I'm finally going to use the office kitchen

Tomorrow being Lundi Gras, I thought I’d make some jambalaya and cornbread for the office tomorrow. We have a nice kitchen, so why not?

I did the prep work tonight, and packed everything that doesn’t need refrigeration into a shopping bag, including utensils. The ‘holy trinity’, tomatoes, chicken, and garlic are in an insulated lunch bag, to which I’ll add the container of milk tomorrow, and the shrimp is in the freezer. The pot, cast-iron frying pan, and mixing bowl are on the counter. I’ll be doubling this recipe.

The only thing I’m disappointed about is the andouille. I usually use fresh, but you can’t get it here. (Pike Place Market is no longer convenient to the office.) I got some fully-cooked sausages from Trader Joe’s, which aren’t bad, but aren’t as hot as I’d like. Just as well, though. Most of the office doesn’t like things ‘too hot’.

Oh, boy, you are going to make friends. Co-workers are so pathetically grateful when you cook for them. I’m continually shocked by how few people prepare their own meals.

Forget about pleasing everybody, of course. I used to cook at work all the time at the food co-op, mostly soups and stews and curries and things that people could dish up as they wandered in and out. Some folks would say things like “I can’t eat black pepper,” and I would say “Well, then, don’t eat any of the soup.”

Because the Market moved or the office? I ask because I’ll be there tomorrow and am looking forward to hitting the new Szechuan sandwich place and don’t want to be disappointed.

The office used to be on 3rd & Lenora, jut half a mile from Pike Place Market, so I could walk there in 15 minutes. We moved to Harbor Island about a year and a half ago, so it’s out of reach unless I take a longer lunch, driver there, pay for parking…

I got my sausages from Uli’s Famous Sausage. The Market off of exit 270 (near where I live) used to carry a small (very small) selection of Uli’s sausages, but they stopped about a year ago. I tried the Hempler’s prepackaged Andouille once. Once. The chicken andouille from Trader Joe’s is better.

One person here won’t eat dishes that have ‘ingredients’ mixed together, except for spaghetti and meatballs. If she has a sandwich, it’s just bread and meat.

BOOM. Online ordering to the rescue.

And on your way home, check out these guysin Shoreline. I haven’t been, but co-workers have and I know follow Jan on FB and the pictures kill me.


I packed the wrong jar of spice mixture. :smack:

I have three different spice mixtures, and they all look very similar. In my haste to make sure I had everything for a rare cooking-in-an-unfamiliar-kitchen experience, I forgot which was which. The good news is that the jambalaya turned out fine. It’s just not as spicy as I think it should be. Fortunately, the andouille adds the right flavor. And I have Louisiana hot sauce. Two coworkers tried it, and pronounced it delicious. One then tried the cornbread, and she started doing the ‘we’re not worthy’ gesture. My boss says it’s good, and our president likes it too.


Fine work! Now I’m hungry, of course.

Just got another positive review. One of my coworkers didn’t know I was making it (because I wanted to spring it on everyone), and had already gone out for phở. He did go and sample it though, and he came over to my desk and said it was ‘Wonderful. Any time you want to cook, let me know ahead of time so I don’t get something else!’ The company president had two servings, and the woman who praised the cornbread so highly packed some for her lunch tomorrow.

I still can’t believe I brought the wrong spice mixture. I usually taste it when I get one out of the cupboard to make sure I have the right one. I’m relieved it turned out well.

I’m telling my coworkers to eat it up, because I have to use the pot tomorrow morning to make a batch of jambalaya for Mrs. L.A.'s potluck.

I’m bringing jambalaya myself tomorrow. But you lost me on the milk thing. Huh?

In addition to prepping the jambalaya, I also prepped the cornbread. I mixed the flour, cornmeal, sugar (yes, sugar; this is the Pacific Northwest), salt, and baking powder into a one-quart zip-top bag, 1/3 cup oil in a small car, and 1 cup of milk in a jar that conveniently holds one liquid cup.

I did forget the egg, so I had to nip out to 7-11 right after I got to the office.


Sugar? Cornbread? Oh, dear…

Yeah, I know. Left to myself, I wouldn’t use it. (Although I’d be highly likely to add chipotle chiles and cheddar cheese, :wink: ) But The Wife likes sweet cornbread, and people up here in the PNW seem to as well. So I’m playing to an audience.

Turns out I did use the right spice mixture after all. I made a pot of jambalaya for Mrs. L.A.'s potluck, and this time I tasted the two mixtures that weren’t the Cajun rub.

Someday I’ll learn to label things.

I’m going to be in Seattle for a day in the beginning of March and I want to thank you for finding my lunch spot for me!

Sadly, I didn’t get to go last week. Too many work events planned for me, too little free time.