What do you do when you receive devastating news from your best friend who has just lost her beautiful 35-year old daughter? You try to find some distraction anyway you can, that’s what.
A text message from our dear friend Carole Higgins Morton which simply read “She’s gone” stopped us in our tracks somewhere between Biloxi and Pass Christian where we were vacationing last week. We had been holding out hope that Meredith’s melanoma could be arrested.
Our hosts – Linda Hazlewood and husband John – proceeded to rent us a big van and the six of us headed to the French Quarter for a necessary diversion.
Dr. Gumbo, our tour guide, puts together a walking culinary tour each day through the Quarter. Check out his website at www.doctorgumbo.com.
You must add this to your bucket list. For a mere $55 per person we strolled through the quarter sampling the finest in cajun cuisine (check out the picture of “pichou” at Tujaque’s on Decatur (pictured above) the way only New Orleans can do it. Chefs are the new rock stars and this tour was a delicious journey through New Orleans and Louisiana’s rich culinary history.
Still reeling from word of Meredith’s death we attempted to drown our grief with some blatant self indulgence (which didn’t quite work) but provided a brief respite. Be watching for a tribute to Meredith on Friday when the Mortons will celebrate her life. Right now I’m afflicted with a severe case of writer’s block – a result of the shock of Meredith’s death. I suspect.
We visited seven locations: classic Creole restaurants, neighborhood sandwich shops, hot sauce bars, artisanal candy stores and more but even that didn’t help much. Once inside we sampled different foods that represent the breadth and diversity of New Orleans’s culinary heritage: dishes like gumbo, Creole brisket, muffulettas, poboys, pralines, “pichou” (pictured above). and more.
Waiting in the courtyard of the old De La Poste, the starting point for the tour, are (from left) Norma Clark Atkins, yours truly, Linda “Hazel,” Wood, Marie Portera and L.C Mitchell. Normally Carole Higgins Morton would be with us..
Marie, left is pictured with our friends Linda Hazelwood and husband John who tried to cheer us up with a trip to the French Quarter. . Our greatest fear had just been realized when Meredith Morton Kluck lost her brave battle with melanoma.
This was my favorite of all the tapas – it’s sweet potato hush puppies – photos compliments of L.C. Mitchell of Gulf Breeze.
We were still holding out hope that Meredith’s melanoma could be arrested the way it was 11 years ago. We couldn’t begin to imagine how Don, Carole and Stephanie (Meredith’s sister) and Meredith’s husband, Christopher (of only five months) would face the tragedy.
It seems appropriate that Monday rolled around again encapsulated in a grey haze and a threatening rain in Mississippi. But as Carole reminded us, heaven has a new angel and we’ll meet again. God Bless the Morton family – I think we owe it to them and Meredith’s memory to savor each and every moment of this life we have been given.