June Shaw is a hybrid author who writes in a variety of genres, including writing with her grandchildren. Learn more about June and her books, both her own and those co-authored with family members, at her website.
Close Family Recipe—and Shrimp Creole
Here’s a different kind of recipe. This one is for bringing various generations in a family closer. Here’s how it all started:
I live around lazy bayous in south Louisiana. I’d always wanted to become a writer, but married young and became widowed when our five children were five to eleven years old. To earn money then, I completed my degree at our local university and began teaching.
Being with my children and attending all of their events was most important. Finally I managed to write short pieces and eventually sold a few. I was thrilled. By the time I first sold a novel, my children were giving me grandkids. What fun!
Spring forward a little. I’d begun selling a series of humorous mysteries. The series features a spunky widow who “thinks” she wants to avoid her hunky lover so she can rediscover herself. But he opens Cajun restaurants wherever she travels, and she is so bad at avoiding tempting dishes and men.
Okay, so my squeeze Bob and I have been “dating” for years now, and it’s great. And he is a terrific Cajun cook! I’d finish writing a mystery and tell him I needed some good recipes for the book, and he’d jot them down and even cook the dishes for me. Those books are Relative Danger, Killer Cousin, and Deadly Reunion. And yes, he wrote the recipe I’ll share below and prepared the Shrimp Creole dish.
What’s brought more of us in the family closer together is my eight-year-old granddaughter one day said, “Granny June, would you hurry and finish writing that mystery and write a book with me?” Was she kidding? We created How to Take Care of Your Pet Ghost and sold lots of copies. She helped write it and make sales. Later my teen granddaughters asked to write a novel with me. We all loved Hunger Games—so our recently released novel is Just One Friend.
1 lg. onion chopped fine
1/2 lg. bell pepper chopped fine
1 sleeve of celery chopped
2 T. garlic chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 lg. spoon of sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup water
2 lbs. peeled shrimp
Sautee onion, pepper, celery, and garlic until clear (about 20 min.)
Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup, sugar, salt, pepper, and water. Stir continuously, not letting mixture burn (approximately 1-1/2 hrs.) Add more water as needed while mixture thickens.
Add shrimp and cook about ten minutes longer. Serve over bed of cooked rice.
Serves 4-6 happy people.
Just One Friend
After warfare destroys most of the country, only one area remains where it’s known that people can survive. Because of limited resources and space, the ruler decrees that each person can have only one friend. A teenager decides things should be otherwise. If she is wrong, she and someone close to her with meet with horrible deaths.