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Mayhaw Man

eG FoodBlog: Mayhaw Man - I eat more than Okra

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I grow more than weak at the knees at the sight of a tomato not looking like styrofoam, and looking like the kind of tomatoes we won't see until August. We won't even talk about that color green. The only green here is on my oh-so-ugly walls.

Be still my beating heart.

Snowangel, I was just thinking about you. I was outside feeding the cats (actually more like the coons, but it is supposed to be cats) and I heard a very large flock of geese going overhead (they winter here). They were headed North and it crossed my mind that Spring is finally here where I live and that those Geese must be hauling it up North for you "warmth challenged" denizens of the prairie.

You know, when you are eating those tomatoes in August that they will be better than ours in August. We get a spring and early summer crop and then it gets too hot for the blooms to set (average daytime high around 95F in July and August). We replant in mid to late August and if you have any kind of luck at all have tomatoes coming out in October and up pretty close to Thanksgiving.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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The peas were cooked with a hunk of sliced tasso,

Tasso Tasso Tasso Tasso

This was the bijoux we bought a cooler for in the bayou and hauled to California with it on the seat between us. We made it last around 2 months, using only a sliver each time. I yearn for it to this day.

:biggrin:

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Tasso is just another example of the superiority of the pig over all others in the animal kingdom. :wink::wub::laugh:

Breakfast this morning was a bit unusual for us-there was some. We made french toast for the boys and their friend and had fresh made Strawberry Smoothie mad with local strawberries from Ponchatoula, LA. Right now they are selling for ten bucks a flat so we are eating them all of the time. Eggs, brown sugar, a little milk, and mexican vanilla for the base and some thick sliced sally lunn for the bread.

We used our big electric griddle to cook it (I love that thing- my stove has one in the middle of it, but it is not nearly as convenient and does not cook as evenly). I got it on sale at Target a while back and it was really cheap. Super handy.

Lunch today for everybody will be sandwiches left over from last nights pork loin on mini po boy rolls from Leidenheimer's Bakery. Incidentally, for those of you that have not yet paid off Jason and still want a sandwich for an avatar-there is a great po boy screen saver on this site. Lunches also had more sliced strawberries, chee wees, and a handful of pistachios that magically appeared in a large jar on my counter this weekend. I have no idea where they came from. Leaving your house unlocked can be a good thing sometimes, I guess.

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo for a crowd tonight.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I wanted to thank Alex for the reference to PIXresizer. It is handy, simple, and free. Even a luddite like me can resize and post pictures with a minimum of trouble. All of this was discussed in this thread located in "Site Tips and Techniques".

It is freeware and it will run on crappy computers as it doesn't require much in the way of computing power. Such a deal!


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Mayhaw, you seem to maintain the same kind of household I grew up in. We had a slew of kids and my 'rents never knew how many extra there would be for meals or staying over. We all learned to cook in huge quantities! My folks were also the foreign student advisors at the university where they taught, so we had people and foods dropping in from all over the world as well. A great childhood!

I think your boys are very blessed!!

Oh, and thanks for the book rec. I seem to always be out of new things to read even though I usually have 6 or 7 books (mainly non-fiction) going at once.

Dinner looked great. Thanks for taking the pics even with the price of teenage mockery! :smile:


"Portion control" implies you are actually going to have portions! ~ Susan G

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If you like Tom Robbins and you like Larry McMurtry....

I seem to recall from the "Music in the Kichen" thread that you have a pretty encyclopedic range of musical tastes. Do you ever listen to stuff by McMurtry's son, James? It's damned near perfect, some of it. Yeah, the guy's pretty pissed off most of the time, but his lyrics are so well crafted and, man, can he play guitar.

I'm diggin' your blog. I lived in Metairie when I was a kid and have yet to get back to LA, but your blog is giving me one more reason to plan a trip.

I've seen a few Vs of geese headed back north here in Vermont, but we're still a long way from fresh tomatoes.

Blog on.

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Superb blog, Brooks. And the pictures are great too. Makes me wish I still lived in Texas so I could just pop over for a few pounds of crawdads :raz:. Up here in VA, we're still ages away from any decent tomatoes. Saddens the heart of us real tomato lovers. Please keep up the good work.

THW


"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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Breakfast this morning consisted of lots of coffee (Community Dark Roast made in a French Press) and a scone from an excellent local bakery, Zoe's.

Lunch will be a rib meat sandwich, sliced tomato with pepper and salt, and some delicious Elmers Chee Wees (a superior cheesy poof made in New Orleans). A Heavenly Hash egg will be my afternoon treat (a gift from a co worker).

