Saturday, February 7, 2009

Waxing on a bit about Capote

I know that I said that I would post a recipe, and I will a bit later (you can look me up under sautegrillfryfunnygirl on foodbuzz, and there you will find many recipes, along with many others from some excellent cooks)..We are all what is so, so, very commonly called "Foodies"..Most of us were "foodies" long before the term was coined...Many, I am sure, experienced the same criticism that I used to encounter of being "obsessed with food..obsessed with restaurants, etc"..When I told my Mother that many of my trips that were planned, were done so with the plan of food touring, planned out itineraries of restaurants, etc., she thought it to be completely obsessive and strange..Now, years later, she seems to be fine with it, since "foodie' is an everyday term...She'll even occasionally remark, "Well, you've always been a foodie!" with complete composure, instead of a voice hindering on annoyance...I don't have a problem with being called a "foodie", it's just that now it seems that EVERYONE is a "foodie" and furthermore, it appears to be a popular thing to be, and now it's a big GROUP, almost like a worldwide CLUB, and you know what Groucho said, later repeated by's the infamous quote that I dearly love and sometimes ascribe to"I would never want to belong to a group that would have me as a member".

When I was a little girl, I think that I first saw Truman Capote on the tonight show..not exactly sure..Even at that time, after I had gotten over the shock of his entire demeanor (especially his unusual childlike voice), I found him so interesting...At that time, I did not realize what an absolute genius he was...He would have told you that too, of course..(Hey, if you can't toot your own horn etc...)

I am reading a biography "Capote" by Gerald Clarke..Excellent book...When I bought it, because it had the photo of Phillip Seymour Hoffman on the cover, my son said "Mom, don't buy that, you've already seen the movie"..Well, I had already perused it a bit, enough to know that halfway through the book it does not even begin to get into his involvement with the notorious murder case that he involves himself for many years...No, it literally starts before he is born, and I find it totally fascinating. I have always loved to find out even a glimmer of what makes one so different, and this book completely satiates that curiosity. I seriously LOVE good biographys, not so much autobiographys, as I think most people find it impossible to look at their lives with any kind of objective vision..and then there is always the need to "cover up" something so as not to be sued etc....Hell, those are some of the most interesting parts of their lives...Now, I am not fool enough to think that a biographer knows with certainty 100% of what they write of others, especially since most of the time, many of the more interesting parts of their subjects lives, come from those who knew them, or I should say "thought" they knew them...I'm sure that there are alterior motives for what information some of them provide...Still...makes for one helluva lot better read....
The photo in the top right corner, is one of the homes, (I should say doors) of Mr. Capote"s...Isn't the door gorgeous? I adore that kind of attention to detail...It looks as though this might have been a place he had in New Orleans, as he had places all over..Manhattan, New Orleans, etc....I have seen door such as these in Greenwich Village, a place that is resplendent with interesting architecture...Doors with amazing design and character..such as this...I love the gas lamps on each side..If you love gas lamps, as I do, you must go to Charleston and visit or better yet, stay in, the Historic District, filled with cobblestone roads and gas lamps...I also love Beacon Hill in Boston for the same reason...Sorry, I digress...we were talking about Truman weren't we?
I have just become inspired to post a recipe that Truman would have loved...He adored his Martinis, but he also loved food that was Southern or Cajun...So here's to you, Mr. Capote!
Emeril's Red Beans and Rice

1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted over
3 tablespoons bacon grease
1/4 cup chopped tasso, or chopped ham
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/2 pound smoked sausage, split in half lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound smoked ham hocks
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
10 cups chicken stock, or water
4 cups cooked white rice
1/4 cup chopped green onions, garnish
Place the beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and set aside.
In a large pot, heat the bacon grease over medium-high heat. Add the tasso and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the onions, celery and bell peppers to the grease in the pot. Season with the salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the bay leaves, parsley, thyme, sausage, and ham hocks, and cook, stirring, to brown the sausage and ham hocks, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans and stock or water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and starting to thicken, about 2 hours. (Should the beans become too thick and dry, add more water, about 1/4 cup at a time.)
Remove from the heat and with the back of a heavy spoon, mash about 1/4 of the beans against the side of the pot. Continue to cook until the beans are tender and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves.
Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.

Tomorrow a Recipe!

I am far too tired at this time, hmmm, how did it get to be 3 am? (furthermore, why since I have quit working do I find these bizarre times somewhat fun/comforting...It is a time that I feel creative, or if nothing else, I want to go read whatever book I am reading (Capote at the moment), and lull myself to sleep...(well along with an ambien...okay..I said that it would be REAL!)

Well, what I actually started to say is that tomorrow, I shall post a recipe, and it will be good for sure, as cooking is one of those things I've been doing with ease since I was around 10 years old..I started myself cause it seemed like fun and I found that it was something that I could impress people with...( a ongoing theme in my life, that with more posting, you will pick up a definite pattern of)...I digress...Tomorrow a recipe! Sleep tight out there in dreamland, I will be joining you soon....

Friday, February 6, 2009

Another day in Paradise

Once there was a socially interested individual who was regularly invited to gatherings, if for no other reason, than to "light up the room", with her charming verse, radiant smile, and comically oriented schtick...

Years went by like this, until one day the place where she spent most of her life, her work, decided to lay everyone off, because they just didn't think it was worth the effort to try to work things out...

Most all of these professional people went on to other positions and lives that were seemingly seamless in nature, at least it appeared that way to the "social one".

As time went by, and the "social one" could not find work, she became more and more reclusive, and "NO, I don't think so, but thanks", became a weekly reply to the many friends that still requested her presence..Ah what good friends are these that indulge me whilst I waste away for the present, as each day merges effortlessly into tomorrow, and I spend yet, "Another day in Paradise"