Monday, November 8, 2010

Brunch at Arnaud's

I was searching through some boxes of memorabilia and children's artwork today and came across an old travel journal from a trip my husband and I took to New Orleans in 1990.  I have only kept journals sporadically over the years, but somehow I always find time to write about good food.

This was written on September 18, 1990:

"Bruce and I flew from Medford to New Orleans on the 15th of September.  We stayed that night at St. Peter's Guest House in the French Quarter, took in Bourbon Street, etc. that night and the next morning and had brunch at a wonderful and extremely elegant restaurant called Arnaud's.  All of the waiters, maître d's, etc. were in black suits or tuxedos--not a woman among them except the cashier--and a jazz trio wandered through the room playing everyone's requests.  The service and food were excellent.  I had Eggs Benedict and Strawberries Au Port.  Bruce had a Red Bean Omelet and Turtle Soup.  We shared Banana's Foster for dessert, which was "flamboyantly flambéed" to perfection right at our table.  (Of course, Bruce thought it was too sweet, but I thought it was heavenly.)

An unsliced loaf of bread was also served, but no bread plate was on the table.  I confidently broke off a piece of the crusty bread, scattering crumbs all over, but I assumed the waiter would "crumb" the table eventually.  I was correct.  Before serving dessert, our waiter whipped out a small gold instrument somewhat like a tongue depressor that was curved lengthwise and deftly removed my crumbs to an empty glass which he then carried away.  Another passing waiter, upon seeing what our waiter was doing, immediately performed the same task on Bruce's side of the table.  As I said, the service was excellent!

I believe to total bill came to about $55.00 and Bruce added a $10 tip to that, plus we paid for parking.  It was a very special experience, though not inexpensive!

I'm thankful to my mother for taking me to so many elegant and expensive restaurants when I was a teenager.  Her main purpose was to teach me how to behave so that I would feel comfortable in those and similar surroundings for the rest of my life.  I hope someday I will be able to do the same for Christine and Laura.  I don't want them to be snobs, but I want them to feel at ease and confident in all types of settings.  Manners are always in style."

I am lucky to be married to a man who enjoys a great meal as much as I do and never complains when the check arrives.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Need a Little Help From My Friends

Hi, guys.  My daughter, Laura, is working to help Tipping Bucket win a $250,000 grant in the PepsiRefresh competition.  It's is an incredible organization, making the world a better place.  Just check out this video...

What is Tipping Bucket?

Tipping Bucket is an organization and website that allows everyday people to get involved and help fund projects (for as little as a dollar.) This month they are working to win a grant from Pespi as part of the Pepsi Refresh Project to help build the organization and help more people in more places.

Tipping Bucket projects LITERALLY heal the sick, cause the blind to see (funded over 500 cataract surgeries in Uganda over the summer,) the lame to walk (through prosthetic limbs,) and allows people to submit projects and ideas that will allow them to help themselves and their communities.

What Can You Do?
As part of the competition you have the opportunity to vote everyday during month of November, in 3 different ways.
1) Sign up at it requires you to have an account but you won't get spammed.
2)Go to and submit a vote using facebook.
3) Text 104182 to 73774 (PEPSI)

You can vote each day using all 3 methods and I encourage you to do so. Please copy and paste this and post it to your blog or send an email out to your friends if you think this is a worthy cause.

Every vote (like every drop in the bucket) makes a difference. Join me in making these dreams a reality. Spread the word, add your drop. Thank you so much!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cabruca Chocolates

I'm sitting at a table in The Daily Grind this morning while my car is being serviced at Mobile Tune.  This is the first chance I have had to use my new netbook in a public place and take advantage of free Wi-Fi.  I feel so cool!

I ordered a hot chocolate and spied some interesting-looking truffles made by a new, local chocolatier, Juliana Bounds of Cabruca Chocolates. Chocolate for breakfast?  It's a bit early, even for me, but I bought one to savor later today.

Well, I thought they were truffles.  According to the website, these are called brigadeiros, a Brazilian-style fudge truffle.  They're made with sweetened condensed milk, butter, chocolate and some exotic ingredients. I chose the pumpkin-dark chocolate brigadeiro; pumpkin-white chocolate cream and dark chocolate rolled in toasted pumpkin seeds.

Okay, I can't stand it.  I'll take one bite just so I can tell you what it's like...  Ooooooh!  Tastes like pumpkin pie in the middle.  Very good. 

I'm not sure where else Juliana's confections (she makes traditional truffles and brownies, too) are currently available. The Daily Grind sells the brigadeiros individually or in packages.  Stay tuned.  I'm sure we'll be hearing more about Cabruca Chocolates in the future.  Another great, local gift idea.