I know what you're wishing. You're wishing you had some of this shrimp creole. It wasn't half bad actually, even though I whipped it up after a long day at work and kind of rushed it.
This post isn't really about the creole, it's about the bay leaf.
We use bay leaves a lot in our subtropical cooking. I don't crush them as some recipes instruct, but that may be because I don't follow intstructions well.
(I also don't taste what I'm cooking during the process. That's confidence I suppose.)
So, at our house, you might dig into my chicken noodle soup, gumbo, shrimp creole, beef burgundy, scampi, cuban black beans, etc and come up with a whole bay leaf on your spoon.
The leaf on the spoon always got my kids attention when they were little and one of them would get it.
"Daddy, there's a tree leaf in my soup ...yuck"
One day, long ago, tired of explaining why it was there and that you shouldn't eat it, I just said,
"Hey Lucky You!! You got the WISHING LEAF in your bowl!"
"The wishing leaf! Whoever gets the wishing leaf gets to make a wish ... like on your birthday when you blow out the candles."
Three sets of big brown eyes grew wide.
A tradition and a family legend was born at that moment.
After that, the discovery of the wishing leaf in a bowl was announced with excited squeals and delight. If a particular child was feeling down or just needed a lift, a sly parent could make sure the wishing leaf landed in their bowl.
It may seem silly, but it was fun and we still announce,
"Hey, I got the wishing leaf !"
In my forest, red bay grows profusely. The bay leaves I buy at the store come from the Mediterranean region, but when you crush red bay and smell it,the smell is essentially the same.
See for yourself. Go ahead, smell the picture.
Then make a wish.