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Grandma's Cajun Vegetable Stuffing

Updated on November 7, 2012
julescorriere profile image

Jules Corriere is a playwright and theater director, having written over 40 plays, one of them performing at the Kennedy Center in D.C.

A Little Bit About My Plain Grandma

My life on the road as a playwright seemed a natural transition from my childhood as a military brat, also with a history on the road. I've always had friends and family spread all across the country. Even my parents come from different parts of the states. My dad's mom, Grandma Curry, lived all the way in Chicago. I always remember her wearing furs and smelling like Tea Rose. She was very fancy, and I didn't get to visit her very often. Then, down in Opelousas, Louisiana, I had my other grandparents. I lived with them for a while while daddy was in Vietnam. Grandpa was just Grandpa, he was the only one I had. But I had two Grandmas. So, the Grandma that was always there and always around, I just called her "plain grandma". We moved when I was very little, but once she got the name "plain grandma", that's the way she stayed, even when we lived fifteen hundred miles away. Well, Plain grandma doesn't like gadgets too much. She likes the way things used to be. She talks about people we never met, and never will because they died a decade or two before. Years ago, I remember being at her house, visiting, and she rocked back and forth in her chair, telling me story after story of this person and that person. She remembered names, names of their cousins, dates.I didn't find it very interesting at the time, especially since I'll never get to meet these people in this life. But they were still alive in her, and to her, and I let her talk. I sat down on the floor and listened. Not well enough.

While I was on the floor, she said, "Little Jule, gowan an turn de channel on de TV" (She was quite Cajun.) So I asked her where the remote was, and she tells me "Naw, I don' use dat ting".

"Why, is it not working?"

"Naw, naw. It works. I jes don' use it, It's in de drawer."

"Grandma, why do you keep the remote control in the drawer?"

After several minutes of questioning, I find out that Grandma is afraid of the TV remote control.

"What if I aim in de wrong de-rection? Might blow up a vase or sumtin', sho nuff."

I eventually convinced grandma that the TV remote would not blow up a vase or a lamp if aimed indiscriminately. I also convinced her that using the microwave would not cause her to get nuclear radiation. So she learned the art of using everyday technology, and doesn't mind as much that things aren't the way they used to be.

Now that I'm older, I think about my visit with her, sitting on the floor, watching her rocking back and forth, hearing her voice. I saw her as an old person to grace with my presence. I disregarded the stories she told me. I didn't listen, I heard her voice, but I didn't listen to her stories, of the people who came before. They weren't a bunch of old dead people, they were my heritage and my roots. She was trying to pass them down to me, the most valuable thing she could give to me, and I acted like I was doing her a favor by sitting at her feet listening. My position was correct, at her feet, but I failed on that trip as her student. She's getting older now, the names don't come as easily. Maybe, on a visit not yet planned, I'll once again have the opportunity to sit at her feet, and listen to what it is she has left to remember. And record it, and treasure it, and someday, sit rocking, telling the stories to a grandchild who will, I hope, have a little more sense.

Here is the Cajun Vegetable Stuffing recipe she remembered to me.

colorful peppers
colorful peppers

Ingredients

It begins, of course, with the Holy Trinity of Creole Cooking: Celery, Onion, and Bell Pepper

1 small onion, diced

1/2 green bell pepper, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1/4 red bell pepper, diced

1/4 yellow bell pepper, diced

1 zucchini, diced

1 yello squash, diced

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp grated ginger

1 TBS margarine

2 TBS vegetable oil

1/2 tsp red pepper

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning

1 sliced green onion for garnish

2 cups cornbread, crumbled

zucchini and squash
zucchini and squash

Preparation

In skillet, saute bell peppers, onion and celery 3 minutes over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger. Stir. Add squash and zucchini, red and black pepper, Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, and salt. Cook 10 minutes or until squash is tender. Add cornbread crumbles. Stir til moist. Garnish with sliced green onions.

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cajun vegetable stuffing
cajun vegetable stuffing

Helpful Hints

If the stuffing is too dry, add a little chicken broth, about a tablespoon at a time, until moist.

If stuffing is too moist, try adding a few more cornbread crumbs until you have the right consistency.

If you're like me, you'll want to pour a generous shake of Tony Chachere's over the stuffing when it is finished.

Let Me Know What You Think

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    • Tamara14 profile image

      Tamara Kajari 5 years ago from Zagreb, Croatia, Europe

      Hmmm...delicious. And any recipe that comes from grandma is even yummier :)

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Oh gosh, yes ... I can smell it now! Grandma's always make the best stuffing ... it has got to start with celery and onion!

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 5 years ago from So Cal

      We have all listened to the stories from the older folks and not always retained the information shared. Still, those little grains of knowledge stay with you and now that I am older, I share with those who will listen. Verbal history is so much more enlightening. The recipe is great and will make a great variation to try as I only like cornbread stuffing. Angel blessed.

    • GypsyPirate LM profile image

      GypsyPirate LM 5 years ago

      What a bittersweet tale of your plain grandma. And, the cornbread stuffing sounds delicious.

    • whiteskyline lm profile image

      whiteskyline lm 5 years ago

      Sounds delicious! I like the holy trinity reference. This reminds me of one of my favorite cookbooks, Louisiana Kitchen by Paul Prudhomme, amazing recipes in there.

      Now I want your grandmas stuffing!!!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      I love this tribute to your Plain Grandma, and the recipe sounds lovely too. Glad I found your work :)

    • julescorriere profile image
      Author

      Jules Corriere 6 years ago from Jonesborough TN

      @Virginia Allain: Thank you for visiting my lens. I fell the same way, too. Food and memories and family are all inseparable, aren't they? If you are using a recipe you love, you probably got it from someone you love, so naturally, the memories and stories flow. Thanks for the lovely comment.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      Your recipe is enhanced by the story about your grandmother that you included. Family memories and foods are important parts of our heritage.

    • JackieBlock profile image

      Jackie Block 6 years ago from SE Michigan

      This looks really tasty. I love all the veggies in it. Thanks for sharing this recipe.