You'll thank me for this one!

After last night's hot water heater situation, I was ready for a nothing-breaks sort of day. However, in the middle of East-West Highway (super-original name, yes?) on our way to gymnastics, Oliver and I noticed a terribly abnormal, screechy metallic sound that was clearly coming from our car. Upon arrival at the gym, I got Oliver started on class and went out to assess the mystery. The view from the ground near the front, drivers-side wheel showed that a piece of arched metal on my car's undercarriage had fallen 50% of the way off and had been dragging along the asphalt, hence the unwanted soundtrack to our drive. I took a picture, texted Tom and then asked one of the male gymnastics teachers (yes, I asked him because he was male; I know, I know, the stereotype) if he knew what the hanging item was. Not a minute later he was under my car removing the rusty, riddled-with-holes exhaust cover from its remaining point of attachment. Thank you soooo much, Jawon. Our ride home was very peaceful. Once home, I was happy to discover T, newly returned from NY. However, he has since decided he knows exactly how to repair the hot water heater but, per Murphy's Law, is now at the hardware store desperately seeking a different part. I'm loving the lack of water as I grilled and then devoured shrimp for dinner; if you know shrimp, you can imagine that my hands don't smell fragrantly (good-fragrantly) right now. Grr.

BUT the upside is that I have a marvelous new recipe for you. It's easy, requires little in the way of clean-up and is just downright terrific: spiced and "barbecued" shrimp and garbanzos. By barbecued I simply mean grilled. Preferably, you'll also take the extra step (if possible) to add some hickory wood chips to your grill's wood chip box so that the hickory smoke imbues the shrimp and beans with, you guessed it, woody smokiness.

Why did I include the garbanzos? you might be asking. Well, because what good is barbecue without beans? Exactly. It's not.

But, how seriously would traditional baked beans overpower the sweet shrimp? It's a tragedy to consider. So I didn't. Garbanzos it was because white beans wouldn't hold up as well, red beans are more fitting for beef or pork, and black beans are taking things in a Mexican direction in which I wasn't going tonight.

spiced and barbecued shrimp and garbanzos

See, I'd decided to include star anise and cloves in my shrimp marinade. These spices led my mental map to connect with orange and lime, then garlic and honey, then hot chili powder and black peppercorns. I just didn't feel that beans other than chickpeas would mesh as well. The chickpeas I tossed with kosher salt, butter and brown sugar, and then I grilled them in one basket, the shrimp and marinade in another and removed them at the same time. Delicious!!!