A friend of my brought back some Community Coffee for me. Iasked her to bring back for chickory coffee and she did as well. What's the deal with chickory? I was doing a major office deal at a big law firm in NOLA and they all served both regular coffee and chickory coffee. I was wired on that chickory coffee for days. Is it true that it adds a kick?

Love the Blog.


Edited by bbq4meanytime (log)

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If you like Tom Robbins and you like Larry McMurtry....

I seem to recall from the "Music in the Kichen" thread that you have a pretty encyclopedic range of musical tastes. Do you ever listen to stuff by McMurtry's son, James? It's damned near perfect, some of it. Yeah, the guy's pretty pissed off most of the time, but his lyrics are so well crafted and, man, can he play guitar.

I'm diggin' your blog. I lived in Metairie when I was a kid and have yet to get back to LA, but your blog is giving me one more reason to plan a trip.

I've seen a few Vs of geese headed back north here in Vermont, but we're still a long way from fresh tomatoes.

Blog on.

Levelland is currently one of my favorite songs on the rotation at KGSR in Austin. I love that line

" Flatter than a tabletop,

Makes you wonder why they stopped?

Wagon musta lost a wheel or they lacked ambition one"

R.E. Keene covered it last year and I actually thought that it was his song, but the radio station was getting so many calls from J M fans that they started playing the other version with a disclaimer. It has been pretty funny. Singer/Songwriter fans can be a pretty demonstrative bunch. :wacko:

Incidentally, click on KGSR and click on listen. It's easy and one of the most diverse and interesting stations on the web. You get local music listings in Austin also and if that doesn't make you jealous (I live in New Orleans and I get that way, so it must be terrible if you live in Dubuque or somewhere :raz: )


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Levelland is currently one of my favorite songs on the rotation at KGSR in Austin. I love that line

" Flatter than a tabletop,

Makes you wonder why they stopped?

Wagon musta lost a wheel or they lacked ambition one"

Yeah, Levelland. It's a perfect "driving fast on a hot, dusty day with all the windows down" song. Gotta pick a nit, though. The lyric is actually

"Flatter than a tabletop,

Makes you wonder why they stopped here..."

But it's an important point. A lesser writer would have stopped at "stopped"; adding "here" changes the whole rythmic emphasis of the line.

My favorite JM lyric, though, is his twisting of the clichéd "There, but for the grace of God, go I."

In "Down along the Delaware" he remarks after seeing an old acquaintance "bumming change on the uptown 6": "There by the grace of God I go." Now that's just fucking brilliant.

Okay. Back to the food. Sorry for the digression. :biggrin:

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Thanks for all of the kind responses.

In one more non food related note (although music and food are directly related to the pleasure and enjoyment levels in my life and that of my family) lately in the heavy rotation at my house havve been two records that I can't turn off. Click on these links, buy the records, and help buy yogurt for our many contributors.

Eric Clapton-Me and Mr. Johnson

and

The Flatlanders - Wheels of Fortune

The Clapton record is probably the best thing that he has ever done as far as one grouping of song interpretations go. I made a cd with Robert Johnson's versions followed by Eric Clapton's versions paired together. The effect can be pretty bone chilling at times.

The Flatlanders record is just another Flatlander's record (which is to say that it is a domn fine piece of work). The version of Midnight Train will make you drive your car 100 miles and hour and drink whiskey from the bottle. A truly great song. Jimmy Dale Gilmore has an earlier cover on one of his records, but it doesn't do the job like this version.

Now back to the Food Channel-

Going to the produce place this afternoon to pick up a few gumbo needs. I will take some pictures. It is a pretty remarkable place considering it exists in a town with 2500 people and the road it is on goes to nowhere in particular (although you can get there from here :wink: ) and these people make a living selling whatever they can get that is fresh and good. Nice folks. They boil peanuts, sell preserves, sell green tomatoes by the lug if you need them (you have to order), have a guy that sells shrimp when they are in and good, and will get weird requests if needed (for example they got me ten pounds of small okra to put up into pickles last summer). A good business totally driven by customer service. I know they don't get rich at it, but I'm glad that they are there.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Eric Clapton-Me and Mr. Johnson

The Clapton record is probably the best thing that he has ever done as far as one grouping of song interpretations go. I made a cd with Robert Johnson's versions followed by Eric Clapton's versions paired together. The effect can be pretty bone chilling at times.

I'd been wondering about this CD. This does it.

And a great blog, Brooks.

You say that your amily tends to eat rice four or five times a week. Is it always the same kind of rice or do you do different varities or even mix them? (As I do.)


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I'd been wondering about this CD. This does it.

And a great blog, Brooks.

You say that your amily tends to eat rice four or five times a week. Is it always the same kind of rice or do you do different varities or even mix them? (As I do.)

