Sunday, May 25, 2014

Romance Under the Oaks - B. J. Robinson, Author


Louisiana Seafood or Shrimp & Sausage Gumbo
(A B.J. Favorite)

1 lb. shrimp, peeled and cleaned
1 pkg. beef smoked sausage
Add crabs or oysters if you like.

One large onion
One large bell pepper
Several cloves of garlic
A Couple stalks of celery
A half bunch of green onions

Wash and chop onions, garlic, bell peppers, celery, green onions (leave out or add other seasonings according to taste).

A large tablespoon of flour
A large tablespoon of butter or cooking oil

Make a roux using flour and oil.  (This makes enough for a small family, but increase if you want a larger serving.)  Brown flour and slowly add the chopped veggies and saute. 

You can add chicken broth or use water and season with butter, Worcestershire sauce, kitchen bouquet, and Tony Chachere's to taste.  I use about a tsp. of the sauces and a couple dabs of butter.  Drop in two bay leaves, if you like them.  You may also add ground cayenne pepper if you like your food hot New Orleans Cajun style.  Salt and pepper to taste.  2 Tsp. ground gumbo file  may be included toward the end of cooking.  Bring to a boil.  You may cook as is or add vegetable such as corn and peas or a frozen vegetable package if you like gumbo with veggies, or you can leave this part out and have just the shrimp and sausage.  Let simmer until meat and veggies are done.  You can also slow cook it in a crock pot.  I like to include veggies, but this is up to you.  Cook a pot of rice and serve over rice.  Have crackers on hand.  If you don't know how to make a roux with oil and flour, you can cheat and buy packaged gravy, but homemade is better.  I have cooked it with just shrimp and smoke sausage as well as with veggies.  It's good both ways, depending on your family's taste.  This is a brown gravy recipe, but you can add tomatoes or tomato paste if you like red gravy.  Enjoy.  Freeze leftovers for later. Experiment with different veggies and seafood and make your own style to please your family.


My mother-in-law taught me to cook this recipe when I was a young bride.  I've experimented with her basic shrimp and smoke sausage one over the years and found you can use it with or without veggies.
You can make the recipe to include various seafood such as shrimp, crab, crawfish, and oysters, or use only shrimp and smoked sausage, according to taste.

Romance Under The Oaks - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Jacques Roman had the place picked out for a home as well as his woman, but the problem was getting the love of his life to see his dreams.  She was a socialite, used to being seen in the high-society, ritz, and glamour of old New Orleans.  She adored grand balls and was often the belle of them.  It'd be only fitting that she should have the belle of the ball when it came to plantation homes.  He'd give her the grand dame of them all.

Celina Pilie didn't want to talk about bayou swamp land.  It had to be infested with mosquitoes.  Weren't they bad enough in the city?  Hope dashed with each word Jacques uttered.  If he did get around to asking her to marry him, Jacques expected her to live fifty miles from the New Orleans she loved.  Didn't he realize she was born for the city?

Finally.  Jacques stood, got down on his knees, pulled a black velvet box from his coat pocket, opened it, and asked, "Celina, will you marry me?"  She clapped her hands together like an excited child.  "Oh yes, Jacques, yes, yes, yes.  I can't wait."

Well, she did have to wait.  She waited two long years while Jacques built her a home that would take away her breath.  but... she is a city girl and sees no way she can be happy living so far away from her family, the balls and the many stores she loved to shop.   Even though her father had given her Zelie, a slave she had known her whole life and loved dearly, she was lonely for other female friendship.  Her life seemed to evolve around reading the many books that filled the library.  And through her reading she ran across a book titled "Uncle Tom's Cabin" which stems an idea that will keep her busy as she actually helps people.  But what she does must be kept a secret.  With the Civil War coming she could lose everything if anyone found out her secret actions.


This is such a beautiful story.  I've always loved reading Civil War history and when an author gives us this history in the form of a family's involvement, it makes it even more interesting.  Through this book Celina, Jacques, Zelie and many of the other slaves become people that you end up feeling that you know personally.  You hurt for them as they struggle to make adjustments as their lives change.  But you also feel happiness as their struggle through the war brings them out with families of their own.  And you cry with them as they lose those that you too have come to love.  This is truly a story that will bring out all of your emotions.

 
Design by Wordpress Theme | Bloggerized by Free Blogger Templates | coupon codes