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Food According to Elise

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My Momma, Elise, was a great cook!   She wasn't a gourmet cook by any rights, but she cooked every single day until her last few years.  She was good at it!  Her cooking was not particularly adventurous, nor did she use any exotic ingredients.  She grew up on a farm in rural Louisiana during the Great Depression and learned to use the food from the land.   As long as I can remember she tended some sort of garden.  It may have been 5 acres of vegetables, a blueberry patch or simply her roses.  She was a tiny thing and weighed 120 pounds dripping wet for her entire adulthood.  If that crept up at any point, she "dieted" until she was back at 120.   
She and my Daddy, Maxwell, were committed to feeding a family of six.  We four children never went hungry as they had in childhood.  My Daddy worked, but it was contract work and sometimes there was no work.  Feeding us was a priority, so they worked diligently to make sure there was not just enough, but plenty.  I can remember …

Quarantine Cooking Part 2

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We are in quarantine, so…. I started cooking!  We learned how to order groceries online and have them delivered to us.  We began using “touch free” grocery pick up.  I joined some cooking groups online.  I dug out cookbooks that I hadn’t touched in years.   Luckily, it’s the time of year for harvest and good availability of south Louisiana fresh fruits and vegetables.  My refrigerator and freezer have never been so full.  It’s become habit to make each evening very special with a cocktail hour and a sit down dinner.  There is nothing better than sitting down together to enjoy home cooked food.  It's my favorite part of the day!   
I decided to dig in and make the best of it!  What else was there to do?  My Momma used to quote the adage: “When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.”  Sounds cheesy, but that attitude has always been my mantra.  I don’t have lemons, but I do have lots of groceries including fresh tomatoes, cantaloupes, peppers and other fresh vegetables, some goo…

Quarantine Cooking

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Today is April 28, 2020.  The last time I went out in public was March 14....45 days ago.  During a coronavirus Stay at Home order imposed on my state, I have avoided people, places and all things social. Luckily my husband of 52 years years and I are compatible!

 It has not been hard to stay busy.  Closets are cleaned and drawers are organized.  Dusting, vacuuming and mopping are daily.  Laundry also daily, and never-ending, has kept me busy.  There is also yard work to fill my days.  Sewing face masks for family and friends has become an almost daily chore of love.  One of the most pleasurable tasks has been preparing food.  We are lucky enough to have food delivery and pickup available without breaking our quarantine, therefore, I cook!

I love cooking, but in retirement, my husband and I fell into a routine of frequent meals at restaurants.  We love going out to eat!  Since we had the resources and I was often busy during the day with volunteer work, bridge and social activities,…

Social Distancing, Coronavirus and Polio

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This anxiety about disease must be how it was for my parents during the polio epidemic of 1952. I was diagnosed with polio at age 4 in 1952. This is different since so far, by the Grace of God, COVID-19 has been kept away. As a polio patient, I was hospitalized and isolated. I remember the horrible headache that was symptomatic of the disease. I remember screaming during the spinal tap test that diagnosed the polio. I remember going to the window on the 5th floor of the BR General Hospital on the Florida Blvd. side and waving at my parents and siblings because they could not visit me. I don't think it was called "social distancing" in those days. I remember that I could not keep any of the toys I was given because of possible contamination. I remember being given a salt tablet every day. I developed a love for puzzles at that age. I had lots of them.... particularly a Cinderella one. I remember some children were in an iron lung. I remember whirlpool baths. I remember phys…

Traveling Trio Takes a Big Bite of the Big Apple

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How exciting to be able to spend a few days in New York City!  Three women descended from the sky and hit the ground running.  A 6:30 am nonstop flight from New Orleans made it possible to have almost an entire first day to enjoy the sites, sounds and tastes of the big city.  Thanks, Delta, for a smooth flight with no delay.  Having TSA Pre-check status was wonderful as there was no disrobing or pat downs in the line to board.  A real luxury!

Dot, Debbie and Donna made a trio of travelers looking for new adventures.  All of us had traveled to NYC many times, and this trip we wanted to see and do things that we hadn't experienced before.  Of course we stayed at a familiar hotel, The Marriott Marquis, because of the convenient location right in Times Square, and we did see Broadway plays and visit THE MET, but the trip was sprinkled with new fun each day.  Good planning was the key!

First things first:  Food.  We wanted to go somewhere we had never been so we sought out a recommen…

A Tribute to Martha Simmons-2018

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“As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him.  Martha had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.  She came to Jesus and asked,  ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?’ Tell her to help me!”~ Luke 10:38-40
St. Luke could easily have been talking about a present day Martha we all know and love. Our own smallish bundle of energy and sweetness is, and has been, the face of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church for over four decades.  We admire Martha, and many of us feel like St. Luke’s Mary.  We feel guilty because we just can’t keep up. And, the fact that our Martha has a few years on most of us only magnifies our feelings of guilt.
Martha and her family moved to Zachary in 1970 and joined St. John the Baptist Catholic Church at that time.  That was the beginning of Martha'…

Food for the Soul....Budget Style!

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My husband likes to bargain shop.  He often buys large quantities of a grocery item because "it was on sale!"  He can't resist the opportunity to save a few pennies.  Often we tire of the bargains before we use them up!  I have a pantry full of foods that looked good at the time, but of which we quickly tired of eating.  I am sure that some of my readers can relate.  I digress....Yesterday he brought home fifteen pounds of chicken thighs!  There were a real deal at sixty nine cents a pound.

Luckily, across town on the same day, a friend posted a picture of a dish  using chicken on her Facebook page.  My husband saw the post, admired it and then couldn't find it again.  He asked for the posting person to share the recipe.  In the meantime, several offered up their own versions and found some recipes for us on the Internet.  It was a conversation piece.  Perhaps we need to get real lives as the hunt for the recipe entertained us for hours

At the crack of dawn this m…