Showing posts with label southern. Show all posts
Showing posts with label southern. Show all posts

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.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Southern Superstitions - B. J. Robinson, Author

BJ's Strawberry Shortcake 
(First direction:  Be sure you don't let
 some man knock it out of your
 hands while your delivering it)

1/2 cup light butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups self-rising flour
1 cup milk
2-3 eggs
1-2 pints strawberries for mixture
strawberries for toppping
Whipped cream of your choice (I use light Cool Whip)

Stir margarine to soften and gradually add sugar. Cream together and add the vanilla. Beat eggs. Add ingredients and mix. Fold strawberries (washed, drained, sliced or mashed) into batter. Grease two round cake pans or use spray. Bake at 375 degrees until done. When it’s lightly brown and you can pull out a toothpick clean, it’s done. Let cool and remove from pans.
Note: Some people may opt to leave the berries out of the batter and just use them as topping, but I like them in the cake for true homemade shortcake. Also, some may like a white icing, but I only use the whipped cream topping.
Eat and enjoy.

Southern Superstitions – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Tears filled June’s eyes, as she watched the strawberry fields become lakes. They sat on their front porch and looked across what were once their strawberry fields into an immense span of nothing but water as far as the eye could see. Still, Andy refused to leave the farm. “If the river gets too high, we have the tractor and the dump truck. We’ll be able to ride out on one of them, if it gets to the point where we have to leave. God will spare us. Our berry crop may have gone under, but we won’t have to leave our farm. Taking a loss on the strawberries is heartbreaking, but we can claim the loss.” June spoke in a firm voice as though she dared Myrtle to say different as her mother took a seat in the porch rocker. Andy leaned back in the swing and placed an arm around June’s shoulder. “Ed told me the people loaded onto the National Guard truck for evacuation endured a hot, cramped, long, tiring ride, as well as unbearable sights. They were jam-packed into the back of the truck like sardines in a tin can. The truck continuously stopped to load other occupants, making the progress to higher ground slow, to say the least. Homes and businesses were flooded with water up to their roofs in some areas. People could only hope and pray the homes they left behind would not end up the same way.”… “I heard about it on the news,” Myrtle interjected. “A bulletin informed people about the different locations. I told you we’d have bad luck from that black cat. It was bound to happen sooner or later.”
Andy and June have known each other since they were kids attending the same school. June had always had a crush on Andy but never knew he had one on her too. They have finally been brought together due to him being a strawberry inspector/grader and June and her mother Myrtle being strawberry farmers. It became a match truly made in Heaven.
On their way into town to have their strawberries inspected and graded, a black cat crossed in front of them. Myrtle, being the superstitious person she is, declared bad luck wasn’t far behind and she was right when Andy downgraded her strawberries leaving a bad taste for him in her mind. Andy on the other hand, decided he wanted June and the only way to have her would be with her mother’s consent and blessings. To receive these he would have to endear himself to her. This task actually became fairly simple since Myrtle had always been disappointed that June wasn’t the son she had always longed for.
Growing up in the Georgia, I know how stubborn superstitious people can be and no matter what you say they will always cling to their beliefs. Myrtle was like that. She was a God fearing, religious woman who believed that everything happened for a reason known only to God but she also believed that a lot was pure luck – good or bad. In Southern Superstitions June does everything possible to convenience her mother that luck has nothing to do with life, God does. Myrtle, on the other hand, blamed the flooding on the black cat. She also blamed everything else that happened over the years on that same black cat. But when tragedy really struck bringing an unplanned separation of June and Andy, Myrtle finally understood that only God will listen to our prayers and supply us with the ‘luck’ we need to survive.
This is such a beautiful story of love, compassion, life, strength and belief. It takes a strong person to endure what June went through and still keep her faith and belief. May we all have the same trust in God that June had.

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