Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wham-Bam Cajun Seasoning Mix

This is my favorite mix of seasonings to provide an authentic Louisiana Cajun flavor to everything from red beans and rice, potatoes, appetizers, jambalaya, gumbo, and side dishes.
The secret is the combination of black, cayenne and white pepper, each one influences a different part of the palate. The blending of the three peppers, garlic, onion, salt with a touch of sweetness gives the Wham-Bam effect to your mouth. A little sprinkle can spice up just about any dish.


½ cup of sea salt
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon each of red cayenne pepper, white pepper,  ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and dried white rice.

Mix the ingredients together and place in a salt shaker for use at the table. The white rice keeps it sprinkling in humid weather. I also like to keep extra, mixed without the white rice, in a sugar bowl for cooking. I hope you enjoy the Wham-Bam Cajun Seasoning Mix.

Bon App├ętit!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Nanny and the Drag Queen

 My Godmother had a wonderful way with people. She believed that personality and actions are what makes a person, not what is on the outside. Nanny went out of her way to be kind to everyone she met, and once she met someone she treated them as a friend, unless they proved otherwise. 

In the early 1950’s Nanny got a job at F.W. Woolworth on Canal Street in New Orleans. Back then most of the merchandise was behind counters and customers had to be helped by a sales person if they wanted to try on shoes, bra’s, slips or dresses. There was a real hierarchy among the workers and many thought they were too good to wait on black customers or “crackers” (poor white people). 

One day a male “Drag Queen” who worked at a nightclub in the French Quarter came in and asked to try on ladies shoes. The other sales clerks turned up their noses and refused to help him.  Nanny was the only one who would wait on him. She helped him pick out shoes, and then walked him to the other ladies departments for makeup, undergarments and several complete outfits.

The Drag Queen left ecstatic and soon spread the word to his fellow performers about his favorite sales clerk. One thing about cross dressers, they spend lots of money on their wardrobes. Nanny soon had a steady stream of customers and was the highest performing sales clerk. 

Eventually Nanny and was promoted to floor supervisor and was able to help my mother “Beanie” get an internship at Woolworth in 1963. I think of Nan often and try to follow her example whenever I meet someone who is “different”. . .

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sugie Bee's Shrimp Creole

 Gather your Groceries

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of white sugar
  • 2 cups of seafood or chicken stock 
  • 2 cans of beer
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • Dash hot sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds large shrimp (about 32), shelled
  • Cooked white rice and chopped green onions 

The way to do it:

Open 1 can of beer, sip during cooking. Heat a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add oil. and cook the onions, celery, and green bell peppers until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in cayenne and sugar let the vegetables brown (caramelize) slightly.  (This is where the wonderful rich brown color comes from.)  Add the chopped garlic and stir in until it smells wonderful (30 seconds or so) Add the stock, tomatoes, your other can of beer, hot sauce, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 35 minutes. Add shrimp and cook about 4 more minutes, until they are bright pink and cooked through. Serve on a bed of cooked white rice and garnish with chopped green onions. Yummy . . .

Honest Joe meets King Creole

In January 1958 Elvis came to New Orleans to film the movie King Creole. The epic was Presley's last black and white film and was said to have been his favorite role of his entire career.

My dad, Honest Joe, who grew up on the streets of  the Big Easy, and a few other tough looking neighborhood boys got a job with the film crew convincing the locals to remove anything on Bourbon street that didn't fit the 1920's theme of the movie. The teens worked earnestly to remove window air conditioners, garbage cans, flower pots and signs. Locals that didn't cooperate, often found their stuff missing in the morning.

The boys did such a good job, the film crew allowed them to hang out, watch the filming, run errands and act as extras in the movie.

My dad is so proud that he helped  "The King". It's been over 50 years and he still mentions it from time to time.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hello World

In my family, everyone has a nickname. Mine is Sugie. I think it is a shortened form of the word Sugar because I was such a sweet baby. I was born in New Orleans in 1964. I lived on Rampart St with my father Honest Joe and my mother Beanie.

I must have been a beautiful baby because my Nainain (Godmother), who I called Nanny, said I looked just like a Chatty Cathy doll. As the oldest, I had an entire 16 months of total adoration from my parents until my brother showed up and ruined my one baby show.

My parents called my brother, little man. I couldn't say little man so I changed his name to Manny and 45 years later the name still sticks. Me and Manny overcome our differences and happily basked in the glow of our parents love until 16 months later when my little sister Bird showed up.

Bird became the baby and I was suddenly the Big Sister who had to help take care of the baby.  I wanted to be the baby, not take care of the baby. My life was ruined. . .