Who Dat? And the American Spirit


On Sunday February 7, 2010 every American was a New Orleans’s Saint. I think the entire nation let out one loud collective cheer for both New Orleans and the Saints football team when they won the Super Bowl! Personally I do not much like football. And I have never cared for the Super Bowl. I have never had a horse in this race. Till this year. Even I was hoping the Saints would win. Didn’t watch the game, but was hoping they would win.

After Katrina many people wrote off New Orleans. Many said New Orleans would never come back; that the city was dead. But often we the people have a strange way of making these types of predictions DOA. New Orleans has struggled since Katrina. But the citizens still there have resilience, heart, and soul. And no more so than on Super Bowl Sunday 2010. While there is still a lot of hard work to be done to bring New Orleans back to its full glory, the Saints win gave the city and the nation a big booster shot.

Attempting to draw a parallel between the Saints win to the American economy, our nation’s high unemployment rate, and problems in the United States today is a shaky proposition at best. Nevertheless there are lessons Americans caught up in the Great Recession can take from this win. Among these are: Never give up. Believe in yourself. Work hard. Always have hope.

We can survive anything if we have a dream and work hard to achieve it. As Alexander Pope said a couple hundred years ago, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.” That type of hope was expressed in full bloom with the Saint’s win.

I have to believe that America can and will survive this latest economic set back. We have been through much as a nation over the years and we have had our share of rough times. But we have always come back. America’s strength has always been her people, her citizens. Nothing can keep us down for long. Even today over and over all across this great country we see America’s people performing ordinary acts of courage by doing what needs to be done everyday: earning a living, going to school, raising children, putting food on the table, helping neighbors, and worshipping in myriad ways. These days even looking for work is an act of hope.

It will fall once again to ‘we the people’ to stand together and help each other through these harsh economic times. It will be America’s people who will get America through these tough times. That is why I salute ordinary Americans every single day.

We are resilient. We are hard workers. And I believe we have many good years ahead of us. Just as the New Orleans Saints never gave up, we can never give up either.

Who dat you ask? Who dat officially is a phrase of an NFL team named the New Orleans Saints. But in many ways who dat is also us, the American people. Who dat is also the American spirit. And we show that spirit is still alive and strong when we keep on keeping on in good times and tough times every single day.

So today enjoy some good time music from Bourbon Street and have some spicy food to jumpstart and rev up your American spirit to help you keep on keeping on. Today. Tomorrow. Every day.

The recipe I share with you today is based on a recipe found in my favorite cookbook, Cooking For One Is Fun, by Henry Lewis Creel. I simply added hamburger and more and different spices, especially Creole seasonings. I also doubled the recipe to serve three or four.

[print_this]Creole Rice

This is what you will need:

1 pound hamburger* $1.79

*NOTE: if you can only afford half a pound, use half

½ cup rice 8 ounce bag $1.00;   4 ounces rice $.50

1 ¼ cup tomato juice  48 ounce bottle $2.39;   1 ¼ cup = $.60

1 medium onion chopped   Bag of 6 $1.99;  1 = $.34

½ green pepper chopped   1 – $.90;  ½ $.45

S&P to taste

¼ teaspoon paprika  $2.89 1 ounce jar;   ¼ teaspoon  $.12

¼ teaspoon garlic powder  $4.25 jar 3.12 ounces;  ¼ teaspoon $.06   approximate

¼ teaspoon Cajun seasoning  $1.79 jar 8 ounces;  ¼ teaspoon $.01 approximate

Total cost:  $3.87

Total cost per person for 3:  $1.29

Here is what you do:

Brown the hamburger in a skillet, drain the grease

Put the cooked hamburger in a small casserole with a lid

Place all remaining ingredients in a pan and stir well

Bring mixture to a boil

Pour into the small casserole and mix into the meat

Bake covered in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked

Serve with a salad dressed with olive oil and some lemon juice.  Cost of salad will vary depending upon type of lettuce used.

VARIATION: If you can afford it, omit the hamburger and instead serve the rice with a pork chop seasoned with salt and pepper, and Cajun seasoning.[/print_this]

Next time we will look at some easy and VERY budget friendly canned tuna fish recipes. Tuna fish, even canned, is high in omega 3 which is linked to optimal brain functioning. I read a report recently that eating tuna fish twice a week may delay dementia as you age. Who doesn’t want that?

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