In honor of Mardi Gras I wanted to share one of my favorite cookbooks, The New Orleans Cookbook. Don't confuse it with "30 Minute Meals," however. It's more like using a Martha Stewart or Julia Child recipe. The Jambalaya in this book is the best ever... but the recipe insists that the onions, pepper, celery, etcetera have to be sauted on "low heat, constantly stirring" until they're soft.
Do you know how long that takes?
I don’t either, because I always lose patience for it after about... forty-five minutes and crank up the heat. It still comes out delicious.
On a more somber note, after dinner tonight it’s “good-bye fat meat, hello self-denial” for the next six and a half weeks. Or, as it's referred to by those with good attitudes, the beginning of Lent.
It’s taking me a really long time to type this blog, because I’m frantically eating the remainder of the Valentine’s Day candy, so I won’t have to feel guilty when I can’t refrain from eating it in a few days. Additionally (it’s a good thing I can multi-task), I’m trying to figure out what I should give up for the next several weeks in the name of spiritual growth.
Every year the most logical thing to give up seems to be chocolate (it is my favorite guilty pleasure). But I tried that once and it just didn't work. The idea of the sacrifice is to use it as a means of focusing on God, but all I did was focus on chocolate… wishing I could have some, fantasizing about how I would gorge on it Easter morning, and worse.
Also during Lent every Friday (and a few other days as well) we abstain from eating meat. Often I make seafood, which is our favorite and therefore not really much of a sacrifice. So sometimes I make something completely vegetarian which usually leads to an exchange like this:
Husband: It smells good, what is it?
Me: It’s grilled cheese sandwiches with cream of potato soup.
Husband looks suspiciously at the sandwich.
Me: It’s Friday, we can’t have meat.
Husband: Yeah, but can’t we have some ham on the sandwiches?
He’s a little unclear on the definition of a “meatless” meal. So for Ash Wednesday tomorrow I’ll make one of the two vegetarian meals he doesn’t find absolutely bizarre (bean burritos or cheese enchiladas), and we’ll just have to take it one meatless meal at a time from there.