PK Lake Member Snags 5 Pounds of Texas Gulf
Shrimp from Texas Co-op Power Magazine Contest
He’s now on the hunt for a Bubba Gump shrimp cookbook.
Kevin VanDuser, a long-time resident of Possum Kingdom Lake, heard the sound of a FedEx truck’s horn outside his home and walked outside to see the driver with a big grin on his face.
That day in April, he took delivery of five pounds of Texas Gulf Shrimp after entering online in a contest hosted by Texas Co-op Power (TCP) magazine. VanDuser was one of two winners to receive a 5-pound package of wild-caught shrimp shipped directly from the Texas Gulf Coast.
“The best way to enter a contest is to do it and think you’re not going to win,” VanDuser said. “Then, it’s a surprise when you do, kind of like the lottery. I’d never won anything before, so I thought, ‘What the heck.’ But this is better than the lottery, because I actually won and wound up with five pounds of shrimp.”
VanDuser, who said he reads TCP each month, found the contest entry details contained in an online story of shrimp recipes. Weeks later, he and his wife were splitting his winnings into half-gallon freezer bags. The following day, he made what he called Texas shrimp and grits, which are pictured in the story.
“What makes them Texas shrimp and grits is, when you peel them and take the vein out of them, you cut a slice of jalapeno pepper and squeeze it where the vein was and wrap them in bacon with a little Hard 8 barbecue sauce,” he said. “Then, I put them on cheddar cheese grits. They tasted really good.”
Charles Lohrmann, editor of TCP, said Texas is one of the nation’s leading sources of wild-caught shrimp, which are known for their extraordinary taste. Texas Gulf shrimp are either brown shrimp found in deeper offshore waters, or white shrimp, which are caught closer to shore.
“We’ve done the wild-caught shrimp contest for four years, and it’s just been really popular with TCP readers,” Lohrmann said. “They love the idea of fresh gulf shrimp. Initially, The Texas Department of Agriculture was the sponsor of the contest because they have a gulf shrimp marketing program. But the contest was so popular, we ended up sponsoring it ourselves.”
The contest dovetails into other magazine features tied into Texas agriculture, Lohrmann said, and explained that the magazine often promotes Go Texan products made in the Lone Star State or matches recipes with ingredients produced and sold at farmers markets.
“It’s a fun way for us to share ideas and Texas products with readers of TCP, and they’re always popular whether they’re pralines or pecan pies or barbecue seasoning,” he said. “We try to do that regularly, and we get great response from membership readers, too.”
VanDuser said he was looking forward to making shrimp kebabs on the grill next. Though COVID-19 has put the brakes on having his nieces and nephews come over to the house, he said he hopes that soon he’ll be able to invite family and friends over to help him finish off some of the shrimp.
“Since I’m the favorite uncle who lives on the lake, I wish all my nephews and nieces were here eating it up,” he said. “I like shrimp, and with that much shrimp, I’d love to share it.”