6.22.2011

Crawfish Bisque, Thank You Very Much.

Crawfish Bisque. I almost feel as though I have to pinch myself. I never in my wildest dreams expected that an huge pot of it would be sitting in our kitchen, (especially with Cappy away on the boat). I've heard about this mysterious 'dish of the gods', this specialty, labor-of-love-to-make-it pot of wonderous elixer, for years. I've smelled it a couple of times next door at our dear Miss Annie's house. It was bad enough to sit and bathe in the warm tantalizing cloud of it cooking in Miss Annie's kitchen, where she had taken hours and hours to prepare it. She was unaware that it felt like a cruel cut, but she had me bring a dish of it home for Cappy. As Cappy loves to say, "I was drooling so much, I was about drowning in my own spit". I never cry about such occurances any more. I'm used to it. I guess I'm used to it. I kind of file it away in a mental lock box; the fact that I can't have anything that special, being a celiac. Usually, people who are wheat and gluten intollerant find a way to make some kind of substitute or redo the whole recipe. Well, I know that it's very, VERY labor intensive, so who in their right mind, (so I thought), would invest so much time making a big vat of it, because it would have to be some kind of experiment, and who knows how it would turn out in the end after all their efforts? Well, I should have known. Cappy and I keep asking ourselves, over and over, "What in the world did we ever do to be blessed by God with such sweet, dear, loving, giving friends like Sam and Louise??" About a month or so ago they had mentioned that they might give it a try. Now this is is silly, but I about started bawling right there. Even now, ...what a wimp I must be...well, ANYhow. Even tho' they had mentioned it, mentally, I dismissed it, because, as I said, I know from having heard, how expensive and labor intensive it is. See, I say a lot of stuff, but a lot of times, I just don't follow up. A few days ago, they sent me an email asking me about corn flour. Well, that Sam is always cooking up something over there. He has a nice garden, a smokehouse and a pioneer spirit, so I asked him what he was going to cook. I'm telling you, when he said, "Crawfish Bisque", I almost fell out of this very chair I'm sitting in. Surely they weren't going to be cooking any that I could have. Well, (BAW!...I love those guys) yesterday Louise called and asked if I'd like some crawfish bisque. I think I hung up our phone and didn't leave it dangling before I ran out the door to drive across town. I dragged my video camera along and made this video for yall.




video
Can you believe they went to all the trouble making this, just because of me? It's hard enough to make it the regular way. When I told Cappy how many stuffed crawfish they had given me (...well...us, cuz Louise told me on my way out their door, to, "make sure and save some for Cappy") he was shocked. He said, "that's costly, a lot of hard work, and they were very generous!" Boy, when I sat down to have my dinner last night, didn't I feel like I was somebody. I said Grace and thanked God for our amazing friends....oh, and for the crawfish bisque, too, of course :-9

P.S. When this Blogger changed their format on here, it's kind of hard getting used to it, and thus, has kinda cramped my style. I say this just in case any of our usual readers have noticed and wondered, "Whaaaaa??" 

