One of the things I learned at art school was that I’m not special. That sounds a little harsh. I mean, specifically, that my life story, the things that have happened to me and the challenges that I’ve faced, aren’t unique. When I was growing up I was one of the few people I knew that had divorced parents. But every one of my close friends from college (save Dan) are the products of divorce. For the first time since I was eleven I had a group of friends that totally got what I was going through, who knew what it was like. Some of them have parents who still have a friendly relationship, others (like me) have parents whose relationship is rough, at best. Swapping war stories with them was healing, made me feel like people beyond my brothers understood what I was going through.
This Thanksgiving was a demonstration of how things can play out in a funny way. My parents live just a few miles from each other in Durham, which makes visiting both of them around the holidays easy since we can toggle back and forth from their houses. This year, my dad and stepmom were supposed to be in Northern Virginia for Thanksgiving, so we made plans to spend the holiday with my mom. Then we were invited to my Aunt Lori and Uncle Kevin’s house, my father’s brother and his family. Just before Thanksgiving my dad and stepmom cancelled their trip, which meant they spent the holiday with her family while we spent it with my mom and my dad’s family. Complicated.
My dad has a section on b&s called “The Captain Cooks.” So I was only mildly surprised to get a text (he just got an iPhone and started texting) from him on Thanksgiving morning inviting me to come over and take pictures of him frying a turkey. Unfortunately we were due at our dinner, so I offered to document his meal for the Friday night dinner we’d be attending, a seafood stew. I will, however, absolutely have to share his turkey recipe with you soon, because it was delicious.
My dad does soups and stews really well. Brunswick stew, chili, seafood boils, they are rich and full of flavor. I used to love when he would make a few gallons; my sisters and I would just curl up in bed with a big bowl and allow ourselves to be filled with its warmth. This stew was no different. Full of flavor, perfect for a big family dinner over a family game of dice. The biggest conflict on that Black Friday? The difference between soup and stew. Thoughts?
Source: Captain James Rosemond
1 pound sausage
1 pound cod
1 pound shrimp
2 cups carrots
2 16 oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 4 oz can tomato paste
1 cup celery
2 16 oz cans green beans, canned
1 bottle V-8
Salt & pepper
2 small cans clams (with juice)
2 small cans oysters (with juice)
4 tbsp olive oil
Chop celery, carrots, onion, and potatoes. Set aside. Parboil potatoes. Drain.
Heat oil in a large stock pot. Saute sausage until brown. Add celery and cook 5 minutes. Add carrots, onions, and potatoes, one at a time. Stir in the juice from the clams and oysters, but not the fish itself. Cook 5 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, green beans, and V-8. Add salt and pepper and cayenne.
Simmer for 2-4 hours. 30 minutes before you’d like to serve, bring heat back up and add seafood. Cook for half an hour, stirring occasionally, and serve.