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…

Despite the Fact that There is a Parade

I’ve lived in two cities that can get, um … a little excited about their sports teams.  Although I am caught up in the Carnival season, it hasn’t escaped my notice that the Eagles’ recent Super Bowl win has given my Philly friends a little taste of happy crowds filling the street and even a…

Elusive King Cake

Two years ago, we walked into Dong Phuong Bakery, picked up a king cake from the shelf, and went on our merry way.  Not this year, my friends.  A James Beard “America’s Classics” award and local word on the street have changed all that.  It’s an honor well-deserved, in my opinion.  Their king cake is…

All Because it’s Carnival Time

Some time has gone by since my last post.  We made it through the July 22 and August 5 flooding, and my first official hurricane, Nate, which was thankfully a non-event in New Orleans and became a good excuse for a porch party.  We elected our first woman mayor, hired an interim Executive Director of…

Eat Local Challenge

“For 30 days of June: eat only food grown, caught or raised within 200 miles of New Orleans.”  This challenge, put together by NOLA Locavores, is right up my alley.  I’m still learning about what is in season here, and when to expect to find it at the markets.  And I’m a bit lazy about…

Disaster Preparedness

I am unprepared for natural disaster.  My “worry serves little purpose” attitude has served me fairly well so far in my lifetime, thus far spent in a geographic region mostly spared by natural disasters.  But hurricane season approaches, officially kicking off on June 1 and extending through November 30.  So I have learned. Last year,…