I haven't had Crawfish. It's strange that I haven't, considering I eat all sorts of fish & shell fish. After several visits to New Orleans, I still haven't had Crawfish.
But I really want to try the little "mud bugs". Supposedly, you can find them in the Sacramento Delta and there's even a Crawdad Festival.
Side note: I didn't know that there are two names for the same creature and it's regional. Crawfish is a southern term/name & Crawdad is elsewhere. Go figure!
There is even a right way to eat this little buggers, How to Eat Crawfish. Also there is a Crawfish and/or Crawday (I am so confused) season. I didn't know this either. Wow, I am learning all sorts of fun facts, this week!
So I have put on my 2013 list, "Eat Crawfish/Crawdads". I know, I am living "La Vida Loca"!
Phew! What a holiday season! But now that I have caught my breath and enjoying being home. I can start to tell a few stories of a magical holiday season, that was had by me!
As I hinted back in December, I went to New Orleans to celebrate a BIG birthday. New friends met us for the big birthday weekend, which was their first visit. This trip had fun, fun written all over it!
This wasn't my first trip to the "Crescent City", but I had a few things to see, do, eat and drink. Please note that not one item is on Bourbon Street.
I don't "do" Bourbon street, but for our "newbies", we walked down Bourbon, at 8:30 in the morning, on our way to Cafe Du Monde. Anyone who describes New Orleans and uses Bourbon street as part of the describtion, is doing New Orleans a great disservice. That's all I have to say about Bourbon street.
My "Must Do" list included several items, here were a few:
When it came to Sazerac's, we found out that not all Sazerac's are created equal.
The Sazerac Bar, at the Roosevelt Hotel.
My favorite was The Sazerac Bar, which claims being the place were the drink was invented. BUT this is highly disputed, depending where you get your resource material. Anyway, the Sazerac Bar is the type of bar that I love and usually they are set in old established hotels that exudes an old world elegance & style.
The Roosevelt Hotel is one of these hotels.
Travel Tip # 1: The woman's public restroom is one of the elegant ones. If you are around Canal street, it's a good thing to know in a city with few public restrooms. Remember to tip the attendant.
Just off the lobby is the bar.
After many hours of walking, eating and shopping, this was an oasis in the middle of the desert. It was time to taste the famous drink.
For those of you who watch the series "Treme", it was a Sazerac, that Jeanette threw in the NYC critic's face. Sorry, I digressed.
You ask, "What's in a Sazerac"? Well....................
A true cocktail with 3 ingredients. But this isn't a sissy drink, it's a true sipper. It is the perfect cocktail to partake while relaxing in this elegant bar. Watching the bartenders is entertainment in itself.
The drink being prepared in this shot, is a Ramos Fizz. At home, I use a blender, not sure if I have the skill for this technique!
As I find myself crawling above the stacks of work and personal obligations, I wonder, "Where did the holidays go? Wasn't it Christmas & New Years, yesterday"?
It doesn't help my diminutive sense of time, that I went from a glorious 50th birthday celebration weekend, in New Orleans (more on that later) to the frozen tundras of Kentucky for work.
There in Northern Kentucky, I found fellow associates, born & bred Californians complaining about the quality of the fruits & vegetables, especially citrus. This discussion made me stop and think , "Do I take for granted the daily bounty of California?".
Citrus is everywhere.
Growing up in the Central Coast of California (a.k.a. Salad Bowl of the USA), citrus was part of my Christmas flavors (also Dungess Crab, See's Candy & sourdough bread). I have lived in places where I had avocado, fig & citrus trees growing in a backyard. The idea of not having easy access to these fruits/flavor, is foreign to this Cal Gal.
Where am I going with this diatribe?
As I peel my "Cutie", I give thanks for living in California.
I forgot about this picture.
It might seem to you like an arty image of the sun shining thru a window, in the late afternoon, bouncing off a beverage.
It's Seagram's VO & water, my mother's favorite drink. This was Tiki Don's way of paying homage to Bab's, the woman you gave me life.
This was our last drink together, in her home, before the new owners took possession of the house.
When the temperatures go past 90 degrees and there isn't a pool, ocean or lake in sight. There is nothing more refreshing and cooling to me than drinking Japanese, cold green tea.
I can't remember if it was a trip to Hawaii or Japan that I tried this brand of unsweetened, iced green tea. But instantly, I became a convert and ever since have had difficulty finding it on the mainland.
Then I found this version by ITO EN on the mainland. These are very good but not the same.
The moment I arrive in Kauai, my first stop is Costco, where I buy a case of this wonderful beverage. If I am truly lucky, there will be this seasonal version.
I have been known to pack the last few bottles in my suitcase to take home. Where they live in my pantry, for those first scorching hot days of summer. After drinking the last drop of tea in the last bottle, I start counting the days until our next trip to the Garden Island (Kauai).
Do you have a favorite summer drink?
I am not shy. I'm not.
You need an icebreaker, you call me. Those of you who know me in my later years, would be shocked to know that I have mellowed with age.
Now, don't get me wrong. There have a been a few "rare" moments that I have been tongue tied, star struck. I can count them on one hand. But the most recent was because of this man.
Yes, the Chefs Chef, Rick Bayless. Winner of Top Chef, author, traveler and owner of one my favorite restaurants, Frontera Grill.
Now this was a few years back, but when I was offered the chance to have my copy of his cookbook, Mexico-One Plate at a Time, autographed, while dinning at Frontera Grill. I literally stopped speaking, could only make gurgling sounds and wanted to crawl under the table.
My then boyfriend, now husband was surprised if not blown away at my reaction. Smirking, he got up with my cookbook and had Rick autograph it. (Thank you, DT).
This same fearless man gave me Rick's (Yes, I am on first name basis, if I could speak to him!) newest cookbook, "Fiesta at Rick's".
What makes this cookbook different from all the others is that recipes are categorized by party type but has everything from suggested play lists, the ability to scale up or down the serving sizes and various types of beverages.
I HIGHLY recommend this cookbook. If you are not sure, check out his TV series, Mexico, One Plate at a Time. It is because of Rick, I am not intimidated by mole's or experimenting with Tamarind.
I truly wish I was Rick's older but weird sister, that he occasionally invites to travel to Mexico and invites to his backyard Fiesta's. (Note: I have a very vibrant fantasy life!).
Did I tell you, I am not shy.
I have been reading and following Micheal Ruhlman since I saw him on an episode of Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations".
No Reservations in another of my "guilty pleasures", but more of that in a later post.
What I found intriguing about Micheal was his love for his hometown but how articulate he was in communicating that love to Tony.
Michael has some very interesting points about cooking and humanity in this video which was a team effort from the The White on Rice Couple.