6.16.2011

Just Another Any Other Day

Darn that Cesar Millan guy, that "Dog Whisperer". I try being a good Mom to these dogs. All the other dogs I've ever had appreciated that fact. ONE of the dogs we have now does, too, but ONE of them is a smart-aleck Brat, who trots to the beat of another drummer. When he was a puppy we sent this brat to obedience school. The only reason they let him "graduate" was because we had paid the $80. They weren't fooling anybody; we all know why they "passed" him. "No chow left behind" and apparently no Bichon Frise, either. He won't mind; he never does, but Cappy loves that SparkyBear is a free-thinker and has a free-spirit. He loves that The Brat, as EVERYbody calls him, is a brat. He is smart, I'll give him that. The other day his brother, MarkyBear, the obedient "child" was on his usual quest of tracking down squirrels. Since his successful surgery, he's recovered and has taken to running everywhere he goes, which makes his zeal for squirrel hunting a whole lot more fun. I forget why, but I wanted to get him to come to the house, so I tried whistling the way Cappy does. I'm not good at whistling. SparkyBear was already inside, sitting there watching me whistle. I talk to them all they time and they know a lot of words. "Whistle" is one of them. I told Sparky, "See, I'm trying to whistle". I should have just given up and gone out and hollared for Mark, but I kept trying every way that I knew, to pucker and make a loud shrill sound, with the brat probably thinking, "boy, you don't know anything". Leastwise that seemed to be the look on his face. I heard one of those Mocking Birds, that love to sit anywhere in the yard slightly above MarkyBear and taunt him. So, besides squirrels, Mark will bark and "chase" the birds to safer heights. So, I managed to make loud chirping noises and away came MarkyBear, running toward the house to answer my poor imitation of a Mocking Bird. I looked down at SparkyBear and said, "See, I did a bird whistle". He got it...he knows both those words...his ears went up, he jumped up and started doing his biggest dog "laugh". He thought it was funny. (Come on, you've heard how dogs laugh, right?) Well, that story might have been lost on you, but anyway, I've tried everything that I know of, to make him  understand how to be well-behaved. It's never gone well. That's why, amongst other things, I resorted to watching "The Dog Whisperer". I needed to learn a few new tricks. I tried a lot of stuff on the Brat and none of them worked. When he's really mad, for instance,....trying to think about why he's been mad in the past. When he does get mad, tho', he's got a bad temper. Not often, but it happens. So, once when he was really upset about something and growling; showing me who was boss when his Dad is away, out on the boat. I said, "Oh no you aren't! Here ya go, Mister", I grabbed him, laid him down on his back and held him there, waiting for him to finally give up that deep breath of resignation, as I'd seen Cesar do dozens of times. I knew he had to wait for quite awhile sometimes before those dogs would 'give up'. I waited and waited. My arms were getting tired. He just laid there rigid, glaring up at me and sometimes growling. I tried talking to him soothingly.  I said, "I'm getting tired, here, you've gotta give up; I'm the boss, not you....honey". "Grrrrrr".  "Okayyyyy, just relax and Mommy will let you up."   "Grrrrr". So I wait. And wait. And wait some more and wait lots more...twenty minutes, by the clock. He started to doze, but he'd wake up and growl some more. Finally, after half an hour, I gave up. The brat had won and he knew it. He still thinks he's the boss of me, I guess.
 Another thing I learned on "Dog Whisperer" that does...kinda/sorta does work. It works for SparkyBear and MarkyBear, but it's mostly the Brat who pulls this. I learned that if a dog gets ahold of something very important that you don't want him to have, you can bargain with him. "Trade" it for something he likes, like a treat. When he drops your valuable item, give him his 'treat'. It works! Of course, the Brat won't drop what he has until I drop what I have for him. He insists, "You first".
Ok, so now he's got another number up his sleeve. He peruses the house looking for things I've left laying around, or which he can jump up and reach. Anything like that, he considers fair game. He gets this mischievious look on his furry face,  and stands ready to run away with it, if I start after him for it. If I yell, "HEY! You're not supposed to have that!!!", he either runs under the bed with it, where I can't get him or out the back door with it. He usually pulls this when I'm otherwise occupied, like writing or cooking, etc. Sighhh...it's just easier and quicker to give in. Once I left my art box open and he thought he'd hit the mother lode. I was in the kitchen, hands all goopy, when he trotted out one of my special gold paint markers. (YOW!) "Ok...ok..."as sweetly as I could, so he wouldn't know the value of what he had, I asked, "You wanna trade for a treat??" He took a couple cautious steps forward, kinda biting it. (I envisioned gold paint gushing everywhere, even into his mouth, and I don't know if it's toxic...not more vet bills!)  I rushed and grabbed dog treats, "Here...HERE ya go!!" all as merrily as I could fake it. And it worked again. MarkyBear, the good boy, always lumbers by at that point and asks where his treat is. So he gets a treat, too. I resumed whatever it was I was deeply engrossed in before, when a few minutes later SparkyBear appeared with that devilish attitude and a red plastic puff paint bottle in his mouth. "What??? Where are you getting these things?!"  Then, too late, I remembered I had left the darned art box on the futon, opened. While he and Mark were snarking down their second treat, I put the box high up in the cupboard over the computer desk.
 I have to keep the bathroom waste basket up on the back of the toilet because if it's left on the floor, as in normal homes,  he'll ferret through that, shredding empty cardboard toilet paper rolls or tissues...whatever. Always wanting to 'trade', of course.  He used to bring me whole pieces of paper or cards that he'd found. Now, I have to be extra careful, because of late, he'll come into the computer room, for example, looking like a bunny with big white buck teeth, which is, in reality, a shred of white paper hanging out of his mouth, ready-to-run bratty attitude, 'asking', "What can I get for this?" I always think, "I know what I'd like to give you for that", but being a NICE dog Mom, and knowing better, I just sigh, and ask him if he wants to 'trade', which is the whole deal anyhow. Somehow he's figured that by shredding the whole card or paper, he's got more currency to 'deal' or bargain with. Horrible dog. HORRIBLE dog, I tell him. Whenever I see or, now I listen to hear if he's shredding anything, I run to make a quick trade, because it might be something important that I've foolishly left down. ONE treat for that. I've learned to always honor their deals, tho', thinking that it's the right thing to do. How do I stop now and go back to finding pencils  or pens shredded, or a credit card snatched while I'm cleaning out my purse?  (which Cappy sez never happens...cleaning out my purse :-P) Or who knows what kind of calamity would happen? So whenever he comes in with something and that look that says, "What can I get for this", it's a quick treat, period, so I can have some kind of quick resolution and it makes the dogs happy; whatever. Well, now I know I'm in trouble; I'm in over my head. Yesterday The Brat came in the house with a blade of grass hanging out of his mouth. Now the whole world is his oyster. "Trumped" by a dawg.
       

