Sunday, February 18, 2007

How'd You Get Those Beads Again?..

My two favorite places in this great country of ours is Las Vegas, and New Orleans, or as the locals lovingly refer to as 'Nawlins'. And narrowing it down even further is The French Quarter.
It's the oldest, and the most famous neighborhood in New Orleans. Geographically it's about a 8 block by 12 block area along the Mississippi River. It was founded in 1718 by the French, but also has a touch of Spanish influence added to the mix.
People always hear about how dangerous a place it is. But within the actual confines of the Quarter, it is quite safe. It is a collage of sights and sounds and smells, that is second to none . Just walking around the Quarter, you are entertained on every sidewalk and street corner by a collection of art and music that would cost a fortune in any other place in the world. One of my fondest recollections of the place, is walking back to my room very late one night after a rousing night of partying on Bourbon St. I took a shortcut that I knew of, and on the way I had to pass through a less travelled area. Almost to my room, the most beautiful, melodic sound I've ever heard was echoing through the alleyway. Leaning up against a corner lamp post, was a tattered old guy, maybe 65 or so, but he could have been younger, he just looked worn out. And the most haunting music was pouring out of his old Sax. I stood there in awe of this man, full well knowing that if he were in the hick town where I live, he would be headlining the local Jazz club.
But in Nawlins, he was leaning up against a lamp post at 3:00 in the morning. I stood there for quite a while, and as I turned to leave I smiled and tossed a 5 dollar bill in his open Sax case laying on the sidewalk. His eyes met mine, he winked at me, and continued playing his soulful Sax, never missing a note.......

Thats one of the reasons that I love that place. Another of course is the food! The fabulous, spicy, awesome food!! Fresh oysters, crawfish, blackened Redfish, Shrimp, Gumbo, Etouffe', Jambolaya, gater tail, Po-Boys, and my favorite..The Muffaletta Sandwich.

Every Fat Tuesday ( Mardi Gras ) where I work , we have a kitchen area that has a sink, a large fridge, and 2 microwaves. I also keep a double burner hot plate there at all times. On Fat Tuesday, I get to work long before we open the doors for business. THATS MY DAY!!!
I start by bringing in my boom box and playing hours of Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco music that I've burned on CD's. On every table I put hundreds of beads, and trinkets that I've accumilated over the years from my many visits there. I usually prepare the same two dishes every year because they are easy to make...Chicken Jambolaya, and my version of The Mufaletta.
In a large pot that I set on my hot plate, I start sauteeing in olive oil, 3 large onions, 3 any color peppers, 3 whole Jalapenas( seeds and all ), 3 cloves of garlic, 3 pounds of deboned chicken thighs, and season with salt, pepper, thyme, basil, paprika, and oregano. 1 whole tablespoon of each spice...OMG!! Within a 1/2 hr everyones in the kitchen asking me the same questions that they ask me year after year, because the smell wafts out into the showroom driving everyone nuts!....After about another 1/2 hour, I add 3 sticks of Andouille Sausage to the mix,( you can use any smoked sausage if Andouille is unavailable ), 3 small cans of chicken broth, and 2 large cans of canned tomatoes . When this mix comes to a boil, turn down the heat to low, and add 2 boxes of Zatarans Jambolaya mix. Myself, I have a mix of spices from the Quarter that I add to it, and then I just add plain rice( 2 cups raw rice ) but the Zatarans works just fine ! Cover and let cook for 30 minutes......DONE!

The Mufaletta at first glance merely looks like an Italian sub. But it has one wonderfully extra topping that sets it apart from all others..The Olive Salad topping!
I make my own olive salad and it's quick and easy...Heres my version...
In a large bowl add 2 large jars of drained, chopped green olives with pimentos
Add 1 large jar of drained chopped roasted peppers.
Mix in 1/4 cup of EVOO ( ask Rachel Ray ) and set aside.
If you have a local bakery, you can request that he bake you 2 loaves of ROUND Italian bread!
But in a pinch, buy two loaves of Italian unsliced. Slice it in two lengthwise, but make the top half a little thicker. Lay the bread on the table, and by hand pull some of the extra bread out of the top half so when you put the 2 halves together, all of the stuff that you are about to pile on fits better..For 2 sandwiches, you should have...
1# of Sliced hard salami
1# of sliced genoa salami
2# of sliced ham
1# of sliced Mozzarella
1# of sliced Provalone
With both loaves layed out on the table, Take a brush and slather EVOO on each side of the bread loaf halves.lightly but evenly.
then on each of the 'bottom' halves start layering your meat and cheeses.
1st the ham..then the Moz...then the salami, then the Provalone, then the Genoa. repeat layering till you run out of stuff. Then top it off with the salad mixture until the top of the sandwich is thickly covered.
Put the top half of the bread on....Voila!!!.....the Mufaletta
Cut into small portions because it is quite filling.

