Monday, November 26, 2007

It's Gumbo Weather

I've tried to correct the links from the last post. But I think it's time to move on. Do you think Typepad is any more "link-friendlier" than blogger? I dislike cutting and pasting html code. Must find a quicker way to blog.

Speaking of a bowl of spicy gumbo, did ya'll happen catch the hottest quilt at festival?
A stunning piece in person! Breathtaking details on this baby.

Please comment or email me if you know this artists name as I was too awe-inspired to keep good records. The light effect shooting off his upper cheek is....well, breath-taking!

What a raging time I had with the X-tremely talented, Sue B, Terri S, Vicki and Iris, who happens to be The BFF of my former boss, Dr. Ellen Friedman. I vow to take a week off next year to be the and http://www.fibre& helper/floor sales girl extraordinaire! :)

I've missed doll club for the last 2 mos. We didn't decorate for Halloween and I haven't had lunch with my baby once this year. My DH was off for the week and studied for his certification and little else. I did happen to cook & clean like a wench all weekend over Thanksgiving...and a Bonus: I made gumbo to share with you.....oh, and I'm almost finished with this interesting piece of something to become a future...Katy Bag by or something. This technique is a mixture of Sue Bleiweiss' silk flower/Mistyfused layered collage with an article from Quilting Arts about weaved strips fused, stamped layered w/organza and stitched into cool fabric.
Like a freak, I documented my 2-day Gumbo expedition below. I've made gumbo 3 or 4 times in my life and each process has been completely different. I've always thought that to do it right, it takes a damned long time, from 2 days to 5 hours. You decide. It's all comes down to the roux Shah!

not quite Maw Mawz Gumbo
Measurements do not have to be exact. I wing it here.
1 fryer chicken cut 'gumbo' style by your butcher.
1 link of smoked sausage sliced into round pieces.
Fresh peeled shrimp - lump crab - not included in this batch but highly recommended!
2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 whole fresh garlic
1 cup chopped parsley
red pepper - cayenne
black pepper, oregano,
Cooked white rice
Filet gumbo spice and chopped green onion(chives) garnish
Louisianna Hot Sauce *requirement
I've used pre-made chicken stock with chicken bouillons etc. but this time I wanted to avoid the heavy salt in bouillion and wanted the flavor of my own stock.
Sear that chicken in a pan w/oil.

Add chicken to a big pot of water, add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil, then turn heat down to a simmer for 4 plus hours. Add salt and seasonings to taste. Add 1/2 cup celery and some onion in the last hour of simmer session.

This time I added little (tea-dyed) cheese cloth wrapped balls of spice to the simmering stock and let seep for a couple of hours. In the cheesecloth bundles I enclosed red pepper, black whole pepper corns, oregano, basil, fennel...go crazy...and tied the mix up with string. Mucho flavor infused brew.

Allow finished pot of stock and chicken to cool. Separate into a couple of containers and submerge in ice water in sink. This will cool faster to avoid bacteria growth as you refrigerate overnight. Skim the solidified fat from the top of containers and discard.
Time to get your Roux on.
Combine equal parts vegetable oil and white flour in a heavy skillet. I used a cup of flour and a 1 1/4 veg oil. Stir with wooden spoon to smash clumps until even and smooth. Turn fire to about medium low. Don't leave it! If specks of black appear, throw the whole damn thing out and start over. Okay stir frequently and have a glass of wine with music in the kitchenwhile you stir. No other humans are allowed in the kitchen during this phase. Watch as the roux gets darker and toasty looking. STIR!

The phases of the roux! A dark chocolate or chicory coffee color is my goal here.

Mmm, dark chocolate! Purrrfect.

Add chopped celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic to the hot roux and STIR and fry till onions are clear. Careful! It's very hot.

Start the roux in a nice deep dutch oven if you have one and pour in your warmed chicken stock. My method, transfer the roux in big spoonfuls to your simmering chicken and stock gumbo pot. Bring it all to a low boil and stir. Add peeled raw shrimp, crab, oysters, squirrel, gator, duck, possum, hamster, okra <-YUCK! i hate okra.
Pour over white rice, sprinkle with green onion, hot sauce and enjoy with your favorite beverage.

Ewwww Wheee! There are quicker ways to make this but they ain't as good. :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wow. Where have I been?!!


Gosh, i've been a bad blog mom. It's been weeks since my last post. Let's get the excuses out of the way shall we?

I'm a workaholic. I sell, write ads and upload photos all day and all night so I've had less time and desire to be in front of a screen. I've been on the computer. It's my contribution to the credit card and gasoline debt.

I've started running again and I'm feeling stronger, sleeping better and able to handle the stress. I've even lost a couple of pounds. I can wear my jeans.
Hey, remember Houston Quilt Festival?

Oh, I met so many famous fiber people!

Now don't be hatin' but I met SueB TerriS, Iris from The FIBER AND STITCH

What a wonderful evening! I met SueB and TerriS at the booth!

From the left Iris, Sue Bleiweiss, Terri, Vicky, Vicki's mom, and Me at Cheesecake Factory in Houston. What a wonderful night! I will be back to update tonights post. Happy THANKSGIVING!!