Make Mine Meat!

           Catfish Gumbo

* 1 pound skinned catfish fillets

* 1/2 cup celery, chopped

* 1/2 cup green pepper,

* 1/2 cup onion, chopped

* 1 clove garlic, minced

* 1/4 cup oil

* 2 beef bouillon cubes

* 2 cups boiling water

* 1 pound fresh tomatoes, chopped

* 1 cup fresh okra, sliced

* 2 tsp. salt

* pepper to taste

* 1/2 tsp. thyme

* 1 bay leaf

* dash hot pepper sauce

* 1 1/2 cups hot cooked rice

           Cut the fish into 1-inch pieces and saute in oil with the celery, green pepper, onion, and garlic until the vegetables are tender. Add the bouillon cubes dissolved in the water, the tomatoes, okra, and seasonings. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes more, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove the bay leaf. Place 1/4 cup rice in each of the 6 soup bowls and fill with gumbo. Serves 6.

           If you can't find their book ($14.95) at the bookstore, write Loompanics Unlimited, P.O. Box 1197, Port Townsend, WA 98368.

           NO NEED FOR SHAME: Do your loved ones laugh their foul-breathed laughs in your face when you tell them that you love crafts? Yes, you may truly love to make them, buy them, give them as gifts. Well, leave them their nasty misconceptions and head down to the Sewing and Craft Expo happening Thursday through Saturday, September 12-14, at the Radisson Hotel South and Plaza Tower. This is a public exposition, and you're guaranteed to get your fill of shopping, workshops, seminars, and special events. The price for daily admission is $6 to the exhibit area and free demonstrations, and $14 for in-depth classes. Of note are two fashion shows (the Fairfield Fashion Show, Thursday, and The National Fashion Sewing Show on Friday) and a quilt exhibit, Smithsonian Inspirations, inspired by the Textile Collections of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. I'm going for the Introduction to Pin Weaving; you learn how to turn ordinary napkins into vases. Call (800) 699-6309 for information, registration, or free 24-page brochure.

           WEDNESDAY NIGHT FEVER: What to do after an evening of serial TV watching? If you haven't tried it already, head to cafe un deux trois (114 S. Ninth St., Mpls.). On Wednesdays, they trot out their menu de l'Indochine, and how lovely it is. This week promises gingered carrot vichysoisse, Alaskan mahogany clams with saki and miso, wild striped bass and black tiger prawns in lemongrass broth, ma po noodles with spicy ground pork, and, to top things off, saki and plum compote with Macadamia ice cream and plum sorbet. If you can't get out on Wednesdays for some reason, maybe you'll be satiated by the bar menu fare, which has taken on a decidedly Asian flavor. Sink your beers on any night with the Saigon Hotel's charbroiled beef rolls in fragrant grape leaves, sticky spicy chicken wings, jade shrimp with chili and lime, cripsy Burmese onions with a curry shake, and grilled New Zealand green lip mussels with black bean and pickled ginger. For reservations, call 673-0686.

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