Last Sunday I made a pot of Gumbo. It was a little cool at the time but this Sunday it's actually cold and rainy and that cold is stimulated by the breeze that came with it so I made another Gumbo. The front lawn is sprinkled with leaves that are brown and curling over on themselves as the moisture leaches out and as with an aged person those leaves are becoming dry, wrinkled and brittle.
I made another pot of Gumbo and it was more inspired this weekend with the chill in the air. Sausage and chicken floating in a brown broth made from the roux sprinkled with the onions and bell pepper and not a lot of Tony's ladled into a deep bowl over cooked white rice is one of my favorite meals.
Tony Chachere is a spice so often used here that everyone is on a first name basis with it. It's just "Tony's" to the locals and they put it on or in everything unless it's a dessert. I don't pour a lot of it into my Gumbo because it has a lot of salt in it and I find it makes the food too salty for my taste. A little Tony's and a lot of garlic powder and I'm good with that.
My big discovery was about the rice. You have to make a big pot of rice to go with the Gumbo; the leftover rice is usually discarded and not refrigerated. It gets hard, crunchy and glumped together to make a compacted glob in the bowl. I discovered from watching a cooking show on TV something wonderful about cooked rice! Rinse it! Put it in a colander and run water over it to remove the sticky starch. Serve it and then refrigerate it later and the rice stays perfectly fluffy and doesn't harden up. Awesome. I was so excited; my life is less then dramatic these days so continued fluffiness in the rice was almost more excitement then I could handle.
Carrie spent yesterday with her Uncle "P" and his mother which would be Carrie's Great Grandmother. P called later to give me a report on her and by that time, her Aunt was in custody of Carrie and Carrie was already headed to the Catholic Church for her scarce bit of indoctrination. I later questioned this Aunt about Carrie's behavior in church. I could just imagine her jumping up and singing out "Geeze OH Pete", or some other inappriate heathenish something.
After Church she was being delivered to her Dad and a "dad visit" is something Carrie gets excited about. The break is nice although it leaves me feeling a little at loose ends. I'm not saying I don't enjoy this time alone; a time to do a little Christmas shopping which is what I did after delivering Carrie to her Uncle P at the usual meeting area on the highway half way between both towns, and a time to sit undisturbed through a whole television show or a meal is always a treat. She will be home today and my house will be alive with her chatter and her demands. I'm waving goodbye to the quietness and the organized space around me. Her toys and books will make a trail through the living room; her shoes will stand guard beside the patio door and later this evening her friends, the hand puppet brothers will keep her entertained at tub time.
I may dress warmly, that means a sweater and no sandals, and make my way to a few stores to do some more Christmas shopping. I never wait until the last minute but since my Christmas list is so small, it doesn't take long. With teenagers and young adults, I just ask what they want and I think they are ready and waiting for that question. I make my little list and in a few hours I can be done with the shopping and miss all the crowds of Christmas.
I might take a wee nap in front of the TV until the stores open today.