Posts Tagged With: sausage

SUPERBOWL PARTY BEGINS.

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The Super Bowl, I understand, can cost you $25,000 for a fancy box with tickets. On the low end, it costs $35 to park and food is expensive. All that money has given way to Tail Gate Parties and home style Super Bowl Parties. My oldest son, Ken,  began a tradition of super bowl parties with some of his high school buddies. He was the organizer and made artistic invitations, and kept the tradition going without missing a year for about 25 years now. Traditionally, no women are allowed. The guys have their irreverent pet names, and old raunchy stories and jokes that make it off limits. It begins on Friday before the game with a dinner and about five hours of poker. Saturday morning, they usually have breakfast and golf. Then Saturday afternoon is more poker and more food. Then Sunday, they watch the game together and eat a lot. Well, that used to be the case. In recent years, they return home to watch the game with their families. Each year is a bit different.

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Hosted at Ken’s this year, he barbecued five different kinds of sausage, Laurie made a quinoa salad and I brought some tamales and beans. But wait, why are we women present? Laurie is headed out for a girls gig with a Lodi friend, a Paint and Wine party in Sacramento. And, I just stopped in and joined them for dinner because I needed to deliver paper work to Doug, who will be headed back to Oregon on Monday. As the guys age, they are getting a bit more tolerant of we women. This is the first time I’ve seen the start of the “big game” even though it has been held at my house, while I’m not there, for at least 3 years that I know of.  They’ve gone to Las Vegas, Chico, Stockton, Farmington, Tacoma, Fremont, Murphys, Pleasanton, Livermore and Arizona, I think!

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Hoagie, who is Richard Hogan, used to live neighbors across the street from me. He now lives in Chico. He brought a growler from Des Chutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon.

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The handle is very creative and I love the bottle. I want one for my bottle collection!.

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Pinkett on the end, to the right is Ken. They are the only two originals. Added later, Darren. Brother Doug, on the opposite end, got invited into the game a couple of years after they started playing. Then, barely visible is Shane, and Hoagie. Shane, Darren and Hoagie are about five or six year newcomers. I had never met Shane and Darren before, though they have played at my house.

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They play for the fun and the money. It isn’t high stakes, but the food is good, the pots are nice and the conversation and fun a bit wild.  When Ken lived in Vegas I bought him a set of professional poker chips with his name on them. They are snazzy and look good enough to eat.

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The game isn’t so serious you can’t take a lick on the guitar. Or stop and watch some pregame jingles and jangles. Always fun to see the best and worst commercials. Or stuff from previous year relived with a nice big screen close by.

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I think in this game, everybody is a winner just for the camaraderie. Laurie and Me, too.

 

 

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BOUDIN SAUSAGE

My son and daughter-in-law are hosting Christmas this year and Laurie decided she wanted to do a Cajun Christmas for a change. I decided to make boudin sausage (pronounced bow-dan) and gumbo. I asked her to come  over to help me make boudin,  a sausage I fell in love with when Jim and I spent time in Cajun country in southern Louisiana. Our first encounter was at Fred’s Lounge in Mamou, a tavern that is only open on Sundays. We got there early, at 7:30 because there are very few seats. The band starts about 9:00 and plays non-stop until five. The band doesn’t take breaks, they are on radio while playing and one member at a time gets up to have bite to eat or use the bathroom. A couple came in with a paper bag of boudin and another of chitlins to share.  So, at 7:30 in the morning, we ate boudin for breakfast. Man, that stuff is good.

In Calvin Trillin’s words:

“I figure that about 80 percent of the boudin purchased in Louisiana is consumed before the purchaser has left the parking lot, and most of the rest is polished off in the car. In other words, Cajun boudin not only doesn’t get outside the state; it usually doesn’t even get home.”

– Calvin Trillin, from his essay, “The Missing Links: In Praise of the Cajun Foodstuff That Doesn’t Get Around.”

I was given a cookbook, MaBee, What Ya Cooking?  by Janet Theriot in 2010. She had a recipe for boudin.  Her cookbook is homestyle cooking with not exactly precise measurements as in:  “One Boston butt pork roast or hogs head, salt , red and black pepper, 1 cup chopped parsley, 1 cup of chopped green onions and about 5 cups of rice. Cut roast in big chuncks and cover with water and boil until really tender.

I decided to look on-line and get more precise directions and we came up with a recipe for 6 lbs of meat to 21 cups of rice, basically three batches, with the onions and parsley and a number of spices and went to work.

The first batch, we kept tasting and tasting. To heck with the casings, Laurie, Ken,  the boys and I, ate the first batch for dinner with a salad. We put the steaks Ken was going to barbeque back in the fridge. The stuff is scrumptious.

