Louisiana Cooking: Delicious or Deadly?

I have mentioned before several times, I am from Minnesota. Hell, it’s the entire basis for this blog. How I get really confused and end up in horribly awkward situations because I’m so horribly Minnesotan. To me, a delicious home cooked meal is lefse and potato dumplings smothered in butter and salt. Everything is pretty white in color, bland in taste, and absolutely fucking amazing.

However, Louisiana is known internationally for its flavorful cooking. And I will admit, when I can get over the horrible searing of my mouth, it’ll probably be amazing.

Of course, I have to be an idiot and try out my own Cajun cooking.

There’s this seasoning that is the base of all Louisiana cooking. It’s called Tony Chachere’s Everything Seasoning.

This shit is dangerous

This shit is dangerous

 

When you go to a restaurant in Louisiana and ask for salt, they’ll hand you a can of this. It’s an extremely spicy seasoning blend that is pretty freaking amazing. I have two separate cans of it, which goes against everything my cooking stands for. However, my first can of it has lasted me three years and I’m not even half way through it. A typical Cajun family will go through one can a week. I can use a very light sprinkle, while everyone else drowns their food in it.

My work had pot luck recently, and I was very excited for it considering everyone was making really southern food. They made greens, jambalaya, dirty rice, and the works. I also had no idea that “greens” in Louisiana is collard greens boiled in bacon fat, making it about ¾ bacon and ¼ actual greens. Naturally, drowned in creole seasoning.

The food was amazing.

And my mouth was dying.

I was chugging water and soda trying to get rid of the burning sensation in my mouth. My eyes were watering and I was trying anything to get rid of the burn. My manager then informed me that they hardly used any seasoning in their food and that it was bland.

I was so confused. My brain couldn’t comprehend this. It was so blasted with flavor I felt like my mouth was dying.

So today I decided to make Beef and Beer chili. I decided to put a Cajun spin on it and add this seasoning, but I grabbed my can of “More Spice” creole seasoning, which means it’s about half cayenne pepper.

And I pour it in. Like a Cajun would.

Probably about 4 tablespoons of this stuff.

And my house smells amazing from this. It smells spicy, but I’m thinking “It’s a big pot of chili, I’ll be fine.”

So I taste it.

And I immediately spit it out.

It’s been two hours and my mouth is still burning. It’s so spicy. I’m dying.

So I texted my manager who is really cool about me texting him my horrible culinary experiences because he usually ends up laughing at how northern I am.

He’s laughing his ass off. While I’m dying.

Thank you Tony Chachere’s, for killing my mouth. And for making Louisiana think I’m a wimp.

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I Love Resembling My Mother— And Not For The Reasons You’d Think

Ever since I can remember, I have been told that I look just like my mother. She’s 29 years older than me, we both have brown hair and eyes, and we both look ridiculously Scandinavian (except the dark hair and eyes bit). We’re about the same height, but that’s where the resemblance stops. We’re both heavy, sure, but her boobs are huge, and I’m pretty flat chested. I have a butt and she has none, she has skinny legs and my legs clap and make thunder.

You’d never be able to tell we’re related. Ever.

It’s just how genetics are cruel. God gave my shy, quiet mom huge boobs when she wanted no attention, and I was given a flat chest and huge thighs when I’m social.

Thanks God. You totally destroyed my ability to date until I was 20 years old.

Moving on.

But nobody can deny that I look like my mother.

And I used to hate it.

I would always fight that we didn’t look alike because she’s way older than I am. And she’s so much quieter than I am. And any other reason I could think of that I can’t think of because they don’t exist.

But as I’ve gotten older and more brazen thanks to my many years of living among my strange Alaskans, I’ve come to embrace the fact that my mother and I look alike.

Because I can embarrass the shit out of her.

And she can’t deny that I’m related to her.

So, of course, I take full advantage of this when the opportunity presents itself.

You see, my mother is very easily embarrassed. She gets embarrassed when we talk too loudly in restaurants, or if we say a bad word. She’s not nearly as bad as she used to be, but she used to freak out if we said “damn” in public.

