Like my friend, Lola, I enjoy cooking — just not for myself and/or Jack. I’m a social cook; I enjoy cooking with and for others, particularly family and friends.
Our family typically celebrates holidays around food and they sometimes culminate around a theme. For Easter, my daughter-in-law, Mandy, suggested a New Orleans theme — one she has wanted to try since she bought a cookbook in that city years ago.
The recipes in the book come from various restaurants and chefs in the city.
I picked out four recipes and went shopping. Her husband, my Navy son, and I prepped and cooked most of the dishes. His background as a chef means much finer and faster chopping, dicing and mixing.
We stopped between prepping to watch the grandkids hunt for eggs outside among the tulips and other flowers abloom on a spring day.
Zac and I went back to work.
Two of the recipes I’ve made before — Dirty Rice and Muffulettas — but from different recipes. And Jack and I indulged in a Muffuletta outside the Central Grocery (the originator of the sandwich) in N’awlins a few years back.
The Dirty Rice recipe I made before tasted much better than this one yet it was palatable.
The most wonderful dishes were Oyster and Artichoke Soup and Shrimp Bayou Laforche — rich, creamy and gorgeous. We nearly bathed in butter.
Zac and I hugged each other, grateful for being together and creating a wonderful feast for people we care about.
I weighed 2 pounds more the following day. Lucky for our family, cooking holidays come with enough time in between for us to recover.