6.05.2011

Water Works

Well, all seems calm, all seems bright. It's strange, tho'; our town hasn't had rain in two months! Usually, we're 'makin' bayous; rain, rain, rain. One day last week, the radar even showed that we were getting some "per-sipper-tay-shun", but we didn't even get one drop. I don't understand it. Our lawn still needs mowing once a week or so, but I have to water the garden or it dries out. I'm getting some nice green beans, okra, a few cukes and assorted peppers, not to mention strawberries. From the last few posts, you know that the Mississippi River, right near us, is pretty full. Yesterday there were flood warnings right across the river from us. I know it's high, but I'm told, by Cappy, that the other side of the river's banks are lower than ours, so that if the banks were to overflow, it would be on the other side first, and not ours. I haven't heard anything more, but, to me, from that report, it almost sounded as though water was, indeed going over the banks.(but I doubt it)-----The other day Louise and I went for a ride and saw for ourselves, the Bonnet Carre` Spillway full of water that's been diverted from the River just before it gets to New Orleans, to keep the City from flooding. I was surprised to see how high the water was rushing and swirling around the tall trees. Like with the Morganza Spillway north of Baton Rouge, the idea is to have an unihabited area for the very purpose of, in case of potential flooding, that the water could be siphoned off the Mississippi River, so to speak and have a place to go. In the case of the Bonnet Carre` Spillway, the water is rushing into the big Lake Pontchartrain. Because of the extreme drought conditions here in South Louisiana, the water table has been very low, so that when the water was released into the flood plain north of Baton Rouge, instead of the terrible flooding predicted by the national news media, the water came back up to where it normally would have been, if we'd had the rain that we ususally get. No tragic harm done. The spillways did a great job. Mission accomplished.-----Even though so much water has been diverted from the River, it's still very high. I can't even fathom how much damage would have been done, had they not opened the spillways. The other day Louise and I made another trip, but this time it was to take a few supplies to Cappy, who is still way down at the bottom of the Mississippi River south of New Orleans. Usually the water is low, so that only the top masts of the ships can be seen, because they are nestled down between the levees. Now, with the water being so high, the ships can be seen in entirety, as they skim along on top of the very high and fast flowing rush and look as though they could come steaming right over the top of the levees and on down onto the road to 'greet' us.
----Well, we did get greeted when we got the "Chevy to the levee" and brought a bunch of goodies to Cappy and his crew, who were out there on the water, "doin' their job".