Saturday, December 19, 2009


2-A Tigers meet Bushland this evening for the final game in the playoffs. We won State the first time in 1968, I was in high school waaaay back then. Then again in 1983 and 1985. Many state and even nationwide records were broken then. The team won State in 2008. If they win tonight, this will be the first time that Daingerfield has taken home the State trophy two years in a row. Of course I wish the boys the best of luck tonight and pray no one gets injured. (Longview and Carthage are both playing tonight too. Wouldn't it be great if all three east Texas teams can win State in their respective division?!)

Now...I'm not much on high school football. I was in Pep Club until the team reached the playoffs in 1968. I dropped out when I realized that it was about the coaches getting a raise and an offer to move to a new school at a premium salary. My views completely, 100%! And...the football boys didn't have to make the grade. Coaches were strong arming teachers into "Aw go ahead. Give him that extra couple, er 10 points."

I thought in the days of pass to play that that mentality had gone by the wayside. Aw, contraire, mi petite. It is still there. A few years back I heard a comment a teacher made. Coach visited this teacher and asked what could 'we' do to make certain 'he' passes... Tell him to turn in his homework. 'Ah, but what can 'we' do?' Tell him to turn in his homework. This bantered around for 10-15 minutes.

From me to coaches everywhere: HEY!!! Tell him to turn in his homework! The rest of the kids are!

My personal experience. Last year I subbed in a class on a Friday. (Remember, these kids were on their way to winning State.) Gave the assignment. Looked around and kid in the football jersey is not working. I walked over to him, "You need to get to work and quit goofing off." His reply..."I don't do schoolwork on Fridays." I asked him, "Who do you think you are? The star quarterback?" The young man seated beside him, looks up at me and says, "I'm the quarterback." I looked at him and smiled, "YOU are doing a fantastic job on the field. And you are doing your classwork." Looked back at the kid and said, "If your quarterback can do classwork, so can you. Get to work."

Sam and I ate at David Beard's Catfish King today. They have a rather nice salad bar to go along with your meal...if you so choose to order it. As we were walking out, Sam spoke to someone who was kicked back in his chair and had evidently enjoyed his meal. Then Sam laughed. "What?" I asked as he caught up to me. The man called his outfit a, "Buffet tux." He had on a pair of these:

Cookbook time. I worked with a misplaced Cajun at U. S. Contractors in Clute Texas. Jerry was always talking about cooking something good. One day he loaned me one of his cookbooks. In the back was information on ordering. I managed to acquire these. OH, MY, GOODNESS! Talk about drooling all over the pages. Both books are full of not only authentic Cajun recipes but also definitions of cooking terms and French words, some of the origins of the recipes.

I don't know if it is in one of these books or if Drew Ryder from On the River/Riverside told me, but I now know the differences in a gumbo and a jambalaya and an etoufee.

A gumbo is a soup.
Jambalaya is more of a casserole
Etoufee is a sauce.
I think I got that right. At least that is the basic premise of the thickness of the dish.

From Louisiana Cajun Seafood (Poisson de Mer) with Lagniappe Breads I found THE recipe for Gumbo. As if there is one recipe for Gumbo. Gumbo was initially the clean out the refrigerator or icebox before it ruins meal. Anything and everything went in. When I think about gumbo, I think about okra, but that's not necessarily correct. But, I like okra, so in it goes.

And Cajun Shrimp Sauce Piquante. Ummmm-um. So good it makes a possum hug a hound! Lemme tell ya! Don't forget Fish Coubion.

Oh, what does lagniappe mean? Something extra. And this cookbook is loaded with lagniappe! (It is sorta pronounced like lon-nyee-opp according to the book, but when I've actually heard it, it sounds more like lon-yopp.)

I am getting soooo hungry and haven't 'talked' about the second book yet. Louisiana Lagniappe. Looks as if the main recipe I've garnered from this book is the Shrimp Jambalaya. But after that first book...shoulder shrug.

Louisiana Cajun Seafood, 1989 by Mercedes Vidrine and J. A. Allen
Louisiana Lagnaippe, 1973 (5th printing 1995) by Mercedes Vidrine, J. A. Allen, and Mary Alice Fontenot

In case you're interested both books are published by:
Claitor's Publishing Division
3165 S. Acadian at I-10
P O Box 3333
Baton Rouge LA 70921
800-274-1403 or 504-344-0476

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