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Friday, April 30, 2010

Worried sick...

about my coastal homelands!!


Miss G grew up in Lake Charles, about 20 minutes from the Texas border and about 30 minutes from the Lousiana Gulf Coast. She spent many a Saturday and Sunday boating and fishing with her bubbas and Poppa G, mostly in Calcasieu Lake, which on this map is shown to the left of Grand Lake. Sometimes we'd even take the boat out into the Gulf, but it was really too small if there was much of a swell to the tide.

Anyway, this big oil slick is sure to wreak havoc on the Gulf Coast, and it looks like the Coastal Marshes of Louisiana will bear the brunt of it. I know a lot of people think the Gulf Coast of Louisiana is just a gross muddy swamp, but really, it is an incredibly complex and delicate ecosystem, and home to many, many creatures of value both for their uniqueness and their commercial demand.

On the unique side, the Eastern Brown Pelican is perhaps Miss Ginger's most beloved. When Miss G was a young child, the Eastern Brown Pelican, which is the state bird of Lousiana, was nearing extinction. I remember how excited Momma G would get on the rare occassion that we sighted one while driving near the coast. Through valiant preservation efforts, their numbers have been restored, and they are often seen swooping and diving for fish in shallow coastal waters.

The Blue Crab is the "other crustacean" in Louisiana, perhaps not a well-known as crawfish, but just as delicious! They are boiled or steamed, or included in gumbo, and are the main ingredient in "shecrab soup".




When caught immediately after molting, while the shell is still soft, they are fried whole in a crispy batter. Kind of strange looking, I know, but they are quite delicious!








Then there's the mullosk that's pretty much synonymous with New Orleans Seafood, the Gulf Oyster. Like most invertabrates, it filters it's food out of the water, so any pollution will poison them first. They are then eaten by other animals, and the death cycle spirals out of control.


I'm not sure what's going to happen. They say the oil is still leaking, and that the slick is becoming so large that containment booms can't circle it. It could take years to clean up, and it certainly won't be removed by the time the tropical storm season begins. If summer storms, or heaven forbid a hurricane, were to push that mess into the wetlands, they might be destroyed forever.

The Audubon Society has long been a protector of birds and habitats along the Gulf Coast. They are coordinating rescue efforts, but it's going to cost a fortune! Miss Ginger implores interested parties to help by writing a check- any amount would help! Or perhaps even volunteering! The animals are going to need us!


And when you go shopping, be sure to pick up a bottle or two of Dawn dishwashing liquid! You know that's what they use to get the oil off the birds! For every bottle you buy, the makers of Dawn will contribute a dollar to the relief efforts!



Just as Louisiana was getting solid footing after Katrina, this had to happen. Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn!!!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

When Activism Goes Bad....

Miss Ginger is all about activism... don't get me wrong! Put this this gurl in a wig and some heels and give her and issue, and she'll give it her best shot. But activism done BADLY drives her crazy, and here's a case in point.


There has been a battle over the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle in the Gulf of Mexico for as long as Miss G can remember. Years ago, the shrimping industry grew exponentially off the coast of Texas as literally hundreds of Asian and Indo-pacific folks immigrated Texas and did what they knew how to do: live off the ocean. The shrimping industry proved lucrative for them, and these hard-working people developed small fleets of shrimping boats to support their families and communities. People taking care of their own: it's the American way, and it's what they can here to do.


About that time, wildlife protection groups noticed an increase in Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles washing up on to coastal beaches, dead or dying. After much consternation and research, it was determined that many of the turtles were being drowned in shrimping trawls, trapped by the nets and held underwater. Initially there was some denial by the shrimping industry, but ultimately, the Turtle Excluder Device, or TED, was developed. TED's allow the trawl to catch shrimp as normal, but provides an automatic release for anything as large as a sea turtle. They are now required by law for anyone operating a commercial shrimp trawl, and in Miss Ginger's mind, this is the great American success of industry, activism, and government coming together to solve a problem. Case closed.












But no! Chicken Little from the Sea Turtle Restoration Project ,based in CALIFORNIA, says that 20 turtles were found dead on the upper Texas coast over the last 11 days. But, the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network, with a laboratory based in Galveston, TEXAS, is responsible for logging such deaths, and said none have been reported. Hmmmmm.


Okay, let's think this through a bit. The turtle population has increased exponentially over the last few years, thanks to the remarkable coordination of industry and government. Over the past few years, we have had numerous extraordinarily strong hurricanes, and have just come off of the coldest winter Miss G has seen in a long time. And it's mating season, a time when there naturally will be a few occurences of turtle deaths from natural causes. So perhaps a rise in turtle deaths, could be attributed to something other than fishing?


