Much as I miss my New Orleans home, I can always count on the Cajun & Blues Festival in Simi Valley to provide a good time. Featuring food and boutique vendors, games, and two large stages for Cajun and Blues music, I was able to share my second visit with my darling girl, Madeline.
Originally a group of friends from my women's group, Westlake Juniors, were going together. But plans on a weekend such as Memorial Day tend to change. Parties crop up, spouses and families decide to take last-minute trips, the sudden rise in temperatures keep people indoors. Fortunately the weather happened to be pleasent and my daughter was very excited for a taste of the South. And taste we did.
It looks like my daughter did all of the eating, but trust me when I tell you we both sampled a few of our favorite southern treats. From beignets to smoked cajun sausages, we indulged in items we otherwise wouldn't find in California. I promised myself a small sweet potato pie this year, but once again arrived too late to get one. Perhaps next year will be different.
Inbetween our little meals, Madeline and I stayed closest to the Blues stage so we could view our next potential snacks. There were a few that had my daughter pulling faces, but I had to remind her: just as escargot are in French cooking, frog legs and alligator are a culinary norm in Cajun. It may seem bizzare, but it's part of their culture. It didn't spur her to give them a whirl right then and there, but she said maybe next year. How different could frog legs be from chicken, right? Personally I don't know, but I will definitely be there when she finds out.
Giving ourselves a break before picking out a dessert from the precious ice cream truck, The Cookie Scoop, we did a little browsing at the booths. We were at the festival was to have a good time, but it was also important that I check out potential vendors for our Fall shopping event, Gingerbread Boutique. It's my second year as chairwoman, and I love that part of my position means visiting other boutiques, meeting very talented men and women, and inspecting their wares. Sometimes I pick up a few items (which is also very exciting). Yesterday we made a fun purchase of Mardi Gras beads for both children to enjoy, but I also found a gorgeous dish by a very talented potter. It was treated to be oven and microwave proof, but I have different plans for it. I was assured it's safe to do what's on my mind, and I can't wait to share it with you all.
After a few hours, the wind died down and the heat settled in. Madeline and I decided it was the perfect time to grab an ice cream sandwich, listen to some great Zydeco and watch the dancers from the comfort of the shade, then head home.
We had the best time watching the musicians play their accordians, strum their washboards, and sing about not messing with their Toot-Toot. Ah, Rockin' Sydney. It brought me back to my childhood, and made me glad that I was able to share it with my daughter. She loved it. Madeline is already looking forward to next year, and after sampling the Cajun hot sausage we brought home for him, I suspect my husband will make sure it's a full family affair. A great day was had by all. Memorial Day weekend 2015 cannot get here quickly enough.