Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Gumbo New Year

Happy New Year to All!

I begin this post with great sadness for my neighbors ( I do not know the people) in Old Cahaba, who lost their home (and possibly kittens) to a fire yesterday. Fortunately, no one was killed in the fire (verdict out on kittens) and things can be replaced, but I know that thought at this time may be overwhelming. My prayers are with you.

I spent my New Years Eve making a hassle of food for Big Daddy, Bama and my brother in law, "Ton-Loc, the artist". They wanted to watch the Auburn game (Good for both AL and AU, who won their games this week). I made a huge pot of Seafood and Sausage Gumbo (recipe listed below). Then I left with my 2 youngest kids to meet my sister in law, Mida and her two children, and my mother in law at the local Mexican Restaurant. True, by all accounts I was booted out with kids in tow so the men could have their "ARRR!!"-male bonding time over the game and food.

The women and children had a nice meal together with many laughs recounting old stories. From there we went to visit Ernie at home(My father in law) and wish him a Happy New Year. Many of you either know Ernie or have seen him. (Search for Ernie on my blog). Ernie is an amazing 82 year old, as I have posted previously about his health issues (congestive heart failure, prostate cancer, poor blood circulation, strokes, glaucoma and Parkinson's Disease-among other issues!). He even had Hospice at his home at one time, and when he drove in on his bicycle they said, "What are we doing here?" and left.
Since my last article regarding Ernie, has had more medical issues and was bound to a walker but he still made his daily walk to the local Winn Dixie Shopping Center for his workout at Helena Fitness and his own self planned workout in the parking lot. It was funny because sometimes he would park his walker, run his laps and then walk home behind the walker. Now he is behind the seat of his new 3 wheeled bicycle. I am thinking of recruiting him as my new personal trainer. Last night he was telling me that he will be running in a race at Samford University the second Sunday in January. I plan to attend and cheer him on. I had a nice visit with him.
I was supposed to go to my friend Flo's house. I know that I missed much fun. I went home to find my former neighbor, Janet Young was there and had called up another neighbor, Jan Rye. We sat and visited til almost the new year, when they left. I saw the countdown on TV and cleaned the kitchen up and went to bed. Such is life as a glamorous housewife....

Seafood Gumbo
I got this recipe from my cousin, Johnny and then added my own spin to this.

Crab meat
Sausage (cooked)
Fish, optional (codfish or flounder, thawed if frozen)
1 large onion (grated or chopped)
I large bell pepper chopped
10 cloves garlic
bag frozen okra
2 Qts. canned tomatoes with juice (I used stewed Cajun blend)
1 large can of tomato sauce
6-8 beef bouillon cubes, dissolved
3 Bay Leaves
cornstarch to thicken
gumbo file'
salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Boil Shrimp in salted water with crab boil about 8-10 minutes. Strain shrimp from water and retain 2-3 quarts of water. Set shrimp aside for cooling and peeling. Saute garlic, onion and bell pepper and sausage in a small amount of olive oil. Pour retaining liquid into large pot along with crab boil bags. Bring to a boil, add fish and sauteed vegetables, okra, tomato's, tomato sauce, and bouillon. Thicken with cornstarch (in some cold water). Reduce heat to simmer and cook about 2 hours. Remove bay leaves. Add peeled shrimp and crabmeat. Add gumbo file' and season salt to taste. Serve with a scoop of steamed rice on top.


Deedra said...

Ernie is so amazing and motivational. I remember before Helena Fitness opened, I was there getting the tour and saw Ernie outside on the sidewalk, running and walking, doing his workout. I was so amazed and impressed with him and asked the owner about him. He said that Ernie came and worked out most everyday outside there. I am glad that he continues to do well. He motivates me to keep on going!

Leigh said...

He amazes me too. When I see what he does I think, I have o right to complain! God forgive me for not having the motivation he has. I plan to draw my motivation from Ernie this year! My mentor!

Anonymous said...

Well, you missed one party-----hated that you couldn't make it.
Sharon King