Legacy of Prohibition

Both record-breaking heat and more flooding occurred in New Orleans during my brief trip north, so I am grateful that the few days after my return have brought nothing but garden-variety temperatures and a mild afternoon thunderstorm. I had a thought-provoking time in Pittsburgh.  I don’t know that city well at all, but my few…

96 Degrees in New Orleans…

Yesterday, May 14, set a new heat record in New Orleans.  96 degrees.  Fortunately, I am in Pittsburgh with my musician husband, where it is cool and rainy.  Spring is still in progress here, and I am feasting my eyes on the gorgeous, lush greenery, the azaleas and lilacs, and these beautiful pink dogwoods.  It’s…

Unexpected Inspiration from a Student Recital

I go to these recitals because I get to sit next to my husband, who teaches these kids.  I like him, and we spend precious little time actually doing things together.  Also, it is uplifting to see talented young people bringing their individual voices to a musical ensemble at a very high level. This kid,…

Jazzfest, Jimmy Buffett, and Changes in Latitudes

I got some more insight into Jazzfest this year.  In my experience to date, it has not been my favorite.  Always ridiculously hot, muddy or some combination of the two.  I feel trapped in the Fairgrounds, unable to come and go, at the mercy of expensive food vendors.  I leave sunburned and exhausted, feeling ancient…

More Sourdough & Our 4th NOLAVersary

  The sourdough starter I struggled with back in February continues to yield delicious results!  Today, I am pleased to report that I made two loaves of bread that came out great, just in time for a grilled cheese & tomato soup dinner. The temperature didn’t top 75 degrees, and I had the windows and…

God Bless the Child (That’s Got His Own)

French Quarter Festival was completely cancelled today.  A wise call on the part of the Powers That Be, as it turned out, since it rained unrelentingly all afternoon. Yesterday, however, was lovely, and the two acts I caught – Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble and Leroy Jones & New Orleans Finest – were just great. …

Continued Search for Spring

2014 was a particularly tenacious winter, not unlike this one. We moved down here from Philadelphia on April 21, slipping from the clingy grasp of the season’s chill.  By the time we unloaded our belongings in our new city, temperatures were already in the 90s, and stayed that way. So that year, I formed my…

Scratching the Surface

On Monday, I stopped by the St. Joseph Altar at St. Dominic’s.  My friend, along with several other ladies of the church, has been baking cookies for over a month now.  This alone was reason to go. I arrived at the same time as a knot of women from Baton Rouge, in town to visit…

Taste of Winter

It was just a quick trip north, but I got my taste of winter. The crisp, clean quality of the air, the myriad shades of brown and gray, and the aching bareness of the silhouetted branches against an overcast sky.   Tiny meandering snowflakes,  tenacious, marcescent birch leaves, and sunsets all the more incandescent in contrast…

Into da Parish

A friend of a friend recommended the Los Isleños Fiesta.  After a breakfast bowl at Cafe Aquarius in Chalmette (which already felt like “getting out of the city” to me), we went in search of adventure.  Minutes later, we were tracking the levee along Route 46 through some very charming scenery and kicking into Saturday…

Sourdough, First Try

I’m not displeased with my first attempt at sourdough bread.  It was a bit of a pain, though.  I aspire to have great patience with making complicated foods, and perky, excited blog posts, accompanied by richly-textured, drool-inducing photos, about the results.  But often, once I get into a process that takes a long time, I…

Last Frost Date

Today, February 21, is the last frost date for New Orleans.  This is beyond counterintuitive for a native Pennsylvanian like me, for whom the Philadelphia Flower Show (this year March 3-11) has served as a harbinger of a far-distant spring, last frost date April 17. My first few growing seasons here were terribly disorienting, marked…