Means to an End - Elizabeth Romero, Author

8:38 AM Posted by Martha A Cheves

 
The word  lagniappe is a Louisiana term which means a small extra gift. This recipe is my lagniappe to you. Hope you enjoy this Cajun favorite - Elizabeth Romero
SHRIMP AND CRAB GUMBO INGREDIENTS AND TOOLS
  • One 4 QUART OR LARGER HEAVY BOTTOM POT
  • One MED SKILLET
  • 2 pounds shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 pound small peeled shrimp
  • 2 cups lump crab meat
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons self rising flour
  • 2 quarts chicken or seafood stock
  • 2 large onions diced
  • 1 small head of garlic minced
  • 1 large bell pepper diced ribs removed
  • 1 rib of celery diced
  • 2 pounds of sliced okra fresh or frozen
  • I can Rotel tomatoes mild or spicy as you like
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons file’
  • Tony Chachere’s seasoning to taste I add a tablespoon and then re-season when finished if I need more
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • cooked rice enough for at least one cup of cooked rice per person ( maybe more if you are Cajun)
  1. Place enough oil to season in the bottom of heavy pan.. add okra and cook on medium stir as necessary to keep from sticking..cook until sliminess is not visible Do not burn
  2. Add remaining vegetables and stir well continue sautéing until slightly brown
  3. Add seasonings ,bay leaf and stock
  4. Stir and scrape all bits from the bottom of the pan
  5. Add the small shrimp these will incorporate into the broth and disappear but give the strong seafood flavor needed cook for about one hour on medium ..while this is cooking do step 6
  6. Put remaining oil in a skillet bring to medium heat add the flour stir constantly until it is the color of peanut butter remove from heat immediately This is called roux
  7. Allow the roux cool off until the oil separates then remove the excess oil
  8. Spoon roux into the pot with the stock and other ingredients this will foam a bit but don’t worry cook on med high watching closely until foam subsides
  9. Add shrimp and cook on med /low for another ½ hour then add crab and cook for another 15 minutes
  10. Taste for seasoning and add to taste
  11. Add parsley and stir gently
  12. Place a scoop of rice in a bowl and ladle gumbo over rice
Enjoy!!
Footnote: Some say you can’t do Gumbo with roux and okra. Well my family did and after you try this you will agree. If you have questions go to my email…elizabethromerobooks@yahoo.com
 
Means to an End - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
 
Just as she was wrapping it around her, her stepfather appeared there in the doorway.  She almost screamed because he startled her so.  He had seen her naked before but not this way, only when he would sneak into her room in the dark.  She slapped her hand to her mouth to keep from crying out as he slowly leaned back on the door that separated her form the hall.  "What...what are you doing in here?  Momma will hear you," she said.  "That ole cow won't hear a thing.  She done took a couple of her little pills and she is snoring up a storm.  It is just you and me. "  She suddenly realized that he was cold sober.  She tried to reach for the doorknob, but he caught her arm.  He was scary when he wad drunk but not as quick.  Somehow this was different, and it was worse knowing he was in complete control now.  He pulled her near him and said, "You know we could be good friends if you weren't so uppity.  I've been feeding the three of you since me and your momma came to Carolina.  I reason you owe me a good time once in a while."
Ashby, her twin brother Danny and her mother Marie Boudreaux were sent to their own living hell when Ashby's grandfather sent her mother off to marry, not the twin's father, but Garrett Devereaux when he found she was pregnant with the twins.  He made them leave New Orleans and sent them to a rundown home with forty acres of land that he had won in a horse race many years before.  And he did this just to save face in the community. 
Garrett, who required Ashby and Danny to call him Poppa, were in for the abuse that only a monster like Garrett could inflict.  His hobby seemed to be getting drunk and then giving the kids and their mother a good beating.  Danny finally had enough and ran away, Ashby assumed to New Orleans so she was left to protect herself.  Her mother, who should have taken steps to keep her children safe spent most of her time popping pills and sleeping.  So now at the age of 17 Garrett has added another abuse to his list...  Sexual.   
Following Ashby as she deals with not just Garrett but also the 'popular girls' at school who added their own abuse through calling her names and passing rumors, gave me a feeling of heartbreak and pain that a child like Ashby must go through just to survive.  From what happens to Garrett to Ashby's chance of escape I had a hard time not reading just one more page and then just one more page in hopes that she would find some relief in her life.  The events that take place through her survival makes this one of the most unforgettable books I've read in some time and I'm happy to say that there are at least 2 more books that will allow me to spend even more time with Ashby and her life.

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