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Monday, April 22, 2013

OH LAWD chapter 19




Learning to cook with Abdul and Noonan
courtesy free clip art
 
After the Golden Glove bouts and the incident at the restaurant I had enough fighting for a while; in fact I had enough for a lifetime.

I needed to apply myself to my studies for this extra curricular action had caused my grades to slip.  I explained to Pa what was going on and I needed just a little time to catch up.
 
I told him that I knew a boy who could do some of my chores and free me up for study and he could take his wages out of my paycheck to which he agreed.

I was back to getting good grades even though Marly and Linda were constantly distracting me.  I told them I might as well go back to work for they were too much of a disturbance.

Marly said, “I know what your trouble is, and it is being this close to Linda.”

I told her she was one hundred percent wrong about that, but she just laughed at me and said, “Who do you think you are you kidding?”

Actually I was just trying to kid myself for I knew she was right about that.

In any case I told dad I was ready to take over my chores again and he said, “This boy is working out alright and he needs the money so I will keep him on, and you can work in the kitchen, for it is time for you to learn to cook.”

This was something I had never gave any thought to, but I agreed that it wouldn't hurt me to learn how cook.

I started out by getting up early and helping Abdul cook breakfast for the early risers.
 
After being around the restaurant all this while there was something I had never thought of; how much work it is to get things ready to cook.

Peeling onions and potatoes and all the preparation was a large part of cooking that I learned about first hand.  

Being around the bacon frying, and the other foods caused me to be teased a lot. Linda said I smelled good enough to eat.

After a couple of months Noonan said I was ready to move to the evening menu and learn how to cook Cajun style.  
 
Noonan said, “Boy, wash yo hands and get ready for your first lesson. You have eat a lot of this first dish which is Cajun potato soup. We gonna make this cause it’s so simple.
 
He told me to get some potatoes, sausage, onion, butter, garlic, milk, spinach and Parmesan cheese and one more thing; Throw that chicken in the pot with a gallon of water and turn the heat up.”

As we went along he added a few other things like Cajun seasoning. While that chicken was boiling we cooked all the other ingredients.
 
After an hour Noonan said take that chicken out and let it cool.

Then he said, “Strain that broth and pour it into the pot with the potatoes in it.  Now we cook that for half an hour and it will be ready to serve.”

I asked him, “What do we do with the chicken?” 

Noonan replied, “We take out them bones, and I will make some chicken pot pies later.”

I thought to myself, “We don't waste anything.”

Then he said, "Now I'm a gonna teach you the secret to all cooking, and that is to talk to yo food.  

If it is Cajun you speak some Cajun words to it. If it is Mexican then say some words in Spanish, and the same for French, Chinese and so forth. As you talk to your cooking you become one with it and that is the secret to cooking good food; becoming one with the food.”

I didn't know how to speak a lot of Cajun, because my teachers always got on us for not speaking good English but what few words I knew I used over and over again. 
 
Noonan said the food understood what we were saying and became friendlier with the cook because of it.  

He said. “One other thing to know is the after taste. As you eat you get the first taste of the food but then there is an after taste which is just as important.”

Courtesy photobucket.com
The way you bring that alive in many foods like Cajun is to throw in some hot peppers.
 
How many you use depends on how hot you like it. Make sure you take them out before you are finished with the dish.

I figured that I was a one pepper kind of a guy, so I stuck with that.

Oh Lawd  
 
To be Continued 
 

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