All of this food usually feeds between 12-20 people...YUM OH!!
The music...The aroma...the food...the FUN! Mardi Gras!!!!!
Laissez Les Bontemps Roullez......Let The Good Times Roll.....Peace. Galen


lime said...

( . Y . )

ok, toss me some beads!

Manny said...

Hey! I make that. Only I call it stuffed bread. LOL

Woo Hoo. Look at me, up way late.

g-man said...

Limey sweetie, This is a true story...I just draped a strand of beads around my PC Monitor.
You deserve them..
You REALLY deserve them!
Now more than ever!!

Manny you are up really really early! Wow..

Top cat said...

good morning g-man.:)
I've never been to New Orleans but you make it sound like a great time for partying and eating lots of great food.
Even tho I'm a veggie the smells wafting around as you cook sound delcious.
You are a man of many talents mr g.

barman said...

If I could I would toss some beads myself. :)

First off I love your stories, they are always super. Next both of those dishes sound wonderful. I am hungry here reading about them especially the Jambolaya. If you cook half as good as that sounds... Wow.

I have only made one trip down to 'Norleans back in 1980 or was it '81. I took a vacation with the future (future by 9 years) brother in law. One of our quick stops was New Orleans right down in the French Quarters.

Now I will tell you, at that point I was not use to big cities. What I saw was this large, very dirty, very narrowm probably very dangerous place. We did not stay a long time but what we did I had something seared into me.

Since this time I have never forgotten New Orleans. Yes there were some wonderful smells. We did run into a lot of street entertainers. I heard some wonderful music, there were some people out sketching people... looking back on this I would have to say that had to be the thing that would make me want to go back the most.

The bear was flowing everywhere and I believe also very visable on the streets. You could tell this was a party town. Now I did not stay long enough to really sample what this place was all about. We were only there during the day and I suspect that, to experience things properly, you need to be there at night. I also did not get to sample any of the I am sure wonderful food. For that matter I do not believe we even partook in the spirits. Yep, it was just a wirl wind stop but still I so remember that place.

I have never experienced Mardi Gras there. I would love that. Partially I am a horn dog some times, sorry. But actually what I would love to do is people watch and what better place than there. Ad in everything else that is going on and you have one amazing place.

Sorry for so long of a comment g. I think you must have touched a nerve or something in a good way. Oh by the way, what... no King Cake for work?

Up until this year I have been the person that brings in Packzi to work. Of course so do tons of others but I go to the good place, to the local bakery that is known for it over here in Mid Michigan. It is funny how this little tradition is so localized. I was talking to Gab and she had no clues. I suspect it is because of Hamtramic that we here all about Paczi. Anyway there I go again.

Have a great day tomorrow at work.

G-Man said...


What a shame. But I know that I could concoct one wicked Tofu Gumbo!!
I'll have to try it...G

G-Man said...

Good Job mentioning King Cake Bryan, I have indeed brought that to my Mardi Gras feast.
But the Poon-shkis seemed to always be the bigger hit.
Packzi day used to be a bigger deal traditionally, than it is now. You can get get them at any major super mkt now..But in years gone by, there were just a few Bakeries that bothered with them..
We have a local Polish Bakery called Jablonski's, that still has a huge line on Packzi Day..

BTW...Never aplologize ever again..For the length of a it?
You are more than always welcome here to say anything.......G

SignGurl said...

*tosses beads at Lime*

I could pinch you for the Rachel Ray EVOO comment. It drives me crazy! LOL!

I make a version of a sandwich ring but make the bread using Pillsbury French bread dough (in the tube). Use two and place each one in a half circle joining the two to make a circle. Slice vertical slices on the top part way (about 1/4 inch deep, helps keep the shape). Brush with olive oil. Press garlic on top and sprinkle Italian seasonings. It's easier than it sounds.

It makes a beautiful sandwich after you slice the circle loaf in half horizontally. Take the top off and place sandwich toppings and drizzle Italian dressing over them. Replace top and slice into single serving sizes.

barman said...

g, tons of places make them now but you really need to go to a good bakery to get them. The stuff you get at Meijer, Kroger, and Quality Dairy (think Seven Eleven in your neck of the woods) just can not compare to those that Roma Bakery makes here in Mid Michigan. Never had any from a actual Polish Bakery before.

