Quarantine can be suffocating, and it seems the only way to breathe fresh life into the mundane is to succumb to the old cheesy adage-“when life gives you lemons...make a Stoli & rosemary lemondrop”, or at least I think that’s how it goes.
Well, in that spirit, I have chosen to see this time stuck at home as an opportunity to become the world’s foremost connoisseur of Louisiana Étouffée!
BUT HOW DID I GET HERE?
It all began as I was hunkered down on the sofa absorbing movie after movie (as one in quarantine does), and fatefully came across the 2009 gem, “Julie & Julia”.
I was enamored immediately. The plot was home-isolation friendly, and Meryl Streep as Julia Child was a revelation. Fast-forward to the end of the film when, still glowing from what I had just watched, I crawled down a rabbit hole of old Julia Child videos. All pleasure owed to PBS and their archive of quality programming, this vintage episode of “Cooking with Master Chefs: Cajun Cooking with Emeril Lagasse” is what really got me hooked.
The first delight, was for my ears. After an elderly Julia Child’s soothing introduction, which sounded like an old jazz trumpeter playing with a mute, came the splendid noise of a perfectly mic’d Louisiana kitchen. Every chop, stir, and pour had me mezmorized. It’s an ASMR dream, before ASMR even existed! Add to that, a
strapping young Emeril’s controlled tone, which was like culinary guided meditation. Speaking of that handsome young star, that was the second delight.
Who knew?? Watching a confident artist of sustenance, in his prime, commanding flavor from fresh ingredients…exquisite. Not to mention the optical salvation that occurred while witnessing the slow browning of the Étouffée roux. It was like watching the dawning of flavor unfold right before my eyes.
As for smell, touch and taste, well those senses had to wait until I was able to scrounge up supplies, on my next necessary shopping expedition, to create my own taste of the bayou. That adventure required it’s own upcoming blogpost, Louisiana Étouffée: PART II. But until then, I’d suggest getting cosy and watching this old thing, to escape from the cold and stale reality, and get yourself feeling all warm and delicious again!