There’s a War On

Seventy Five years ago, the entire world was consumed with the mission of destroying an evil that had almost consumed the world. A catchphrase among the free peoples back then, in response to complaints and inconveniences was, – Deal with it, “There’s a war on!”.

The same sentiment can be said to be in effect today. We are faced with not an evil of the man-made variety, but a new threat of the age-old biological variety. This new threat calls on us to respond with the same sense of sacrifice and an attitude of service to our families, friends, companions, business associates, and compatriots around the globe.

So now that “there’s a war on!” what is to be our response? We can only “wash our hands”, “not touch our face”, “maintain a social distance” to a limit. And to be honest, these NECESSARY activities are – to be honest – somewhat boring. We still have to interact with each other, buy and sell, keep in touch, and – like the overriding theme of my on-going literary efforts –

We still HAVE to eat !

I believe it is safe to say that such activities, some individual efforts and some communal activities, will ultimately comprise our best response to the current global ecological crises. To that end, I hope to be offering, over the next few months, some pleasant solutions to fill our new found free time. To wit:

SHRIMP-CAULFLOWER-MUSHROOMS

Mirepoix

Culinary preparation created in the 18th century by the cook of the Duke (of Mirepoix), a French field marshal and ambassador for Louis XVth. It consists of a mixture of diced vegetables (carrot, onion, celery); raw ham or lean bacon is added when the prep is au gras (with meat).

In Creole and Cajun cuisine, the Mirepoix is usually onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic.

The Larousse Gastronomique. New American Edition. 1988. p. 687.

1 stalk celery, 1/3 large bell pepper, 1/2 medium size onion, 6 toes garlic,

Add to the Mirepoix above, 1 tsp dried parsley

1 lb. large shrimp, deveined

1 lb. small (salad) shrimp (90-100 per lb.)

2 lbs. mushrooms, whole

1 small head cauliflower

2 sticks unsalted butter

1 tbs heavy cream

salt and pepper

Method

Preheat oven to 485 degrees

Chop vegetables very fine – We used an electric chopper.

Cut cauliflower into small florets about 1” each; put in to a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoon of oil until well coated. Set aside for later use.

Chop the small shrimp very fine.

Place 1 ½ sticks butter in the dish and place in hot oven until butter sizzles.

Remove dish and add salt, pepper, chopped shrimp and 6 tablespoons of the chopped veggies to the hot butter and put into oven for 8 minutes.

Remove and add the cauliflower to the dish. Return to over and cook 30 minutes or until cauliflower is tender, tossing the cauliflower frequently.

Cut the whole mushrooms in half. Once the cauliflower is cooked, add the mushrooms and the remaining ½ stick of butter to the dish and cook 10 minutes.

Finally, add the whole large shrimp to the dish, and cook for 8 minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink.

Drizzle the heavy cream on top, and toss the dish well. Add salt and pepper if needed.

****************************************************

We are a “spoiled” civilization, taking for granted this form of communication, taking for granted various government efforts to support our lifestyles, taking for granted the (somewhat tottering) economic support system of supply chains, retail outlets of necessary provisions as well as luxury items, and taking for granted the power infrastructures that have created our 21st century lifestyles. It is time we took stock of what our needs really are and most importantly look to our grandparents, great-grandparents, and beyond to learn about their solutions to our basic human needs.

Bon Vie, Bon Voyage, Bon Chance, and always remember – “There’s a war on!”

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About Jerry Laiche

Jon (Jerry) Laiche, B.A., M.A. is a  working historian, writer, and co-author of “The Petticoat Rebellion; A Culinary History of French Louisiana”.  He is a twenty-year veteran teacher and scholar, having taught courses in Louisiana, American, and World History. An unabashed bibliophile, for three years, he owned and operated “The Philosopher’s Stone” a bookstore on the New Orleans’ Northshore specializing in rare and antiquarian volumes.  He and his life partner, Elizabeth, currently live at Beltane Grove, one acre and a cottage, 30 miles north of New Orleans’ Lake Pontchartrain. (Rev. April Fool’s Day, 2020) jlaiche@earthlink.net https://jerryandbeth.com (alt.) nola1718@icloud.com Home Office: (985) 795-2372 Primum est Edare, diendi Philosophari