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My Confusing Horoscope

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  1. news from Iberia parish "The parish saw its rural areas south of La. 14 from Delcambre southbound and U.S. Route 90 including Lydia, Rynella and Avery Island. About 40 McIlhenny Company employees received water damage to their homes on Avery Island, said Harold Osborn, vice president of agriculture for McIlhenny Co. The Tabasco sauce making family owns the island. "We had a fair bit of wind damage, but the water came up pretty high," Osborn said. "We had white caps in the pepper fields. (Rita) probably destroyed about half the crop." He said the water spared the pepper sauce factory by about three inches. "We hope as soon as we get electricity we can start bottling," he said. Osborn said about 150 people live on the island, including factory workers and McIlhenny family members. The island's gatekeeper, Kenward Louviere lost his home that sits at the entrance of the island. "I had about 4 1/2 feet of water in the house," he said. "I lost everything." Osborn said that there have already been discussions with FEMA for temporary housing for those who sustained damage. " Sills, Marsha. (September 28, 2005). "Disaster Zone: Residents Begin Cleaning Up the Muck Brought by Storm." article here
  2. More Google fun: http://www.theonion.com/content/node/40076
  3. Southern Foodways Alliance http://www.southernfoodways.com/
  4. If you go to the okra thread at http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=37077&st=210 and scroll to post 240, I posted a play by play pictorial of cooking a shrimp and okra gumbo Cajun style that I am sure could be doubled.
  5. Have you tried John Hagen's Tavern on Braddock Heights Road? It's an historic tavern (one of those places where George Washington slept, and the officers of both the Union and Confederacy spent the night before the battle). Not bar food. 20 dollar entrees.
  6. Sorry that this is off topic but do any of you remember food and drink scenes from A Confederacy of Dunces? I mean other than Ignatius's mother hiding her wine in the oven ("Your wine must be done by now")? And "Fix me a weenie." I am looking for that book right now.
  7. Need your pictures of gnocchi-making! I tried the recipe from Lidia Bastianich and used self-rising rather than all-purpose flour, and they were good but the next day they were like a ton of bricks!
  8. Slum like a Cajun Fix you some Couche Couche
  9. I swear by my Magna-lite pot but I am going to look for a dutch oven and see if that works too. Might even work better! When you're in Maryland and you stand over a stove that long to make gumbo in the summertime, that's a sure sign of homesickness!
  10. It was pretty good for Safeway-brand frozen okra thawed beforehand! It started turning brown but it wasn't burned. You will know if it's burned. It turns black and the smell is not good. I tried it last year with some very tough okra grown in my garden and had to throw it away. I couldn't get the right amount of heat to break down the tough okra without scorching it. It's sort of like slow cooking a roux. You will be tempted to stop cooking too soon, but stick with it. I probably could have gone another 15 minutes to a half hour before adding the tomato sauce. Eight cups of stock may seem like a lot, but it all thickened up some more as the week went by. We had gumbo for two several times.
