Had I not stayed here, there are new people that I would have never been able to meet and friends that I would have missed out on...
There are Jazz Fests that would have been unheard and under-consumed....
There are Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day celebrations that would have been uncaught....
There are Superbowl Championship spawned French Quarter celebrations that would have been too impromptu to attend . . .
There is the love that would have been undiscovered. . .
I would say that there are a great deal of opportunities, events, moments and images that would have been undocumented and unmemorable. . .
I'm just grateful that I was here to see, hear and touch them all. I'm still proud to call it home. . .
Recipe side note:
Saturday night I went to dinner at Commander's Palace with my sister, dad and Mollie. For an appetizer I ordered the trio of soups. Saturday evening's trio included duck and sausage gumbo, soft shell crab bisque and Commander's famous turtle soup. As I started on the turtle soup, it occurred to me that there is really nothing more traditional and delicious (recipe-wise) that I could have been eating in light of this 5th year anniversary.
10 ounces (2-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour1 pound turtle meat, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup minced celery (4 stalks)
2 medium onions, minced (2 medium)
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups tomato purée
1 quart beef stock NOTE: If turtle bones are available, add them to the beef bones when making the stock for this dish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, as needed
1/2 cup lemon juice
5 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced parsley
6 teaspoons dry sherry
Melt 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter in a heavy saucepan. Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until the roux is light brown. Set aside.
In a 5-quart saucepan, melt the remaining butter and add turtle meat. Cook over high heat until the meat is brown. Add celery, onions, garlic and seasonings, and cook until the vegetables are transparent.
Add tomato purée, lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the roux and cook over low heat, stirring, until the soup is smooth and thickened. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Add lemon juice, eggs and parsley.
Remove from heat and serve. At the table, add 1 teaspoon sherry to each soup plate.