Thursday, June 16, 2011


it does not seem a distant memory seeing carrie dancing to the dirty dozen brass band down in sarasota at the ringling art museum & thinking that this music would lift new orleans & it's incredible music scene up into the big time. at the time, james booker was still alive & katrina existed only as an abstact possibility in a world of seemingly deeper & clearer certitude.

booker died soon after & the dozen never exploded onto the music scene the way that anyone & everyone just knew they would if only anyone & everyone could see them perform live. we also know now that possibilites spin through the certain world in endless combinations but every so often they manifest in astonishing ways both good & bad.

before all that, right about the time carrie was dancing away, a group of young black kids started playing together in the treme neighborhood. they would take the lessons of the dirty dozen & move them further into contemporary music & on into the 21st century. the marching brass bands of new orleans would begin to incorporate funk & modern jazz & hip-hop while working within the brass band tradition. following the great modern dictum, they were making their tradition new. in fact, they were making "it out of a mouthful of air."

just last year, nan & i got to see the rebirth at the ogden museum of art in new orleans. to say that they rocked the joint is indulging in understatement. what struck me most about their nearly flamable performance was the mix of the crowd. high school kids, tulane preppies, businessmen & the blue bloods of new orleans high society were not just tolerating the rebirth while sipping cocktails; they were dancing their asses off.

i suppose i could write more here about the need to see new orleans music live but i'll save that for another time. right now, i just want to salute the rebirth on their 28th birthday. most marriages don't last that long nowadays.

we're hoping to see them in a second-line next year during mardi gras.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


apparently, this dish is all the rage at the moment. making it in the tight confines of our ridiculous apartment kitchen made it a little harder to knock out than usual, i suppose, but i'm still not following why it's considered such a daunting task.

i brined the pork belly, cooked it slow & low, & then, let it sit in the refrigerator weighted down over-night. the next day, i wrapped the pork loin in the pork belly &, once again, cooked it low & slow. when done, the pork got to spend another night in the fridge, this time unweighted. this made it easy to slice into perfect serving pieces that i crisped in a skillet. i guess that's a lot of time consumed(though most of it didn't require me to be engaged at all)but the end result is worth it.

this was ann's dinner just prior to the chaos that opened up to swallow us both alive. there were other variations on this theme & then there were the porchetta sandwiches which she took on the plane back to north carolina. so a little work went a long long way, both literally & figuratively.