Sunday, September 6, 2015

What-What?! Week of September 6th

Last weekend I didn't post, because we were without power from 11am Saturday morning, until about midnight Sunday, for a total of over 36 hours.  There was a giant windstorm, and greatest point, there were 170,000 people without power.  Entire trees were being pushed over.  We had gone out to McDonald's to eat, and there was a tree right by the parking lot that had been cut in half, with the entire top of the tree lying on the ground!  It was a demonstration of the awesomeness of wind power.
The husband and I played Descent in the dark.  It's a dungeon crawl game.  Our lighting sucked.
For us, we had part of our fence line knocked over, and a large branch fell from our tree.  A few days ago, I realized that another large branch had fallen off the tree as well, but is now caught up on a few other branches.  So we're probably going to work it out of the tree today, 'cause I don't feel good about how well it's up there.
Pile o' sticks.  Children for perspective.  Not that you know how big my children are. :P
The kids and I were out on Friday, picking up all the sticks we could.  There are still tons and tons of little bits all over the yard, but they are difficult to round up.

Not Alton Brown's Gumbo

I did make some kickin' gumbo this past week, though.  Inspired by Alton Brown's recipe, though honestly, I tend to look at Alton Brown's and Cook's Illustrated recipes, and say to myself "Whelp, not doing that".  Because I am not putting the roux in the oven for an hour and a half, nor am I buying fresh shrimp and making a seafood broth.  I just don't have the time or energy for that stuff.  So this is what came about...

  • 1 pound of Sausage (Andouille would be the most authentic, but I used Kielbasa)
  • 1 tin of Sardines (mine were packed in water, but oil or tomato juice would be fine)
  • 1 can Chicken broth (or two cups homemade chicken broth)
  • 1 can Diced Tomatos, drained
  • 3 or 4 stalks of Celery
  • 1 Onion
  • 3 Carrots (or not -- these aren't very authentic, but my kids will eat carrots, so in they go)
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 4 tablespoons Flour
  • 4 tablespoons Oil (I used peanut, but veggie oil or even butter will work fine)
  • Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt
Cut up sausage and vegetables.  Brown the sausage over medium heat in a large pot.  Add oil and flour, and let cook for about 2 minutes.  Add vegetables, and let cook until the onion is translucent.  Add chicken broth and stir until thick.  Open the can of sardines and smash them up with a fork, then add the contents of the can to the pot.  Add tomatoes to the pot, and simmer on low for about 20 minutes.  Add spices and salt to taste -- TASTE before you put in the salt.  I barely had to add any, since both the sausage and the sardines are quite salty by themselves.  Serve over rice.

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