Monday, April 28, 2008

Plan B

Hopes were high as we awoke yesterday morning -- high, but tempered with the memory of the previous day's downpour. Accordingly, we armed ourselves with caution instead of sunscreen and decided to see how the day progressed before heading out to the fairgrounds. 

After breakfast served by a hungover waitress who missed no opportunity to display her cleavage, a joyful Premium T. lead me to the Kitchen Witch, a cookbook store on Rampart Street. The Kitchen Witch features cookbooks used and new along with the company and counsel of owner Philip Lamancusa. We settled on two books, including a reprint of the 1824 culinary classic Virginia Housewife, or Methodical Cook. In it, you can -- among other things --learn how to prepare fried calf's feet over an open fire. We also picked up the beautifully designed The Africa Cookbook: Tastes of a Contintent (Jessica B. Harris).   

From there, we moved on to Faulkner House Books, a wonderful shop the specializes in Southern literature and special editions. I wish I could say that I showed some restraint, but I did not. I found a copy of Yoknapatawpha, a collection of photographs of Faulkner's native Lafayette County (Mississippi) with quotations from his books. Beneath one photo of a mourning family is the caption, "If the choice is grief or nothing, I will take grief." That is the kind of writing that lands you a Nobel Prize. 

We wandered over to French Market, starting to think that we might be able to go to the Fairgrounds after all. I found a couple of CDs. We stopped to watch a street brass band. Thunder crashed. We decided to stay put and went to a hole-in-the-wall called Fiorella's for lunch. Thunder boomed again and the rain came down for real. We decided against the Fairgrounds once and for all, and it's a good thing we did: A man at another table, after taking a phone call from a friend at the festival, announced the presence of 40-foot pools of water and trenches flooded waist-deep.

The rain eventually let up, and around 9:00 we took a cab to the Mid-City Lanes Rock 'n Bowl.We drove through a sobering stretch of Canal Street, with block after block of shut down, boarded up businesses.  The Rock 'n Bowl combines a bowling alley with a stage and is partially illuminated with Christmas lights. It was great to see a largely middle-aged crowd boogie-ing the night away. Seattle is too buttoned-down for such shenanigans, but luckily not the Big Easy. We caught a terrific set from the Louisiana slide guitarist Sonny Landreth, plus got some really cool bowling shirts embroidered with our names.

1 comment:

Renegade Eye said...

I didn't put it together, that you know Premium-T. I'm visited by Graeme from Left in East Dakota and his brother Aaron and his wife Nadia, from the blog Breathe.

John Peterson who writes for my blog, got me interested in cooking. He has a dinner party about monthly, with a country theme. We have had Mexican, Russian, Moroccan, Venezuelan food etc. When Graeme came we had Venezuelan, with the task of having something vegetarian for Nadia. I'm mostly interested in peasant food. Making the best possible meals, from low cost foods. Cooking like a grandmother.