Now, I’ve mentioned how odd my husband is before considering he’s a dungeon master, he’s very loud and goofy, and he seeks to make people laugh at every turn. He was also raised by East Coast parents, and I don’t care if it’s stereotyping, they’re very noisy. But in a good way.

And my husband loves to point out random discrepancies in public. Because he’s an asshole like that.

So the first time Alex came with me to Minnesota, my mom ditched us in Target. Not as in drove off, mind you, as in she did what she always does. She tells us to find something in the aisle she just passed and then learns how to magically fucking teleport to the other side of the store and makes it impossible to fucking find her until a half hour later.

She does this every fucking time. (I know you’re reading this mom, don’t even try to deny it. You have teleportation powers)

However, last time she tried to do this to Alex and I, we decided to have fun with it. She did her usual “Oh, can you go back one aisle and get something I have in my cart already but it’s the name brand and I need the off brand because I’m a thrifty saver/wizard?” And we agree because we’re good kids.

And she ditched us.

And she was our ride.

So, being the oddballs that we are, we did the most obvious thing we could think of.

We ran up and down every aisle in the store and started screaming “MOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!”

Now, when a 22 and a 27 year old are doing this when looking for a woman in her early 50s, I’m told that it’s horribly embarrassing. I thought it was hilarious.

After going down about six aisles, my mother magically teleported behind us and hissed, “What? What do you want?!”

To which we rejoiced because we finally found her. And nobody could deny I was related to her because we look alike.

Authors note: This story is slightly hyperbolic. My mom can’t actually teleport (I think) and we weren’t “screaming” per se, we were just talking ridiculously loudly so everyone was looking at us funny. But she did hiss at us. And she does ditch us in the store all the time. And this story is not to show that my mom is easily embarrassed, she’s pretty awesome and she’ll probably tease me for writing something so ridiculously stupid.  YAY MOMS!

Valentines Day Pity Party: A Beginner’s Guide

I have something to admit to everyone.

I really don’t like Valentines.

Now, for those of you who are close to me, you might find this surprising since Valentines day is technically my birthday.  But I’ve never really liked this particular holiday because it’s become so commercial and disappointing for those single girls who just eat chocolates and throw them at the TV because they’re so insanely depressed.

Seriously.

Seriously.

Luckily for me, I married a romantic gentleman.  Except when it comes to flowers, because screw flowers apparently.  Alex’s view on flowers is the same as my mother’s: Why buy them when they’re going to die right away?

How stupidly insane, right?  Flowers are gorgeous.

But before I met Alex, I always spent Valentine’s day by myself, eating ice cream and just feeling sorry for my single self.  I have had a lot of friends who are the in the same boat and also, a lot of people I know now that are in that boat.

So I decided that I’m going to spend Valentine’s day like a single person.  With my husband.  And our mutual friend.

So here are the keys to having an absolutely pathetic, yet awesome, valentines day if you’re alone.

1. Bailey’s Irish Cream

This is a must have.  The thing about Bailey’s is that it is the best possible liquor out there.  And get the flavored stuff too, they have a great hazelnut one, or chocolate, or whatever.  Pour that all over your ice cream. Or drink it straight.  No matter what, you’ll feel great.

Bailey's and Ice Cream.  A heavenly combination.

Bailey’s and Ice Cream. A heavenly combination.

Speaking of ice cream…

2.  Minimum 1 pint of ice cream

Being single on valentines just isn’t the same without ice cream.  It’s practically mandatory to have ice cream.  I’ve found that Blue Bell I ❤ Chocolate is absolutely excellent for valentines considering it’s just tons of chocolate with chocolate hearts IN THE ICE CREAM!

3. Sweat pants

Since you’re most likely not leaving the house or even showering since this is a pity party, might as well be comfortable.  I say you should be wearing sweatpants, or maybe order yourself some footsie pajamas.

DO IT!  YOU WILL NEVER REGRET IT EVER!

DO IT! YOU WILL NEVER REGRET IT EVER!

