In this corner, dancing around and weighing in at a healthy green, we have LIVE GREEN BEANS! ...And in this other corner, we have mooshed in a brown pile in this bowl, SMOTHERED GREEN BEANS! It doesn't matter, I know who's gonna win.
Cappy calls me a 'salad-head', and I am. When he's out on 'da boat', I load the fridge up with raw fruits, nuts and veggies, start sprouts in the cupboards, and start the chocolate withdrawl all over again.
My kids used to look forward to meals with curiosity and suspicion. They called me 'the sneaky cook'. Well, heck, I wanted the food to be tasty first of all, but healthy as well. I didn't put tofu ("Toad-food") in everything. I cooked traditional comfort food most of the time, but...DANG...everytime I tried sneaking in something "healthy", I was always 'busted'. I'll never live down "Liver Soup". Even the dog took one whiff and was horrified...after that, even he was suspicious of what was put in his, now sacrileged, hallowed bowl. One time I told one of the kids, "Go tell your brothers and sister that supper is ready". Oh yeah...they opened the back door and broadcast the news to the neighborhood "Supper is ready!!!" One of them yelled back, "What are we having?!" " We're having spinach dumplings and liver!!!" I still cringe about that one.
You can only imagine what my Mom, a chef and dietician,thought about my meal planning. She and Cappy would have been best buddies, I have no doubt. Mom always got all animated and excited while planning and shopping for a big production meal. Cappy does the same thing, with the same mannerisms and 'electricity' of anticipation. As you can imagine by looking at our pictures, he is a most marvelous cook.
Cappy could put a meal together that only took an half an hour, and it would taste wonderful. He could, and he has, especially on the tugboat. What he really likes to do, is to take his time.(The first step is for me to chop tons of onions, which I really don't mind, because it's a symbol of Cappy being HOME and cookin'!) He puts the Blues blaring on the stereo, stands around the stove or bbq pit, beer in hand, bare-footed, singing, laughing, twirling me around for a quick dance, calling people on the phone reminding them that their names are 'in da pot,' so "come on over an' getcha some", and deglazing said pot every once in awhile. His food is 'tah dah foe' good. "Slap yo Mama good, cuz she done never made none dis for you before", as he calls it. Every fork or spoonful might race it's way to my mouth, but once it hits the tongue,I have to stop, close my eyes and savor each and every bite, it's that good.
Grocery shopping with him is fun and interesting too. We both spy large juicy heads of cabbage for instance, or piles of crisp green beans. "Oh!" he says, "I'm so hungry for cabbage or green beans, let's get a bunch of it." My fantasy at that moment is cabbage salad or lightly steamed green beans al dente. What in, fact happens is that, once we get them home, we chase the little suckers around the kitchen, catch them and smother them. Smother the LIFE outa them. Starting with the onions of course, which are caramalized, deglazed with wine (usually), Cajun sausage slices all nice and browned, our 'usual suspects' rounded up (our special Cajun spices), bell pepper, garlic...all kinds of good stuff. Then the prized veggies are marched to the pot. Well, then everybody in the pot stays there for what seems like hours and hours, to make sure nobody makes it out alive. And nobody does. We offer up a 'Requiem' of Thanks, and dig in. Delicious!!!
Back out on the tugboat. Yesterday they finally got supplies. They had been so low on water that they couldn't even make coffee. There was no meat in the freezer or fridge. They had no fishing tackle with them. Cappy, when faced with this dilemma, had previously joked that he was curious about what gourmet meals he was going to be forced into by his Cajun instincts and foraging. He was wondering what kind of critters were going to 'wander' into his cooking pot. For the last meal before the fresh groceries were trucked in, he made spaghetti for his crew. He found, way back in the cupboard onboard, some Spam and canned vienna sausages, some tomato paste and catsup. He somehow turned this unlikely mess into such a good meal, that the guys went back for seconds and 'tipped' him with many compliments.
So now. I can eat my raw fruits and nuts and veggies whilst he is on 'da boat', but if Cajuns eat smothered food and live to be in their 90's, I guess I can 'force' myself. You haven't lived til you've wrapped your lips around a delicious smothered 'anything' from down here in Bayou Country.
I reported to Cappy about those miserable squirrels. He's already making plans: In this corner, weighing in at "300 lbs of white flesh, glistening in the moonlight", butcher knife in one hand, large frying pan in the other, dawgs at his side, an angry Cajun Cappy. And in the other corner we have, scampering around, sticking out their little tongues at Cappy and the dawgs, weighing in at a hefty haul of our pecans, those Miserable Brazen squirrels! It doesn't matter. I know who's gonna win.