Jambalaya ~ Past, Present, and Future

The first time I tasted Jambalaya was at a grown-up girls’ slumber party in the late 1970’s. Several of the seven females from the Class of ’76 reunited over dinner at a former classmate’s apartment in Minneapolis (she moved away before junior high but we kept in touch) and as I mentioned earlier, I have fond memories of the Twin Cities. Her Jambalaya was one of them. Never tasted anything like it until I moved South of the Minnesota-Iowa border. Good times and great flavors.

The Magnificent Seven (not including our former classmate) were outnumbered by 29 boys — yes, my graduating class totaled 36 — and although we girls were small but mighty, we were outspoken. Probably the apt word from that era is: dissenting. We weren’t afaid to disagree, protest, or try flavors foreign to our smalltown digs. The boys seemed to like our cooking, too. Memorable moment before we voted to cater subsequent class reunions: mega-batches of potato salad made in my kitchen.

Ditto on good times.

The Girls of ’76 went on to lead lives — culinary and otherwise — beyond the confines of our rural hometown. (Some of the boys, too.) But OH, how I remember that post-high school Jambalaya with shrimp, Andouille sausage, chicken, and the “Holy Trinity of the South” — sautee’d peppers, celery, and onion (hadn’t heard of that before either) — in a flavorful tomato sauce over rice.

Fast forward to present day when Joy The Baker added eggs (her Jambalaya Egg Bake was featured in Better Homes & Gardens where I first spied this recipe — with full credit going to Joy The Baker and Better Homes & Gardens.) Thanks both for featuring this flavor-fest blast from my past. Similar to Shakshuka (also discovered post-high school), it appealed to my beyond-the-border sensibilites and reminded me that there’s a lot left to experience in life — waaay beyond the the Prom floor or the bland Tuna Hotdishes I’d grown accustomed to on previous weekends.

For those of you who follow me on Facebook (thank you!) I recently posted photos of my Chocolate Roux and BBQ. (Different flavors and methods; same South of the Minnesota border spin.) Follow the links.

I’ll be making all of them again in the future. Hope y’all try ’em, too!

Enjoying past, present, and future Jambalaya — among other things,

~ Kim

4 thoughts on “Jambalaya ~ Past, Present, and Future

  1. OH, wow, Kim! I love that you’re combining the jambalaya and eggs and create a whole new Southern version of Shakshuka! Love the stories of the girls of ’76! You’re such babies w/so much ahead of you. I’m waiting for that chocolate roux recipe! xox

    • Ally, I can’t take credit for the “Southern Shakshuka” (that was Joy The Baker’s innovation — click on the blue link above), but it’s WONDERFULLY tasty! As for the Chocolate Roux — again, I have to credit dear foodie friends from Louisiana (Wayne & Dawn Nix) who I met at a blogger “in real life” event in Denver YEARS ago (if only we’d known each other back then!) who tutored me on how it’s “done”: Equal parts oil and flour cooked over medium heat with constant stirring until it achieves “chocolatiness.” They also advised adding the “Holy Trinity” immediately after the roux reached that stage to stop the cooking, along with the chicken broth. Proceed with your basic Jambalaya recipe after that. My only “thang” was waiting to add the shrimp until the end — I like “just cooked” shrimp. Hope you try it! xoxo

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