Monday/Tuesday – 28th and 29th April
Henry Gray & Kenny Neal
‘My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary’ – Martin Luther
My last full week in New Orleans. I was very tired after three days of music and sun and I slept in until Noon. Today will be a day of rest. I headed over to Frenchman for some creole soul-food at the Praline Connection restaurant. William recommended the place as having good food. I ordered the stuffed crab plate $15.95. My waiter said ‘man, I don’t wanna be pushy but I would suggest you go for the Seafood Combination Platter ($17.95) as you only get 2 stuffed crabs with your first choice and you get all of this for only $2 more. Fresh shrimp, oysters, catfish strips, stuffed crab lightly seasoned battered and deep fried, accompanied with French- fries, salad. For your interest I have attached a menu so as you can see first-hand why I may come back a little chubbier! Well that is what I went for. Remember that this is my first meal of the day. As usual with meals in these here parts I could not eat it all. pralineconnectionmenu
I walked back to the apartment. The clouds are racing across the sky and the atmosphere is heavy. Mickey is in his usual spot at the foot of the stairs. He told me that we will have to batten down the hatches as there is a severe thunderstorm alert for around midnight. Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama are getting battered with storms and tornadoes and there has been a lot of destruction and some deaths. I know first- hand that storms down this way are not as we get back home. I lay awake most of the night anticipating the first clap of thunder but we are lucky that the threat of the storm did not eventuate.
Up at 10ish and the tail end of last night’s rain is still with us. Tuesdays’ are washing days for me and I took my dirty cloths down to Suds-Den Duds. With the humidity of ‘awlins you certainly can’t stretch your t-shirts to two days of wear. Brian Wise has been in contact and we are meeting at 2PM for a coffee. His tour group are still out on their Bayou excursion. It got to 12:30 and I realised I had yet to eat any food. I wandered down to the market and then walked further down Decatur until I got the Gumbo Pot. I had a good feed here last year and so went in and sat at the counter. A lot of the eating establishments act both as a bar and restaurant. I order the seafood gumbo.
I still had half an hour to kill before meeting Brian. I called into the Witch’s Kitchen’ which I thought was just another souvenir shop. I was wrong. It does sell cook books but they are mostly second have and go back decades. There is much bric-a-brac and interesting things to look at plus a used L.P. section. The guy running the shop s an older hippie type. I noticed a book I was interested in going back to the mid 80’s. Sort of a cook-book/blues music book. Near this little treasure is a display of old soup cans and packaged food. A couple of empty jars of vegemite adorn the display with a warning sign attached. When I went to pay for the book the guy immediately knew I was Australian and he asked if I bought over some Vegemite with me. ‘Yes, I did but it has been gifted to my friends’. The guy said ‘I love the stuff. I lived in San Fran in the 70’s and went home with an Aussie lady I met in a bar we were both working in. The next morning she made me toast and Vegemite and I have loved it ever since’. I promised to bring him some back next year.
I met Brain for iced-coffee and we had a great chat for an hour or so about all things music.
Dinner that night was Shrimp Etouffee. Message to self, remember to take your Arthrexin to ensure that the nasty gout does not attack me after all the shellfish I have eaten today.