Pop Rouge Ice Cream

I am not certain if it was 'cause it's hot summer, or if I was feeling nostalgic after Mom's passing, or feeling inspired by cousin Suzy's blog post on ice cream ( http://kitchenbouquet.blogspot.com/ ), or a combination of the three, but I decided to resurrect this childhood favorite: "Pop rouge Ice-cream". Right off the bat, we hadda do a strawberry tasting to determine which current strawberry- flavored soda met our two requirements. #1. They had to be gluten-free, and #2. have that burn ya throat strong flavor of ole fashioned pop. It was fun having a soda tasting, full of giggling, tasting and retasting for comparison and judging contest, punctuated with burps of contentment, complete with an accidental shower of warm soda, until we decided to use Welch's strwawberry POP for the "P" in this simple recipe from my youth.
When I was a kid, this ice cream went with us on most all of the picnic/car trips/ bank fishing kinda outings we went on. Often, we would all load up in the car and go on a family outing. More often than not, packed in the trunk of the family car, along with picnic supplies and fishing, or crawfishing, or kite flying, etc. gear, was our ole hand-crank ice cream churn. The most oft-made product of our churning was this very simple sherbert: Pop Rouge ice cream. The reason it was most often made is, not only is it delicious, but very simple and reaquires no preparation. We usta just dump the ingredients into the churn and start cranking. The way Mom taught us to remember the simple recipe is, she used this simple saying: "E.P. C. 1. 2. 3." I guess properly written, the recipe would be:

1. 12 oz. can of Evaporated milk

2. 12 oz. bottles of strawberry soda ("POP")

3. 14 oz cans of Condensed milk

Then churn, using the "churn, rest, repeat" method 'til ya get this:

I am not sure that these pictures does this simple, delicious ice-cream justice. It tastes like a hug from my Mom, and a childhood memory come to life. I think I better serve up another dish to make sure we got it right.

The Flamingo Gag 2.0

Ok, for those of you who don't know of, or remember our "Flamingo Gag", I include this link that I dug outa da archives of our blog to jog ya memories. After ya are refreshed in your memory of just how tacky Peg and I can be, return here for this year's version. http://cappyandpegody.blogspot.com/2009/04/flamingo-gag.html
Well, here we are in 2010, and not much has changed. Our beloved neighbor's yard is still the pristine, highly manicured carpet it always is, looking 'postcard perfect', like a "wish you were here in sunny South Louisiana" tourist thing in the local plantation gift shop.

Our yard, on the other hand .... well.... just isn't. Ours more resembles the slightly unkept, tacky, tall weeds merrily waving at everybody, messy, verging on totally unkept kinda place that would star in a trailor trash weekly, if'n there was that sorta thing. Our philosophy is: if it is green and grows, let it. Being "foodies", we plant mostly stuff that bears fruit, and when the hurricanes lean stuff over, we leave it that way figgurin' its God's way of adding a rakish angle to our unkept mess.
Well, after last year's gag, imagine the horn-blowing, yelling, hooting, good-natured laughing commotion that occured last night when they got home to see this glowing pink mess Peg and I had put right across the street from their kitchen window.

This morning's view from their window will change soon, and the flamingo is destined to be a traveling companion with us in our camper. We plan to use him as a sign post of sorts, to let folks know which trailor in da campground is ours, just in case the tacky party lights we are gonna have lit on da canopy, are hard to see from the road.

Looking at it from da flamingo's point of view, it's pretty obvious he don't belong there anyways.


Nature At Work

Last hitch I noticed what appeared to be Purple Martins, edit(they turn out to be cliff sparrows) darting back and forth from a 'mud flat' to the concrete platform which was behind us. I grabbed my camera, walked to the back deck and was able to take these pictures of these hard working birds, before my lens fogged up.

I had never noticed Martins (cliff sparrows) in the wild before and wasn't aware they built mud nests like that, but Darby, the boat's mate, said he had seen a special television show about them nesting like that under the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. They were fascinating to watch, to be sure.

While we were still tied up at that location, just after sunset as it was getting dark, my tankerman stepped out for a smoke and almost stepped on a coon who was exploring our deck for goodies. I couldn't tell who scared who the most, but they both screamed and ran in opposite directions. Every night after that while we were there, we had to put all our garbage in the engine room and 'dog' the doors closed. The heat from the engine room didn't help with the smell any, but it sure beat having to pick it back up again after this character had his way with it.

I was sitting in the wheelhouse when I saw this fella trying to sneak aboard, so I opened the door and hollered at him, and he beat a hasty retreat under the platform.

I am sure he is the reason the Martins were not nesting under there, but instead they were under the much higher living quarter platform behind me. Their nests were located where the coons couldn't reach them.
While "standing by" for the locks on the River one morning, a squawking commotion caught my attention. It turned out that a seagull had a pretty good sized fish in his mouth and was being chased around by twenty or so of his loud, screeching bretheren. They kited around for awhile 'til finally the gull eluded the chase and landed on our barge.

He struggled in vain to swallow the fish for awhile when outa nowhere swoops a Greater Egret; pounces down and snatches the prize from the frustrated seagull.

Even though the Egret was larger than the Gull, it took him awhile to swallow the breakfast treat as well.

You can see in this picture that it took the fish awhile to travel down the Egret's long and normally slender neck.
As long as I been working on boats ya would think I'd get tired of stuff like this, but I am my Father's son. He instilled in me a great joy and appreciation of nature, and I never tire of seeing it when I'm at work.


Cappy's Mom

This has been the longest time in the history of our blog between posts. I am sure our regular readers are wondering whas up, so here's da story.
After I had been on the boat a couple weeks, halfway through my hitch, I started getting phone calls from my sisters concerning our mother. As the days went by, the calls got more concerned and tearful, and I began to fear I wouldn't make it in to tell her "bye". When I got off'n da boat last Thursday, Peg picked me up and we drove straight to her. We held her hand, told her we loved her, kissed her face and prayed for her all evening 'til we just couldn't anymore. We both had only, like 4 hours of sleep, and we tearfully told Mom "bye" and we told her if we didn't see her tomorrow we would see her in Heaven. She passed away peacefully the next morning. The girls told me that they thought she had just been waiting for me.
Her funeral was Monday, and I am sure you understand why it took 'til now to post this. Mom was a stay-at-home kind of person, almost reclusive by nature, so it really surprised me at the folks who showed up at the service. My best friend, David explained it to me from his perspective. Growing up as a teenager my house was always "the" place to be. After school there was always a bunch of us hanging out listening to music and they all loved my mom. She was a true renaissance kinda gal. Amazing cook, baker. She was a very good guitar picker and always had the lil AM radio going in the kitchen. It always amazed my friends that mom knew, and would sing along with all the songs we listened to. She was a talented seamstress. I remember girls in school commenting on the shirt I was wearing and not believing me when I said she made it. This often caused them to gather round and fondle the shirt inspecting the seams and stuff and being impressed. I loved those shirts:-) Mom sent Daddy to work at least once a week with some kind of goodies for the guys he worked with. Cookies, candies, pie's and cakes, etc. My dad has been gone for 15 years, but still some of those folks he worked with showed up, and many more as well. It seems that my stay-at-home kinda shy mother touched a great many hearts in her quiet way. That is a wonderful comforting thought to help me mourn my loss and celebrate her life. Grief takes time to heal, but have no fear; we will be back to our normal happy selves soon and are already planning several blog-worthy adventures. So das where we been, sending a wonderful woman to Heaven.