I remembered to pack the shampoo, dog treats, cell phone cord and numerous other essentials BUT I forgot my iPod charger! For me, a week without my music is a real hardship.
I’ve been slowly moving things back into the house since Sunday and the place is starting to look more like home.
Belgium approves. It's his tenth birthday tomorrow (Feb 6th).
The good news is that the majority of the work is done and all of the wood floors are refinished. They look great-- and, I did dump a lot of stuff, so there was less to bring back in.
The bad news is that the refinishers accidentally broke one of a pair of antique glass shades. The sdhades are on a Mission style fixture that hangs over my kitchen table. A hole mysteriously appeared in one of the windows in my office and there are various wall dings that now need patching.
Despite some residual dust, the refinishers were extremely diligent vacuuming and tiding up. The house really feels clean.
Now, however, I’ve become obsessed with polishing and primping everything I bring back in. Especially in the kitchen where we recently bought several new appliances.
The guys sanded the butcherblock countertops and I refinished them with 7 or 8 coats of mineral oil.
Even the pots are now sparkling! (Disclaimer: I tackled the really small ones first and there are several giant ones yet undone).
Here’s a closer look at the remaining glass shade. I’ve searched thousands of shades on line and apparently mine are not a common pattern (etched grape leaves). It looks like I will have to buy a pair. Has anyone has seen a pair of nice etched antique gas fixture slant shades (4” lip fitter) with a straight (not ruffled) lower edge? If so, please let me know where.I feel like an ingrate. I didn’t get a chance to post a photo of the wonderful mosaic gift sent to me by Brook. They arrived shortly before I had to pack and go. Aren’t they super? You can check out Brook’s romantic letters on eBay. Her ID is decoratingwithroses.
HAPPY MARDI GRASI was lucky enough to be on several photo shoots in New Orleans during the week preceding Mardi Gras in 2005 and 2006 (right after Hurricane Katrina.)
Photographer Dan Mayers with Alison, our Southern scout and tour guide extraordinaire. (Photo by Phil Mantas)The first time I visited Louisiana, I was in college. I spent a week in New Orleans and saw several parades leading up to Fat Tuesday (parades roll most afternoon and evenings for almost two weeks leading up to the big day) before traveling around the state.
On Mardi Gras Day, I was in Cajun country where centuries-old traditions were very much alive.
Masked revelers on horseback go from house to house begging for ingredients for a communal meal of gumbo.
Even today in New Orleans, Mardi Gras season is more about community than about tourists flashing their you-know-whats for a string of flashy beads."High chairs" --so the kids get a bird's eye view -- range from simple seats atop ladders to elaborate homemade contraptions.(Photo by Phil Mantas)Marching bands provide a lively soundtrack.
Most parades are family affairs – and communal pots of food are still very much in vogue...even in the French Quarter.
Of course, there are still sequins galore.
Hope you've enjoyed the parades. I certainly did!
Now, no matter where you live, it's the season to stir up a big pot of seafood gumbo. Here's my favorite recipe.
2-3 lbs Shrimp (heads or at least shells on)
1/2 lb crabmeat
2 bottles of clam juice
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup flour
2 stalks celery
3 scallions or shallots
1 Cubanelle green pepper
SPICES: 1 teaspoon each salt, black pepper, paprika, thyme, onion, garlic
2 more bottles clam juice
In large heavy pot: Cook shrimp and clams in 2 bottles of clam juice mixed with water to cover. When shrimp are barely pink, scoop out. When clams open, scoop them out. Pour liquid into a bowl and SAVE. When shrimp and clams have cooled down, remove all shells and put in a bowl in fridge.
With 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup flour make a light brown roux in same large heavy pot. Chop veggies and hot peppers in Cuisinart and add to roux. Stir around for about 5 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of tomato paste and all of the spices. Cook for two to three minutes. Add reserved shrimp liquid. Add 2 more bottles of clam juice. Heat for 10 minutes, then let sit on stove until needed.
Just before serving add oysters and crab meat and cook for a few minutes on low heat. Add shrimp and clams. Serve with rice.
*** BLOG DU JOUR ***
For photos from this year’s parades visit Bayou Contessa. Scroll down to see some great homes that Contessa Julie Neill loves.