Sounds like you are the hostest with the mostest on Fat Tuesday.

SignGurl said...

Barman, there's no such thing as a bad Packzi! You cannot convince me of this. I love Quality Dairy donuts more than Krispy Kreme's.

*sigh* I miss sugar.

Jodes said...

you are wonderful, there is not a single guy i work with that would do all that. You amaze me a little more with every story. Awesome. can I have some beads too?

GOOD MORNING - yes I am at work.

Manny said...

Where are my beads?

Jodes said...

oh yeah, I like the blue better than the green - keep it.

jillie said...

OMG....that sounds SO good! I've never been to "nawlins" but I've heard it's a blast! I think I could manage to have a good time if I really tried...LMAO.

I've miss you g-man! xo

May I have some beads too please??

SignGurl said...

Girls, girls, girls. You know the bead protocol. You must show your breasts (in my case, beasts) in order to get the beads.

G-Man said...

Thats right Jenn, I knew that I made you my Social Director for a reason..

I'll be in and out today folks, I'm surprisingly busy now..
But I do have beads for everyone!
Love ya....Galen

Top cat said...

no tofu please!):

lime said...

g-man, signgirl, thanks for my beads....blowing kisses and twirling my beads.

packzis are similar to fastnachts which are what i will make tomorrow.

jillie said...

(.)(.) that I've flashed you....NOW MAY I HAVE SOME BEADS?????

Hey g-man...I just read strumpets blog. All I have to say is that YOU ARE THE BOMB!!! You are what a true friend is all about. Giving to make someone's day without a reason. And strumpet is such a beautiful person inside that I don't think she even realizes it!

SignGurl said...

*throws beads to Jillie* try and catch them on your neck, not your girls,lol!

Meg said...

Hey G-man, great post!

Love the story - you told it so perfectly that I could just visualize the whole scene - great job! I bet it was an amazing experience.

Oh, and now I am hungry! All the food souns so yummy right about now :)

In and out today, huh? Guess its the way of the Corp. world - me too!

Have a good one,

OH....I am game.....there, did you see em? throw me some beads!

tsduff said...

Man alive - two of my absolute favorites!!!! I had jambalaya for dinner last night - yum, and Mufaletta is to die for the way they make it at my local delicatessan (Genova's) Why am I always do dang hungry when I come over here?

gab said...

Ok I'll take the beads please but sorry none of the spicy food. I would be sick for a week. :(
I would love to go to New Orleans some day. But in the mean time I will Take your stories. XOXOXOX

jillie said...

Well if all else fails, I've got my crutches to snag them. I may have to beat everyone off to get!

Thanks sg! ;o)

lime said...

throws beads to jillie :D

Top cat said...

(.)(.) sorry but I need some beads to throw at the women.:)

SignGurl said...

*flashes TC even though he doesn't have beads* You owe me now.

Top cat said...

that's ok jenn,here's some beads. I accidentally knocked jillie off her crutches when I grabbed the beads.
sorry jillie, I'll split them with you and I'll pick you up.

jillie said...

Awww...thanks TC....hey galen...where the hell are you???

Manny said...

Yea, Jillie and I have been sitting here flashing all day, but still no beads.


G-Man said...

HELP TC, I'm busy and I can't frickin comment!!!

Please continue to run things a bit....G

Kristen said...

Your two favorites places are the two places I'm dying to go

Top cat said...

manny..we've been so hypnotized by your beauty we forgot all about the beads.

jillie..g-man has said he has plenty of beads for all his beautiful hot friends.

kristen..g-man has some beads for you too!

jillie said...

I agree with's a scam I tell ya...

Guess we'll just have to go to nawlins ourselves and get some there! lol

G-Man said...

I'm swamped today folks, sorry!
I promise I'll visit everyone yet tonight...I did sell two so far!!!
Love ...G

TC...I owe you..

Top cat said... scam, you guys are the best..please don't go to Nawlins keep your (.)(.)right here, it'll be worth it..:)

WOW! 2 sales, that's awesome g-man.
no problem dude.

Manny said...

Yea, either nawlins or the springer show.
Get in jillie, I'll drive.

g, I miss you when you don't blog from work.

Manny said...

And how did you mangae 2 sales? Promising beads?


jillie said...

Ok...I guess we'll keep the hoohaa's here! Two sales? You go galen!

(.)(.) I'm flashing you for the good job at work today. What cars did you sell?

buddha_girl said...

