COOKING LAUREL COUNTY STYLE:  2019, I REALLY miss you!

Shelby Sizemore

Hello, everyone. As we said our Merry Christmas and New Year greetings, with hugs and unmasked smiles, we had no idea what the new year would bring. I sit here and try to make sense of it all. First came the COVID-19 and I sat at home for weeks, not venturing out for anything. Doctor appointments were rescheduled, haircuts were unavailable, (and me without a haircut is a scary sight!) toilet paper, hand sanitizer and paper towels were doled out by the stores, and we searched the internet and Facebook for masks and gloves. No talking with friends and family except by phone. One news channel would promise us a vaccine soon, another would say it was years away. Our Governor talked to us every day, telling us we would get through this; doing his very best to see that we would.

We kind of got acquainted with our "new normal" and then here comes racism, raising its ugly head. The peaceful protests couldn't have the impact they should have had because they some ended in total chaos...buildings and cars burning, store windows smashed and the stores emptied by the few using the situation to pillage and destroy. It was like watching a horror movie, but it was real. I think of our brave men and women....white, black, whatever... fighting side by side to keep our freedom, raising our glorious Red, White and Blue on foreign soil so that we could remain free. What would they think about our "Sweet land of liberty" right now??

Who would go from these grievous subjects to talking food? You know who, don't you? Try this and hopefully you will like it as I do. It's easy to cut this in half to try it.

New Orleans Fish & Shrimp

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry about 2 -2 1/2 lbs. codfish and spread olive oil and 2 tablesp. N'Orleans Cajun Seasoning (Weber's) over them. Place in a well-oiled pan and bake 8-10 minutes, just till they are done. Melt 4 tablesp. butter and add 2 finely minced garlic cloves, 1 tablesp. each of lemon juice, white wine and minced onion...add 1/2 lb. small shelled and deveined Shrimp and saute for about 5 minutes. Carefully place fish on plates, top with shrimp mixture and warm sauce. In a saucepan, warm 1/2 stick butter and 1/2 cup heavy cream; season with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup freshly grated parmesan and stir until melted. Spoon over the fish and shrimp and sprinkle with a dusting of the cajun seasoning. (Thin the sauce with milk if too thick.) That's my "uptown" recipe for you, but couldn't let go of my Land 0 Lakes!

Words from a Maya Angelou poem: "The caged bird sings with a fearful trill, of things unknown but longed for still...and his tune is heard on the distant hill, for the caged bird sings of freedom." Bye for now.

Shelby Sizemore has written cooking columns for The Sentinel-Echo previously in 1999 to 2001 and in The Times-Tribune from 2008 to 2011. With many years of experience cooking, Sizemore loves to share her knowledge in the kitchen and her recipes. You can contact her at shelbys274@gmail.com.

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