Happy Earth Day!

First off, I want to give a shout out to my peeps, Jonathan, Heather, Darren, and Michelle. Thank you for following Heather’s Homegrown. I soooo appreciate you!!

I’m writing today to wish you a happy Earth Day. I hope everyone takes a moment to appreciate the amazing planet upon which we reside. Plant something, rescue a chameleon from your cat’s mouth, hug a tree. It certainly is a beautiful day in Birmingham, Ala., and I’m happy to say that many beneficial and positive events have transpired since my last post.

On April 14th, I spent much of the day with Jake volunteering our time at a fundraiser for Girls, Inc. in Linn Park. It was a long, productive, and rewarding day starting with the second annual Cajun Cook-Off. I’m not ashamed to say our team’s vittles, Crawfish and Shrimp Po’ Boys, practically had a cult following by the end of the day. (Not bad for 3 Yankees, a Creole, and a trooper of a woman from Georgia named Kristi.)

I’m really proud of how the team did and I am compelled to share some footage.  You need to know, I wasn’t a cook (I wasn’t even allowed to touch the food according to the cook-off rules); I was a “consultant,” historian, and the Fran Drescher-esque laugh behind the video camera. I’m hoping the team doesn’t get mad at me for posting these videos and photos. One dude, who shall remain nameless, only wanted his hands in the video, hence the faceless-neighbor-from-Home-Improvement element. If you catch him, it’s because he leaned into the camera. However, I’m not thinking this will go viral so I feel our identities are safe.  😉

This first video is the cooking team in the initial phases of prototype creation, which we did on the Thursday evening before Saturday’s cook-off. The team had a ton to accomplish in a few short hours, including attempting to assemble a fish fryer after a long day at work and the grocery store. We decided to develop two recipes and three different versions, and then settle on a prototype for Saturday.

Our entry had to be something that could be cooked and assembled outside under a tent. No advance prep allowed! It was quite a daunting task to undertake and I am extremely proud of the team, which was headed up by my friend and colleague, Marianne. By the end of the evening, I felt as if I’d been baptized with these folks. Dipped in the river. Little did we know how much the hard work would pay off, which is always rewarding in retrospect.

Anyway, in this next video, Marianne and Kristi explain the two different breading methods and recipes used.

The fish fryer was a pain to assemble and the gas grill promptly ran out of propane, so we moved the frying indoors.

Heating Up The Oil

The Hands Preparing For Frying

Assembling The Prototype

Assembling The Prototype

Long story short, we ended up falling in love with the first version we tasted, and not just because we were famished by that time of night. I cannot disclose the secret recipe, but it was a combo of ideas and techniques, which was adapted to become The MudBuggers own unique recipe. In my humble opinion, The MudBuggers Crawfish & Shrimp Po’ Boy was phenomenal.

On the day of the event, it was pretty obvious it was. We had a continuous line all day long. People even asked us where we were “located” – as if we had a restaurant! LOL

How’d we do in the cook-off?!

No less than Second Place in the Judges Choice Cajun Open category.

Here’s  a partial representation of the Oakstone Publishing MudBuggers – those who remained to attend the award ceremony. The four chefs are pictured front and center; our new, (and very cool) CEO is in the back center; and various and sundry esteemed colleagues scattered about.  🙂

cajun cook-off 2nd place judges choice with Crawfish & Shrimp Po'Boy

Oakstone Publishing MudBuggers
2nd Place, Judges Choice: Cajun Open Category
Entry - Crawfish & Shrimp Po'Boys

I had planned to continue with the rest of the day and tell you about the garden, which is the reason for this blog in the first place, but I have to run and stop the pitching process on a batch of homebrew I’m making in the here and now. My next post, entitled ‘Stake and Ale’ will be forthcoming.

Again, thank you followers and happy Earth Day!

I leave you with this:



To Mother Earth,

Heather's Homegrown Signature

1 Comment »

  1. Heather J said

    Happy Earth Day!!

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