Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Memory Lane: New Orleans

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All this talk about Mardi Gras got me craving all my cajun favorites from childhood. (I was born in New Orleans.)

Okay, so I left New Orleans when I was eight years old... so my memory of the cajun culinary cuisine is a bit fuzzy.  When I think "New Orleans", I think of three really awesomely awesome things: Popeyes, King Cake, and Crawfish.

Why those three?

Popeyes fried chicken happened to be the first piece of meat I ever ate apparently.

(My brother ate steak and lobster as his first meaty meal and I ate fried chicken? C'mon Mom. Seriously?)

My mom told me that she would peel tiny pieces of fried chicken and place it on my highchair tabletop and I would grab the tiny piece with my entire hand and smear it all over my face.  It's actually not unlike the way I eat fried chicken now.  Well.  Except for the highchair.  I'm a big girl, after all.

King Cake
I remember in Kindergarten during Mardi Gras, we would get to eat a piece of King Cake after nap time. Well, I never napped (I always untied my shoes as an excuse to get up and have my teacher tie my shoes, even though I knew good and well how to tie my shoes.  Ms. Bailey eventually gave up and let me stay awake and paint on the easel in the hallway during nap time.) --so I never got King Cake.

Instead, my parents would buy a King Cake from the grocery store and I would poke through the entire cake to find the piece with the plastic baby inside.

(Do they still do that? It seems dangerous now that I think about it). 

You can't live in New Orleans and not get invited to 10 billion crawfish parties.  My family and I went to at least 20 billion in my 8 years of living there, and my brother and I inhaled pounds of crawfish.  No potatoes or corn.  Just crawfish.

I'm pretty sure we would win a crawfish peeling and eating contest.  Pretty sure.

Longingly dreaming of spicy fried chicken,

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