We shop at the Hollygrove Market every Saturday for our $25 basket of seasonal produce, and we note what we get on this blog each week. In a previous post, I mentioned our curiosity about the difference in the low-income demographic of the neighborhood and the demographic of our fellow shoppers. Simply put, the shoppers at the market are socio-economically very different from the surrounding residents. Not content to assume this observation was accurate just based upon what we saw, I asked Kevin at Hollygrove for his take. He was kind enough to respond and to confirm our assumptions. Additionally, he provided good information on why that is the case and what the Market has planned to address it. His complete response is in the prior post.
Today, I want to consider the more provocative question: why should we even care?
He Said so kindly planned a date night for us last night for some much needed rejuvenation post travel and anniversary party we threw for his parents this weekend. I told him I wanted to be surprised. I was super excited to realize upon staying on the interstate past our usual turnoff for the Quarter that we were either going to the Westbank (and if you know my husband this was not an option) or to St. Charles Avenue. Yippee! Delmonico it is!
We arrive 20 minutes early to have a cocktail in the bar pre-dinner. We were promptly seated and greeted by a host of service members. We were seated upstairs in a corner spot in a room with 4 other tables. We settle in on a bottle of Chappallet to pair with our dinner selections. He Said ordered us the calamari and rabbit crepes to start followed by my entree of duck confit and his selection of the lamb sirloin.
Well, not exactly. I spent last weekend in Houston for a family baptism. I could surely review those restaurants, but we don’t have them here anyway. I returned Sunday night and flew back out for a conference Tuesday morning.
On that morning I whined to He Said about the fact that I was going to be held captive by a week of Sysco! Bummer right? Well, I thought so anyway. Visions of mass produced, packaged danishes for breakfast and rubber chicken for lunch gave me nightmares. It was however, not as bad as I had expected.
Breakfast with another woman is generally not in the best interests of a healthy marriage. Blogging about it is even worse. Sometimes, exceptions must be made. My wife was out-of-town last weekend, attending our new nephew’s christening in Texas. So it was my youngest daughter who agreed to be my date for breakfast.
I was loving the cool weather, and she was freezing, as we waited outside Slim Goodies on Magazine. This is a classic NOLA diner, near the top of my list for post-hangover eats. No such motivation was in effect on this morning, but we nevertheless like this place very much.
In the mood for some health food? How about some Froot Loops? Wouldn’t that be a smart choice?
The Associated Press reported today that the the FDA is “warning food manufacturers about labels containing misleading health benefits.”
The report highlights the incredible, industry-sponsored Smart Choices program, which I’ve mentioned in a previous rant about NYC’s anti-soda marketing campaign. There are a couple of items in this article that are just priceless. According to the Associated Press, the FDA is concerned that food manufacturers “might be misleading people” about the “actual health benefits” of things like cereal and crackers. No way. That is just so hard to believe.
According to the same article, the Smart Choices program was the brainchild of Kraft, Kellogg,General Mills and others to “combat the growing concern over obesity rates.”
A very slick line, and an undeniably true one. I’ll admit to a grudging admiration for the cojones of the foxes in the nutritional henhouse. How neatly they sidestep professing any desire to combat the obesity rate itself. Your fatness doesn’t worry us at all, Mr. John Q. Public, but you realizing you’re fat absolutely scares the shit out of us. Well, actually, that’s not true either. In point of fact, all we have to do is convince you that our box of colored sugar is better for you than the box one shelf down, and it’s all good.
As you probably guessed already, Froot Loops made the Smart Choice cut.
“Champage is my beverage of choice. It’s delicious, festive, does not require mixing…”
In general, a person’s approach to wine and cocktails says very much about whether I will like them. Admittedly, this probably says very little about me, but hey, I think shallowness is underrated. Whatever.
Anyway, smart quote from someone who obviously knows how to throw a party. When someone invites me to a party and tells me to bring my own cocktails, I’m like, ok, I can just have the party at my own house, as I already have the essential ingredient. I digress.
Bonjour Madame is a cool blog by a devoted Francophile. We ran across it when we saw her post in praise of Galatoire’s. Any friend of Galatoire’s is a friend of ours. Like the Madame, we too believe the French are good for much more than just cheese and surrender. Recently, she’s done a multi-part series on entertaining, including guidance on dealing with the inevitable inter-guest issues. Or, in my words: “why is this psychopath at my house?” I have sooo been there.
So, check her out if you are so inclined, particularly if you anticipate the Huns descending on your abode this Holiday season and you’re looking for coping strategies more complex than simply taking a Valium (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
We are cooks, and Mr. Mirepoix is also a cook. We are very much alike.
Kind of like how Sherwin Williams and Picasso are both painters. See where I’m going here?
Being his house guest is like Mario Battali inviting you over for a slumber party. You stay up all night, drink too much with the lovely Mrs. Mirepoix, and watch him combine random shit in the fridge and pantry into something incredible.
So here’s his take on Chicken Liver Mousse. On a related note, I made hot chocolate from scratch last weekend. No, really. I don’t want to upstage his post, so I’ll save that for another day.
Mr. Mirepoix said:
Tom Fitzmorris, the ur-foodie of New Orleans, claims we now have 1033 restaurants open around town, a staggering number for a city this size. We could eat out every day for more than three years and not see the same place twice. It is this overwhelming diversity that has turned us into restaurant bedouins, restless and rootless. I don’t think we’ll ever get to all 1033 places; frankly, that’s not even the objective.
Rather it is, as Robert Frost would have known, the lure of the road not taken, the plate uneaten, that makes all the difference. We love the welcoming comfort of an old friend like Bayona, but so frequently we don’t love it enough to overcome the allure of a stylish newcomer like Bistro Daisy (still a place we have not been). Significant benefits accrue from this approach: we’ve experienced a very broad cross-section of NOLA dining, and I think we have a better feel for the overall dining scene than we would if most of our time were spent in a single place.
We had another busy week which provided limited opportunities to get creative in the kitchen. Unfortunately this coming week will be the same because I will be out of town at a conference the majority of the week.
As a side note, one of our friends was inspired by our mind-numbing weekly recitation of what we ate (is this not the most navel-gazing narcissistic thing ever?) to post his own version on his blog.
We were involved in the Making Strides Cancer Walk last Saturday, so we missed Hollygrove and found ourselves out of both food and ideas, but at least there was no squash. Here’s how we did:
Sunday: Leftovers from Saturday cooking extravaganza including but not limited to: lasagna, shrimp and spaghetti, red beans and rice, veggies and salad. We were hanging out with my sisters and celebrating my niece’s birthday and had tons of leftovers from the previous night.
Monday: Leftover shrimp and spaghetti. He Said interjects, “No complaints from me; I like this stuff.”
Tuesday: Rainbow Trout Fricassee. I have to admit that I did not know there was such a thing as a Cajun Fricassee, but it does exist. Essentially, this was a roux-based dish incorporating the trinity and two rainbow filets. Very nice, different, and I was just excited to be able to claim victory over a fricassee! We left the gym with no food and no ideas, and this was on the table literally one hour later.
Wednesday: Spaghetti and meat sauce. My best friend’s dad is in the hospital and I wanted to make something quick that would feed the masses. I was working with very limited time to get something out after visiting with her at the hospital. Paired the spaghetti with some cupcakes and it was a winner!
Do we even need to address what was the best meal of the week? I think not!
He and she said:
We’ve added a new page, The Big Restaurant List. This is a master list of the places we’ve been over the past couple of years, and we’ll try to review them bit by bit. You can click on the page to check it out.