Yet, Chicken Little wants to shut down the shrimping industry. Really?! Just shut it down. Hmm... good thing she didn't have a wreck on the way to work this morning... she'd be wanting to shut down the freeways!





Miss G hopes the sky falls on her head!


Don't mess with Miss G's skrimps!

Friday, April 23, 2010

More Southern Goodies with Miss G!

After we got to NOLA yesterday, Bubba G and I found out that Harrah's and Budweiser sponsor an even every Thursday during crawfish season call Bugs, Buds, and Bands, out on the street near the casino. What a deal! with a Total Rewards card, crawfish were $1.00 a pound, and Budweiser products were $3 each! We even got our picture taken for free by a chick from the BreweKrewe! What a great time we had!

Today, it poured a gullywasher here in NOLA! Such a storm that there was NO WAY Bubba and I were going out to the Fairgrounds for JazzFest! What a muddy mess that would be!! So, we stayed close to the hotel at first, and went to Felix's on Iberville Street for lunch. Felix's is cattycorner across the street from the famed Acme Oyster Company, where there is always a line. Miss G is constantly amazed as to why! Acme is delicious, don't get me wrong, but Felix's is just as good, if not better, and NEVER has a line!!
While many parts of the country serve these lucious bivalves as "raw oysters", here in NOLA they are more commonly known as "royerstyas" and they are served in a very special way! Do you see the little cup in the middle of the plate? It comes to the table with only a couple of lemon slices in it. On the table upon arrival there is a big jar of ground horseradish, a bottle or Tabasco, and a squeeze bottle of ketchup. Since everyone has there own tolerance for heat, one is allowed the chance to create their own cocktail sauce with just the right amount of "kick". Miss G always starts with a big glob of horseradish, and works her way from there.

After lunch, we needed to find a place to hole up and shelter from the rain, so Miss G took Bubba to the Bourbon Pub, figuring we could at least grab a brew and run if it wasn't fun or if Bubba wasn't comfortable there.
Well, wuncha know that Lisa and Tim were working, so it was like old home week for all at the back bar! Lisa has worked at the Pub as long as Miss G can remember, and Miss G and Bubba went to college with Tim, so there was lots to talk about and catch up on, plus lots of fun sharing stories about the "glory days" of old! We drank and carried on until almost dark, when Miss G realized she better get some food into Bubba pronto!

After a pit stop at Clover Grill, we headed to Molly's at the Market to visit our favorite NOLA feline, Mr. Wu. As usually, Mr. Wu was holding court on the back bar, and was as happy to see us as we were to see him!




















Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Southern Cooking with Miss Ginger!

Miss Ginger had some crab cakes from Sam's Club in the freezer that she wanted to fry up, and she needed something to go with them, so she made this.


Now, I know you folks in other parts of the country THINK you know what this is, but you would be wrong! I'll bet you think it's a big ole bowl of potato salad, right?


WRONG! That is a big, delicious bowl of pitatisalid, a delicacy only available in the South!


There are many Southern foods that have yankee cousins, but pitatisalid is probably the most common. While potato salad is commercially available in the South, it is typically shunned by true Southerners in favor of the local variety of pitatisalid. Every region in the South has its own way of making pitatisalad, adding everything from peppers and spices to bacon and ham!



And, while most cooks in the South can make a good pitatisalad, no one can make the BEST pitatisalid. Only ones' mother can make the BEST pitatisalid in the South!

Momma Ginger DEFINITELY made the best pitatisalid Miss Ginger ever ate, and Miss G misses it woefully, especially at certain times of year!

Momma G had an old Tupperware ham keeper that was like a big rectangular bowl that was pointed at one end, making it shaped like an extended home plate. It was the only think she ever used to make pitatisalid, and it held a ton! She would usually make a big batch on Fridays if Miss G's brothers were coming home from college for the weekend, because it "sits good" and we never knew exactly what time they would get home. Even though she owned a food processor, she chopped everything by hand, and Baby G would sit across the breakfast bar and chatter away while Momma chopped, and chopped, and chopped! As Miss G got older, Momma would let Miss G help by peeling the potatoes and eggs. I watched her make it a thousand times, and I do everything just the way she did, but it's just NEVER as good as Momma G's was! We typically had it several times in the spring, with Easter ham, boiled shrimp, or boiled crawfish. And in the fall, we had pitatisalid during gumbo season. Even though rice is the typical "add in" for gumbo, a lot of people in Louisiana, including some of Miss G's brothers, put pitatisalid in their gumbo! If you get a really spicy gumbo, the creamy pitatisalid kind of balances out the heat.

