Friday, September 30, 2011



My son shakes his head in dismay and disappointment as he stares at the screen. “You are doing it all wrong,” he exclaims, speaking to me as if I was a wayward, naughty child caught with my hand in the cake batter, chocolate smeared across my face. He grabs the laptop and begins to scroll through other blogs that he has discovered, pointing out that I, too, need to reduce my words to the bare minimum and simply offer my readers recipes and only recipes, easy to make, easy to find, easy to access. “Who wants to read through long, rambling stories on a food blog?” I have heard, sadly I might add, the same or something similar from my husband and older son as well. “But what,” I ask them, my heart pounding, breath coming short and fast, “do I do with my stories? I am, after all, first and foremost a writer! I can’t just stop writing, can I? You know what they say… A writer writes….always!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I have always wanted to be one of those people, on gliding swiftly through the sliding glass doors into some minimalist, chilly airport hall after a long flight, who find their name printed on a square of white cardboard, held up for all the world to see by some elegantly dressed professional driver. Printed, not hand-written. VIP.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


The small flag we found planted in front of mom's house the morning of 9/11

For some, life is divided into pre-9/11 and post-9/11. For others, pre-Katrina and post-Katrina defines their world and dots their conversation. In my own private world, everything changed the day my brother died.

Friday, September 9, 2011



I always put on a few pounds whenever I come back home to visit. Donuts and hamburgers with everything on it (not to mention the fries), milkshakes and pizza; no matter how I try and stick to the salads, fresh fruit and good sense, the pull of the foods I grew up on is too strong for me. My self-restraint melts away in front of each diner, my self-control stays out in the parking lot, withering in the scalding Florida sun as I stroll the aisles of my favorite supermarket and the constant, endless parade of restaurant menus scream out to me, grab me by the arms and shake all reason straight out of my head, luring me with the fried, the barbecued and the cheesy. And the fun of being 16 again holds too great a charm, popping out to a favorite haunt with friends, sitting over baskets of goodies, sipping soda or beer and giggling over old times. But as the jeans get a tad snugger, the zipper that much harder to pull closed, I scold myself for my gluttony, that evil little voice whispers in my ear reminding me how I will feel when I return to France and I try and muster up the courage to shake my head no and wave away the next temptation.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Madame Lily Devalier always asked "Where are you?" in a way that insinuated that there were only two places on earth one could be: New Orleans and somewhere ridiculous.
- Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

I’ve experienced New Orleans vicariously through the life my son has led over the course of the past year. Telephone calls filled with barbecues and po’boys, gumbo and jambalaya, Mardi Gras and brass bands. Excited words expressing the enthusiasm and passion of an entire town, the people of this magnificent city. A people and a city both rising from the rubble of Katrina like a phoenix, proud and beautiful, so appreciative for the love of those who came to help rebuild, such as my son. The romance of this very romantic city touched even a 21-year-old young man normally oblivious to his surroundings, usually wary of attachment and so very matter-of-fact. The generosity and the spirit of the locals galvanized him, their own love of The City of Jazz and Cuisine left an imprint on his soul that moved me and urged a visit.


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