Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Just a few odds and ends today.

A big thanks to Hollie over at Life in a Small Town for this award. Does anyone know Spanish? Maybe I shouldn't be thanking her! Ha ha! No, apparently it's the Look How Cool Blog Award, and I thank you very much, Hollie. As with other awards, I balk at choosing just a few on which to bestow this, so if I read you, I pass it on to you!

Ken and I have tickets for the Notre Dame game tonight (I think they're playing Rutgers), so let's see if they can win for us this time!

Over on Facebook, I mentioned seeing 47 turkeys in our back yard yesterday. I've seen a larger number at other times, but it's always fun to see a big flock like that. I saw at least 7 toms, so I'm sure we'll have some babies around here this spring and summer! Here is a portion of them--they filed off through the marsh after stopping for a drink at the pond. They are amazingly large birds! (Click the picture to enlarge. The picture, not the birds.)

Did everyone watch the speech last night? I thought President Obama did a good job, walking the fine line between optimism and scaring everyone to death. I think everyone needs to understand that a turnaround isn't going to happen overnight. I hate to say it, but I don't think we've hit bottom yet. Around here, it seems like every day brings an announcement of another place closing down, 50 more workers out of a job, etc. However, I agree with our President that we are not quitters. I believe there will be a recovery, and if we can all ride out this storm together--and help each other along the way--we'll be stronger and smarter. Or at least we'd better be smarter.

Wow, Bobby Jindal is getting slammed big time for his Republican response, from some of his fellow Republicans. (I'm watching CNN as I type.) As they just said on CNN, I don't think Jindal is in any position to be slamming the Democrats for running up the debt. What did your President do for the past 8 years, Governor?

Did you see Raaaaaahm afterwards? Lookin' good, Rahm!

I made jambalaya Monday night, using Harry Connick, Jr's recipe. It turned out great! I almost left out the ham, but I had some in the freezer, and followed the recipe pretty much as written. With the andouille, it had just enough spice for me (the cayenne pepper and Creole seasoning helped, too), although Ken added some Tabasco. And could someone please tell me why it's almost impossible to find andouille around here? The grocery store I go to used to have Aidell's (I had some in the freezer), but they don't have it now. I suppose you could use regular sausage, or maybe even chorizo, but it's just not the same. I love that smoky, spicy flavor. I need to find a new dealer source for andouille.

Harry Connick, Jr's Jambalaya

4 T butter (I used a combo of butter and olive oil)
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used turkey thighs), cut into 1/2-inch chunks
3 Tbs minced garlic
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp Creole seasoning
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
28 ounces chicken broth
2 1/2 cups long grain rice
1 cup chopped ham

In 6-quart Dutch oven (mine is a 5-quart, and it all fit), melt butter. Add onion, celery, and green pepper; cook till soft (about 6 minutes). Add chicken, garlic, and seasonings; cook 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, then sausage. Cook 2 minutes longer.

Add tomatoes with their juice, broth, rice, and ham. Heat to boiling on high. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 20-30 minutes or till liquid is absorbed. This makes quite a bit, definitely enough for 2 meals for me and Ken, and maybe a lunch or two for him.

Very tasty! Thanks, Harry!

Speaking of food, as well as our local grocery store, they had some fish on sale that I investigated. It's called swai, or basa, and it's sort of an Asian catfish. I consulted my handy dandy fish guide that Kim and Steve sent from the Monterey Aquarium. It lists sustainable fish and recommends the best, some good alternatives, and ones to avoid because they aren't harvested in a sustainable manner. I was happy to see that farmed basa was on the good alternative list, so I picked up a couple of packages. Since I read that it was similar to catfish, I dipped it in some Zatarain's Fish Fry and fried it in a little oil. Very good, mild fish flavor. And like I do with fried catfish, I put a little Tabasco on mine, which really surprised Ken because I'm not usually a spice girl. (Ha!) I have no idea why I do that--I think it must be something I picked up in Florida from my relatives when we used to have fish frys all the time.

I hadn't been buying fish for a while, because it seemed like almost everything I looked at was on the "avoid" list. I was happy to find a good fish to buy besides tilapia (US farmed), and I might go back and pick up some more. I think next time I'll just fry it sans Fish Fry coating, in a little butter. I really would like us to eat more fish.

And why sustainable, you ask? If you didn't ask, I'll tell you anyway. It's the whole environmental, planning-for-the-future thing. You can't just fish a species into extinction; you have to protect the ecosystem and preserve all species in order to maintain a healthy ecosystem, as well as protecting the fishing industry and those who make their living in that way. Visit the Aquarium's Seafood Watch site, and click on "Seafood Guides" to find information about various types of fish. You can also print a pocket guide like Kim and Steve sent to us--I carry mine in my purse. Fish is good for you--let's be good to the fish, too.


  1. Is Harry Connick Jr actually harmed in any way while making that Jambalaya? I'm a vegetarian again so can I use tofu instead of Harry Connick Jr?

  2. Thought about you watching Rahm last night.

    I wonder who wrote the GOP response? He really sounded like he was a little out of touched ... and he looked it, IMO.

  3. Oh did see turkeys. Thanks for sharing them with us. Mmmmm your Jambalaya looks so good. You're welcome on your award!

  4. Maybe you could fatten up a few for Thanksgiving and take some of those Toms out of the gene pool

  5. I for one, enjoyed the President's speech last night! He has a super tough job ahead of him and I praise his efforts for even wanting to take it on.


  6. Rahm did not have his T-shirt on though LMAO :o)

  7. Hi Beth,
    I'll bet the Harry Conick Jambalaya would be even better with a dash of Wild Turkey, right from your backyard ...

  8. I'm thinking that instead of going to work tomorrow I'm just going to head west and raid your refrigerator!!!!

  9. Oh that food looks marvelous! Linda

  10. Jindal was pathetic. How can anyone associated with Louisiana rip the government for devoting funds for natural disasters (his volcano-monitoring diatribe)?

    Have you seen the comparisons of Jindal to Kenneth from "30 Rock" since Tuesday? It's good stuff.

    And I love jambalaya...

  11. Your turkey flock is impressive - they are really getting fired up now that spring is coming. I've been seeing & hearing activity in the woods around here too. Did you ever hear one land in the woods? It sounds like a small plane is crashing - seriously loud!! I guess they aren't too graceful.

    The jambalaya sounds great, can't get more authentic than Harry!

  12. I saw the swai in the grocery store yesterday, but haven't tried it.

    We have a flock of about 30 turkeys that hang in our neighborhood. When we see them, my brother goes out with a can full of dried corn, they just love it and really put on a show getting every last kernel.

    :) Leigh

  13. one of my closest friends called me today. He has a project going on since August with a bank...he is in video production....the people working on this project are all over the world....he is on the phone daily with Denmark...well, 10 of the people got fired and walked out of the bank on Weds...a blood bath my friend called it. He fears that the 6 month and multi million dollar project will die a quick he is outsourced from his employer for this so he will not be fired by this bank....but he was forced to take a 5% paycut...i told you about that already....these are all white color workers.
    I am scared shitless.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?