It's a great record. Someone who is moving nicely from rock star back to student and interpreter. Maybe they met at the Crossroads at some point, because some of the stuff he does with those old tunes is pretty amazing. They sound so fresh, but at the same time sound like they might be sampled from a Lomax field recording.

We eat all kinds of rice. Long grain, basmati, jasmine, Texmati, risotto, sushi rice (I have gotten to where I really like sushi rice as a snack-especially that Lundberg stuff from California-it's a little pricey (actually alot pricey) but it is really good when made as sushi rice (vinegar, sugar, etc.) and served with a little soy or even better when a little Salsa Lizano on top). I have a very low tech rice cooker that works great (no fuzzy logic, but I don't buy fuzzy logical rice so it seems to work o.k. :raz: ) although it doesn't keep the stuff very well like some of the more expensive models. On the other hand it only has one switch and my kids can (and do) operate it. I took a sharpie and wrote the rice/h20 on the side for various kinds of rice (Martha wouldn't do that, but she doesn't live at my house :wacko: ). With Gumbo and beans and stuff it is mainly long grain, Louisiana grown. Soups or anything light probably is going to get a more aromatic grain like jasmine, texmati, or basmati. We have risotto with some kind of pork or beef probably once a week (current fave mixture is risotto with onions, garlic, red bell pepper and toasted pecans using chicken stock as the liquid base). My kids scarf it up and that is pretty much all I am shooting for most nights. There is something very satisfying about making risotto. Maybe it is just seeing all of that liquid disappear. I don't know, but I do like making it.

Edited because I can't type (pretty sad for semi empolyed writer, actually :shock: )


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Disaster strike The Blog-Film at 11.

Anyway, after that dramatic entrance I will tell you about dinner. I still had boys at home tonight plus an extra adult guest (I love having two women in the house. Just kind of brightens the place up as opposed to a bunch of young teenage and adolescent boys who don't brighten anything up ever :blink::laugh: .

I had to stay at work until 5 therefore the best laid plans went to hell in a handbasket but as they say mother is the neccessity of invention so I bucked up and got with the program before someone could have another issue. :laugh:

Can you tell I spent my afternoon in a meeting withe meeting talk abounding? Yuck. It's a miracle anything ever gets done in this country with all of these meetings going on.

So I fell back on a family standby-Jewella. This recipe pretty much qualifies as noodles and meat casserole except that it is made with exceptional ingredients and that the basic recipe is one that my mother got from her mother and aunt. It can actually be pretty damn good and it was tonight. I will put the actual recipe in recipe gullet because it honestly is worth taking a crack at if you have to feed a bunch of people.

Brown 1.5 lb lean ground beef and 1.5 lb. good quality sausage (tonight I used grass fed ground sirloin from my neighbors who helps me out with some beef and I just help him out and I used venison sausage that is extremely good (probably 40% pork) and not too sagey). Throw in 1 large yellow onion, 1 red bell pepper, 1 green bell pepper(all medium chopped) , 5 cloves garlic, minced, salt, black pepper, ripped fresh basil, oregano, rosemary to taste, a quart of decent tomato sauce after the browning is done (I used homemade, I am running out of that too-summer can't come soon enough for me).

While you are busy with that cook 1 lb. of macaroni shells (I like the big ones my kids like the little ones so I use medium :laugh: ) and cook and cool them.

Once the meat mixture is browned you can throw in the macaroni and mix well.

Ladle into 13X9 pyrex pans (dividing mixture evenly)

Tonight I topped it with a mixture of yellow rat cheese (the kind that comes in the red wax wrapper and is like 1/16 of a wedge) bought at Sams and some Cabot's Cheddar. This was mixed well together and spread evenly on top. The casserole is heaved into the oven and baked at 350 until it bubbles (20 min. or so).

It is honestly delicious and I don't apologize for serving it, ever, My boys love it and adults like it too. I especially like the passage below this recipe entry in my Mother's cookbook that she wrote and published for her children and her daughter's in law (all boys there too-no girls :wacko: Maybe that's why my brothers and I all cook ). I am so glad to have that book. It was one of the nicest things I have ever received from anyone. Anyway here is what she wrote:

"Mom's oldest sister, Jewel, brought this recipe to us in Bastrop, LA during the war. In those days casseroles were rarities and we thought that this was the best thing that we had ever tasted. When your Aunt Florence moved to Jackson her friends called it 'Florencini'. "

Along with this we had butterbeans I found in the freezer last night (I though that I had run out. It was a joyous moment when I saw those little green devils hiding behind the popsicles) and steamed broccoli with a little lemon and soy melted butter.

Dessert was more cake from last night as I couldn't get to anything tonight.

