Aaaand hello again! How was your week? Mine was terrific! An extended vacation was just what I needed, but it’s good to be back in my own bed, and very good to be in control of my caloric intake again, just the same. Let’s just say that if I didn’t gain weight over the holidays, it wasn’t for lack of trying. My dad greeted us everyday with, “Good morning. Y’all want biscuits?” and it just went downhill (calorically speaking) from there.
Oh, there were pork-laden dishes and creamysugary sweets and good ol’ home cooking and then three meals in New Orleans, one of which was among the best of my dining experiences. Whew! My stomach is exhausted and my taste buds need their own vacation, but more than that, I think I’ll be adding copious amounts of vegetables to our diets; we saw very few vegetables that weren’t used as mere seasoning in other dishes.
So, what specifically did we have? Well … my dad started us out with his chicken and sausage gumbo with warm potato salad, one of my favorite meals. My sister and her family joined us for our first lunch of the week, and it was just the way to kick off the holidays.
And then Mom and I started baking for Christmas Eve. Behold, the German Chocolate Pie (completely delicious, btw):
I’ll get the recipe from my mom the next time we talk. You’ll thank me.
And after a hard day of baking and wrapping presents, we all relaxed with my dad’s family and chowed down on some incredible food. Uncle Hubert brought his delicious jambalaya, Aunt Chris made her crock pot meatballs and pineapple-basted smoked sausage, and Aunt Geraldine picked up my favorite Christmas Eve treat on her way to town — spicy boudin. Here you see the Official MI Husband demonstrating his still-developing boudin-eating technique (he leaves a lot in the skin, but he’s getting better):
He just needs more practice. We caught a few episodes of the Bizarre Foods marathon during the week, one of which featured Andrew Zimmern doing a tour of a few gulf states. He started in bayou country and went to the place that made turducken famous — Hebert’s Specialty Meats. They also do a mean stuffed chicken and link their own boudin, so I think we’ll have to pay a visit when we’re back in town next June. All in the name of getting Gil up to speed, of course.
We came back home exhausted but too wound up to sleep, so we tuned in to the Christmas Story marathon on TNT (it’s a marathony time of year, I guess) and made our way to bed eventually, once we were sure Ralphie got his Red Rider BB Gun.
And then the smell of baking ham woke us Christmas morning. I’m no joy before my first cup of coffee, but I greeted that day with a smile, believe me.
We spent the day with my mom’s family, where we dined on the above-pictured ham, Uncle Phil’s cornbread dressing, cheesy broccoli casserole, mac & cheese, and lots of desserts. And this was only Tuesday! We still had three full days to go!
Dad refused to let us slow down in any way and cooked an enormous pot of white beans with the ham bone for Wednesday’s lunch. Oh, and because we couldn’t just have white beans (what kind of host would he be?) he fried a bunch of delicious tiny catfish filets for an accompaniment. How could I refuse? I was down a few pounds at the start of the trip, anyway…
Oh! I forgot the crab-stuffed mushrooms Mom made sometime during the week! Silly me.
And after ALL of that, we still had a day and three meals to go in New Orleans. Stay tuned for the details…
(If you want to check out the full flickr set of the week’s food & fun, just click here. I’ll let you know when Gil’s set is posted.)