The other reason Miss G loves pitatisalid is that it's like 2 foods in one! The night that it is made, it is served warm, and it's fresh, and aromatic, and one can taste the flavors of the potatoes and the vegetables. Then, the next day, after it's been refrigerated, it becomes a creamy, unified forkful of yum!

Miss G's pitatisalid tonight was good.... but not as good as Momma G's!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Short Bus!

Sunday was to be a lazy day for Miss G, but she got a facebook from her yoga teacher that changed it up a bit. "Come to 9:30 yoga. Small class, less heat. We'll work through issues".

She know my weaknesses: heat and feet! After grumblesomeodd years on my feet (sometimes in 4 inch heels) they haven't really had an arch since about 1972. During the day I can wear an orthotic to support them, but in yoga, "all soles are bared", and in the one-legged standing postures, it's hard for me to balance because my feet flatten, which causes one to fall. So, I struggle to hold and arch, which makes the foot burn with pain.


So, the Sunday class was with 2 other people who have similar issues, and I gott say, it was LOVELY! It was plenty hot, but not so hot you had to fight for your breath, so you could really focus on the postures. There were no sorority girls in the rooms sticking their legs in the air our their heads up their asses, so the class really was about our "special needs". So, of course, Miss Ginger dubbed it "Short Bus Yoga"! I hope we do it again soon!
It will be a short bus week at work, too! In the office Monday and Tuesday, then off to NOLA on Thursday to meet Bubba J for JazzFest! Looking forward to the fun!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I Am BUSSSYYYYY!

Miss Ginger has been busy preparing the Underwriter mailing for the Krewe! Oye, that took a lot of time to create, print, address, and stamp over 600 letters!! Some of the gang came over last night for a "lick and stick", so off to the post office they go!!

On top of that, work is crazy, the kitties are needy, and we have a Krewe garage sale this weekend, so Miss G needs to get through the closets and garage to get all the "stuff" out that she wants to be rid of!

Not much time left to discover interesting things about which to blog!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Strange...

from Awkward Family Photos.

Miss Ginger finds this picture both intriguing and oddly disturbing at the same time! Albeit the twins are hunky daddies, they are nonetheless adult twins dressed matching. That worries Miss Ginger. Still more disturbing is the fact that they have chosen to unbutton their shirts. I mean, for whom are they taking this photo? Their mom? Wives? Each other??

What do you think?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Miss Ginger's Easter Basket!

Every Easter Miss Ginger attends The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Fundraising Party, Bunnies on the Bayou. As a member of Camp Bunny, Miss G even gets a tent to host her friends and fans in style!

Thankfully, Miss G's sersonal assistant, Miss Shelby, thought to call the organizers to make sure there would be plenty of Miss G's favorite bloody mary mixed stocked in the tent's private bar. When she learned that bloody mary mix was not provided with the bar setups, Miss Shelby whipped up several batches of Miss G's favorite homemade recipe, refilled the bottles the tomato juice came in, and even prepared little celery/olive garnishes that can be popped right into the glass! Now they can just take it along with them and pass it off to the volunteer bartenders upon arrival! Miss Shelby sure is good at heading off a diva-dash meltdown!!

It all starts in about in hour! Miss G's gotta get ready! More later!!!

Oh, PS: Hoppy Easter, everybunny!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Who Cares Where One Pisses???

I mean, really?! Is it THIS big of a deal? I think our mayor has better thing upon which to spend her time! It should be a gimme!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

EGGShausted!!

Miss Ginger will not be making any of these EGGSquisitely detailed specimens this year... she is FAR too tired!!!

This bitch has been some SERIOUS busy!!


A whole string a visits at work (why can't they just stay in New York and send emails?!), plus the passing of the torch as Miss G takes on Fund Raising for the Krewe! And on top of that, this weekend is Bunnies on the Bayou, Houston's premier outdoor fund raising cocktail party! As a member of "Camp Bunny" Miss G gets her own tent at the party for her and her guests, along with private bartenders and private "facilities" for Miss G and friends to conduct their "delicate business". If you've ever stood in line at a party with your eyeballs floating, you will appreciate this amenity! All you local peeps, come check us out in our tropic paradise! That's all I'm sharing for now!

After that, Miss G's back in the skies for work in NOLA!

What are all of you peeps doing this weekend?

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