#Bookcook A.D New Orleans After the Deluge by Josh Neufeld

Louisiana Gumbo

About

A stunning graphic novel that makes plain the undeniable horrors and humanity triggered by Hurricane Katrina in the true stories of six New Orleanians who survived the storm.

A.D. follows each of the six from the hours before Katrina struck to its horrific aftermath. Here is Denise, a sixth-generation New Orleanian who will experience the chaos of the Superdome; the Doctor, whose unscathed French Quarter home becomes a refuge for those not so lucky; Abbas and his friend Mansell, who face the storm from the roof of Abbas’s family-run market; Kwame, a pastor’s son whose young life will remain wildly unsettled well into the future; and Leo, a comic-book fan, and his girlfriend, Michelle, who will lose everything but each other. We watch as they make the wrenching decision between staying and evacuating. And we see them coping not only with the outcome of their own decisions but also with those made by politicians, police, and others like themselves–decisions that drastically affect their lives, but over which they have no control.

Overwhelming demand has propelled A.D. from its widely-read early Internet installments to this complete hardcover edition. Scheduled for publication on the fourth anniversary of the hurricane, it shines an uncanny light on the devastating truths and human triumphs of New Orleans after the deluge.


My Thoughts

I think much like those who lived through 9/11 can remember where they were or what they were doing the moment the plane hit The World Trade Center, those who saw the heartbreaking images coming out New Orleans and Biloxi also remember the time and place. I know I did. Both are significant watershed moments in American culture and history. For 9/11 it was the start of what has been deemed fear culture. For Katrina, it was a stark look at race and poverty relations in the US as well as knowing that American relief efforts can fail you. Despite best efforts to the contrary. It is hard things to talk about, and hard things to convey on paper. But as they say, a picture can tell a thousand words…This graphic novel certainly did.

“Seeing my books and comics was the hardest, it made me think that it would have been easier if a tornado simply hit the house and flung it to another city. At least then we wouldn’t have to walk atop the things I cared most about. ”

A.D depicts seven different stories from seven different people and perspectives. Each experienced the hurricane first hand in one way or another. Some stayed, some fled, some went to the Silverdome, and some rode it out on top of a convenience store. A single story couldn’t tell a true tale about the people of New Orleans, but taken in aggregate, the reader definitely achieves a good understanding of what the city went through. It is both powerful and visceral and a tad unsettling.

I chose this story for this weeks #bookcook as an homage to New Orleans food and culture. New Orleans is a magical place and not the Disney version of magical. More like the dark side of magic. It is hot, overgrown, and mystical. The drums and jazz of the nightly music cause a constant throb that you feel not only in your bones, but your soul. When you are there, you want to become a part of the culture and get swept away by it: Food, dancing, music, passion, and everything that whispers in a sultry tone of voice, “I am the south.”

There is nothing that says, New Orleans, like a good Gumbo. This recipe was taken from Big Oven


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ounces Margarine
  • 3 cups onion ; small dice
  • 1 1/2 cups celery ; small dice
  • 1 1/2 cups green bell pepper ; small dice
  • 1 pound chicken breast ; medium dice
  • 1 pound smoked sausage or andouille sausage ; sliced
  • 8 ounces shrimp pieces
  • 2 qts Chicken broth
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes ; diced
  • 1 each Bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon tobasco
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 6 ounces Butter
  • 6 ounces Flour
  • 9 ounces okra fresh or frozen ; sliced
  • gumbo filet powder
  • 1/2 cup Water

INSTRUCTIONS

Melt 2 ounces of margarine in a large soup pot. Add chicken and saute until cooked half way. Add sausage and vegetables and cook until vegerables are tender. Add chicken broth and seasonings and bring to a simmer. Make a black roux in a seperate pan. Heat butter very hot and add flour. Turn heat down to medium. Stir frequently until roux beomes very dark, almost black in color but not burnt. (This takes practice) Slowly alternate soup into roux and roux into soup whipping until thickened and smooth. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add shrimp and okra. Simmer until shrimp is cooked about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Dissolve Gumbo file powder in water. Slowly stir into soup. Serve plain or with white rice

#Bookcook American God’s American Pie

About the Book – American Gods by Neil Gaimon

You can find my review here

Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.

Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.

Scary, gripping and deeply unsettling, American Gods takes a long, hard look into the soul of America. You’ll be surprised by what – and who – it finds there…


Ahh, the quintessential American dessert. What better way to celebrate the war between the old gods and the new than with a slice of apple goodness.

I hear even Thor likes a slice in Valhalla or Biloxi. Wherever he is at this moment.

Here is a great recipe for an apple pie I have made a few times. Don’t drop it on your metal breastplate, apple goo never comes out of the ringlets.


APPLE TART WITH ALMOND PASTE FILLING RECIPE

“What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not foolin’ a soul.”

American Gods – Neil Gaimon
Apple Tart with Almond Paste Filling | wildwildwhisk.com

Apple Tart with Almond Paste Filling

  • Prep Time 25 mins
  • Cook Time 50 mins
  • Total Time 1 hr 15 mins 

This Apple Tart has a hidden layer of delicious homemade almond paste underneath the apples. It is a wonderful dessert for Fall and will for sure be a hit at any of your holiday dinner parties. Course: Dessert Servings: 8 – 10 Author: Wild Wild Whisk

Ingredients For crust:

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 oz unsalted butter 1 stick
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoon cold water

For almond paste:

  • 1 cup almond meal/flour
  • 1/2 cup powder sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For apple topping:

  • 2 large honey crisp apples or 4 small ones
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter – melted