4. Stupid movies

Letters to Juliet, The Holiday, Romeo and Juliet, are sweet, romantic movies, but this will just make you feel worse.  I suggest something much more stupid like This Is The End, Movie 43, The Break Up, We’re The Millers, or if you want to feel really good about yourself, may I suggest The Hunger Games, Kimjonilia, Seoul Train, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead?  These last few will make you realize that you just have shitty first world problems and that Valentines day is awful.

Alex offered to take me out this year for Valentines, but I’m really digging the idea of a jar of Nutella and a bottle of whiskey.

So we’ll probably watch stupid movies and order take out while eating tons of ice cream and laughing at how romantic other couples are because we are no longer romantic in any way.

 

What do you do on valentines?  Anything mushy or exciting?  Maybe something more?  Put your thoughts in the comments below!

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Don’t Wear Sweatpants on Sundays

So this last Sunday, in preparation for the Super Bowl Commercials, Alex realized we were out of beer.  Football commercials just aren’t the same without beer, so I volunteered to go to the store.

Since I never leave my house, I have a very comfy pair of sweat pants that are light gray, bleach stained, and show any type of wetness on them.  Strike one.

I also hadn’t showered yet this day because if I was going to be eating queso dip and drinking beer all night, I figured I didn’t need to shower quite yet.  Strike two.

And I get into my car, where I had left the windows open and it rained, so I sat down on a very, VERY wet seat.  Strike three.

I get to the gas station and everyone is actively avoiding me.  I know I probably don’t smell that pretty, I’m wearing sweatpants where the rear end was wet, and I looked like total crap because I hadn’t brushed my crazy hair yet and I was dressed like a hobo.

Seriously I had no idea what was going on.  Everyone in the store was actively avoiding me.  I get to the counter and the guy there, who is usually really friendly, couldn’t ring me up fast enough, then basically shoved me out the door.

I understand that it’s a bad idea to leave your house wearing anything but your Sunday’s best on a Sunday, but I didn’t think I’d be totally shunned.

So when I get home, I tell the story to Alex.  He hugs me, then pushes me away. 

“Are you wearing deodorant?”

I shake my head.  “No, I forgot to put some on this morning.”

“I hate to tell you love, but you smell awful.”

My eyes widen.  “Wait a minute… does my butt look wet to you?”

I turn around, and he starts laughing.  “Did you sit down in a puddle of water?”

I start laughing too, of course.

I’m pretty sure that everyone at the gas station thought I had wet my pants and was buying beer. 

This is why I don’t leave my house.

His Name Was Arthur

About a week after moving in to my house here in Louisiana, I was out in my yard taking out the dogs so they could do their business.  It was around 100 degrees and since I had been living in Alaska for five years prior to this, I was basically glowing.  Not glowing as in “oh, so pretty,” I mean I was glowing as in I looked radioactive because of how the sun was bouncing off my skin.  Seriously, Alex had to look at me with sun glasses because I hurt his eyes.

It was ridiculous.

Anyway, when I was out,  my neighbor, who scraps metal for a living, was in his yard with his friend doing his scrap  metal thing.  He came over to the fence, where I walked over and introduced myself.

“Hey there, I’m Leah.  We just moved here from Alaska,” I tell him, and he smiled.

“Nice ta’ meetcha.  I’m Ah-tha.”

This was my first interaction with a true southerner.  His accent was so thick I was barely able to make out the “Nice ta’ meetcha.”  I was seriously at a loss for words.

“Uh.. What?”

He clears his throat.  “I’m Ah-tha.  My name is Ah-tha.”

I could tell he was trying to clear his southern accent, but I seriously could not understand what he was saying.  I felt like I was being really rude.

“I’m sorry, what did you say?” I ask him, trying to speak as clearly as I can.

He gives me a weird look, and repeats what he said.  “I’m Ah-tha.”

After a few more times of me saying “I’m sorry, I can’t understand you,” his friend finally stands up, in a perfectly clear accent, and says this.

“HE SAID HIS NAME IS ARTHUR!”

My face, in a nutshell.

My face, in a nutshell.

Never, in a million years, would I have guessed that’s what he was saying.

