Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 19, 2000

ANNA MONICA / L’Observateur / February 19, 2000

When Christy Bourgeois of Gramercy married Scott Himel of Garyville, she knew something had to change to save her marriage. She had to learn how tocook.

“After the first month of being married, I don’t think my husband wanted to stay with me because I couldn’t cook,” she says, laughing. “They always said,though, that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and I really believe that.” After cooking for the first five to six months, Christy realized she liked it.

Then, feeling really brave, one of the first real meals she fixed was a meat and carrot stew.

“He ate it,” she says, “but it was horrible. He just didn’t want to say anythingsince I had taken the trouble to do it.”Christy was so proud of that stew she fixed a container to take to her mother. She truly believes her mother threw it out, but no one would sayanything. “No one had the heart to break my heart,” she says.Her first T-bone steak was burned and too hard to cut. She did succeed,though, with French bread pizza and boxed brownies which Scott got a lot of.

Now cooking much better for the past 15 years, Christy believes Scott wants to keep her around.

Christy likes making Italian dishes, sauce piquants and other Cajun dishes, but her favorite kitchen activity is baking. She makes caramel cake, Creolecoconut pie, apple crunch, pralines, cookies and blueberry delight, to name a few. Whenever a treat is needed at Epsilon, where Scott works, the crewrequests that Christy do the baking.

When Scott was out of state in training for his new job, Christy used the computer to make him a menu book along with a list of everything he would need to take care of himself. After his at-home break she would send himoff with cooked meals to share with his fellow trainees, all from Pennsylvania. These meals were frozen and packed into Scott’s carry-on bag,which always exceeded the 40-pound weight limit.

One of those meals was squirrel sauce piquant, which everybody ate except one Pennsylvania guy who said he “could not imagine eating a rat.”Cooking wildlife comes natural to Christy since their son, Scotty, loves the outdoor activity involved with wildlife – fishing and hunting. Scotty knows hecan only kill in season and kill to cook only. No problem for he and his friendssince they made an outdoor roaster where they clean birds and roast immediately and have more recently taken to cooking squirrel jerky.

Having a hunter/fisherman in the family keeps Christy’s cooking creativity active. She also cooks about six different kinds of spaghetti which theirkids, Lacey and Scotty, enjoy. Her gumbos, which everyone enjoys, includered bean, chicken and andouille and etouffee. Christy cooks big, so neighborsDenise and Johnny Beard are often recipients of those extras.

Seeing people enjoy the food she prepares is the reward Christy gets for her efforts. Following are some of her recipes:

CRAWFISH PIE1 lg. onion, chopped1/4 c minced parsley 1/4 green onions, chopped 1/4 c. Italian bread crumbs2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 tsp. red pepper2 ribs celery, chopped 1/2 tsp. black pepper1/2 bell pepper, chopped 1 tsp. salt1 stick butter 1 c. milk1 can cream of celery soup 1 egg beaten 4 T. tomato sauce3 boxes individual Bama pie shells 1 lb. crawfish tails, ground in food processor(8 shells per pack)

Saute onions, garlic, bell peppers, celery in butter, add soup, tomato sauce, crawfish, parsley. Cook 10 minutes. Turn off. Add bread crumbs, salt,pepper, egg. Add milk, mix.Bake pie crust at 450 degrees for nine to 10 minutes or until brown. Cool. Spoon in filling. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Pies can be frozen.Makes 24 pies.

SHRIMP RICE3 lbs. shrimp3 cups Uncle Ben’s Rice 3 cans mushrooms 2/3 cups water 3 cans onion soup 1 stick butter

Mix all ingredients in large baking pan. Cover with foil. Bake one hour at 350degrees or until rice is fully cooked.Serves approximately 12.

CREOLE COCONUT PIE3 eggs separated 1/4 cup milk 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 stick butter 3 cups shredded coconut 9-inch pie shell – unbaked

Beat whites until stiff, gradually add 1/4 cup sugar. Cream butter andremaining sugar in separate bowl. Add yolks and blend thoroughly. Add milkand vanilla. Fold whites and coconut into butter mixture. Pour into pie shell. Bake in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.

APPLE CRUNCH 2 cans apple slices 1 stick of butter – melted 1 cup brown sugar 1 box Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Golden cake mix 1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread apple slices in 9×13 baking pan. Mix butter, brown sugar and cake mix until crumbly (like pie dough). Sprinkle overslices. Spread pecans over top and bake for 55 minutes.Back to Top

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