Instructions

  1. For almond paste, add almond meal, sugar, egg white, almond extract and salt to a bowl, mix well until combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Almond paste can be prepared well in advance and store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
  2. For the crust, place flour, sugar and salt in the food processor fitted with the dough blade and pulse a few times to mix.
  3. Cube the butter and add to the flour mixture. Make sure butter is cold. Pulse several times until butter is about pea size and mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough starts to pull together. Be mindful not to overmix, you still want chunks of butter in the dough to create a flaky crust.
  5. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured board and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic and rest in the refrigerator for an hour.
  6. Roll dough out into a circle about 1/4” thick and large enough to fit your tart pan. Transfer the dough to your tart pan and lightly press into the bottom and sides. Let the extra dough hang off the edge, then take your rolling pin and press along the edge of the pan to take off the extra dough.
  7. Cover the dough in plastic and place in the freezer.
  8. Move your oven rack to the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400°F.
  9. Peel and cut apples into 1/8” thick slices.
  10. When the oven is ready, take the crust out of the freezer. Take the almond paste, lightly spread and press it to the bottom of the crust so it covers the entire surface.
  11. Arrange the apple slices on top of the almond paste. Brush the melted butter all over the apples. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle on top.
  12. Bake for 50 minutes.
  13. Let cool on a wire rack before serving.

#Bookcook The Hallows by Kim Harrison

“You bet your Grannie’s Panties I will.”
― Kim Harrison, Dead Witch Walking

“Tink’s a Disney whore’ – Jenks” 

― Kim Harrison, Dead Witch Walking

Do you want fabulous fun and great characters? Read The Hallows! From the get-go, this was a great series. The characters are well written, the dialog is crisp, and the settings are unique. Imagine a world decimated by a plague brought forth from tomatoes? A plague that decimates the human population so much that the others, witches, vampires, and weres have to come out of hiding and function in “polite” society.

Here is a synopsis for book 1:

All the creatures of the night gather in “the Hollows” of Cincinnati, to hide, to prowl, to party… and to feed.

Vampires rule the darkness in a predator-eat-predator world rife with dangers beyond imagining – and it’s Rachel Morgan’s job to keep that world civilized.

A bounty hunter and witch with serious sex appeal and an attitude, she’ll bring ’em back alive, dead… or undead.

Because in this world tomatoes are verboten, I give you a delicious tomato sauce recipe from Jessica in the Kitchen.

Homemade Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce

  • PREP TIME: 15 MINS
  • COOK TIME: 45 MINS
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HRS
  • SERVES: 3 PINTS

Ingredients

1 large head garlic, about 10 cloves + drizzle of olive oil

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or virgin olive oil

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

5 lbs. fresh ripe plummy tomatoes, washed, stems removed and chopped

1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground sea salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 bunch fresh basil, chopped (use as much or as little as you like, but don’t go over like 1/4 cup)

“What are you?” I rasped.
It smiled. “Whatever scares you.” 

― Kim Harrison, Dead Witch Walking

INSTRUCTIONS

  • 1. Preheat oven to 450 ° F/ 230° C. Cut off the top of the head of garlic, with the cloves still connected, but just enough to expose them a bit. Place in some foil and drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the top. Wrap the foil around the garlic, and roasted for 45 minutes in the oven. You can do this ahead of time if you’d like, or while the other ingredients are cooking.
  • 2. In a pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add in the chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring often. The onions should be golden and shimmering. Add the red wine vinegar and stir into the onions. Add in the chopped tomatoes and stir everything together. Cover the pot with lid and increase heat to medium-high. Steam the tomatoes for 8 minutes – this will soften the tomatoes, help them to break down and allow more flavour to be infused into them. They will not burn since a lot of liquid will be released, but you can still check every few minutes to ensure.
  • 3. Remove the pot and reduce heat to medium. Add the salt, pepper, oregano and parsley and stir everything in to combine. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into the tomato mixture. It will be butter soft, so you can just squeeze them out of the skins. Stir together again.
  • 4. Reduce heat to medium-low (should be simmering) and place pot cover back on slightly but not to completely cover the pot. Simmer the sauce for 30 minutes up to an hour, if desired. The skins should slip right off the tomatoes, and all the ingredients should be extremely soft and combined. Remove pot from heat and blend the sauce with your immersion blender until completely blended through. Add in the chopped basil and stir in.
  • 5. Allow sauce to cool. You can serve the sauce immediately if desired, but after a night in the fridge, the flavours really develop. Place in mason jars and store in the fridge. Enjoy!!

“Student food.” His eyes went to the tomato on the sill. “Whatever’s in the refrigerator over pasta.” 

― Kim Harrison, Dead Witch Walking

Notes:

HOW TO STORE: They can be stored in the mason jars in the fridge for 5 to ten days.

  1. This recipe is vegan and gluten-free. Prep time doesn’t include the roasted garlic timing. You can make it at the same time, or ahead of time.
  2. You can feel free to switch up the herbs if you’d like; more of some, less of others or even new herbs. It’s up to you!
  3. You can use fresh red wine or even white wine instead of the red wine vinegar.
  4. If don’t have an immersion blender, allow the mixture to cool completely and then blend it in a blender.
  5. The tomatoes we used were naturally sweet, but if you want, you can add a tablespoon of sugar to the sauce to balance out the acidity.

About The Author

Kim Harrison is best known as the author of the New York Times #1 best selling Hollows series, but she has written more than urban fantasy and has published over two-dozen books spanning the gamut from young adult, thriller, several anthologies, and has scripted two original graphic novels. She has also published traditional fantasy under the name Dawn Cook. Kim is currently working on a new Hollows book between other, non related, urban fantasy projects.
Kim reaches out to her audience at Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KimHarrisons…
Instagram
https://instagram.com/kim_harrison_au…
and her blog http://kimharrison.wordpress.com/

other pseudonyms:Dawn Cook