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    Simply Southern Saturdays

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    The cuisine in New Orleans is rich and flavorful. The city's colorful history touches the food, restaurants, and dining experience as a whole. I count my blessings that I was able to grow up in such a wonderful city, surrounded by local flavor both in the people and the food.

    It didn't hurt that my mother was, and still is, a phenomenal cook.

    Food and entertaining was a large part of our family life. My parents were gracious hosts, and loved opening our family home to friends. It was always the place to be~weekdays and weekends. Be they for gourmet gatherings, Mardi Gras feasts, birthdays, or just because, there was always something cooking in our home, and it was always ready to be shared with others.

    Meal time was important to our family as well. We sat each night with a homemade meal that was prepared with love. We held hands and said Grace. Our family of three would talk about our day and share the highs and lows. As I grew I didn't enjoy it quite as much~I was a rather prickly teenager. But I treasure the memories and tradition my parents gave to me.

    It imparted upon me the importance of gathering places for family. It taught me the value of neutral territory, a place everyone looked forward to gathering around. Meals were to be enjoyed as a family; savored, never rushed. Prayer and giving thanks were just as important at the table as they were both in and outside of the home.

    In our lives today, the reality is that we don't always have that luxury. Husband has late working hours. The scallywag isn't in the mood to eat what he's served. Eldest has a big test and needs to study. Sometimes the day is just so crazy I grab fast food from Tokyo Tower. Sometimes Grace is forgotten.

    Our intentions are good, though, and we haven't abandoned these traditions. We work hard to maintain them. As a child I didn't realize the effort it actually required at times. Eye opening, right?

    I find meal time is very special in my own family. We work hard at communicating, listening, relaxing when we know there are other things on the back burners of our day. We'll get to them in time. For however long our dinner is, that is our time and we do our best to keep the rest of the world at bay.

    Yes,it's hard work at times. But we're creating our own cherished memories and traditions for our children. It makes the effort completely worth it!

    I'm pretty sure the Big G, Gwyneth, would agree!

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    So let's get to it shall we?

    After placing everyone's name into a pretty little bowl,

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    I asked Eldest to pick,

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    and our very lucky winner is...

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    Lori Ellen from the food blog she co-writes with her hubby, Steve, "Kitchen Doesn't Travel"!

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    A little about their blog in Lori Ellen's own words: "...We are what my brother-in-law refers to as D.I.N.K.s – Double-Income-No-Kid yuppies. We are a couple of 30-somethings with healthy appetites who’ve been married for a while. We’ve lived in Charlotte for the last 5 yrs after doing a brief stint in San Diego. Although we are not polar opposites, we are different enough to keep life interesting. I’m a Mac, he’s a PC. I’m a planner, he’s more adventurous. I like structure, organization, predictability, and indoor fun. He’s truly a Boy Scout at heart who legitimately enjoys all things “outdoorsy”…as well as helping little old ladies across the street. He loves hiking, camping, biking, and all that jazz. Despite being raised in small-town Alabama, I am a city girl at heart and do not – I repeat DO NOT- share his outdoorsy inclinations. My idea of camping is staying in a hotel that does not offer room service. It didn’t take my hubby long to realize that if he wanted to share THOSE interests with his spouse, he had clearly married the wrong woman! One of the things we do have in common, however, is that we both love to eat and we appreciate good drink. We’ve joked for years that our only shared hobby is going out to dinner.

    We are tired of just going through the “work-go home-eat-sleep-work” rut we’ve let ourselves get into. We want to take “the joy of life” a little more seriously. We’re going to take our mutual interest in good food and drink, along with a relatively new mutual interest in photography (new for me at least), and have some new adventures – big and small, near and far
    ..."

    Y'all must check out their blog as they're serious foodies. As such, they share decadently prepared recipes, offer their thoughts on wine and beer, and share their trips to various eateries around the US. If the descriptions and well-written posts don't capture your attention, the pictures certainly will. Did I mention the uniqueness of this blog as it's written by a husband and wife team?

    Congratulations, Lori Ellen! I love reading about your food adventures with Beer Guy. Send your home address to my email and I'll have Gwyneth's cookbook sent straight away.

    Let me reiterate how delightful it was to read everyone's generous words about blogs around the blogosphere. I found so many new ones to be inspired by, that I knew I couldn't let things end where they were. Look for a special blog post next week where each and every one will be featured! Thank you all for taking part in this giveaway.

    I cannot wait for the next one!

    A very Happy Easter to you all. May you all be surrounded by good friends, loving family, and all the blessings this season brings.

    I'll see you next week!

    2 Responses to “
    Simply Southern Saturdays

    Lori Ellen @ Kitchen Doesn't Travel said...

    Aahh! I'm obviously getting to this after you Facebooked me. I've had a busy week and haven't checked blogs in a few days. Thanks for the shout out! I can't wait to get my prize!

    Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

    I'm going to New Orleans in May and can't wait! And I have been wanting to check out Gwenyth's new cookbook.