It is a job that dirties every dish in the cupboard, but worth the work. We didn’t have a sausage stuffer and used a pastry tube to load the casings by hand.

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They are variable sizes and uneven looking, and we didn’t actually taste one of sausages since we at the first batch.

I was a bit daunted by cooking 21 cups of rice, but it is easy in a roasting pan in the oven and turned out just perfect. Now, the rest of the story. Laurie ground both batches of meat and I put in one batch of seven cups of rice. One of those easy miss-steps with two cooks in the kitchen. I have no doubt it will taste good with half the rice. It may be a bit spicier. I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, I wanted to find the origin of boudin so I looked it up on-line. Historian Bob Carriker puts it like this:

The French eat a sausage called “boudin blanc” (white boudin) which is similar to Cajun boudin almost solely through its nomenclature; for French boudin blanc is a highly perishable sausage made with pork, chicken, and/or veal mixed with milk, cognac, and spices. …its flavor bears no resemblance to the link you will sink your teeth into in Louisiana. When the French Acadians (today’s Cajuns) made their way out of Nova Scotia, after having been expelled by the British in 1755, they adapted their traditions and culture to their new surroundings. So, when they set out to make use of a freshly butchered hog, it wouldn’t have been such a stretch for them to mix the pork scraps with the seasonings at hand, push it into the hog’s intestines and call it what they had always called such a sausage: boudin. . Later, once large-scale rice production began in Louisiana at the end of the nineteenth century, cooks added rice to boudin for filler and flavor. Today in places like St. Martinville, at La Grande Boucherie des Cajuns (a communal hog butchering) held the Sunday before Mardi Gras, the age old practice of making boudin is embraced and the custom and community spirit continues to be passed from one generation to the next.

I am so glad to have discovered this special treat and thankful to have MaBee’s cookbook. I’ll be using her ettouffee recipe and a real original called shrimp puppies. I can hardly wait.  You can read more about boudin and find out where to order boudin on this web page.

http://www.southernfoodways.org/oral-history/southern-boudin-trail/

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A Pre-Feast…Feast!

The motorhome is parked at my cousin Bob’s and his wife Donna’s home at North Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Yesterday was a semi-decent day. With a light cloud cover the high temperature was 81 degrees with 79% humidity. Still too hot and humid for my liking.

My cousin Bob’s mother, and my aunt Yvonne…long deceased…had a fantastic talent. In addition to being a school teacher and a world traveler…she was a fantastic artist. I remember, as a youngster, being barely able to walk through her home because she had so many huge paintings. Here are four which are in Bob and Donna’s home…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

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When you visit Bob and Donna’s home…no one goes hungry! Yesterday we enjoyed a New England Feast!

We started with large shrimp and cheese and crackers…

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Then we enjoyed a 1 1/4 pound lobster…

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The lobster remains…

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Then a New England Clam Boil. In this pot are clams, hot dogs, linguisa, sausage, potatoes, and onions…

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The corn gets cooked separately…

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The clam boil remains…because we were so full…we were unable to eat…

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Sasha the Cat took the proceedings in stride…

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This afternoon we will drive the about five miles to attend the 99th annual Feast of the Blessed Sacrament…the world’s largest Portuguese Feast! You can read all about it by clicking their official website link…
http://portuguesefeast.com/

New Bedford remains a large fishing port and has always had a large Portuguese presence. You can read about this presence by clicking this link…
http://www.newbedford.com/portuguese.html

See the photos in tomorrow’s Blog!

Enjoying visiting with relatives and friends is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Massachusetts. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

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Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein

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On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.
http://youtu.be/FfZUzEB4rM8

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…
http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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LAKE ARTHUR SOCIAL LIFE.

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We are parked next to the American Legion in Lake Arthur, Louisiana, waiting for good weather. The patrons here told us we have to stay through Thursday, because they cook jambalaya for everyone for lunch.  The cooks arrived about nine. Flys was cutting cabbage for the coleslaw.

Norman,Flys,&Mark getting dinner started

Norman was taking a break while Mark cut up the pork meat.

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Most of the fat comes off, but not all of it. Then it is set to brown.

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When it is almost browned, the sausage is added and it gets stirred some more.

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In another pot, fresh crowder peas cook. And still another pot holds rice.

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Sally added water and seasoning and took her turn stirring.

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Norman gave it his approval and Sally began loading styrofoam trays with the free  lunch for everyone in the bar.

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We bought a round of beers for the cooks and others did the same. Julia, the bartender is  very able and practically runs, she is so busy.

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We finally met the Commander of Post 403, his name’s Don. He says he doesn’t like crawfish which is a sin in this part of the world. His father told him he wasn’t a true cajun. We laughed.DSC03230 (Copy)

The patrons here depend on the friendships they’ve developed. It is their social life and joy to get together, drink and eat. The bar always has peanuts, pork  rinds, or something to nibble on. Beer here is lite and only comes in 10 oz cans.  The man standing closest to Jim, is Shannoo. He owns the LA Bar downtown. Everyone has dictated that we HAVE to go to the LA Bar and after we had lunch and a beer, we did.

