Shrimp Couscous; truth from travel

I used to love spending hours in the kitchen, making complicated dishes with lots of ingredients.

Lately I’ve been leaning more towards fast food.

This was fast and good…

All you need is a nice spinach salad to round out your dinner.

Shrimp Couscous

Total time: 20 minutes


  • 12oz (360gr) cleaned shrimp
  • 3 green garlic, sliced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup black dry-cured (Greek) olives,chopped
  • 2 tbs fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 tbs fresh chives, snipped
  • 3oz (90gr) feta cheese, crumbled
  • Couscous:
  • 1/2 cup (3oz, 90gr) couscous
  • 3/4 cup (6oz, 180ml) chicken broth
  • 2 tsp good olive oil

Shrimp Couscous


  • Couscous:
  • Heat chicken broth to boiling.
  • Put couscous in a medium bowl.
  • When broth is boiling pour over couscous, cover and let stand for 10 minutes… Do not stir it.
  • Add oil, fluff gently with a fork to combine and serve.
  • Shrimp:
  • Heat oil in a large skillet.  Add green garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add shrimp, paprika and sauté until shrimp curl and turn opaque, about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomato sauce and heat throug
  • Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes, olives, herbs and feta.
  • Spoon over couscous and serve.

Print Recipe

I ran across this old post today…. Since it’s the beginning of summer travel season I thought I’d post it again:

Years ago, before we lived here, we were in London, window-shopping with another couple. The wife spotted a figurine she wanted to add to her collection. They discussed it a bit, as it was rather expensive, then decided to buy it.

She asked if the husband had a check.

He did.

He opened his wallet and pulled a single, unattached, folded check out and handed it to her.

As an American who never left home without a full checkbook, and regularly had at least 50 to reconcile at the end of the month, I thought that was more than just a bit bizarre.

Then we moved to Ireland.

I soon learned that carrying around a single check was the norm, not the exception. Checks were only used when one didn’t have time to get the cash to pay someone who didn’t accept bank cards.

In other words: rarely.

We lived there a year and I think I used about 25 checks.

I haven’t carried a checkbook since we’ve lived on this side of the pond. I do carry a single check in my wallet. I’ve even used it on occasion.

It’s a little thing, this difference in handling checks; but it represents something huge.

The first time I saw my friend pull out a single, folded check I remember thinking: What’s with him? Doesn’t he know he can carry the whole checkbook with him? Is he afraid he can’t control his spending if he has more checks? How weird!

I hadn’t traveled much at that point.

People who don’t travel tend to see the world through their own, often narrow field of vision.

They look at other cultures’ actions and reactions as their own…. And don’t understand when they are different.

I know many people who don’t travel. It seems to be an American tendency rather than European.

The reasons are many and varied, but often come down to things like:

Why should I leave this country, I haven’t seen everything here yet.

Why should I travel to ‘X’ country, they hate Americans.

Here’s why you should:

If you traveled, you wouldn’t be surprised when I said we didn’t have a local cupcake shop.

If you traveled, you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that you can’t get lunch in a restaurant before 12:00 in France; or after 2:00. But, in Spain you can’t get lunch before 2:00.

If you traveled you would learn that it’s disrespectful to enter a church: with a baseball cap on, or in short shorts, or without your arms covered, or without your head covered, or without shoes, or with shoes or all of the above… Or none of the above.

If you traveled you would learn that behavior that is acceptable in your country may not be acceptable elsewhere.

If you traveled you would learn that behavior that is unacceptable in your country may be acceptable elsewhere.

If you traveled you would learn that people are different in different cultures. You may grasp the fact, intellectually, without ever leaving your hometown. But, without traveling, without meeting new people, seeing new places, experiencing new cultures, you won’t understand it.

Without understanding it, we are doomed to thinking that our own culture is the best and we have a right and duty to help the rest of the world see the error of their ways. We know that, once enlightened to the superiority of our ways, these lesser cultures will be forever grateful.

Does anyone know how many different countries/cultures know that theirs is the best? And feel pity on anyone not blessed to be ‘one of them’?

I can think of at least 6…..

The biggest reason to travel is it helps us understand our own culture better, and, hopefully, makes us more tolerant of all cultures.

And one more interesting fact….. More than 35 countries proudly wave flags that are ‘red, white and blue’…. Including two that I’ve lived in.

Happy Travel Season!

3 thoughts on “Shrimp Couscous; truth from travel”

  1. I could not agree more with every word you have written on travel . It is my passion and I would not be in my apartment – sweltering in African heat , but not unhappily – if not for my love of adventures.

  2. If you define “fast food” by speed then this is wonderful fast food … we’ll skip the other definition.
    Since there are so many of the other fast foods now in other countries, does that encourage more people to travel because they don’t have to try strange foods? Could that happen?

  3. Kate, I don;t envy the heat…. but I am looking forward to traveling again lol

    Tanna yes, we skip the other definition. And yes, I think that could happen – go to Paris and eat at McDo’s

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