  11. Here's a shrimp and okra gumbo done the old-timey way in Vermilion parish, Louisiana. We started with two pounds of okra, a large onion, and a large bell pepper. Two-thirds cup of vegetable oil. We also had two pounds of Gulf shrimp, which we peeled and seasoned in advance with salt, black pepper and red pepper and kept in the ice box. With the shells we added a large onion cut in two and several stalks of celery, water, and made a shrimp stock. The final product took 8 cups of shrimp stock. Here's how the okra and vegetable mixture looked at the beginning of the process: Put a lid on it and cook it over medium heat. Our electric stove has settings for Lo-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-HI and we put it on 6 but lowered it to 5 or 4 whenever it started scorching. We stirred fairly often, about every 10 or 15 minutes, and occasionally added a little water to help out. After a half hour it looked something like this: It's pretty slimy at this stage. The idea is to cook it down until that slime is gone and the okra has considerably disintegrated. Then we will add tomato sauce and shrimp stock, and shrimp. I wasn't able to capture the texture too well with my camera, but you will get the idea. After an hour the texture and the color are changing: This needs to go some more! The smell is terrific. This is going to be very concentrated okra, very thick! We won't be using any roux at all with this gumbo. It will be plenty thick because of the okra. It looks something like this after an hour and a half. The volume seems reduced about half. Even the color is changing to something like brown. Ready to add a cup of tomato sauce. You can add less if you like. You could stop right now and freeze this stuff! It can serve as the beginning of your next gumbo, or you could serve it as a vegetable side dish with rice. It's something like an okra stew. But we added 8 cups of shrimp stock: You can cook it without the lid now. Season it as you like with salt and pepper. We also added about 5 Tabasco peppers from our garden. They weren't very hot. These were in our freezer from last year's garden, and they lose some of their potency. Let it go about 10 more minutes before adding your seasoned shrimp: We cooked this about 20 more minutes because we like the shrimp pretty tender. Done at last! The smell of a happy home and a good bowl of shrimp and okra gumbo country style as done in Vermilion parish, Louisiana!
  12. FRESH GOO referring to the fish Gaspergou: http://www.realcajunrecipes.com/recipes/ca...touffee/627.rcr
  13. YES! I'm making me some shrimp and okra gumbo tomorrow. Hope it turns out right and I can capture some pictures. I am prepared for a wonderful smelling house tomorrow!
  14. I enjoyed it! Did they mention where they are going next?
  15. It's a dish created by Paul Prudhomme in the late 70s or early 80s. The technique was unknown to the Cajun tradition.
  16. That's really interesting, Milagai. Do you know of any food-related examples in the scholarship? I think that it would be very interesting to read some of the discussions around here (gumbo and cassoulet come to mind) through this concept. ← So, in some sense, "authoritative" is not such an obsolete meaning of "authentic." I think certain renowned chefs can become authoritative to some degree, though probably by default. It may be easier to recognize something as inauthentic. For example, take the local restaurant that offered me their special, jambalaya over rice or pasta! They must not have known that rice is the main ingredient in a jambalaya. Of course, they never said their jambalaya was authentic. You would be hard pressed to define "authentic" gumbo since as we saw in the gumbo thread, even natives of Louisiana cannot agree, and even on basic things like the essential ingredients. "It has to have a roux," is not true for the okra gumbo where I come from, or "It has to have okra in it since the word gumbo means okra," is also not true for what a lot of Cajuns call gumbo. They would probably call a mostly roux based gumbo with some okra slices thrown in at the last minute a gumbo with okra, but not an okra gumbo, which begins with cooking okra down for a long time before adding the other ingredients. But "roux based gumbo with okra" is too much of a mouthful to say, so okra gumbo it is, I suppose. Unfortunately it confuses this type of gumbo with what would have been called okra gumbo by my family, my community, and the good cafeteria ladies who cooked lunch at 3 public schools and a Catholic school where I went to school or taught in Vermilion parish, Louisiana. But these people don't have the authority of the well know chef. When it appears in a renowned chef's cookbook or encyclopedia or on a celebrity chef's TV show that you start with a roux and add some okra slices toward the end, they lend authority to that concept, and the concept of an okra gumbo evolves or is lost. What about chili? Is Texas red more authentic than Cincinnati chili? Maybe there is authentic Texas red and authentic Cincinnati chili.
