July 27, 2015

The Importance of Being Authentic

Sorry, my dear family and friends, my sweetheart Lliam, our chickens, The Walking Dead and The Small Dog... But there are really only two great loves of my life:
1)  Eating Delicious Food
2) Eating Authentic Delicious Food
I am a very simple girl in this regard!  If given the opportunity, my 'perfect day' would consist of eating delicious food from someone or some place truly authentic for breakfast, lunch and dinner with good friends, laughing and having a ball.  Nothing in the world makes me happier than knowing this is the best I'll ever have or taste.  Addiction?  Passion?  *cough* Such a fine line...
So you can imagine my UTTER DISAPPOINTMENT when I realized that these two great loves were going to contend with my tech rehearsals for the play. This is a 1920's Gwendolyn Fairfax feeling 'rather put out' about her state of affairs:
Here's the scoop...
Our dear friends Jay & Vicki travel down to Louisiana six months out of the year.  The rest of the year when they're back home in the Methow Valley, we get an earful about all the great food, music and culture down there.  It's a real treat!  When you can't travel to these places yourself, it's nice to be transported through story telling.  We go over to their cabin for Happy Hour and Jay usually ends up cooking up something delicious.  Just a few weeks ago I tried frog legs for the first time!  Ahhhh!!! (Again, I say "Ahhhh!!!") Having spent a great deal of time in Louisiana, they've had the opportunity to meet some real Cajuns! 
Gwen asks, "Why is this important?  Is his name Earnest?"

No, Gwen. His name is NOT Earnest. His name is Marvin Broussard and he's the REAL deal.  His frenc family line dates all the way back to the 1800's-- it's pretty incredible. He is an astounding wealth of information about everything Cajun culture and its history and I find it utterly fascinating to get to hear his stories.  But instead of boring you with history I find riveting, I will tell you why this is important to me.
Therefore, I feel bound to state...

When I learned Marvin was going to be in the Methow for a few months staying with Jay and Vicki, I nearly lost it.  Jay makes a killer gumbo.  He really does!  And I've always been super dreamy eyed about it.  But for a BROUSSARD to make a gumbo?  I would gladly be christened 'Boudoin Princess' if it meant that I got to try it. And, and, AND... even one better?  Learn how to cook it???  Maybe?  Yes?  A girl can dream about her ideals, can't she???

Well, our lovely friends invited us over for the Happy Hour to end all Happy Hours.  Marvin was cooking gumbo AND jumbalaya... "HELLO!!! Why all the cucumber sandwiches!?" And this Happy Hour was scheduled during the weekend of tech rehearsal. 

I was supposed to work Sat and Sun morning and then go straight to tech from 12-9pm.  There was no way gumbo was going to happen.

I cried. I wept.  I was not okay.  I was selfish and ugly.  I was where Oscar Wilde dreams go to die.

I went to rehearsal on Saturday hoping beyond all hope to get out early.  No such luck.  In fact, everyone kept asking where I was.  Because, you know, the gumbo was just THAT good how could I not swing by after? *sigh*  It felt like a cruel joke.

On Sunday, I went to work and then to rehearsal, utterly boggle brained out of my mind in exhaustion.  BUT... In a GREAT act of the gods, we got out of rehearsal by 6pm.  SIX PM!!!  Half asleep and drooling, covered in Tammy Faye Baker make-up, with pearl headband indentations on my forhead,  I peeled out of my parking space at the theater-- deer be damned!-- and I made my way back up to Mazama with one thought on my mind:
I must eat...

And wouldn't you know my dear friends hooked me up with some SERIOUSLY delicious eats.  First, an Imperial IPA from the Parish Brewing Company.Very tasty!!! And by that point, I was TOTALLY ready for an adult beverage.  *Hiccup!*
And despite CRUEL and HEARTLESS remarks like, "You think this is good?  You should have been here yesterday for the gumbo,"  I had the most amazing truly homemade and authentic jumbalaya you could possibly imagine.  The smoked boudoin is from our local butcher at Thompson's Meats.  Marvin said it's a pretty terrific boudoin for being from Washington.  He said it was a bit different than regular boudoin ("he must have added some things") but that, though different, would rival any boudoin in the supermarkets in Louisiana.  Maybe not the high end shops but he was really pleased just the same!  (Go Thompsons!!!) 

Then they gave me more beer.  It was not forced.  I was a willing and happy participant. In fact, I was in a state of bliss.  All of my dreams had come true.  I was so freaking happy to be drinking beer and sitting on my butt with friends!!!

And The Small Dog caught and ate about 18 bees.
She was super happy also!

They sent us home with the world's most amazing doggie bag.  I'm sorry, Oscars goodie bag, you're Calvin Klein sunglasses, just aren't gonna cut it.  I'll take gumbo from a true Broussard any day of the week!

I was surprised how little rice actually goes in gumbo!  And you gotta watch out for those bones!

After I finished off my bowl, I looked at the bones in an act of voodoo, to see what my future held...

A beautiful Banana Bread baked by my honey!???
He's always surprising me.  :)
After a succesful opening weekend, I am grateful to be a part of a fun show and even more grateful for a bit more down time.  We have two more weekends of runs and the cast is having a blast!  Last night, Lliam and I, with cocktails in hand, finally caught up on Season 4 of Game of Thrones... Bliss.


Whether it's gumbo, a performance or hanging out with friends, just don't forget the vital importance of being... authentic.  :)

Roux flavored kisses,


Anonymous said...

You just made me very hungry. Years ago, I did a brief stint in the Gulf of Mexico. All we could do on the boat was work, eat and sleep. They had a full time chef that produced some amazing Cajun dishes. I still think about them from time to time. I think about that and this one Cuban sandwich I had in southern Florida. It was from a truck on the side of a road in the everglades. I have yet to find a better one. I try to remain positive.

Peace out.

MandiCrocker said...

I remember that stint!! I was with Shan in Vegas during Katrina, I believe. She was out of her mind worried about you and I was like 'he's not an idiot.' Lol. I BET you had some good eats!!! Recently the made crawfish pie and I was in heaven! :)