Saturday, March 6, 2021

Cajun Vacation - Mom's Birthday, Thanksgiving, and a Wedding

Landing in the city of New Orleans on post-Presidental Election Day, my nephews cruised up to the curb and we were on our way to see Mom, or as my nephews call her, Maw Maw. And I get Cajun Cuisine as quick as I can.

Click on any photo to see larger.

These days it's a tossup, is it a Fried Oyster Po-Boy or Fried Chicken Plate? Leader's Fried Chicken took round one. I got it with Red Beans and Rice

Mom was a bit under the weather at first. But each day she seemed to get a little more active, even working on her plants and flowers. 

The next morning headline read "Biden Wins," and this is Trump Country, oh boy! 

But, at least there were special Mardis Gras-hued donuts from Mary Lee to start the day and you can get them warm, just ask. 

It was a day to watch CNN and Fox for a news whiplashing.

I visit Mom in Gonzales, Louisiana, which is known as the "Jambalaya Capital of the World" and click here to see Mom's recipe video.

During this visit, I followed around the Swamp Chef as he hit the links with his nephews Matt and Zak.

Golf courses in Louisiana are lush with trees and lakes, and of course sandtraps!

After a game at the Historic City Park Golf Course (BREC) in Baton Rouge, we had hot dogs at Frankie's Dawghouse. Man, were they gooood! They're described as "gourmet" although I don't know if a hot dog with Mac & Cheese and Bacon is "gourmet?" More like "working class" to me.

Mom felt good enough to make us her famous Banana Bread. She has low potassium so a lot of nutritious bananas are around in various stages of ripeness.

Next up was Mom's 86th Birthday. It was a small affair and the cake was delish. 

Neice and Nephews with kids in tow dropped by, even after everyone has a slice there was some left for the next day. Mom was in good spirits and we all enjoyed celebrating her.

I found out during my visit with Mom, Nathan Apodaca, an Idaho potato factory worker whose Tik Tok handle is 420doggface208 put Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" back on the music charts, had the Coronavirus -- hang in there homeboy!

Mom had a few local doctor's appointments. It's a short drive and hardly any wait time. I usually wait outside in the parking lot and take-in the largest oak tree loaded down with Spanish Moss swaying in the wind.

Another fave local eatery is called the Country Kitchen. It is buffet-style, but during Covid, you cannot serve yourself, but you can come back as much as you like and they will serve you. 

And the local art is for sale there and worth a view after your credit card has cleared. 

So what's a British comic book character named Andy Capp doing on a bag of chips in Lamendola's our local grocer? I guess the humor carries across the ocean as Andy is a pub-crawling ne're do well.

The big visit event for me was my niece, Candeyse, Wedding! The ceremony was in a park and Pavillion with a country club atmosphere. The location was beautiful and we could celebrate freely with an outdoor wedding during this plague year. 

Not everyone wore a Covid mask but we did -- have to admit we were a bit nervous at a possible super-spreader event but didn't hear about any post-problems. 

My niece Candyse was radiant and the groom, Chris, was looking good! It was a fun merging of two families in a lovely setting, followed by a festive socially-distanced dinner party. 

After all that partying, it was time to chill for a few days and get back to hanging with Mom and her kitty, and nephew Zak and his dog Marshal.

I went around shooting Gonzales, Louisiana when I wanted to wander a bit.

Of course, I worked in a few Mike's Po-Boys, sometimes Fried Shrimp, or Oyster, or a combination of both.

Also, got a to-go meal or two from Lamendola's Supermarket hot lunch counter. Get there a little before or after lunch and the line is shorter. Most of the food is heavy with everything, but they also have a pre-packaged line of baked and roasted fare this is less calorie-dense. I got Mom hooked on them or at least tolerant.

I had to go there, but I picked up an order of gooey and crunchy Swamp Fries from a new Cajun restaurant and drive-thru called Off the Hook, and they were pretty amazing, just fries covered in a cream cheese Etouffee sauce studded with crawfish. You gotta try it once, right?

I have mixed feelings about Boudin Balls. These deep-fried fritters are mainly cooked rice mixed with blood sausage. If you don't get the balance right, of sausage to rice, then it can be quite bland. It's like a falafel made with rice instead of chickpeas.

Mom tried her hand at Pralines, but couldn't get the recipe right, but even a flawed Praline is not a failure.

And one more possible super-spreader holiday was here, Thanksgiving!! We thought we could keep it low-key, but word quickly got around we were roasting a turkey. 

I handled the turkey part and mom made a couple of sides, although we did go out shopping for a Pecan and Pumpkin Pie to bring home. There was plenty of chow for everyone and it was a dang-good, filling time. 

It was a bit crowded, but we hung outside in the garage/lounge a lot of the time playing Taboo

My high school buddy Marvin swung by just before I left for Los Angeles. It's always good to hang with Marvin, we have plenty to talk about, mainly solving the problems of the world!

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