Friday, October 21, 2011

Louisiana Lost and Found

It is lovely living with a Italian/seafood restaurant on the harbor. Even though we both enjoy cooking, sometimes it's simply more convenient to take visitors out to eat. Our friends, Susan and Mark, who have settled in Louisville, Kentucky after being washed out by Hurricane Katrina and then a several year stint living in Florida, pass within a quarter mile of our condo on their way to visit their son and other sundry relatives and friends in New Orleans. This almost guarantees that we will get to see them as they pass by, especially since they usually arrive at lunch time. As Sam Walter Foss said, "Let me live in my house by the side of the road and be a friend to man."

In order not to put pressure on them about their arrival time, we opted to meet them at the harbor side restaurant. They had a sailboat slipped here many years ago and reminisced about the wonderful times they had sailing and swimming with their young children. The memory machine, I'm sure, was well oiled by the sumptuous seafood dishes on all of our plates. We ended the meal with a walk to our condo (Richard got a one-block ride in Mark's two-seater red sports car, in which I can't even imagine folding myself up sufficiently to enter and exit). At home, we ate oatmeal/cranberry cookies from the cookie dough I had on hand from the visit by the baby boys and sipped cafe au lait.

Susan and Mark are now sandwiched between Susan's aging parents and their daughter's family, complete with their first grandchild. I think they're in Louisville to stay, but it sure was wonderful to relive their memories of how our Louisiana lives were before our losses.

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Beat butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and eggs until light and fluffy. Add flour, salt, and soda. Mix well. Mix in oatmeal. Stir well. Drop by tablespoon on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Yields about 5 dozen.