Jaysus. I LOVE the Muffalette sammich!

I make my own homemade pickled garden stuff and chop it up in the food processor with TONS of olives for the sammich stuffing stuff.

Cripes. I want one NOW!

G-Man said...

Here I am finally!!
Yeah sometimes I hit my head and actually sell a car or two..

First of all a hats off to my most able co-host..
TOP CAT! Thanks son, I really needed your help today.. Busy Busy.Finally!

And to ALL the lovelies..

Trini, I would love nothing more than to personally hang those beads around your very pretty neck..x

Jillie Bean?..Is it finally you? God I've missed you terrible. I felt so lost commenting into a vast nothingness over at your place..
Many beads for you!!!

Terry, I hoped you would read this THANKS.. I knew you of all people would have had these items..

Jodi, We need to talk.
Much more!

Meg sweetie, I missed you this week-end. I hope you are feeling better. Wisconsin HOT Cheddar!!

Even the stunningly beautiful KJ?
God I am truely blessed!
And I do know it..

Buddha Girl, Carry me back to old Virginny!!
You rock Mufaletta Mama.

And last but NOT least, my two wonderful friends, Manny and Signgurl.
Without Sign, I would be a living in a van,DOWN BY THE RIVER!
Without Manny? I never want to think about that ever again..

Many Beads For You Both!

Barman, thanks Bro!!

I'm missin Strumpet!

G-Man said...

I forgot Gabby Gale!!
I guess I'm showing my age here..Sorry Sweetie.
And I just said that you were getting out more often.I promise to keep closer attention.

barman said...

G, since they seemed so popular here... let me slide you some beads so you can hand them out.

Is it just me or do I smell Jambalaya simmering? Yumm!

Enjoy your day G.

Top cat said...

g-man you look funny with the chef's hat on, how about a backwards U of M cap?
smells good..I love the smell of meat in the

SignGurl said...

*sniff, sniff* Somethin's cookin' 'round 'ere. I'll be back after work for a taste. Save me some.


lime said...

i've got fastnachts (pa dutch potato donuts) to go with the muffalettas and jambalya today!

( . Y . ) i need more beads too

Jodes said...

are you gonna be 1st today?

Meg said...

Hey G-Man - sloooowwww down.
You look all blurry moving about so fast!

Congrats on the sales....never a doubt, right?

check in when you get time :)


G-Man said...

Hey y'all know what I'm doin now!!
Don't fret..I'M COOKIN HERE!!...G

Meg said...

You gonna share?

I bet you look cute in nothing but an apron! Oh wait, you didn't say that ~ I guess the image just popped in my head :)

Breazy said...

Hey G!!!! How the heck are you? I am good , I am seriously fed up with dial-up internet but I am good otherwise. I am currently at the library so that I can read everyones blogs. I miss you all so much and hopefully it won't be long until the house is done and I can have a decent connection!

Take care and I will be back when I can!


jillie said... know, if he has the hat on backwards, that's ok. We just don't want to think he's nekkid underneath that apron. Please don't turn around ok??? You know I'm just joshing you...I've missed you too g-man!

G-Man said...





Breazy...get cable.

Meg, Thats a very gross thought.

Jillie, Don't go anywhere.

Meg said...

No...actually when it popped in my head it was a very yummy thought!

perfect man you while only wearing an apron. can't get much better than that!

have a good one :)

Top cat said...

I tried that once but when I closed the oven door my yahoo got caught.):

jillie said...

So that why you say Yeeehaaa now? LMAO....


Meg said...

TC - you should have closed the oven door with your hand....they make oven mitts for those you know.....


Hey Jillie :)

javajazz said...

howdy mr. G...
i just wanted to thank you kindly for painting such a beautiful picture of this soulful son, 19, a jazz trumpeter, has an opportunity to study jazz in a very special little school that will be re-locating to 'Nawlins next fall, and so i am somewhat relieved to hear of the positive and soulful aspects of this wonderful town...funny that it ends up being jazz music that may bring that city and my son together, as it is his passion for this music that has brought so much magic into his life in the first place...odd how the world works sometimes...
and then, there's the food, of course! thank you mr. G...this old mom feel more inspired and a little less nervous now! i shall send your beautiful story to him...
- lisa

barman said...

TC, get an apron to protect your yahoo. Works well for things spitting grease.

Someone asked me not to bring Packzi into work this year so they could do that for their birthday. Where I work we bring in treats on our birthday. Anyway, guess what, no packzi this year. Sorry, next year I will not back down. He had his chance. I should know better then to listen to someone that has been drinkin'.

jillie said...

