Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Shrimp Heads, Shrimp Heads 

Here's some advice: Don't put a bucket of shrimp heads under your house and leave it there for 24 hours in 90 degree weather. Putting the bucket inside a covered trash can will not keep the smell from escaping. Pouring bleach on the shrimp heads might create a toxic gas but will not stop the smell.

Yes, we learned the hard way this weekend that the only way to deal with a bucket of shrimp heads is to dispose of it immediately. It doesn't matter how late in the day it is, or how unpredictable the weather - just get rid of them. You do not want to be awakened at 2:00 AM by the smell of rotting shrimp wafting up to your second-story bedroom.

Every year during shrimp season we go down to McClellanville and buy a 50 lb. box of head-on shrimp fresh off the boat. George and I head, clean, and freeze the shrimp and split it with my in-laws. This gives us enough shrimp to eat about a pound a month for the rest of the year, and comes out to something like three dollars a pound. Usually, we do dump the shrimp heads and clean the coolers out immediately. But this past weekend, George headed the shrimp himself (didn't want me stabbing myself and catching something nasty) so he finished late. We were going to dump them in the creek the next day, but it rained all day. We guessed waiting until the next day wouldn't hurt, but we guessed wrong.

Fortunately, we were able to dump the heads and air out the house before his mother showed up the next day. A good dose of air freshener helped remove the last vestiges of stench from under the house. All's well that ends well, and we'll have plenty of yummy shrimp to enjoy for the next 11 months.


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