Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 19, 1999

DEBORAH CORRAO / L’Observateur / September 19, 1999

For Milton Brady of LaPlace, food is almost a lifestyle. He not only cooks,but he hunts and fishes, makes and smokes his own sausage and grows his own vegetables.

“I learned to cook because I was the second of 11 children,” Brady says.

“We either had to cook or wash clothes, and I’d rather cook than wash clothes.”His skills came in handy as a young Army cook stationed in California in the mid-50s. Since then he’s helped wife Sylvia feed their six children andnine grandchildren.

“One of my grandsons is in Kosovo with the Army now,” he says. “I’mmailing him some beef jerky I just made.”In his garden, Brady grows potatoes, green beans, okra, tomatoes, jalapenos and cayenne peppers, among other things. Some of them hepickles and packs in jars. He also bottles his own version of a Louisianahot sauce and grinds cayenne pepper for seasoning.

His favorite thing to cook is spaghetti.

“I love to eat spaghetti so I cook it a lot,” Brady says.

It’s hard to get a recipe out of Brady, though.

“I never use a recipe,” he says. “It’s all in my head.”Brady, 65, belongs to three hunting camps and a fishing camp in Dulac.

“I’m the camp cook,” he says. “I cook for whoever’s out at the camp.”Brady also enjoys participating in the Senior Olympics and has a host of medals he’s garnered over the years. He has qualified to compete in theNational Senior Olympics to be held in Orlando next month. He willparticipate in the shot put, javelin, discus and hammer events in the 65- 70 division.

“I don’t know how I’ll do out there – some of those old men can really throw,” he says. “But I’m a winner already. You have to be first or secondin the state to even qualify for nationals.”Below are a couple of Brady’s winning recipes.

Turtle Soup

First you make a roux using 1 cup of cooking oil and 1-1/2 cups flour.

1 cup chopped onions 1-16 oz. can tomatoes1/2 cup chopped celery 8-10 bay leaves (dried) 1 cooking spoon Worcestershire sauce 1 heaping tsp. chili powder1 level cooking spoon salt (or to taste) 2 pounds turtle meat 6 boiled eggs 1-6 oz. can tomato paste1/3 cup chopped parsley 1 lemon, sliced very thin (remove seeds) a few dashes Tabasco sauce

Note: Mash egg yolks and chop egg whites in separate containers. If turtlemeat is frozen, boil in separate pot and add to soup later.

When roux is brown, add onions and cook until brown. Then add water andbring to a boil. Add turtle meat (if not frozen), chopped celery, tomatoes,bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder and salt. Let boil untilturtle meat begins to break up and let simmer while separating the turtle meat from bones and/or gristle. If turtle meat was boiled in a separatepot, add meat to main pot. Skim off grease and remove bay leaves. Add eggyolks and tomato paste. Add water as needed. Bring back to a boil andtaste for seasoning. Let boil for 15-20 minutes. Add egg whites, parsley,lemon and Tabasco sauce and let boil 5-10 minutes longer.

Hoghead Cheese 2 lbs. pork1 lb. pork skin3 heaping tsp. paprika3 heaping tsp. salt2 heaping tsp. cayenne pepper1 heaping tsp. black pepper1 small onion 1 dash vinegar 1 bunch shallots (greens only)

Boil pork skin in about two quarts water until skin is tender. Remove fromwater and dice into 1/2-inch cubes. Dice pork into 1/2-inch cubes. Putpork, pork skin, and chopped onion in water. Bring to boil and simmer forone hour. Add all other ingredients and simmer for 1-1/2 hours. Addshallot greens and simmer an additional 20 minutes. Let cool. Put intocontainer and refrigerate.

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