Photo by Lisa Mulvey
Posts tagged ‘New Orleans’
I recently lost a relative of mine this past summer. It was a sudden and tragic death. While the rest of the family was gathering in the aftermath to let the loss sink in, one of the women in the younger generation lamented the loss of this person’s crabmeat au gratin. My relative made this dish every Christmas, and everyone that gathered waited patiently to have a taste of the fabulous recipe that showcased the sweet lump crabmeat. So the discussion ensued and everyone began wringing their hands over the loss of the recipe for this dish, when lo and behold one of the children piped up and said “look here, the recipe is right here in this cookbook!”
Everyone breathed a sigh of relief that the dish was saved and that in memory of our loved one we could raise a toast and a dollop of crabmeat au gratin on a cracker over the holidays. And this got me to thinking; what about all those beloved recipes that were lost, never to be tasted again. A particular recipe that is gone was my grandmother’s rice pudding. My mother said that no matter how hard she tried, she could never replicate it. Back then recipes were barely written down: a list of ingredients and if you were lucky maybe you had the quantities alongside the items. And never mind the process to assemble the dish, all one could get was add this, add that, cook for about an hour (forget the temperature) and voila! your recipe is done!
Losing a recipe because someone failed to write it down is one thing. What is more egregious is someone that makes a particular dish that everyone loves, yet refuses to share it with anyone. I recall an acquaintance I knew in my 20′s who made the best red velvet cake I’ve ever tasted in my life. It was rich, moist, and had the best cream cheese icing! I was able to partake on a few occasions and no matter how much I begged her, she flat out refused to share the recipe and then had the nerve to gloat over how good it tasted and how no one could ever share in that delight by making it and passing the recipe forward. All I can remember about her is the extreme selfishness and if she ever died how bittersweet it would be that only empty plates would be her legacy. Remember that when you so tenaciously guard your recipes over the holidays and insist on taking them to the grave. Instead of your remaining loved ones celebrating your memory by recreating your dish, all they will have to hang on is a bitter person that refused to share their love from the kitchen so others could enjoy.
So in memory of my loved one, please enjoy their crabmeat au gratin – Happy Thanksgiving
2 large white onions chopped
1 bunch green onions chopped
6 ribs celery chopped
1/2 # butter (2 sticks)
4 tbsp flour
1 large & 1 small can evaporated milk
2 egg yolks
2 # lump crabmeat
12 oz. grated swiss or cheddar
Salt & pepper & hot sauce
Saute onion, celery & butter, add flour & blend, then add evaporated milk & blend. Remove from heat & add egg, crabmeat, salt, pepper and cheese. Put in an 8″ casserole and add extra cheese on top, then bake for 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until bubbly.
(cross posted on the mosquito coast)
posted in memory of Amelie
Last week I took a little walk along the newly paved bike and pedestrian path on the levee in Algiers. I’ll be honest, this is something I doubted would happen in my lifetime, yet here it is! The newly constructed path runs from the Algiers/Canal Street ferry landing up to just down river of Federal City, a two-mile stretch. It’s connected to the path that already existed from the ferry to Huey P. Long Ave in Gretna. The new section is lit by solar lights for evening strolling and biking and won’t that just be a gorgeous sight with the lights from the city in the background? Benches will be added along the path in the coming weeks creating great river- watching and breath-catching spots.
The next phase of the path, from Federal City to the Chalmette ferry landing, will be added when money for the project is raised. I can’t wait for that since I live a block off the river within that span of the levee which will make it a hop, skip and jump for my dogs and me to access the path. This development along the river has long been anticipated in Algiers and I’m very happy to see it coming to fruition.
Folks in New Orleans really get into Halloween, decorating everything in celebrating the big holiday of fall. Many homes parallel the decorations on homes during the Christmas season. One of the more infamous homes that celebrates the end of October can be found along St. Charles Avenue near Audubon Park. Here they are, the New Orleans skeleton gang!
Fall is truly the best time to be in New Orleans – Happy Halloween everyone!
NOLAFemmes has been my baby for the past four years – her birthday was July 9. I’ve coddled her along and watched her grow from a not-quite-there idea to what she is today thanks to the efforts of the amazing women who’ve written on her pages. I could never have done it alone. We’ve had some great times and achieved some beautiful things on this blog. We’ve been featured on WordPress’s Freshly Press three times: here, here and here. Two of our stories (here and here) went viral nationally. Many, many other heart-felt and thought-provoking stories have been written on these pages, big stories and small ones, and I am so proud of each and every one. In January of this year I wrote a sort of State of the Blog post where I thanked our readers and my writers for their love and loyalty and I want to thank y’all again right now – for the last time. I’ve decided to retire as owner and administrator of this blog and to “pass the torch” to Amy Mueller. Amy has written on this blog almost from the very beginning and I know she will take it to the next level with her writing and editing expertise. And I know she will love it as I have – I believe that. The quote above is so very true. I’ve pondered for many months where I wanted to go with the blog. Finally, I made the hard decision that I simply no longer have the time or energy to give it the attention it deserves but I just couldn’t allow it to languish out there in no woman’s land. I was fighting to hold on, then fighting letting go. In the end, I know this is the right thing to do and I thank Amy for stepping up and taking over. Once again, huge thanks and hugs to our readers – you are a big part of what made this blog successful and fun and I hope you’ll continue to grace us with your loyalty.