Chicken, Andouille and Shrimp Gumbo


GumboHappy Mardis Gras Y’all!

We are in the final days of Mardis Gras season here, and thawed out Yankee can tell you, it’s quite the time!! For years I’ve heard of the madness and mayhem of the parades and bead tosses- but there is nothing- I mean NOTHING like experiencing it. 

It’s not just the beads (though as one friend of said, “It’s amazing what a woman will do to get cheap beads.”), it’s not just the crazy floats and music in the streets, it’s the whole vibe and energy of a town gone party wild!


I experienced my first parade, the Krewe de Vieux, in New Orleans the weekend before last. This is one of the few parades that wends it’s way through the French Quarter, and it was a blast. Known for it’s irreverence and political bent, the Krewe de Vieux theme this year was “Where The Wild Things Are”. All along Esplanade, as we headed down to find our spot to watch, folks in costumes filled the streets and city busses. My favorite were groups dressed as Max from the book of that title, on bicycle! Tails whipping behind them as they careened down the avenue, and all around an air of frat house partying and good times.

Shreveport has it’s own splendid Mardis Gras, and no less of the chaos and rapture of New Orleans. I was told that Mardis Gras is a local holiday (schools close, businesses shut down), and though I didn’t doubt it, I just didn’t realize how seriously folks took it. Give a Louisianian an opportunity to dance and party in the streets, and they are all about it!

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Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktail: Celebration Food #SundaySupper

shrimp cocktail, shrimp, appetizer

I know we’re getting into the time of year of bridal showers and baby showers and such- but it’s also coming on GRADUATION time-as it turns out- MY graduation!

I am delighted to announce that I have officially completed my Masters degree coursework, and my thesis has been accepted and approved!  I am now able to proudly place the letters, MS, after my name. Earlier this week, when I received the confirmation, I was immediately hit with wild, teary emotion. I was washed over with such a powerful feeling of relief and satisfaction. I had set a long range goal, and now, after imagining this moment for so long- it is finally here. 

So dear friends, if you have nothing else to raise a glass for, you are welcome to join me in my happy dance as your excuse to eat, drink, and be merry!  (there really should be dancing)

For those who don’t know, I’ve been working on my degree is in Nutrition and Applied Physiology at Columbia University. It was a long 7 years ago when I made the decision to rearrange my life and head back to school. It was terrifying at first. I had been a fairly confident and successful business woman, but what if I failed at this? After all, it had been 20+ years since I sat in a classroom. I was dedicating myself to a long ranged commitment, and I wasn’t exactly clear of the direction that I wanted to go- just a positive feeling that I had to point my bow forward and keep plodding toward it.  

And you know what happens when you follow a passion- it brings you to places you never imagined, which are wholly more fantastic. That hazy first step turned into a steady stream of many. Though I had many moments of feeling overwhelmed, or questioned the risks and investments I was making- in the end it has left me stronger, and frankly, amazed.

The work and struggle have not all been my own.  Sacrifice and patience has been demanded of several people in my life, especially my beautiful fiancée Pam.

For the past two years I’ve been living in NYC while she has been renovating and tending to our home in Louisiana. There has been a lot of back and forth, and hours upon hours of FaceTime, which frankly has just worn us out. In a few weeks we will attend my convocation. Shortly after I doff my mortar board and gown, Pam and I will pack up my apartment and head home- at last- together. Then my life will begin- again.


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