Post by Bill
Well my friends did it again!
They ordered pizza and paid $25 for it delivered Sunday, then I talked
to them Wednesday and they told me they didn't have any money and only
had some hamburger in the fridge!
Uh huh. That's the point I was making about the correlation between those
who eat out and those who seem to always complain about being broke where
This thread has shown a couple of reasons that it might_ be
difficult for some to cook but as a rule of thumb, I think the fast food
attitude is the more prevelant one. I adore pizza, and love it cold the
next day for breakfast but I remember times in the past when I simply
could not afford it so I learned how to make my own pizza.
I like Larry's words on this best:
"We knew how to take raw food and make it edible."
It's a fundamental skill that has either been lost or it's just become to
easy for people to ignore in favor of convenience.
Rarely have I ever met anyone too truly poor to buy food to eat. I have
seen it occasionally but being down here has shown me many things such
as how the Acadians lived off the land thus creating famous regional
dishes that people still enjoy to this day. There is no reason for
anyone in southern Louisiana to go hungry if they're willing to work
at it a bit. It's far too easy of a climate to grow fruit and vegetables,
and the wildlife is abundant such as crab, shrimp, oysters, alligator,
fish...the list is endless.
What I still can't fathom is here's a region of folks famed for some of
the best food in the world and yet, they still go out and purchase fast
food. I donut geddit.
Here's a recipe for my chicken and sausage gumbo taking that same $25.00
your neighbor spent for one meal applying the principle of Larry's about
processing raw food. This is a recipe that Emeril uses in his restaurants.
*I make my own chicken broth but if one was inclined to use canned, I see
no reason they can't. I put the broth into quart glass containers and
freeze it for later use. The only ingredient that may be difficult to get
due to regionality is the andouille sausage but any smoked sausage can be
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/4 cup of flour
1 1/2 C chopped onion
1 1/2 C chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell peppers
1 lb. smoked andouille or kielbasa sausage cut crosswise into 1/2 inch
slices 1 lb. chicken meat boneless cut into 1 inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt *optional
1/4 teasp. cayenne pepper
3 bay leaves (can be picked off trees down here)
6 cups water
Make up about a teaspoon of the following combined spices and use this as
2 tablespoons chopped parsely
1 tablespoon file powder (ground sassafras leaves used for thickening,
sometimes okra is used in it's place.)
These last two ingredients are used when the dish is served.
Make a roux which is equal parts flour and oil, and stir over medium
heat constantly until it's dark brown, the color of milk chocolate.
Put the onion,celery and bell peppers in for about 5 mins. until they're
Combine all the rest of the ingredients except for parsely and file
powder into a big pot and simmer for about 2 hours. Skim off the fat
as it rises**
Remove the bay leaves and serve over rice in big bowls.
Good with fresh bread or corn bread for sopping up juice.
** I take a wad of paper towels after it's done and the heat is shut
off and lay it over the surface to get as much oil as possible out of
This makes enough food for the two of us for about 3-4 days if I
take some for lunch too, about a week or so if I don't. I can guarantee
the ingredients don't work out to $25.00.
If a person has to initially buy the spices it may run more of course
for the first time purchase but so little is used it pays for itself.
High protein, filling, real food with little to no preservatives
or sodium and incredibly delicious.