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It is in an old historic building and according to some of the pipeliners, it is well-known outside Louisiana.

An assemblage of memorabilia of old

It is one of those places that has jokes and stuff and a big horned deer head hanging on the walls; dollar bills pinned to the ceiling, and 75-year-old whiskey. Shannon, doing bartender duty,  is the owner’s wife. Her husband is also named Shannon, so he removed the n, added an o, and goes by Shannoo.

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We were told the LA Bar serves the very best bloody mary money can buy. It was different, spicy and delicious with a green bean, carrot stick and okra pickle, an olive and lemon slice.

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When the previous owner died, the bar was closed for four years. The locals are appreciative that this young couple in their thirties rescued their famous icon. Shannon told me some of these bottles are 75 years old and have never been opened. They are no longer for sale.

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I enjoyed taking pictures of  humorous signs.

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Some are as old as that whiskey.

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Wry humor.

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This one is barely readable. It looks like politicians were just as popular 75 years ago as they are today.  Politicians and drunks not permitted on premises.

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We walked toward the boardwalk at the lake. A beautiful oak greeted us at the end of Main St. Then the winds and rain suddenly started up again, and we had to abandon our walk.

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We read for most of the day. Then back in the American Legion bar for a nightcap. Mark and Marlene were back as well. Mark will take us out to net catfish in his boat this morning if the weather isn’t too wet and too windy. Everyone seems to like everyone in this community. You never hear them grumble and complain about their neighbors. Fine salt of the earth people who know how to have fun. Tonight there will be a dance with a DJ.

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Lake Charles, Lousiana – Day 8

The motorhome is parked at the 1,086 acre Sam Houston Jones State Park about 12 miles north of the city. We have been here enjoying Mardi Gras which ended Tuesday. We had planned to depart here today, but we are still weary and need to rest some more. We now expect to leave tomorrow..

You can read about Lake Charles by clicking this Wikipedia link…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Charles,_Louisiana

You can read all about the history of Mardi Gras in Southwest Louisiana by clicking this link…
http://www.swlamardigras.com/about/history.cfm

LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER!

You see this slogan everywhere in Louisiana. In French it means… LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!

And roll they did on Fat Tuesday, the last day of Mardi Gras this year.

Our day started with a 30 minute drive to the small town of Iowa (pronounced locally as I-O-WAY) to witness the chasing of the chickens. If you do not know the history of this tradition, reading this Wikipedia link will take care of that…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courir_de_Mardi_Gras

The event was scheduled to start at 10:00 AM. We were late getting out of the motorhome and did not arrive until 10:30. They were late getting started and said they would begin at 11:00. But we could not stay because we had other obligations elsewhere. So we took a few pictures and departed…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

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Here’s a short video of another Cajun tradition. Just click the link…
http://youtu.be/FQqMKXMirpA

Another about 30 minute drive brought us to the home of Renola Simon (pronounced SEE-MON in French) where the Krewe de les Cajuns float is stored. We’ve been invited to ride on the float during the final and biggest parade of the Lake Charles Mardi Gras!

The first two hours was spent getting to know everyone, eating and making the float ready…

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Renola served spicy deer and pork sausages that were really yummy…

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Here’s the float…

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And the back of the jacket of the Krewe de les Cajuns…

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The float was towed by this truck…

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On the way to the parade assembly point, it started to mist lightly and Mary was ready with her garbage bag raincoat…

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The parade assembled right along the shore of Lake Charles. It threatened to rain, but never really did…

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We took a walk to see some of the other 50+ floats…

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Here’s Mary with 80-year-old Renola Simon…our hostess. She was a founding member of the Krewe de les Cajuns 26 years ago and has done this every year since…

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Here’s the others with whom we rode the float…

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We had a three-hour wait for the parade to begin and Mary really got into the mood…

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Click this link to see a short video…
http://youtu.be/nGfcufU9aUE

With the French Cajun Music blaring loudly, at 5:00 PM we started rolling down the main drag of Ryan Street in Lake Charles…

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The object was to throw as many string of beads and plastic cups to the begging crowd as fast as possible. We guesstimate the Krewe threw 25,000+ during the 1.5 hour parade route…

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Into the night we continued. It was amazing to see how a string of beads or a plastic cup brought a beautiful smile to the face of the recipients…

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We just had a blast! Thank you Krewe de Les Cajuns for inviting us along. We will never forget you!   LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER!

Enjoying a Louisiana Mardi Gras is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Louisiana. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

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Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein

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If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…
http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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