Saints Game BBQ

Our good friends Sam and Louise came over today for an afternoon of BBQ and football. We had a wonderful time watching tv and running to the pit during the commercials. In this picture Louise is helping me get the drunk chickens to the pit. Sam snacking some chips & dip, and SparkyBear, atop his favorite perch where he figures he gets a better view of his world, and watchin' Sam, wonders where are his appetizers...oh yeah...there they are; Sam has them, but hold the salsa.
We loaded the pit with the 2 chickens, some sausage, and a couple redfish fillets that Sam brought over. The fish fillets were cleaned with the scales left on them, which makes it possible to put them on the grill. They smoke, scales down, and the skin helps keep them from falling apart.
The fish came off the pit with a wonderful smokey flavor. If you ever get the chance, you really need to try this. It's truly wonderful. We just lightly season the fish and baste it with butter, lemon and seasonings. As usual, a pan of our smokey bbq beans always seems to show up whenever we light the pit.It was a wonderful afternoon filled with good food, and good friends, and of course, the football. Our son, Dan called from western NY because that's where the Saints are today, playing the Buffalo BILLS up there in Buffalo, and Dan is the BILL's favorite fan. We're sorry we 'spanked' ya, Dan. The whole time I've been off work, it's been raining, so my time off has been pretty miserable, but to make up for it the the Saints won!! and their defense stepped up in a very big way, making me think for the first time ever, well.... maybe.....jussst maybe...but uhm, I don't wanna say it out loud.


Down the Drain

We had all these wonderful plans for as soon as Cappy got off the boat. Fishin', bbqin', taking Tinker Bayl off ridin' down along the coast...FunFunFun!!! Meanwhile, here at home I didn't want to say anything, because I didn't want Cappy out there on the boat worrying. The toilet wouldn't flush properly without a major fight. I knew I could handle the situation til he got home. I've called plummers...plumbers(??) before, but they never wanna show up, or even return my phone calls. This was something to do with the outside sewer system
...do plumbers even do that sort of work? So I waited til poor, excited, unsuspecting Cappy got home. His wide smile turned south the minute he heard, and who could blame him.
"surPRISE..."(<:- /)
So, anyhow,that's what he's been working on for the last few days. Yesterday he called one of our neighborhood good guys, Mr. Dennis. He's always right here when we need him. Unfortunately because our little town doesn't have public sewage systems, Mr. Dennis has to be here more than we'd like him to be...even as much as we like him. Cappy called him late in the day and, even tho he had plans to be busy all day, he was here bright and early with his big ol' truck and hose, which we call the 'honey wagon' and got the toilet flushing perfectly again.

I wish he could suck up all the other problems life has been handing us of late, as well. ChangeChangeChange...we've got change alright, along with a lot of Americans. A lot of change has been going down the toilet as well as all the other stuff. One of our friends who suggested that I have a tendency to write more pessimistically when Cappy is on the boat, will take note that Cappy is home and I'm still writing in low-tones. Ahhh...it's like this...I say if God closes one door and opens a window, I aint gonna throw the baby with the bathwater out that window. (Oh Lord...she's flipped ;-)I'll just find something else to be happy about. Like YAY...looks like I'll be getting a new camera cuz the one I have just broke!!!grrrr >:-(

Presently Cappy is sound asleep, happily sawing logs, peaceful knowing that he fixed the toilet problem and all's well in the world, for the most part kinda/sorta...til he wakes up in the morning and coffee cup in hand reads this..."surPRISE". And now, despite the fact that it's supposed to rain most every day that he's home, and our neighbor, Old Man Kelsie's pond and lake turn once again into Old Man Kelsie's Ocean, draining slowly, I hope Cappy finds some kind of way to have FunFunFun, til it's time for him to go back out on the boat. Poor guy, if things don't stop going downhill soon, he'll probably feel like RUNNING back out to his boat. An' this time I'll wanna go with 'im.


Spam Sammage

Recently our town's forum friends held their monthly gathering as they do, and decided to pick Spam as the menu choice. Now understand, this is a sleepy lil town deep in the heart of Cajun country, and you may be shocked that outa all the wonderful things to eat down here they picked Spam. It started kinda as a joke, gathered momentum, and in the spirit of "a Cajun can make anything taste good", they held their gathering with plenty to eat and drink, and, as we say in cajun country, "Dey passed a good time". I wasn't able to attend on accounta I was on da boat. When I told my first mate the story he said, "Shoots Cappy, Spam sammages sounds good to me for a night-time snack", so we went to makin' up us each a couple fried Spam sammages and kinda vicariously joined my forum friends, long distance. I had my sammages, on toast with 'sammage spread' and a couple spears of Peggy's dill pickles I had on board.
The first mate Darby, had his Spam on white bread with onion and tomato. We may not have been there at the party but we did pretty good for ourselves that night in the marsh, tied up a few miles north of Grand Isle. For those of you wondering, NO the fridge ain't dirty; it is rusty 'cause all da paint has been wiped off'n it from over-zealous deckhands scrubbing it. We have fresh paint ordered and will repaint it again (yes again) in a few days.