And that was the last time I ever talked to my neighbor.

How I Found Out I Was Dating My True Love (I Had To Wet The Bed)

For those of you who don’t know, I knew Alex almost three months when we got married.  I have heard so many people tell us that it would never last because we hardly knew each other, and I had a lot of people making bets on when I was due because they were certain I was pregnant.

It’s been nearly three years since we got married, and I have not given birth.  So those of you who made bets on my due date, pay up, because I didn’t have a baby.  Nor was I pregnant when I got married.

I do have to say this for sure though: I knew that no matter what happened, we could work through it.  Unless it was cheating, then he could go jump off a bridge.

But he’s never cheated, and neither have I.  So any problem we can work through.

The reason I can say that though, is because of what happened about two and a half weeks after we started dating.

At that point I was basically living in his dorm room on base.  From our second date on, we were never apart .  He would come to my work and borrow my car (he had no vehicle at the time since he had just gotten stationed in Alaska), he would buy my groceries since he found out that I was living off of Ramen and Chili (sometimes I’d cook a roast in my crock pot if the meat was on sale, or cook something else for my roommates since I loved to experiment), and then he’d fill my gas tank since I would fill my tank every few days, then he’d pick me up from work and I’d spend the night at his dorm.  It was a great set up.

After dating for a couple weeks, I got a bladder infection.  It was painful and if you are unaware of how bladder infections work, you sometimes have issues controlling your bladder.

Never, since I was about four years old, had I wet the bed.

Since Murphey’s law states that anything can happen whenever you don’t want it to happen, such as I didn’t want to wet the bed when I was falling head over heels with the potential father of my future children because he’d probably think “Oh hell no, I am not staying with a girl who is going to pee on me whenever she gets the chance.”

So of course I wet the bed.

And of course it wasn’t a little.  Oh no, Murphey’s law had to ensure that I drank close to a gallon of water the night before and peed enough to fill a gorge.

I'm pretty sure I was dreaming about this when it happened

I’m pretty sure I was dreaming about this when it happened

And it had to be when I was laying sandwiched between the wall and Alex on a full size bed.

And Alex had his arms wrapped around me in a death grip.

And I think I peed on him a little.

As you can imagine, I was in a state of horror.

This was basically my face

This was basically my face

Since it was around 6 in the morning, I figured he’d be too tired to wake up to my sneaking off to the bathroom to clean up a little bit.  So I’m then in the bathroom, coming up with a plan.

After about ten minutes, I decided that I’d roll him out of bed, covering up the spot, tell him that I got my period and bled on his sheets and I needed him to take my car to the shoppette to get me tampons while I threw his sheets in the washer and removed any traces of my having wet the bed.

I was pretty proud of myself considering how complex this plan was.

So I walked out of the bathroom, my head held high, ready to execute my brilliant plan.

When I walk into the bedroom, he had already finished stripping the sheets off the bed and put them in the clothes basket.

I felt my cheeks turn red, and my eyes tear up from embarrassment.  He didn’t say anything.  I took the basket and put the clothes in the washer, trying to hide my tears.

I get back to the room and he has the window open and has used half a bottle of febreeze.

“See?  Nothing’s wrong.  Everything is fixed.  Nothing happened.”

Except that I’m highly allergic to febreeze, so my wind pipe started to close up.

“There! I fixed it!  Nothing happened!  We’re good!” he tells me, to which I’m trying to get the few words out that I can.  I think he thought I was going to burst into tears from embarrassment.  The next words I spoke completely caught him off guard.

“I’m deathly allergic to febreeze!”

His face pales, he shoves me out of the room, giving me my shoes and socks and he finishes getting dressed.  He meets me in the hallway of his dorm room.

“So uh, lets go get some breakfast.”

It was true love.

He didn’t give me any grief.

He told no one.

And most of all, he didn’t dump me over it.

I knew from that moment on, I was going to marry him.

All because my bladder is an asshole.

So have any of you had an experience where you were sure that your boyfriend or girlfriend was going to dump you and nothing came of it?  Or something so embarrassing that it took you three years to be able to tell anyone?

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