Morning to all you beautiful grocery lovers out there! It has been a short time since we have been able to post new recipes or intensify your eyeballs with our crazy stories and for that we apologize. The Sister’s have been busy as a one-armed paperhanger and we are about to bust our guts to tell you what’s been going on!
Where do we even begin? As you well know we have finally finished our cookbook and sent it off for review, we have had positive response and are totally excited to see what will happen next. We are so proud of what we feel is a true masterpiece of cookbooks. It is a little different from your ordinary cookbook, and seeing how we are anything but ordinary how could it not be.
We have had some thrilling opportunities happen to us within the last two months and just wanted to share what we have been experiencing for the last few months.
The Georgia Throwdown
Sometimes in life you must take a risk and try a little something different. Kenny Rogers said it best “you got to know when to hold them and know when to fold them, know when to walk away and know when to run”. Well let us just say we held on real tight and didn’t flee, we went out on a limb on this one and at first we thought we had broken this limb and fell flat on our face. It all began on a Friday afternoon (while we were catering to 800 people) Amy had a tremendous idea for us to rent a booth at the “Georgia Throwdown” in our hometown in Albany, Georgia. This event took place at our local exchange club fairgrounds, and consisted of some of the greatest musicians from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Colt Ford. This occasion was a three-day event of nonstop Southerners raising their solo cups and beer cans in pure delight to free-bird and kicking up some dust with Big & Rich. We set out to sale our wonderful Cajun dishes to all these Southerners, not knowing what type response we would receive and not knowing what outcome we would have. We went into this blind as a bat and came out seeing clearer than a Google map. Even our local newspaper, “The Albany Herald” came and did a little story on us, and yes slapped us on the front page. It was an honor to meet Carlton Fletcher and share with him all the sister’s crazy shenanigans.
As we began the process of figuring out what we were going to prepare for this “Throwdown”, the catastrophe of episodes that began to happen really made us sink into the pits of hell. We truly wondered if we were going to be able to pull this one off. We had started to prepare what we felt was a variety of our Cajun specialties early on in the week and working so hard as if we were going into battle. On Thursday I had the misfortune of a steamer cabinet falling on my foot and swore every bone in my foot was broken. Hobbling along and cooking was pushing me straight over the edge. Next episodes were scorching pots of dirty rice and having to dump them, burning our arms, dropping hot roux on our feet, roux burning, picking up hot pans and burning our fingertips off, tent placement, tent replacement, lack of electricity to run all our cooking gear, health inspections, car battery going dead, our help not being able to get in to come and help us, no nets for the tent, had to spend more money for nets, re-cooking all the dishes we had ruined and running around like a chicken with his head cut off. At this point the sisters would have rather sat in an ant bed naked!
As the tent went up, the dust began to settle and the music began to play everything seemed to fall into place. The partygoers began to file in and smell the aroma of some of the fine Cajun groceries we had prepared for them. Each person that came to our tent and ordered one of our dishes seemed to go way with a smile and came they back for seconds and even thirds. They seemed to be in pure heaven enjoying all that we had to offer. This is what makes it all worthwhile. We love watching the expressions on people’s faces as they took that first bite.
As we began to venture out and meet all the different vendors, we instantly were making friends with people from all over the US of A! We met some of the finest people that do this for a living and have it all down to a science. It was amazing how they had made this their whole life and we thought it was complete hell and frustration. By the end of this amazing weekend we were thinking the same thing, how much fun it would be to travel and meet different people and do what we love to do! Cook and feed people! One gentleman we met was in the tent right next to us and we found him to be astonishing. He was an elder gentleman with a small frame and a huge smile. His name is J.D. Lankford and he was a WWII German prisoner of war. He was selling his book “Walk with me,” One soldiers story. He shared with us all his miraculous triumphs and told us that we could take this book and read it at church because it was all-true. He was the last living soldier to be able to tell his story. During the evening we would take him a bowl of dirty rice or red beans and rice and a glass of Wagner’s sweet tea and he just absolutely loved it, which thrilled the sisters.
When Saturday evening had come to a close and Lynyrd Skynyrd played his encore the crowd came upon us like a mosquito would at a nudist colony. They ate us out of house and home, barely a grain of rice left. So Sunday morning was looking very grim for the sisters. We were going to have to get up early and sling together more groceries for all these hungry, hung over people. We got everything together and Amy stayed behind to continue the cooking while we set up shop and waited for our customers to arrive. Sho nuff they were flying around our tent like vultures and wanting something that would stick to their ribs so they could continue their “Throwdown”. Sunday seemed to go on without any trouble until we began to run out of white rice. When panic set in Amy said “Let’s just serve it over the dirty rice”. Can we just say it turned out to be the best thing since color TV! They devoured it, and came back for some more. We got a crazy idea to name the dish “dirty toe” for etouffee severed over dirty rice and the “dirty go” for gumbo served over dirty rice.
This weekend taught us so much. It taught us what hard work can do for your soul, how it can bring old friends together and how to celebrate a grand event. Our deepest gratitude goes to Wagner’s BBQ for allowing us to put together this affair. To our husbands, Rick for your mastermind in helping us bring it all together and for allowing us to fall apart when we needed to. Andy for his heavy lifting, organizing and electrical skills and doing exactingly what he was told to do. Most importantly we would like to thank him for graciously indulging our ears with the sweet sounds of the fiddle and banjo. He lured a lot of concert goers to our tent with his fine sounds from his fiddle and banjo. To our beautiful friends and family that tirelessly helped in any way they could, we appreciate you more than you will ever know. Without you none of this would have been possible. To our new friend, Justin Andrews, with The Threeforty Creative Group probably had no idea what he was getting into with allowing these crazy sisters to be apart of “The Throwdown”, but we sure are thankful to him for allowing us to be a part of this history-making event! To all the venders that came to help us when our power would go out or to help with re-lighting our gas cookers, we thank you greatly. Everyone was just so nice and very helpful.
We can’t begin to tell you what that weekend meant to us, it was just spectacular! It was something in the air that weekend that had not only the sister’s but also all the people that graced the fairgrounds feeling a little like they were a Free-Bird (no pun attended)! We laughed, we cried and we sold the hell out of some Cajun groceries! But we are here to tell you somehow we managed to pull it all off with a success. At the beginning of the event we swore we would NEVER do another festival again. Come Sunday when Justin came by and asked us if we would be back next year, we looked at each other and both said, YES!