Sunday, October 07, 2012
ROUX THE DAY!
Be warned! That person driving around in my sparkling white Audi A4 I espy every time I go out will rue the day if I ever catch up with him! And as for that other fellow; the one I spotted yesterday driving my glistening new silver-grey Audi A8 Coupe , my second car for special occasions, he, too, will rue the day if I nab him Could it have been Christian Grey?!!! As for me - I’ll rue the day I stop daydreaming!
One day when we were kids, my older brother, Graham and I were lucky we didn’t rue the day we fired arrows at our grandmother’s “Bombay Bloomers” (the nickname given to ladies’ generously-sized, unflattering briefs made with flesh-coloured interlock fabric back when I was a kid). Not that our grandmother was a woman of liberal proportions; she wasn’t. She was tall and slim. I’m perplexed as to why she favoured panties of such vast dimensions. Maybe the size permitted breezes to flow freely; ideal, cool attire of largesse that prevented the wearer from expiring. Summers in Gympie are hot; however not as hot as Bombay.
My brother and I had been reprimanded by Nana. What we’d done to raise her ire, I can’t recall. No doubt, we deserved her wrath. Our pleas of innocence fell on deaf ears; she would have no part of our nonsense. Nana told us to go downstairs to play; and to try to behave ourselves while doing so.
Spying her bloomers on the clothes line under the house, we decided to vent our frustrations on the overblown not-so-brief briefs! Being fans of Robin Hood we always had our trusty bows and arrows at the ready! We never knew when they might come in handy. Like expert archers, we shot arrow after arrow at Nana’s unattractive, baggy knickers. With each strike, we gleefully growled: “Take that, Nana! Take that!”
Graham and I were ignorantly unaware Nana stood watching through the palings. In amused silence, she chose not to interrupt the enjoyment we were having wreaking vengeance upon her bloomers. Chuckling, Nana retreated back up the stairs, without even get her knickers in a knot! We were lucky she had a good sense of humour, otherwise we would most certainly have rued our actions. Years later, Nana divulged what she’d witnessed that morning; we shared her laughter. The story became a part of our family’s folklore.
I doubt there are many who haven’t lived to rue a thoughtless action or careless statement. I’ve rued a few, and then some. However, I do always try my best not to be rude, even if there have been times I’ve been confronted with and affronted by the rudeness of others.
There is little, if anything, to be gained from such behaviour. More than often, the gratification is instant, shallow and fleeting. Sometimes I’ve failed in not being rude; and, afterwards I’ve rued the times I was rude.
The lady whose bloomers we bombarded with arrows that hot summer's morning taught us to mind our manners; to treat others how we’d like to be treated; that it’s best to take a deep breath and walk away, rather than live to rue a blue that may ensue.
It’s best to eschew a blue, it’s true; than it is to pursue a blue that you may eventually rue!
Our grandmother passed on many sage words; wisdoms I’ve tried to adhere to throughout my life; and long after her passing. Of course, the operative word is "tried". I've not always been successful in my efforts, but then, on the other hand, there are many times that I have been successful, too.
It may appear to some that I didn't show respect that morning so many, many years ago; but, at least, our Nana gleaned humour from the actions of my brother and me. She appreciated the innocence behind our harmless childish moments of revenge.
Roux: Heat 4tbs pan drippings and/or butter over medium heat; add 6tbs flour all at once; whisk vigorously. When mixture thins and starts to bubble, reduce heat to low; cook 3-4mins; stir occasionally. Roux can be used immediately to thicken room temp liquids. Cool roux to room temp if thickening hot liquid. Tightly wrapped, roux can be refrigerated for up to a month. Break off pieces; use as needed.
Tasty Cheese Sauce: Heat 2tbs butter over med-heat; stir in 2tbs flour; cook, stirring, about 1min; add 1/4tsp salt and dash of pepper; gradually add 1c milk. Cook over low heat, stirring until thickened; add 1/3 cup sharp cheese, 1/2tsp dry mustard and a dash of garlic powder; cook, stirring until cheese melts.
Seafood Gumbo: Cut okra into ¼-inch slices; enough for 6 cups; bake 10mins. Coat large heavy-base saucepan with oil; cook 1-1/2 coarsely-chopped onions until translucent; add 1c sliced celery, 8 finely-chopped garlic cloves, ½ green bell pepper, chopped, and the baked okra. Add 5tbs roux; mix thoroughly; add 6 roughly-chopped tomatoes; bring to boil; add 10-12c quality seafood stock; mix thoroughly; cover; bring to boil; cook 20mins. In separate pan, sauté 500g shelled prawns, 1min; then along with 2 or 3 cleaned sand crabs, chopped into chunks, add to gumbo; cook 10mins; add slices from 1 lemon and chopped shallots. Serve with rice.
Bombay Chicken: In a large re-sealable plastic bag, combine: 1-1/2c yoghurt, 1/4c lemon juice, 2tbs each chilli powder, paprika and olive oil, 1-1/2tsp salt, ½ to 1tsp cayenne, 1/2tsp each ground ginger and garlic powder, 1/4tsp ground cardamom and 1/8tsp ground cinnamon. Add 2kg bone-in, skinned chicken thighs to bag; turn to coat; refrigerate overnight. Coat grill with oil or spray. Drain and discard marinade; grill chicken, covered, over med-hot, 10-15mins on each side. Serve with mixed fruit-flavoured rice.