Like a lot of us in the Deep South, my husband is wishing for cooler weather. As sad as I am to bid adieu to summertime, I have to admit that cooler weather will be more than welcome after the hot, hot days of August.
A change in the season also means modification in the foods we eat. While I’m not yet ready to close down my outdoor grill, I know that the first cold front will set the tone for heartier dishes, like gumbos and stews, as well as what Papa used to call low-down home-cooked food—pork chops, lima beans, cabbage, and gateau de sirop (syrup cake).
Browse Cajungrocerâ€™s website and make a shopping list for some items you might not be able to find at your local supermarket. For example, order a few cans of Steen’s 100% Pure Cane Syrup. That glorious syrup is a must on biscuits, pain perdu and cornbread, but itâ€™s also the main ingredient in making a favorite Cajun dessert called gateau de sirop (syrup cake.)
Itâ€™s not too early to begin your Christmas wish list. If you donâ€™t already have your seafood boiling rig that can also double as a turkey-frying pot, you MUST get one. Donâ€™t forget the propane gas burner to go with it. Itâ€™s simply a must-have for year-round use.
Once you have taken care of yourself, then begin making your gift-giving list.
The Tabasco gumbo bowls are great for, well gumbo, but they are also perfect to use for homemade soups and stews. Get yourself a set of four, and you might also consider giving a set to each of your nearest and dearest friends. If you can afford to be generous, but all means get everybody a Tabasco chef apron â€“ theyâ€™re practical and good looking!
Check out of gift section and youâ€™ll be impressed by all the goodies you can get for just about everyone on your long list. Boxes of yummy pralines, bags of breakfast goodies, Cajun seasonings mixes, and even a Cajun meat gift baskets. I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.
Oops! How can it already be the middle of summer? I havenâ€™t done nearly enough of my favorite summer activities yet. For example, I love being cradled by my old canvas hammock while I read some trashy novel and sip on something cold like freshly made lemonade (with real lemons) spiked with refreshing mint leaves. Some hot afternoons find me in the line at the sno-ball stand trying to cool down. And of course, most of my evening meals revolve around my outdoor grill on the patio.
Iâ€™ll grill everything from asparagus to zucchini, and with kabobs I can do a lot of mixing and matching. Check out the recipes for some of my favorites.