Oh bummer. One of our friends, a Mr. Bebe` says he can tell just from my writing, when Cappy is on the boat and when he's home. I guess I tend to be less peppy and upbeat. I hadn't really noticed. Mebbe so. I know I kinda hibernate more. I've got plenty-plenty to do...and a whole month to do it, but for some reason I let things drag on. Dang. At least the dogs don't mind. They are good company. We sympathize with one another. SparkyBear jumped off the back of Cappy's chair and hurt his back again and has been rather solemn about having to take meds and not being able to jump up on the couch to sit with me, as happened last time. His brother, MarkyBear's been good about 'hanging with me' wherever I go...outside or just in the house. He never went to doggy school like SparkyBear did, but still, he knows how to heel. I like his moral support (like Cappy likes SparkyBear's) because I've been 'gimping' around for more than two months now. I don't know what I did this time, but my right heel is so very painful. Two sets of ex-rays says it's not bone spurs. Soft, gel "boingy" heel thingys in my shoe isn't working either. The darned pain has forced me to be more sedentary than I was and boy, I feel the weight piling on by the hour. That aint helping my foot neither. Trying to keep busy and watching the television really, really can bring a person down, too. The whole woild is a mess.GAH!!! Cappy said when he gets home he'll drag out my beloved exercize equipment outa the shed for me. It's in there stacked behind huge gumbo pots and burners, yard contraptions, and what not. BAW!!! I just wanna have my heel all well like it was before. Poor MarkyBear, tho, he still limps all the time and has for years because of his squirrel versus MarkyBear war injury to his hip, but he's the sweetest guy. He actually smiles at me. I wonder what he's really thinking sometimes, when SparkyBear is sniffing around sadly and I'm down in the dumps.

Yeah, buddy, I know; it's a dawg's life.


Smothering Dreams

September already? Yow, where did the time go? We just planted our okra 'last week' . Up north in western NY when Fall hits, the first thing we used to think of in terms of warm comfort food was a nice hot bowl of chili. Down here in South Louisiana, we think of a nice big bowl of gumbo. Cajuns never think of cooking it during the summer months. Horrors, no! Not until the first cold snap hits does anyone's fancy turn to thoughts of gumbo. With that in mind, we plant okra.
Cappy thinned out our okra garden, but it's tall and very productive.
The flowers for each okra stalk start out as a gorgeous flower. The flower only lasts for a day, then falls off, then to replace the flower, comes the okra.

I just hauled in this colandar load today. A lot of people use the regular short dark green okra, but Cappy and I grow what is called "Long-horned" okra, which has been the tradition in his family. The bigger ones have a more mild flavor. Personally, my choice is.....either:-)
What I usually do after I pick them, is to wash them, slice them and put them in bags in the freezer. Slicing them takes a little bit of time, but I spend that time dreaming of the dark, rich gumbo it will be making. When we've got a TON of sliced okra accumulated in the freezer, we take them out and 'smother them down', using Cajun sausage, the usual chopped vegetables, like onions, garlic, etc. and our own blend of Cajun seasoning spices. Cappy spent time smothering our okra, savoring the experience when he was home last time. His Aunt Gussie, after she found out, kinda/sorta scolded Cappy for using a black iron pot, because it turns the smothered okra a dark color, having leeched iron from the pot. Last year we used a big aluminum pot. Either way, once the smothered okra becomes a main ingredient in the dark brown gumbo, it tastes Wonderful! Smothered okra, on it's own tastes pretty darned good as a side dish as well. When people are going through all the stages of making the smothered okra, I think their thoughts are far in the future months, to the 'cold' weather when they will be savoring their gumbo made with the okra they are "smothering" in the present. (Just thinking about it right now is making my mouth water.) The pot starts out with crisp veggies, then after tending to it for quite awhile, it becomes a pot of moosh. Smothered Okra. Yum-eeeee!

This year we have to give credit to Mr. Ed, our good friend from Rochester, NY, whom the ol' guys from our town Forum call "Winchester". Mr. Ed taught us a technique for canning that is so amazingly easy. So, with that in mind, we took our freshly made, hot and steamy smothered okra and canned it. Now, whenever we open our pantry, besides all the jelly we've made, we see future pots of smoked chicken/andouille gumbo sitting there in rows looking for all the world like so many jars of mysterious greenish brown mush. It might not look all that appetizing, but I can tell you, it's the stuff dreams are made of.