The will of the Mocking Bird

           I have shared my food and stories with my friends for many years.   At this time in my life, it seems appropriate that it should be in writing.  The written word and art is the only thing I know of that can make it last. The only immortality we have is in our children, and what we put to paper or canvas.

                                    I dedicate this blog/book to Mama and Papa,

                                    Who taught me how to love and cook.

                                    And to my children,

                                    Who taught me the patience to love and cook.

I plan to share my recipes, poems and stories. There may also be time for THE BIBLE ACCORDING TO BARRY. As the mother of my children used to call it.

Let’s start with Salt Meat Spaghetti

When I was about 11 years old, my Mama taught me how to make Salt meat spaghetti. She said, “If you learn how to brown a red  sauce, and make a roux, then you can cook anything.  When you cook a red sauce you have to cook all the water out until it comes a ball, then you add the water back. When you make a roux, take your time. The flour must not burn.  For seafood, you want it two shades darker than peanut butter and for chicken you want it the color of chocolate but not burnt.”

 .  You can use any kind of pork really. Make your own. A cheap cut of pork in a zip bag with course salt for two or more days. You are good.

                                    1 lb. of pork or salt pork, cubed

                                    2 medium onions, chopped

                                    2 cloves of garlic

                                    2 small cans of tomato paste

                                    1 tablespoon of sugar

                                    1 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce

                                    salt and pepper to taste

                                    oil, if needed

                        First, boil the salt pork until tender and rinse it.  They call this rendering. Brown it using a little oil if necessary.  The fat part should be crispy.  Now add the onions.  Do this on medium heat.  Sauté onions until they are soft or clear.  Throw in the garlic and cook for 1 or 2minutes.  Never overcook – burnt garlic tastes nasty.  Next, put in the tomato paste and sugar and Tabasco.  Keep the fire on medium or just below. This is the hard work part.  With a flat wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot and keep it moving. Cook it down until it comes a ball.  The oil should separate from the balled up sauce.  You’re almost through!  Add to the sauce enough water to boil about 2 cups of shell noodles (over a quart of water).  Put in your salt and pepper; remember to taste it first if you had salt pork.  You may not need salt.  Stir, stir, stir  so the noodles don’t stick and are tender.  Now you can eat it.



It sat on a barge of three inch planks, painted red led, solid as a tank

Papas’ house is what it was; the curved roof house on the big red barge.

In it he was quite content, so from November to March was spent.

Setting traps, running lines, breaking ice in bitter cold.

Skinning,.Tearing hides off carcasses, popping dry and stretching pelt

Sometimes hides drying over our beds when he didn’t build a drying shed.

Waking to the smell of biscuits, myrtle burning in the stove. Throwing

Mud balls at my sisters, running Lollie when it wasn’t cold. Exploring

bayous in piroques. That’s how I spent my winters in the curved roof

house on the big red barge . Barry Sons

Let’s do Jambalay

                  (Use sausage, shrimp, ham, crawfish, gizzards, or any combination of meat you like)

                                    2 lb. of whichever meat

                                    3 tbsp oil (for roux)

                                    6 tbsp flour (for roux)

                                    2 onions, chopped

                                    1 bell pepper

                                    1 rib celery, chopped good (optional)

                                    1 large can tomatoes

                                    2 cloves garlic, chopped

                                    2 bay leaves

                                    1 bunch green onions

                                    salt, black pepper, and Tabasco sauce to taste

                                    2 cups rice

                                    4 cups water

  Brown (sauté) meat till done.  If it’s a meat that takes long, add water and simmer until tender.  Boil water away, remove meat, and use oil  remaining in pot to make roux.  Throw in the onions, bell pepper and celery.  Sauté until tender then add garlic and tomatoes.  Sauté about 5 or 10 minutes.  Add back the meat and seafood (if you are using it) and 1 cup water, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Now add 3 cups water and bring to boil. Throw in the rice and bring back to a boil; cover and lower fire to low simmer, until liquid is absorbed.  About 20 minutes.  Throw in the green onions, stir and cover for 5 minutes. Serve.

 Want to try Dirty Rice?

                        It’s a kind of jambalaya but not so much fuss.

                                    4 to 6 chicken livers

                                    ½ roll of loose sausage (Jimmy Dean’s will do)

                                    1 onion, chopped

                                    2 cloves garlic, chopped

                                    1 cup rice

                                    2 cups water

                                    ½ bunch green onions

                                    salt and pepper to taste

Sauté liver, sausage until brown and liver is smushed.  Add onions and garlic; sauté until tender.  Then add water, green onions, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and add rice. Bring back up to a boil.  Cover.  Lower fire to low simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes. 

            Great for turkey dressing!!!

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