Saturday, September 27, 2008

Taking a deep breath

September 27, 2008


Ooh it’s a quiet day around here. We’ve had a gas shortage and, though the lines have stopped and the supply seems to be back, everyone is spooked and is staying home. Maybe they’re getting their yard work done. It’s certainly time.

I kind of like these quiet days. I have a list of things to do and, frankly, the list is longer than the available time. A quiet day means few phone calls, few interruptions, lots of space and peace for me to plug along, checking things off, getting organized.

I’m now back from my New Orleans conference and, as happens at these things, have a long list of things I want to do, need to do, might do. Today is a good day for that too.

I must say, I had some extraordinarily memorable bites and glimpses and snips of this and that in that city. Things there were kind of quiet too, but that just left more room for those of us who were there. It was bustling enough, but roomier than I’d seen before. We went there specifically to help our colleagues in the culinary world. They’ve been hit hard but watching them and listening to them was a revelation to me.

A dear friend of mine is a blues singer and one of her favorite songs is “I’m Still Here,” a Sondheim song from Follies. “Good times and um times, I’ve seen ‘em all and my dear, “I’m still here….” I have been through those good times and bad times. We all have. But I have never had every single thing I own carried away by flood waters. I have never had to leave my home and I have never had to be completely out of contact with everyone I love and care about. These women have. But there they were, cooking and sharing and being so lovely and so gracious. I was heart-stopping. Life changing.

So make a point to go to New Orleans. The food is SO good. Go to Dooky Chase, where 85 year old Leah Chase is still at the stove cooking authentic Creole du Coleur cuisine. Go to Bayona for Susan Spicer’s offerings, go to Commander’s Palace, go to Lillette and have some of Beth Biundo’s fabulous panna cotta, go to MiLa and have anything that the two young chefs make. Go to Café Adelaide’s Swizzle Stick Bar and ask Lu to make you a “Sunset on the Rocks.” Go to Rock ‘n Bowl on Zydeco night. Dance. Laugh. Cavort. It’ll do you good.

I’m glad to be home. And I also can’t wait to go back.
A weekend is not nearly long enough.

No comments: