Creole Tomato Attempt, Spring 2018 Edition

With two days left until summer, I would like to give you the update on my spring tomato attempt. Here’s what did work this season:  I got about a dozen and a half small creole tomatoes from my garden!  I started them indoors from seed I bought at Perino’s Garden Center shortly after Mardi Gras, so…

Oleanders in June

I hadn’t heard the song, “Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans” until after Katrina.  So many New Orleanians, including my soon-to-be husband, were scattered to the winds, staying with friends or relatives, or starting up new/temporary lives in far-flung locales. It was the incomparable Connie Jones who sang it.  This New Orleans…

A Visiting Vegan

My visiting vegan friend presented a fun challenge and a new excuse for exploring vegan restaurant options in my adopted city.  I definitely haven’t made a point of searching out vegan food here, but I had a hunch that in a city so very devoted to gustatory delights, I wouldn’t have far to look. I…

View from the River

A friend visited from out-of-town this weekend, and we got to tag along with my musician husband aboard the Steamboat Natchez.  Preceded as we were by a man and his bass, we even got to skip the line, settling ourselves at a north-facing table and watching everyone else suffer the mild indignity of the “welcome aboard”…

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Icing

My birthday is right around the corner, and with it come thoughts of cake.  Specifically, chocolate cake with peanut butter icing, requested as my birthday cake since the 1980’s. It’s not a thing at all around here, as evidenced by my New Orleanian friends’ blank stares.  But … in central PA, it’s so very common. …

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…