What TC needs is the "ovglove"

Top cat said...

meg..mitts?? I call them oven condoms.

jillie..I was gonna buy an ovglove for my Yahoo but they didn't come in Xtra Large..heh heh heh

bryan..I did have an apron, it wasn't til later I found out the opening is supposed to be in back.

SignGurl said...

TC, that's a priceless mental picture. Thanks for sharing. I have to watch out when I make soup.

jillie said...

Forget the ovglove...I need hipweiters...the shits getting deep. Did I spell that right????

SignGurl said...

I think it's hip waders, Jillie. I could use a pair of knee boots myself.

Manny said...

Sorry, I've been cleaning off my shoe's. It was sooooo bad, I just threw them out.


jillie said...

Thanks Jen :o)

Glad someone around here can spell coz I sure as hell can't!!! ;o)

Top cat said...

hey I wanted to comment but my internet/computer wasn't loading.

Hipwaders eh? I bet you all would look pretty hot in them, especially with a bunch of beads.:)
manny you threw them away?
signgurl, that's a pretty good mental picture too!
jillie..ok would you believe..large?

I think g-man enjoyed giving away too many beads.

G-Man said...

Michelle, I want a Dutch-Donut!

Jillie, i tried to trash your post as much as I could today sweetie, how'd I do?

Meg, Be patient honey, I'll make sure that I return all favors..

Barman..TC..Thanks for helping balance out all the hormonal attacks, but i think they are kicking our ass!...Keep helping boys the end is in sight.

Manny, don't you ever comment on your own post anymore?

Jenn, you always save my life.
I owe you big time..You know! xxo

JavaJazz, thanks for visiting.
You can rest assure that your son will learn where to go, and where not to go, in the Big Easy.
I'ts wonderful, historical, lively, And a feast for all the senses! Music everywhere! Great music.And he'll love it!
Congratulationas, he sounds very talented! Please visit again eh?

Manny said...

LMAO, I started a comment on my blog, but got up to do something. Over an hour later, I realized what I did and came back. Ahhh ah

Not shit! I typed a few responses, got up, and remembered I didn't finish.

Manny said...

I just posted explaining how this happened.

G-Man said...

How I Can Fuck With G..

1. Make a comment, then pull a Houdini.

2. Tease him with a new post "heads up"..

3. Then make some useless comment, in my rightful spot that I rushed right over to praise you for..

4. Repeat these rules tomorrow..AGAIN!! Manny!

barman said...

Don't believe Manny for a minute. She would never ... oh look, pretty shoes!!!

OK, maybe she would.

Hope you had a great day today G. Hey can you make Jambalaya scent as a cologne or something. Of course I would gain 50 pounds over night.

Manny said...

Ahhhhhhh ah ah aha ha

Hey! I was only trying to be helpful.

Nite g.

javajazz said...

well thank you kindly, G, for the reassuring words...he hasn't been accepted yet, auditions have just begun, so here's hoping...he's
not quite ready to return to oh canada just yet, eh?

G-Man said...

Barman, they make a similar cologne, I'ts called garlic.

Manny? Jesus!

JavaJazz, I love Canada. I went to grad school in Windsor. I've been to your hometown dozens of times..
Toronto Rocks!!
It's the safest big city in North America. Without a doubt!...G

javajazz said...

wow, you might be the first blogster to have actually been here in T.O. it is a pretty hip town, i must say...its got a little bit of everything, and from all ends of the spectrum, too...kinda neat that y'all went to grad skool in windsor...well, wait a minute, aren't you bunch all from around here anyway? aren't you in michigan which is right near windsor?

G-Man said...

JavaJazz, you either work 3rd shift, or are an Insomniac!
Heres a great similarity between T.O. and N.O.
The pan-handlers!
But unlike the hordes on Yonge st. that just mooch! The ones in N.O. entertain you in many many ways..Why can't I comment on your post?

Top cat said...

what the hell happened over here?this place is a mess.

G-Man said...

No shit!!
It would have been much worse ....Thanks for helpin AGAIN...G

Top cat said...

g-man..I had server problems yesterday or my computer is crashing or I would've helped out more.
I dreamed of beads and boobs all night.
Woke up with a smile on my face.

SignGurl said...

Ha! Bead and boobs!

I dreamed I was trying to be Anna Nicole's friend after they reanimated her dead body. Fun times!

SignGurl said...

I guess that means that I dreamed of boobs too.

javajazz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.