Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Grandma Names & Crawfish Etouffee

The Question: What do you call your grandmother?
Kids call you the darndest things ...

I remember quite a few years back, my dad revealed what his dream grandpa name would be.  My mom then thought on it for several years and finally discovered the perfect name last fall in a moment of clarity.  It's going to be a long, long, long before they need these names and they're too good to reveal now. But my mother already refers to herself and my dad using the nicknames in front of their fur-grandchild, Rasco.

Grandma names have been a hot topic of late, as the baby boomer generation's flower children are having grandchildren. Last year, a popular New York Times article "Who Are You Calling Grandma?" discussed how grandmas are opting for hipper names than granny; for example,  the "Laugh-In" bohemian Goldie Hawn prefers to be known as Glam-Ma.

Personalized grandma names are the best laid plans. But, as my boyfriend Robert's family knows, they are just plans. Because, when it comes to baby babble, you get what you get.  Robert's maternal grandmother wasn't called Grandma, or MiMi or anything else an adult would decide.  Her eldest grandson, couldn't pronounce these names. But he tried, and what popped out was Marna.  And the name stuck.

Whether you call her Oma (German for grandma), Gammie Goose (like Mother Goose) or Marna, she won't mind.  Because no matter what the label is, grandmas are grandmas.

Grandma's Recipe: Marna's Crawfish Etouffee
Robert remembers his Marna with her etouffee recipe.  

Marna wasn't Cajun or originally from Louisiana, though she spent much of her life in Baton Rouge, but she made a mean crawfish etouffee. The recipe is a little less stressful than most because it doesn't call for a roux, which I was happy about because I have a knack for burning them.  But, Robert did the heavy lifting on this dish and it turned out delicious.

Marna's delicious crawfish etouffee

-       1 onion
-       1 bell pepper
-       2 stalks celery
-       4 green onion
-       2 cloves garlic
-       ½ cup butter
-       4 T flour
-       2 pounds crawfish tails
-       1 cup white wine
-       2 T paprika
-       2 tsp salt
-       1 tsp black pepper
-       2 T lemon juice
-       ¼ tsp red pepper
-       1 bay leaf
-       2 T chopped parsley
-       2 cups rice

“Saute the following vegetables chopped fine: 1 onion, 1 bell pepper, 2 stalks celery, 4 green onion, 2 cloves garlic in ½ cup butter, oleo or crawfish fat. Add 4 T flour. Mix well. Add 2# crawfish tails. Stir until coated with flour mixture. Add 1 cup any white wine. Blend carefully. Add 2 T paprika, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 2T lemon juice, ¼ tsp red pepper, 1 bay leaf, 2T chopped parsley. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning. Serve over rice. (Cook 2 cups raw rice) Serves 6-8.”
 - Transcribed exactly from Marna’s recipe card (see below)  

Marna's original, handwritten recipe. Thanks to Robert's Aunt Nancy for sending it!

Our kitchen experience ...







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