Tuesday, April 20, 2010

First Recipe

Families, especially in Louisiana, come together over food.The need of sustenance is something that we all share.Cooking or the preparation of food can also be something that brings people together. Thinking back to when my wife and I first got married, cooking (and eating) was one of the things that helped solidify our partnership.My wife knew almost nothing about how to cook when we were first married, so I taught her.The sharing that we had in this teaching and learning relationship is something that I will always cherish and remember fondly. I was able to share with her because my parents shared with me. My father, in particular, taught me about food and cooking. Some of my favorite lessons from him came in the kitchen. He taught me how to cook a number of dishes, but the first one that I really worked on and felt like I became expert on was New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp (which by has nothing to do with what most people know to be barbecue). I think the original recipe came from Pascal Manale’s Restaurant on Napoleon Avenue in New Orleans. The version that we started with came from The Frugal Gourmet, Jeff Smith. The version that I am including in this blog is the one that I have molded to my own over the course of 20-something years (this is my wife’s favorite dish that I fix).

Ingredients (serves 4-6):
2 lbs butter
½ lb bacon
4-6 tbsp Creole mustard (I prefer Zatarain’s)
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
10 cloves minced or pressed garlic
1 cup chopped onions (I prefer white)
4 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 tsp liquid crab boil
2 tsp oregano
Kosher salt and fresh-cracked black pepper to taste
4 lbs Gulf Shrimp with heads on

*Slightly cook the bacon (do not crisp, just render off some of the fat) and then chop it up. You may omit this step if you like.
*In a large sauté pan or Dutch oven combine all the ingredients excluding the garlic, lemon juice, crab boil, and shrimp. Sauté on low heat until onions begin to get clear.
*Raise the temperature to a medium heat and add the remaining ingredients including shrimp with head list on. Mix the shrimp into the sauce thoroughly. At this point there are two options to finish the dish:
1. You can continue to cook the shrimp in the sauté pan with the sauce until the shrimp turn just past opaque and the rinds turn orange. Do not overcook the shrimp.
2. Take your Dutch oven and cook uncovered in an oven preheated to 350 degrees. This should cook from between 12-15 mins. The dish is ready when the shrimp turn just past opaque and the rinds turn orange. (Either way is good. If I am serving it over pasta I usually cook it in the sauté pan and if I am eating the shrimp as a stand alone I usually finish them off in the oven)
*Serve this dish with crusty French bread and/or over angel hair pasta. You may or may not eat the shrimp with the shell on but it is very important to the outcome of the dish to cook it with the shell on.

What was the first real recipe that you learned? Post a comment below to share your first recipe. Save travels – go in peace.

Patience and the Two Wolves

In Sunday school class this past weekend our lesson topic was patience and why it is necessary for a successful Christian walk. In the course of our discussion we began to think on our daily struggles against our very nature. I mention old Cherokee fable about the two wolves and said I would attach a copy of the story to my blog - so here it is:

A Cherokee Legend

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

I find it very true. What are your thoughts? Safe travels - go in peace.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Posting Comments

I would hope that if you have a comment you would like to share that you would feel free to do so. A large part of the point of this blog is a sharing of items that are uplifting and motivational. To leave a comment you can click on "comments" at the end of the post. If you already have google profile you can just click on that. If you do not have a google profile you can still leave a comment by clicking on name/url. You just have to provide a name or screen name, you do not have to provide a url. Why don't you try this out and leave a friendly comment :) Safe travels - go in peace.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pray 'Till it Hurts

Please bare with me as I am still working out the kinks with my blogging. I am trying to do this one on my Blackberry, so I hope it goes through.

Last night at church we continued our series of lessons on prayer. One of the items we discussed was the idea of "praying through" and what that really meant. Many people contributed very helpful responses. Some chose to look at it as praying past ourselves; or in otherwords getting past our lack of belief, selfishness, lack of discipline, and willful nature. Others viewed it as praying until you receive what you need from God or praying until you get victory. Still others saw it as praying until you know you are in a place of true communion with God.

Whatever the perspective, the basic idea is the same - praying to a point of impactful communication with God. This may be hard - even painful. Almost everyone is willing to pray as long as it is easy and fits in with whatever else they want to do. Some are willing to pray even when it becomes difficult. A brave few are willing to pray past the point it becomes painful to the flesh. "...his sweat was as it were great drops of blood," the Bible says about Jesus praying in the garden. My question for each of you is - are you willing to pray untill it hurts? Safe travels - go in peace.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


...to a journey through life led by Carlos N. Williams. I will share with you some of my thoughts and inspirations. I hope you will enjoy some of these posts and that they may benefit you along life's journey. Safe travels - go in peace.