Monday, February 11, 2019

Hearts and the Year of the Pig


                              
 Vers
                             If you’re of the mind that a Valentine’s Day celebration – held on Feb. 14 or thereabouts – absolutely must include red wine and chocolate, I’m with you.
                             We’d be good friends. Let’s do this.
                             Everything in moderation, right?
                             But just saying, I’d be happy with a good Judice’s burger with and chips. Or a fudge malt from Dairy Queen. Gumbo is always good.
                             But Valentines, like relationships is about compromise. Pizza would be my sweetheart’s pick.            
                             Also just saying, I hope that if that’s the way the night goes, he knows about the obligatory wine and chocolate thing. 



Tet m                Tet made me head to Port Arthur’s Vietnamese markets to stock up on spices. I was there a day before the dragon dancers and focused on fresh vegetables including eggplant and mini bok choy.
                             I looked up how to make egg drop soup the right way. It turns out the translation is “flower” so you don’t really drop in that egg and swirl it in the soup pot. You crack it into a bowl first and then swirl and pour it in to the bigger pot. A bit of cornstarch makes it thick and a tad of turmeric gives it the golden color.
                             The Tet season also inspired me to cook a pot of rice flavored with all the fish powder I had in the pantry. After all, the new year is a time to make way for the “new.”
                             Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie with a heart for exploring new flavors. Reach her at darraghcastillo@icloud.com

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Remember Tang?

 
Super Bowl is a veg-out; details later.
                  Something happened to make me think of ‘70s era breakfast, and I’ll get to that soon, too. Keep posted here for updates.


                            Here’s a memory of favorite breakfast foods when I was a child, in the ‘60s and ‘70s. While I’m sure my mom served healthy breakfasts to me before school, I mostly recall the rather special occasions I got the flashy, colorful and sugary foods that were marketed to kids. Pop-Tarts were a treat. Cereal was rare but I loved Captain Crunch, in peanut butter version. I even had his coloring book and staying in lines of his uniform. Malto-O-Meal had a soothing texture.
                             Tang was everywhere, even in space. I wasn’t actually in the kitchen a lot, but I remember mixing up Tang when it wasn’t my job to mix up instant tea for the evening meal. I still have the tea pot we’d pour from, like it was “real” tea, I suppose.
                             Sunday breakfasts were the real thing with grandma’s perfect biscuits and boudain. If there was cream gravy, I got to make it. I still have the little pitcher we’d pour from.
                             Darragh Doiron is a Port Athur area foodie who may not get sports, but appreciates the bonding around them. Reach her at darraghcastillo@icloud.com

Ready for Mardi Gras? Taste of Gumbo?


                            
Are your beads out? Mine are. Doors are decorated for Mardi Gras, set for Feb. 28-March 3 in downtown Port Arthur this year. DeAndre Nico will be a part of all of this and people are excited.
                             That gets us all excited about the flavors of Mardi Gras and what could be new out there to taste. I’ll be making gumbo in anticipation. Get your tickets!

                             Who said gumbo?
                             But wait. Rotary Taste of Gumbo, Etc. comes before that on Feb. 16 at the Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center. This tradition skipped a year because of Harvey, but they’re back for good flavor and a good cause. Again, get your tickets!

                            But now, for yogurt
                             Now that I’ve got you all excited over the spice, take a moment to consider the humble yogurt.
                             It’s cold, it’s comforting, it’s plain. Except when it is most definitely not plain. For all you folks who think you must have ice cream, please remember that thick, rich, Greek yogurt can get fruity and nutty and covered in chocolate to satisfy your cravings.
                             Some people still don’t believe me.
                             Pity.
                             Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie happy to eat yogurt daily and plan ahead for gumbo and more gumbo. And more gumbo. Reach her at darraghcastillo@icloud.com