Thursday, March 7, 2013

the time that bird fell dead out of the sky part one


Twice now, by my counting.

The first involved a pot of red beans.  Camelia ,of course,  because I have a friend who sends me CARE packages  here in the nether regions where gravy is a pale thing they put on biscuits instead of roast beef. 

It’s one of the first things I ever cooked in my first apartment at the corner of Burgundy and Elysian Fields.  (ignoring the fact that I actually lived on Port St. in two apartments, one pre-wedding and one post-wedding).  It’s no lie that I was off on Mondays and Tuesdays from my job waiting tables at the Fairmont Hotel.  So I did laundry and cooked beans on day one.

And I knew how to cook beans, turned it into a kind of art.  A specific amount of vinegar added to the overnight soak.  Browning the sausage and keeping everything separate until the final moment when I brought the water to a scald and then a boil and finally a long, low simmer.

And at a predetermined time, I would add fresh green onion and parsley, but I’m not telling you the best moment for this.

A few months ago I went to Hawaii.  I spent a week learning about healthy eating, diets with no salt, meat free meals and cooking without oil.  It’s a good diet and healthy for you.  But what I attempted was a sin.  And I know sin when I do it.

So after a long day peddling organic groceries and a trip to the no judgement gym where people play video games on their smart phones while ‘exercising’, I was ready for dinner.  Let me tell you what I had attempted to cook.

After the proper overnight soak I had sautéed my trinity in water (no oil!) and didn’t add any salt.  I used No Salt diced tomatoes.  There was no meat in it.  I didn’t even add salt to the brown rice I had cooked to eat with it. 

Nine and a half hours after placing this concoction in R2D2’s head, I sat down and took a big bite.  Into a raw bean.  I bit another.  And it was raw.  So I checked the beans in my bowl. Raw.  The entire crock pot of uncooked beans eventually ‘cooked’ for almost eleven hours before I gave up. 


Tonight I decided to make a gumbo.  I haven’t made a roux in well over a year.  I burned it.  This is some bad bayou ju ju. 

If I was still Catholic I’d be lighting a St. Josephs candle about now. 

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