Come home from work late on a Thursday night. Decide to make a recipe you know like the back of your hand, one of your boyfriend's favorite dishes. BONUS: Fantasy about being heralded a kitchen hero for masterfully taking care of the shrimp you defrosted two days ago in anticipation of... what?
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, while fatigue and hunger fool you into cleaning and deveining all 20 (or was it more?!) shrimp (leave a little tail-shell for a handle.) Your hands are cold.
Dry the shrimp and put them in a big bowl. (Marcella would say, large enough so that your ingredients have room to move around!) When the oven is hot, add garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs, and oil, bit by bit, tossing the shrimp to get as much as you can to stick.
Turn the oven to broil, and lay the shrimp out on a pan. Broil them for just 2-3 minutes, then flip and give them a couple minutes more. Meanwhile, your boyfriend comes home. He's eaten! You look at the clock. It's almost eleven. The whole thing makes you want to cry.
Cry if you need to, but don't overcook the shrimp! Then, eat four or five of them with some simple garlicky pasta, a salad--whatever's easy.
Pack the rest for tomorrow's lunch. Things look better in the morning. The next day, you're loving yourself at lunch.
Your boyfriend is loving you when he opens his lunch as well!
And when you come home Friday night, with plans to cook an ambitious meal, what steals the show is the cook-time snack: a piece of toast rubbed with garlic, topped with chopped leftover shrimp, lemon juice, salt, oil.