I should say that I walked in the house at about 5:15 and served at 6:45. I am nothing if not a short order cook. A little longer than Rachel Ray but I was making bigger portions and had no shortcuts ready. :raz:

I will insert the photos in a little while as soon as I can get on the computer with the software (it seems to be tied up in a homework project at the moment).

I am not working on Wed. (although I have a newspaper column due tomorrow at noon, so I might be busy in the morning) so I am going to make a big gumbo and at the same time cook a brisket (maybe a butt too, it depends on what I can find at the butcher) on the pit. It should be fairly interesting for everybody and I can freeze some stuff so I will have food for kids during Jazz Fest. Our world stops during the Jazz Festival and stuff like kids and work had better be able to go on auto pilot as Mommy and Daddy can still be totally irresponsible when they set their minds to it. :laugh:


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Wonderful wonderful blog! I wish I was there right now. I can relate of course to the 11 year old boy scenario and having endless kids for dinner. Sometimes you'd think I had six kids instead of one!

Thanks so much for sharing with us! :smile:


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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God bless you Mr. Hamaker.

(and five points to anyone who gets the reference).

Chad

Ooh, ooh! Rosewater!

And lest Brooks take me to the First District Court of Thankyou, let me thank him publicly right here for a fantastic blog!

Cheers,

Squeat

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And in contrast to my caffeinated friend up North, here is the scene on the way out of my back door heading towards the gate. That is a very, very old climbing type of rose (single layered pink blooms) on the left and a cherry in bloom hanging over the top of the photo. That is a large mimosa by the gate that will soon be dripping it's messy flowers everywhere. I like the tree, but it is hell on car paint. Those flowers stick like glue balls to the paint on cars.

Great picture, Brooks!

I'm really enjoying reading this blog.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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a bunch of young teenage and adolescent boys who don't brighten anything up ever

Long day, perhaps?

'Nother thanks for the Clapton CD "review". I've been wondering what I'd be letting myself in for if I bought it. The pre-teen has another Clapton, and I noticed that I can stand several hundred repetitions more of Clapton than of his other favorite - Cat Stevens. They've both had a rest recently, though I've heard enough back-to-back playings of the 3 Lord of the Rings soundtrack disks to last me a little while. At least NOBODY ever complains about "All That Meat And No Potatoes" off the Satch Plays Fats album!

Dinner from scratch in 90 minutes? Sounds good to me. My clients tend to ring me around 5pm, and with every call, another item drops off the dinner menu.

Looking forward to the gumbo show and tell. My gumbo-making began after reading Alice Walker's desciption in one of her novels, but as I've never had the opportunity to eat a gumbo made by anybody but myself, I've lots to learn.

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a bunch of young teenage and adolescent boys who don't brighten anything up ever

Long day, perhaps?

Yes it was. But my little offhand remark was not really that negative. :wacko:

What I meant was that those boys come pre-loaded with mud and other debris and could break a box of bowling pins just by looking at it. Nothing is safe with them around. They are a walking, moving, talking, eating, hurricane. I love em, but they are not too neat.

Gumbo Manana.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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One day, you'll be glad you took all those boys under your wing (so to speak), and they felt welcome in your home. My son's friends all hung out here at our house, and sometimes we fed quite a few. Some of these boys only knew hamburger helper, and once one told me, "I like eating over here. Ya'll eat together at the table. At my house, we all eat in front of the TV." I almost cried for him. Anyway, now they are grown, but will always be "the boys" to me, and I know who I can call if we need something moved, or have a flat tire, etc. They are great young men. :smile:


Stop Family Violence

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God bless you Mr. Hamaker.

(and five points to anyone who gets the reference).

Chad

Thank you for the blessing, but no one is after my money and I have never had a desire to be a fireman. :wink:

I have always identified with Heller's Yossarian more than any of Vonnegut's characters. It's a complex world for a casual guy like me. :laugh:


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Just wanted to say that I love your blog and over here, in cold, rainy England, your words and pictures have been brightening up my week!

My husband can't get his head around the idea of a food blog, but as he is a computer programmer (and therefore spends an interminable amount of time looking at lines of code), I don't feel the need to explain. I think it is almost food porn and that's good enough for me!! :raz:

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Here in cold, rainy Germany (I think Sarah has been passing off her weather system on us! :laugh: ), my husband and I are really enjoying this blog.

Heavenly Hash was one of my favorite ice cream flavors when I was a kid! I think Breyers made it... :wub: Sorry, that's a bit random, but the mention of the heavenly hash egg just brought back memories.

And on a non-food note: LOVED the photos of upstate NY contrasted with the NO photos.

Thanks for taking the time to do this blog for us!

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