It's really something to wake up to this.
And end the day with this.
You might remember (if you've been here a while) last year's trip was after the BP spill. It hurt me to see what I saw. And the mess and sludge had already been cleaned up by then. It was more about what I didn't see: life. Wildlife. Mainly birds. So quiet and still and eerie last year. So different and troubling.
Normally I look forward to this annual trip. This year I found myself on edge the closer it came. Almost dreading it. Not knowing what I'd find. Or wouldn't, rather.
The pelicans were back! I couldn't stop taking pictures of them perched on pilings and flying overhead. Other birds, like egrets and blue herons had returned too (although not in the numbers I saw before BP).
This year we outdid ourselves, throwing in some extra activities.
Like crabbing in Lake Hermitage w/ grandpa.
And a crab boil.
And BB gun mania.
Dahlin', you know you passed a good weekend when
"fun & exhausting"
sum it up.
And no one shot their (or anyone else's) eye out.
A couple of years before he died, my grandpa gave me From Woodstoves to Microwaves...Cooking with Entergy, a cookbook published in 1997 by the electric company in New Orleans. It's more than a cookbook, it's New Orleans food history. The cookbook is a collection of recipes that Entergy mailed alongside it's customer's bills and used in cooking demonstrations (to show people how to use modern appliances). Recipes that reflect what the people of New Orleans eat and have eaten for many years. The introduction to From Woodstoves to Microwaves explains:
"...this cookbook is a reprint of...many recipes that are, in many respects, the essence of this city. These are as much an archive of New Orleans' culture and community as any work of history or anthropology. And with the history comes a little lagniappe--the opportunity to taste New Orleans."
I love to flip through this book, reminding myself of meals eaten on Sunday afternoons at my great-grandma's house, or dishes my grandpa experimented with.
Today's fish recipe, Catfish Divan, is an adaptation of a recipe found in this book.
I absolutely loved this dish! So much that I made it twice last month. The fish is first poached in white wine and green onions.
adapted from From Woodstoves to Microwaves
1 pound catfish fillets
3-4 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup half & half, room temp or warmed
1 tsp salt, divided
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
about 8 oz frozen broccoli spears, thawed (roughly 1 package)
black pepper to taste
1/4 sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350.
Rub the fish fillets with the cut side of the lemon. Add green onions and wine to a shallow pan large enough for the fish to fit in one layer. Place the fish in the pan. Simmer over low heat, basting occasionally, until the fillets begin to flake.
In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour and stir. Cook for a few minutes, then stir in the half & half, about 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Stir while cooking until the sauce thickens and bubbles, about 4 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and squeeze the remaining juice from the lemon half into the sauce.
Grease a casserole dish large enough to lay the fish flat in one layer. Place the fish in the casserole and season with the remaining salt (or to taste) and with black pepper. Top with the broccoli. Pour the sauce over the broccoli, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and the sliced almonds. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until bubbly.