With their city on the mend, these New Orleans friends gather to give heartfelt thanks.
We Gather Together
A great meal with friends can help heal most anything, which is well understood by the folks gathered around Richard and Mathilde Currence’s Uptown New Orleans dining table. Their smiles shine as warmly as the silverware, and the conversation swings from pure fun to deep reflection. Hurricane Katrina is never far from anyone’s mind in this place. Life is marginally back to normal, but the enormity of what was lost puts lots of things in perspective.
A New Orleans-Style Menu
We Gather Together
“Part of what the storm did was make us realize how precious these times are and that there are no guarantees for tomorrow,” says Lolis Eric Elie. “The friends you’ve been meaning to call may no longer be there. So we’re much more cognizant of taking advantage of the ‘now.’ ” For all at this table, that means sharing favorite recipes with one another as well as with all of you.
Enticing Roast Pork
Pableaux Johnson, who recently relocated to Louisville, Kentucky, figures his Cajun cooking will help endear him to a fresh circle of companions there. His Roast Pork With Garlic-Onion Gravy (which he admits to shamelessly stealing from Lolis) will be a powerful inducement for dinner guests. “That roast is literally irresistible,” he says. “People are drawn to it.”
We were drawn to the entire luscious menu and think you’ll want to try these dishes for your own Thanksgiving celebration. From Lolis’s mom’s Stuffed Mirlitons to John Currence’s amazing Oyster Dressing Coconut-Almond Cream Cake, the meal is full-bodied and richly flavored. The recipes are just what you’d expect from some of New Orleans’ finest home cooks. They’ll enliven your table and offer a nod to the enduring strength of this unique city and its food.
No doubt about it, Coconut-Almond Cream Cake is a lot of work, but it’s worth every second. You can save time by making and freezing the layers up to a month in advance.