Food-trading: one of the greatest college inventions of all time. One person cooks, lots of people eat. I think that economic specialization probably started when some matrons got together and thought, “you know what? if you chopped all my onions with yours, and I cooked two rabbits at the same time…”
Last night was my turn to cook for 04 Albany Park, and I was asked to cook something “with that spice in it.” The request came from James, and “that spice” is Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning, of which I brought two shakers in order to make it through a semester of British food.
With the help of Tony’s own recipe section, Amelia (a first-year from NJ), Julianne (her visiting friend) and I planned out an authentic Louisiana dinner: Crawfish Etouffee followed by Pecan Pralines, substituting butter for margarine where necessary.
I did not expect the evening to turn into a tutorial on pronunciation. However, some clarification is in order. Follow closely, please:
crawfish (‘kro-“fish): unfortunately and mistakenly called crayfish by a vast majority of the world’s population, including Scottish fish markets. Retch!
pecan (pi-‘kn): No, not PEE-can. That’s just gross. And wrong.
praline (‘pr-“lEn): In order to salvage crawfish and pecan, I eventually gave up to Julianne on praline , which I believe, might more clearly be spelled with a w (“prawline“) like prawns. Prawns are what the Scottish call shrimp, which I chose not to throw a fuss about. I don’t like shrimp (or prawns) that much, anyway.
The group: James and Jerome, the flatmates who eventually took over the cooking and dishwashing due to American ineptitude; Amelia and Julianne, praline-makers; Sandy, drink-provider and garlic-mincer; Dave, etouffee-eater; and myself, bankroller and manager (entailing nothing but adding spice to crawfish and watching everyone else do the work).
The Prawline Bakers:
Jerome, sauteing expert:
James, English cook and selfless servant:
After only one frantic phone call (Hey Dad, is this stuff sopposed to thicken, or what?) grub was on, and good. I counted – three people’s noses ran.
Sandy, looking what most of us felt post-etouffee and prawlines:
Jambalaya next month, anybody?