Hot Dogs & Bay Leaves
From the time I have memories I can remember my grandmother cooking. I was fascinated by it. A little of this, a little of that, and what came out was the food that shaped my childhood. Fried chicken, chicken pie, chicken and rice, (basically a shit load of chicken), and tacos on Christmas. Because what's life without whimsy.
Eventually I figured out there was a television channel where all they did was cook food (I was literally a 6 year old version of Betty White in Grandma's Boy). I watched The Food Network for hours. My favorite show was Mr. "BAM" himself, Emeril Lagasse's. I was obsessed with the color of creole and Cajun cuisine. The meats were covered in spices, stained orange, red, yellow, and black. I felt as though I could literally smell the dishes through the TV. In contrast to these colors the vibrant green from the roughly chopped parsley, green onions, and bay looked like art to me. The first camera shot of craw-fish etouffee on a bed of rice, topped with a forest of herbs might as well been a priceless abstract masterpiece. I had to try to cook my own masterpiece immediately. One shouldn't waste inspiration.
My Meme is the most kind, compassionate, patient, and understanding person you could ever have the honor of meeting, so naturally she let me follow my heart. I wanted hot dogs for lunch, like any 6 year old would. But the standard hot dogs were clearly not going to cut it with my rapidly developing palate. I insisted she boil my hot dogs with bay leaf. (the only spice I could find I ever saw Emeril use.) I threw like 4 dried leaves in the pot and watched the sausages redden, swell, and twist. I could smell the bay leaves in the steam coming off the pot. It was an awakening... because to be honest, it wasn't bad, even though the rest of the family looked at me like I'd gone nuts, I was proud of myself for making something good enough to eat. I fully intend on developing my first attempt at gourmet food and redeem my 6 year old creativity to the world. So, stay on the lookout for the new and improved "Hot dogs & Bay Leafs" recipe. Sometimes inspiration is a little ridiculous... yet it mustn't be wasted. Have the courage to be inspired and take a risk, life is just a hot dog.