Creole Jambalaya (and my hair which have some surprising similarities)

I’m a low maintenance chic.

No, really. I am, and it shows. Generally speaking, my clothes are too tight (not in a good way) or too big. I only buy make-up from the drug store, and not very often, and I can’t remember the last time I went to the beauty parlor to get my hair cut. But since we’re speaking generally, I’m pretty sure another president was in office.

Enough is enough.

As I looked into the mirror with my scraggly head of hair, I wanted to shoot myself to relieve any onlookers of their misery. It was really bad. Hair flying in all kinda directions, puffy here, straight as a board there, bangs crazily running amuck, long in some places, short in others. I was a straight mess.

So, I grabbed a book, my purse and headed straight to the salon.

I was so brave, as I boldly instructed the stylist to cut my hair, just so. Not the way my sister told me to. Not the way the hairdresser convinced me to. The way I wanted. This is the picture I showed the stylist.

Okay, so maybe it’s not the best picture. Yes, I do realize that Drew Barrymore has some sort of chocolate or jell-a-fied substance on her face. And maybe it’s not the fanciest hair cut. But I think it’s cute. I’m low maintenance, remember? It isn’t in my nature to pick something fancy with wisps, and razor cuts, and a curly doo dah thingy on the side. Today, there will be NO LAYERS.

I showed Warwick the picture. He looked at it, scrunched up his face and said, “You do realize she’s white.” My husband I tell ya. He’s brilliant.

Yes, my sweet, I do realize she’s white, and by your inference that I am not. However, I think this extremely plain hair cut will translate on my head too. Sheeesh.

So I did it. 4 inches came off the length (that’s a lot for me), and when I left, I was on a happy high. So delighted with the outcome. So proud that it was completely different and so sure my family would think the same.

I beamed as I drove down the highway home, thinking that every commuter that looked my way was admiring my hair. A smile here. A stare there. Yup, they know my hair looks guuuuud.

I pulled up into my driveway, as the front door was opening. Preparing myself for the onslaught of praises, adulations, and compliments. They are gong to love it! I thought. I should write down the hairdressers name and number, they’ll want to be next in line to get their hair done.

My sister in law walked out the door first, and I braced myself for a barrage of questions all centered around the beauty of my new hair do. She looked at me, and stared for about 5 minutes before saying, “Oh, I thought it would be different.”

“What?” I countered, laughing dryly. “It is soooo different. I got like 4 inches cut off. And. . .no layers. . . . and I told her to cut it straight across the shoulders. If that’s not different, I don’t kow what is.”

“Hmmm,” she said uninterested and turned and went back into the house.

As she walked back into the house, my mother in law passed, curious to see my new hair. “Oh, it is very pretty, and it smells nice too. Still doing that same flip, huh?”

“Well, uh, thanks, I guess. Well, it’s not really the same flip. It’s a little less flipped, more straight. But thanks.” I said as I tried to get a whiff of my hair wondering if it generally smelled bad.

Out next, was good old Warwick full of a whole bunch of nothing. He tilted his head, and looked at it a bit, but clearly he thought it looked the same. “You look pretty.” He grinned. No need to say anymore.

But, my girls, my lovely girls, bounded out the door, trompsing, and singing, and screaming with hoots of surprise. “Oh, mommy,” they giggled. “You got your hair cut! It’s so short! It’s so beautiful! Can I get my hair cut too? You’re sooooo pretty mommy!”

And that was all I needed to hear, ’cause children never lie. Those other people are just blind.

Me and Drew, lookin’ just alike.
Drew

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So, are you wondering what the heck does Jambalaya have to do with my hair?

Jambalaya is the same old, same old, wrapped up in a new package. It’s just made with whatever you have in your fridge, good sound stuff, but rearranged a presented in a lovely one pot, very attractive dish. You don’t need fancy herbs, or expensive meat, or anything unusual or hard to find. Whatever you need, you’ve got, and it’ll work perfectly.

Every time I make this, my kids say “Have we had this before?” Quickly followed by “Ooooh, yum” gobble gobble “this is good!”

It always looks a little different, but it’s always just as good, and they always love it. I’m sure you will too.

Creole Jambalaya

Ingredients:

2 TB Canola Oil
1 medium onion, chopped
¼ cup bell pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, diced
8 oz. crushed canned tomatoes
2 bay leaves
*1 tsp Louisiana Hot Sauce
1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/3 cup rice
3 cups of chicken stock or 3 cups water and 1 large Bouillon cube
5 oz. smoked sausage, cut into bite size pieces.
10 oz. frozen shrimp, drained (you can use fresh I just use frozen cause I always have it in my freezer)
5 oz. chicken, cooked and diced
Salt and pepper to taste

*the addition of this brand of Hot Sauce will make it slightly spicy but not hot. It was still mild enough for my 13 month old to eat. If looking for more spice try adding ¼ tsp of cayenne pepper and a spicier sausage, and that will do the trick.

Directions:

1. In a large pot (with a lid), heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery. Cook until translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Hot and Worcestershire sauces, rice, and stock. Bring mixture to a simmer, and place lid on top. Cook on medium until the rice becomes tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

2. When rice is almost done, add shrimp, chicken, and sausage and cook until the liquid has been fully absorbed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm, or room temperature, it tastes good either way.

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