King Cake 2017 – week 5

As usually happens with a long king cake season, I think I’ve lost my place. I’m pretty sure I’m on

15. Haydel’s apple filled – apple filling is the one filling that I consistently like. Maybe because I have a high tolerance for canned apple. This one was moist and tasty and not too sweet despite the sugar and the filling (not too sweet is subjective of course).

But it might be higher. My aunt passed away on January 28th and her funeral was last Friday. Many people brought king cakes to the repast (meal after the funeral) at my uncle’s house. I eventually started shelving them until we had room. I don’t think I ate slice of others. But who knows…

16. Mckenzies traditional (baked by Tastee Donuts) – for many NOLA natives, this is THE king cake. The dough is a barely sweetened brioche with just a sugar on top, no icing. If you grew up with a more sugary cake, you do not understand this love. But! My coworker had her first piece this week and said she now understands the fervor and will go find one for her house. 

17. Monkey Monkey traditional – When a friend posted that this local coffee shop/bakery was making their own king cakes AND the baby is a monkey, I knew I needed one. The monkey is not baked in because he is rubber not plastic but I’m not complaining. The dough is soft and is cinnamon-y and…something else, mace or nutmeg. And the icing has a nice lemon flavor. 

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Carnival 2016 roundup

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31 parades viewed. I missed 2 that parade in my area because the parades were running so late. I also missed the 2nd truck parade which I haven’t seen in years. I actually sat through 100 of the trucks which is more than any adult really needs.

21 king cakes tasted which is a lot considering how short the season was.

18 family members…plus an assortment of friends, pretend nieces & nephews and friends who should be family all hung out with. I got to see all 8 of my brothers’ children this season, including the 1st niece (who lives in Texas and is usually my unicorn) but not her new husband. I do love that parade going is still very much a family affair for me. And my Mom is still out there hardcore, and Dad enjoys the peace & quiet at home.

This early season was tough. Looking forward to a late Mardi Gras in 2017 (Feb.28th)!

Photo post: vintage handwritten recipe

Yes, I know the picture is blurry. But this sheet of paper is older than I am. My Granny never wrote down a recipe so Mom took this via the telephone. My Granny would take leftover roast and stretch it by making meat salad. You just kept adding additional ingredients like hardboiled eggs or veggies until you got the amount you needed.

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1960s era recipe

I like that she edited it years later with notes for when the meat grinder died and she used the food processor instead.

Carnival 2014 in numbers…

Mr. Bingle float in Krewe of Mid City...which, of course, runs on the Uptown route now.

Mr. Bingle float in Krewe of Mid City…which, of course, runs on the Uptown route now.

My final count on parades was 30. I saw 28 of the 29 parades that run in my neighborhood. I missed the 2nd truck parade on Mardi Gras day since it was such yucky weather, but stuck it out for the 1st 30-something floats of Elks-Orleanians to see a good friend of brother #4. Add the 2 parades from Mid-City (Endymion) and the Marigny/French Quarter (Krewe du Vieux) and that’s my total. Not bad for 18 days.

My King Cake total ended at 27. I didn’t sample any new cakes in the final few days, despite my best efforts.

Family members hung out with was at 24. All 4 brothers, my Mom (Dad wasn’t feeling any of it this year), 1 sister in law, 7 nieces, 1 nephew, 1 aunt, 1 uncle and 8 cousins. And, of course, an abundance of friends. That’s the great thing about going to parades, just hanging out (hopefully in great weather) with all your besties.

bags of throws

bags of throws

Bags of beads left at my house was around 6 or 8, definitely not all caught by me.

Number of wigs worn was at 3. This does not include wigs worn randomly around my house by me or others.

All and all a good carnival despite the weather. Most of us were counting on a warm year since the date was so late, but, I guess the Polar Vortex had other ideas. See you next year when the date is February 17th and will probably be unseasonably warm.

Hospitality as Indoctrination

When visiting or moving to New Orleans, you are welcomed to the point of madness (your own or the welcome wagon’s). It occurs to me that this welcoming is a form of indoctrination…

Be like us (while, of course, being yourself) and join our way of life. Let us show you how to enjoy life and appreciate your world. And if you don’t, then you don’t get us and aren’t a real New Orleanian.

Which brings me to the who’s more NOLA-er than thou debate raging around town, I will admit that I can be bad about this since parts of my family have lived in the GNO for over 150 years. I can show you where my great grandfathers’ had their coffee company & shoe shop, where my grandmother grew up, where my parents got engaged, and I love sharing that history…probably too much. But I think if you embrace what it means to be a New Orleanian (which is not a drunkard non-NOLA people), it means being part of your community, taking care of your neighbors, being tolerant (which includes live music and go-cups), celebrating life, and, yes, not making work the be all/end all of your life. The be all/end all is supposed to be your family, either the one you were born into or the one you created. Being yourself and if that self is eccentric, OK.

Which in a round about way, brings me back to my complaints about a certain NOLA chef on TopChefNOLA. Generosity of spirit and time, is a hallmark of being a denizen of this city. With his ill-manners and overall jerkiness, I say he’s not a New Orleanian based on behavior alone. Of course, it could all be editing.

That’s my Friday ramble…this was an idea that occurred to me while watching a Rising Tide panel in September and something I’ve been considering off and on since.

Living up to my user name…

Update: My awesome niece sent this photo of my grandparents at their wedding. It still hangs in their forever house, where my oldest brother and his family still live.

Pop & Mamere 1938

Pop & Mamere 1938


Lots of life changes for me over the last several months so I haven’t been posting too much, except y’know on my usual obsessions of art, food, music, New Orleans.

Also I communicate *ALOT* on twitter, and I’m not sure why my twitter feed isn’t working on this site right now. Something to figure out on another day.  But here’s what I’ve been up to today:

  • Texting with my older flower niece on the recent death of her pet hedgehog who was taken too young.
  • Texting with a friend regarding his grandfather’s latest health issue and impending need to go into a nursing home.
  • Texting with a different friend regarding his sister’s recent fall in the French Quarter.
  • G-Chat harassing my cousin/younger-sister-designate.
  • Tweet conversations with various friends in real life & online only from New Orleans to Dublin (Ireland that is).
  • Communicating with still another friend about home improvement, company recommendations and his purchase of a linen suit (via text, twitter DM, and twitter).

The linen suit conversation made me think of my Pop who died in 1974; he was my mother’s father. So here’s a series of tweets that I sent out:

  • My grandparents were married in 1938 when they were both over 30 (OLD)! They couldn’t be married at St. Stephen’s b/c my Pop was protestant.
  • So they were married in the front room of Mamere’s house on Camp St. Pop were a bright white linen suit and Mamere wore a brown dress…
  • She was considered too old to wear a white dress that was for “young” brides.If that house on Camp ever comes up for sale, I want it…
  • My great-grandmother sold it in the 1950s. There have only been 2 owners since, I think. Thanks for reading
  • My final thought on Pop’s white linen suit; years later he GLOWS in the photo and the rest is fading. My Mamere thought this was funny. #fin

Oh and I’m working too. AND avoiding typing up performance reviews…