Late last week, my human mommy helped my rockin’ friend Bashful pack his bags and head home after an eventful stay in my hometown of New Orleans. He had quite a visit. Between a Pelicans basketball game, gumbo and brass bands, and laundry and red beans and rice, it seems Bashful was always on the go with my humans . . . and he was always eating. He may need some new clothes (one size up) when he gets home. Before Bashful traveled back to Bacon and the Hotel Thompson, I got to spend a very special day with my new little friend.
We were up bright and early last Wednesday and in the car for a road trip. Bashful called shotgun.
Before I knew it (maybe because I slept for most of the trip), Bashful and I had arrived at our destination: the Small Animal Clinic of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine where I do rehab for my hip and elbow dysplasia. (You can click here to read more about my special joints and the rehab I do.)
I sent Bashful off with Mommy to run a few errands while I did my workout. The pre-Christmas Baton Rouge traffic was even more horrific than usual. I want to apologize to Bashful for any words he might have heard as he and my human mommy attempted to traverse the city as quickly as possible.
I sensed some slight traffic-related tension when Bashful and Mommy returned to the vet school to pick me up, so we all spent some chill time in the Serenity Garden with its beautiful fountain before heading back to New Orleans.
When we returned home, my little sister Tallulah Bee was still at Camp Bow Wow, which meant that the fabulous piggy toy that arrived with Bashful could come out to play. (Tallulah is a bit rough with toys, so they tend to run off and hide in a special cabinet when she’s around. When Tallulah goes to camp, the toys know that it’s safe to come out and play with me.) Bashful and I had had a pretty eventful day already, so after just a very short play time we were fast asleep.
We had a message from the Hotel Thompson that Bashful arrived safely at home Sunday afternoon . . . and he didn’t arrive alone. Seems Bashful is quite the ladies man and he brought his new friend Lola from Nola back to Georgia. At this point, I’m going to leave you in suspense so that Bacon can introduce you to Lola when he’s ready. Patience, my friends. 😉
Our little friend Bashful has been out of the picture lately. Between decorating for the holidays and entertaining out-of-town guests, he’s had his hands full. (Okay, so Bashful doesn’t have hands, but you know what I mean.)
This past Monday, Bashful got back to living the New Orleans life, and on Mondays that means laundry and red beans and rice. My human mommy/blogging assistant did a little research into why red beans are such a Monday staple in my hometown, and she found this nugget of wisdom from the Camellia Beans people:
Old habits die hard. New Orleanians continue, with ritualistic fervor, to consume red beans and rice on Mondays. Spicy Caribbean recipes for beans and rice were brought to the city in the late 1700s by French-speaking Haitians fleeing the revolution in Saint Domingue (modern-day Haiti). Local housewives and housekeepers quickly adapted the thrifty, convenient practice of tossing meaty ham bones leftover from Sunday suppers into simmering pots of red kidney beans that could be left to cook, undisturbed, over a low flame for hours–leaving them free to engage in the arduous Monday drudgery that was “laundry day.” Despite the modern convenience of washing machines and dryers, the Monday red beans tradition continues today….
Bashful observed while Mommy followed the red beans recipe (I was sound asleep on my bed; I’ve watched this process for more than seven years). It’s a family recipe, so measurements aren’t exact; but you’ll get the general idea, and then you can adapt it to your tastes.
- Empty one 16-ounce package of red beans into a large stock pot and add enough water to cover. Soak over night. Drain water the next morning and add the following ingredients:
- One yellow onion chopped
- One green bell pepper chopped
- Two ribs of celery chopped
- Three to five cloves of garlic chopped
- A few large dashes of garlic powder
- About six to eight healthy dashes of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce
- Four or five healthy dashes of Tabasco sauce
- Three or four bay leaves
- One or two ham hocks
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A handful of chopped parsley
- Add water to just an inch or two over the combined ingredients.
- Bring to a boil, and then simmer all day.
- Add sliced sausage about 30 minutes before serving.
While the beans simmered, Mommy and Bashful headed to the laundry room and got to work. You can’t tell from this picture, but Tallulah Bee and I slept under the ironing board while Bashful supervised. I have no doubt that Mommy truly appreciated all the extra
help moral support snoring.
When the laundry was finished and the beds were made, it was time to slice the sausage. Mommy found a really yummy and slightly spicy sausage made by the butcher at our local grocery store. A note to Bashful’s buddy Bacon about the sausage: It was beef, not piggy pork. Our apologies about those ham hocks though. 😉
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think Bashful looked too thrilled when Mommy held him over the hot pot to have a good look.
He was a whole lot happier when the beans were served with some good French bread and a fine red wine. I think Bashful could get used to the Monday routine in New Orleans.
And on the fifth day of Christmas . . . my humans and I were back into our regular routine. Monday is laundry day in our house. It’s a New Orleans tradition to do the laundry on Mondays, so that’s what my mommy does (even though technically we’re in Baton Rouge, not New Orleans). Mommy and I were up while it was still dark outside. (To be totally honest, it wasn’t really that early but it was still pretty dark because we had yet another day of rain.) Mommy collected the dirty clothes and started the washing machine . . . all with my supervision, of course.
And then Mommy put a big pot of red beans on the stove. Red beans and rice on Mondays is another New Orleans tradition. The beans cook all day long while mommies all over the city (and daddies, too) do the laundry.
With the laundry in the washing machine and the beans on the stove, it was time for me to join my daddy in the home office. I love to “work” in the home office when my daddy’s in town. It’s totally relaxing. I sleep with my head wedged as closely as possible to the chair so my daddy has absolutely zero chance of moving. That’s our routine, and I was very happy to be back into a routine on this fifth day of Christmas.