Thursday, June 17, 2010

Detox, retox. Repeat?

Once a year the girls and I day trip it to Indian Springs in Calistoga, located just north of us in the Napa Valley. It's luxurious, indulgent, and (for me) expensive, but Husband (you know, the guy we call Mr. Gift) presented me last year with a gift certificate after returning from a mountain biking excursion in the area, so I got to enjoy my day without stressing over the cost. Thank you, Husband!

Calistoga is traditionally known for mineral water and mud baths, but I needed something new given that in the middle of my last mud bath I made a note to self: NEVER AGAIN. I'm just too wiggley to stay still in all that heavy hot mud and find it sort of claustrophobic. I opted instead for a body polish, thinking that their description sounded appealing:
Relax in our steam room before your treatment to warm your skin. Our skilled therapists combine the skin-smoothing qualities of a body scrub with the soothing elements of massage to remove dry skin, increase circulation, and aid detoxification.
It was very nice, and I felt all de-scaled and slippery afterward.

The treatments are lovely, but perhaps the best part is the naturally heated mineral water pool, where we always spend the rest of the day floating, picnicking, and gabbing.

The water is always clean and not overly chlorinated.

Thank goodness Sophie and I celebrated the last day of school with lunch and peddies.

The woman our children refer to as Aunt Boo works the pool.

My contributions for lunch included one of my picnic favorites, pickled shrimp. It's easy to throw together the night before so it can marinate overnight to be enjoyed chilled the next day. I served with slice baguette, which is perfect for sopping up the marinade.

3/4 cup white wine or champagne vinegar

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoons English-style dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds, crushed
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed

1 cup olive oil

3 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 by leaves

1/2 pounds (24 to 30) large shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 medium onion, sliced
1 lemon, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

In a bowl whisk together vinegar and dry ingredients. Add oil in a stream, whisking. Stir in garlic and bay leaves.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil. Add shrimp and cook for 1 minutes. Drain and add to marinade. Let mixture cool, stir in onion, lemon, and dill. Cover and chill, stirring occasionally for at least 12 hours.

Serve as an appetizer or with a green salad for a light lunch.
Of course after an afternoon of such detox, we all found it necessary to retox at one of our favorite Napa restaurants.

Over salad, pasta, and wine we gabbed not only about how much we love each other but how much we love each other's husbands. It's nice to have a women-only outing, but the truth is friendships are as strong in the group across as within genders. And it's kind of nice to have my next husband lined up in case mine and my girlfriend are simultaneously struck by lightening.


ANFQ said...

That shrimp looks awesome and is getting added to the "must make" list pronto!

葉佳靜 said...


The Mrs. said...

I so need one of these outings!!! STRESSSSSSSED!