Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanks for Thanksgiving

This is our second Thanksgiving in New Orleans, and I still love being able to sit outside in a sundress enjoying food, friends, football, and fine wine.  Consumed today:

  • Turkey, both roasted and fried
  • Oysters, both grilled and fried
  • Oyster dressing
  • Shrimp & Mirliton
  • Seafood gumbo
  • Ham
  • Cornbread and sausage dressing
  • Mac & cheese
  • Three kinds of cranberry sauce
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Wine, beer, mimosas
I am in a post-feast fugue, which should explain the bulleted list with little narrative action. 

Hope everyone out there had a good Thanksgiving, wherever you may or may not be celebrating. I have so much to be thankful for- many of these things are detailed in this blog!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


“If I had them (the attackers) face to face, I'd embrace them. I forgive them.”Rafael Delgadillo, a New Orleans survivor.

The fundraiser that I participated in organizing occurred this past Thursday. After the original planning meeting that I mentioned in this post, we - the community - rallied to create the fundraising event, under the auspices of the RAFA-V Foundation, called RAFApalooza. After the initial frenzy of organization, I had to drop back my involvement pretty significantly due to some family issues that needed my attention, but due to the amazing energy, vision, and skills of a spitfire named Sara Hudson, the event was AMAZEBALLS.

The final monetary totals are yet to be released - Monday seems to be the target date for that - but there were probably around 400 people there, about 40 different silent auction items up for bid, a half dozen restaurants spooning out delicious food (a dish called jambalaya grits has stolen my heart!) and all sorts of people: cops, politicians (Council Member Susan Guidry,) young, old, black, brown, white... a proclamation declaring November 17 (the date of the party) a Day of Nonviolence (maybe I should check the crime stats out to see how that worked out...) It was intense and awesome and exhausting.

Yet with all of this, Rafael still loves his city. When this city let him down, he did not leave. He stayed. He stayed to do something about it and the community has rallied around him and the need to stop this culture of violent living in New Orleans. We have a generation of hopelessness and despair, of feeling undervalued and tossed to the wayside, the “lost generation of New Orleans” if you respect for their own lives much less anybody else's. And WE must be the ones to stop it.
So, first on the agenda is RAFApalooza: A Fundraiser, Silent Auction, & Anti-Violence Event. Rafael explained, “As I was recovering from the shooting, it seemed that the city and community in general was really affected by what happened and really rallied around it. So it’s become much bigger than me. A lot of folks are starting to understand that they have a role to play in dealing with the epidemic of violence that’s affecting the city.”
Organizer Sara Hudson added, “As soon as people found out about what happened to Rafael, twenty-four hours later we had fifty people in a room saying, ‘What are we gonna do? What are we gonna do for Rafael and for this city?!’ This was an impetus to really take action and not just say, ‘Oh, this is bad.’ This is not about finding these individuals; this is about a systemic problem. It’s not about two kids and a gun. It’s about a city full of kids with guns.”

Well done, y'all.  But this is only one step in an ongoing battle.  Never forget that indifference kills.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

If it's not Scottish...

I think that Scottish cooking gets a bad rap. Yes, the Scots pioneered the fried Mars bar and haggis is for some reason considered disgusting by a nation of people who willingly eat hot dogs on a regular basis, but Scotland has an amazing natural bounty of local food. Pair that with amazing cask ale and much single malt scotch, and we are talking about the potential for some serious deliciousness.

First of all, so excited to be in the UK to have decent curry. Korma so sweer and nutty and delicate, onion bhaje, mulligatawny soup I could bathe in, balti, biyriani... Scottish lamb in the curry which is so tender and tasty... Nom! Also, the papadum here is much better. As are the chutneys. Anyway. I'm pretty pleased with my current curry situation.

I will also note that we have had some wildly inauthentic but excellent pub curries, which are a treat.
Living in New Orleans, we are certainly accustomed to amazing local seafood, but here they also have an extensive variety of smoked seafood, including salmon, haddock, and herring.

As far as super straight up traditional Scottish food goes, we have had: traditional scottish breakfast, porridge, pheasant, grouse, haggis, neeps (mashed turnip), and tatties (mashed potato), clootie dumpling, and sticky toffee pudding. All delicious.

Rethink everything you've ever thought about Scottish food! Also, check out my pictures and see if you can figure out what they are, I can't format and label them whilst posting on my phone. I also suggest you check out my other blog, to read about pub experiences.