  17. Today we saw Patrick O'Connell of the Inn at Little Washington and he was very entertaining! He made a cold watermelon soup with tequila which he serves in his restaurant in a demi tasse. Swore his mother, a teetotaler, just loved it! He made a tempura of green beans, the battter being cake flour mixed with cold club soda. The other dish was a crab cake with fried green tomatoes as the "bread" on top and bottom. He did the fried green tomatoes two ways: in his deep fryer and sauteed on the stove. He was very funny about his dress, a psychedlic looking shirt that he said he wore to Woodstock and would serve just well to hide the mess should he spill anything during the demo, which he did when his pickled okra slipped his grasp. He said the best food transports you to an out of body experience. I don't know; I often want my food to transport me back to Louisiana where I grew up., back to the family table! My wife deadpanned, "Didn't they once have an ad campaign that called Louisiana the Dream State?" I stand corrected! We also saw Paul Prudhomme. Malawry describes it well. One thing I liked was at the end of his presentation he said how important it is to eat together as a family. If you have young kids, that's the best way to initiate conversation about the important things. If you do it, when your kids grow up you will be happy you did, and our country will be stronger. Nice patriotic message! His chicken dish started with the trinity of onions, bell pepper and celery, then he has to brown his chicken and put it off to the side a while, then okra and some other things, then he put it all together at the end. He told a funny story about the dish which he named Chicken Palmetto. Palmetto is a small town of about 1000 between Opelousas and Baton Rouge. He has his meat "factory" there for his andouille and other things. Said he is the biggest employer in Palmetto, more workers even than the police department! He had a good long line for book signing and autographs, and we just popped in to say hello. He was very gracious. I gave him my name, a Cajun one he would recognize, and where I am from in his neck of the woods, then we talked a little about the Prudhomme Family Cookbook, my most used cookbook for the everyday foods that take you back home. Check the WPost for details on Sunday and Monday. Oh, and don't miss the garden area! I saw lots of things I never saw before, but that's just me.
  18. Thanks for the lead, Sara! I will be in Madison in early August staying near State Street. Any recommendations within walking distance of the Monona Convention Center, or should I take a cab somewhere in town? And if you have any suggestions for something not too fancy, like burgers or fish fries, please let me know. (P.S. Been to Madison before, to State Street Brats)
  19. My wife is going Thursday June 30 to see Roberto Donna and Emeril (I will be at RFK seeing the Nationals v Pirates!) The two of us are going Saturday July 2 for Paul Prudhomme and Patrick O'Connell, and the end of the day music. Any others on those days we shouldn't miss?
  20. Couche Couche You can double the salt and leave out the sugar for a good variation. Good with gratons (cracklins)
  21. Thanks for the tip! We drive from Washington D.C. to Lafayette, Louisiana every year and can use some tips for eating along the way. Our stopping point on the way down is often Birmingham to Tuscaloosa. Your tip makes me want to stop in Bessemer. On another note, we will also try your recommendation for Joe's Dreyfus Store Restaurant in Livonia, Louisiana. I would like to take pictures but don't know the protocol and etiquette for doing so. Do I need to buddy up with the chef or just make like a CIA man? We joke that when we go in a dancehall in the country in Louisiana and people ask where we are from, we reply that we are from Washington and work with the Dept. of Agriculture, here to check on your crawfish crops. Just kidding :)
  22. For Marylanders, I had some good ones but small at Sergio's in Silver Spring, Colesville Road. The usual suspects for me are Vicino's on Sligo Avenue in Silver Spring and Calvert House Inn in Riverdale.
  23. Marchone's for carryout subs. There's a few Italian groceries on sale there too. Suporn's for Thai or Hollywood East for Chinese, on Price St. I think there's a review of the new Hollywood East II in this week's Post magazine.
  24. It's good! The meaning of the word must be different in Louisiana. When I first ordered a bisque outside Louisiana where I grew up and got a soup, I just about fell out of my chair.
  25. I pan fried chicken last night as part of following Paul Prudhomme's recipe in Louisiana Kitchen for chicken sauce piquante! I could have stopped right there but you had to throw the chicken in some chicken stock for a few minutes and add a mixture of tomatoes, tomato sauce, jalapeno, garlic, onions, bell pepper and celery. The skin came out funny but the flour from the chicken gave it a good flavor. Prudhomme has a technique like this in the Family Cookbook for okra gumbo with chicken. I liked that too.
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