golfing together weren’t great. He’s competitive, and by the sixth hole, I’m ready to pack it in.
When I complained to my daughter that we were losers with no common hobbies, she tried to reassure me.
“You do have a hobby. Your hobby is wine.”
Turns out she was right, at least in part. We do enjoy sampling and learning about good wines. But more, we’ve found a new point of connection in the kitchen.
My guy – whose previous culinary expertise leaned towards canned spaghetti and toasted westerns, is perfecting his sushi technique and regularly makes fresh pasta. We travel the world through our tastebuds, with traditional dishes from France, Asia, the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
One of our favourites right now is Coconut Curry Shrimp soup – a filling and aromatic dish that we served to welcome 2017.
Coconut Curry Shrimp Soup
In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 tbsp. minced ginger
- 1 tbsp. minced lemongrass
- 1 tbsp. red curry paste
Cook for 1 minute, stirring regularly
- 1/2 cup Chinese cooking wine (or cooking sherry)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- ¾ cup dried shitake mushrooms
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
Simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
Slowly, stir in approximately:
- 4 cups (3 large cans) coconut milk.
Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined. Cook until shrimp are pink (about 5 minutes).
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped.