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I bet Queen Latifah likes gumbo.

Blogging.  That’s a source of ambivalence around my house.  I love it.  I read blogs by so many talented writers, and I want to write, too.  I sneak peaks at the dashboard of my blog and spend a few moments thinking about writing fabulous blog posts.  Then I close my computer and resume my normally hectic life.  I dream about vacations and summers and free time.  Time that can be spent writing.

Unfortunately there are lots of things that need catching up on during my free time.  I spend the first bit of any free time sleeping.  I can’t help it.  I open my computer, and I close my eyes.  During this Christmas break I needed to sleep, clean, plan for school stuff, and start and finish my Christmas shopping.  I figured I would write when that was all done.  Today is Christmas Day, and I am not quite finished shopping.  Considering my family celebration isn’t happening until New Year’s Day I still have time.  I think I’m caught up on sleep, cleaning is over-rated, and the school stuff is done.  I’ve been saying I would sit down and write a post all week.  I just never did.  For some reason I have been lazy.  I want to write, but I also want to lie around.  I want to put words here, but there are CSI episodes to catch up on, and gingerbread cookies to eat.

Enter Fleur de lis.  Today she felt the urge to express herself.  She asked if she could write a guest post on my blog.  Um…yes!  Of course.  But not because I’m lazy and in the middle of an E True Hollywood Marathon on the DVR, but because I’m a giver.  My blog and I…we are here for you!

Oh and um…honey…before you sit down can you get me a Diet Coke?  I don’t want to miss this part!  This Queen Latifah bio is fascinating!

And here is what my Fleur de lis has to say…

The Aubergine Pot

In recent decades, Christmas had become just another vacation day away from work.  It really is a children’s celebration, as far as I am concerned.

Nat and I made an agreement that we would not exchange gifts this Christmas.  We would focus on family, in particular the kids.  Good. Done.

This morning as we awoke to a very chilly morning, I scampered to the thermostat to summon some warmth and then to plug in the tree lights.  That’s when I saw it.

Missy had bargained with Papa Noel on the sly and he’d left me a gift beneath the tree. What a cheater.

But not wanting to hurt her feelings, I quickly scooped up (more like “lugged” as the package weighed a ton!) the prize and ran to the bedroom to reveal it in front of the Giver and to get my cold tootsies back under the covers.

Now, don’t get your hopes up that I’m going to relate how my Love gave me a new Piaget or a David Yurman.  It wasn’t any of my favorite colognes nor a renewal to my Car and Driver subscription.  It wasn’t tickets to Paris or even a gift card to McDonald’s.

Nope.  This was one that I absolutely could not guess.  But, I must tell you, Miss Nat did good.

I ripped until the gift was revealed. It was an iron enamel-clad dutch oven. I’ve always wanted one of those but I am too cheap to purchase such for myself. Needless to say, I was quite pleasantly surprised.  But the best part of all is that this magnificent culinary vessel was the perfect color, too. Purple!

I thanked my Girl and immediately tried to decide what the inaugural dish would be. It didn’t take long to come to.

For those of you who followed my blog,  you will already know about my lifelong friend, Jeanie.  We are from New Orleans and she still lives in that beautiful City.  Well, Jeanie’s mom was a character that I will always love and remember.  Her name was Colletta and she was a marvelous cook and singer.  Years ago, I had asked Colletta for a contribution to my keepsake recipes.  I had a collection of standards and specialties from people I knew and loved. I had each write their recipe in their own hand to make the memory even more special.  Colletta gave me her best and you can still find it in my box under “Colletta’s File Gumbo!”

Colletta passed away less than two years ago. It seems only fitting that my first dish in my new (Mardi Gras) aubergine pot will be Colletta’s gumbo.

I shared this decision with Natalie and we agreed that from here on we shall call this gift the Aubergine Gumbo Pot.

Hey, it works for me.

I suspect that we will have an additional course at our future Christmas dinners as well as a reminder of family no longer with us.  Yeah, that pot is gonna have some stories to tell someday.

Uh, Honey, let me know if you’re “not” giving me anything for my birthday next month. 😉


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