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The Saddest Thing (To Me) About New Orleans

Ilaine | Oct 11, 200509:37 AM

I mourn for the dead, I cry for the lost architecture, but I admit it, what makes me the saddest is the fear that recipes will be lost.

Recipes are just as high a form of creation as architecture and music, and when they are lost, they are gone forever.

My grandmother didn't reopen her restaurant in Biloxi after Hurricane Camille, and she took her red beans and rice recipe with her to the grave, because that was the secret that drew the customers for miles around, and she might reopen one day. Lost. Gone forever.

I've been looking in old books and on the Internet for a recipe for Didee's Duck (famous from a certain era in Baton Rouge). It might be lost.

With the death of Austin Leslie -- have we lost his recipe for fried chicken? I hope not, he wrote a book.

But Mary Hansen -- I bet she didn't write her snowball syrup recipes down. Taught them to her granddaughter, is my hope.

Time will heal some wounds, and smooth over some others, but a great recipe lost is like the loss of a great painting or a great symphony.

Let's preserve these incomparable elements of our culture before they are irrevocably lost.

You don't know what you've got until it's gone.

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