At the end of a long day (which for me sometimes start at 3 or 4am), it’s often a toss-up whether David and I walk up the hill and rustle up a meal at home, or just wend a gentle path to Pearl’s, our favorite bar-restaurant. Pearl’s is at the top of Railroad Street, and on a weeknight we can usually get our favorite seats, fat low-slung leather armchairs facing East Mountain. We watch the nutty tourists, chat to the waitstaff (who know us well–and just how I like my Gibsons), and talk over the day.
But being at home is a pleasure, too, and especially so this week. It’s not just the perfect September weather, the evenings still warm enough to sit on the deck. I finally heard from a couple of New Orleans friends today. Poppy Tooker heads the NO branch of Slow Food, an Italy-based organization dedicated to promoting conviviality, small farms, and excellent local and regional foods. She was a wonderful host to us on a couple of visits to the Big Easy, taking us to taste her favorite foods and telling us about the local dishes she’s working to preserve. Now she and her family–safe and sound–are staying with relatives in Baton Rouge, away from their home, uncertain about what comes next.
Poppy says she is working with Slow Food in New York to figure out how they can help the farmers and small food producers who have been hit hard by the disaster, and also how to give people around the country a reminder of the tastes of New Orleans. A positive, determined approach to restoration, and preservation of the things that matter. And a powerful reminder of how much we have to be grateful for, those of us who are snug in our homes, safe in our daily routines, and sure of where our loved ones are.