Whether you are the Pioneer Woman, a contestant on the Worst Cooks in America, or just trying to get culinary in a small south Arkansas town, nothing makes dinner easier than a “cabinet creation.” Growing up, I always dreaded “clean out the fridge” buffet night. I would offer to help my mom get the meal ready because that left me first in line to pick out the remains of my favorite meal of the week. Thus leaving the mushy stuff that I didn’t like for the slow pokes who weren’t listening when the dinner bell rang!
On the contrary, I LOVED nights when my mom just winged it. She was (and still is) the queen of creativity in the kitchen. She taught me how to make incredible meals on a tight budget. She can always remake leftovers in to a new creation.She can take parts of two different meals and if you don’t pay attention, you think she has cooked a fresh dish 3 nights in the same week! It’s a not-so- secret talent and it’s been fun as we have added son-in- laws to the mix at our holiday table to watch their amazement at her dinner creations.
What she does best is always seek to be present with her people. Doing this takes lots of preparation. Mama will cook the week or weekend before we come and have meals ready in the fridge or freezer that we just have to bake and eat. (That leaves us more time for shopping, craft projects, window shopping, bargain hunting, cashing in coupons, and more shopping – all the essential things for time with your mama!)
She is also really great at her own “semi-homemade” treats. She will have the meat or cooked parts ready and just stir it all together at meal time. That’s exactly what happened with today’s dish. On their own, any of these ingredients are just fine. But, together, they are magic! And if a Cajun likes anything, it’s the magic that happens in a slow, stewed gumbo.
Keisha (Pittman) McKinney is settling in to her new married life in South AR after she #becamemrsmckinney. A Digital Media Director by day for a church in Northwest Arkansas, Keisha is remembering what its like to plan ahead for shopping trips to “the city,” getting resourceful at her small town Walmart and creating online shopping personas everywhere. She blogs @bigpittstop about daily adventures, cooking escapades, #bigsisterchats and the social justice cases on her heart.
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