My friend, Gail, and I have lunch together every few months. Gail and I share a lot of things. We have a love of food that borders on psychotic. We have a love of fun. We both think that if your job’s not fun, what’s the point? Gail and I used to work at the local newspaper. She still does. We were both in middle management, which is that layer of management in which you get squished from above and squished from below. So there’s a certain amount of misery, and as you all know – misery loves company. We were each other’s company.
Gail’s a columnist now and a pretty popular one. Here’s a link. You can read all about it.
So today the plan was to meet at the Farmer’s Market and eat Cajun. Actually, the plan was to meet at the Farmer’s Market, wander by every food place and get the vendors all hopeful and then end up at Noolys, which is the Cajun place. Which we did. Gail knows her Cajun food. Gail and her husband, Les, go to New Orleans quite a bit and so far haven’t met a restaurant they didn’t like. They choose wisely. By the way, Les has his own band and they play Cajun music among other genres and they’re really good. We have them at our annual fundraiser every year and they bring down the house. O.K., enough links. I’m so impressed I know how to do that, but I know you’re over it.
After much deliberation, I got a muffaletta and Gail got a roast beef po’ boy. This is what they would have looked like before we started eating them, except we got to gossiping and just sort of lost track of time before I realized I had not taken a single picture of what we had to eat!
I know deconstructing things is a huge deal in the restaurant world (that’s like taking apart a Caesar salad so the anchovy is resting over the lettuce and the garlic is off in a pile on the right). So I am now going to deconstruct our trays of food from Noolys. Gail’s tray is the one with the water bottle. Good for her. A shard of the roast beef po’ boy is at the upper left. Note the immense number of napkins. I wish we were dainty eaters, but we aren’t. The cup is holding hot sauce. She’s a good Southern girl. The curly fries? Well, I have to say it wouldn’t have been my choice BECAUSE if you note in the tray below (mine) there is an empty bag of Zapp’s, the world’s greatest potato chips, which are made in New Orleans and practically drip oil. You will note the grease spots on my tray, which are the remnants of the olive salad that goes on a muffaletta. I left a few stray olives. My mistake.
Sometimes it’s hard to define friendship. But I’m thinking back tonight to a quote from the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, one of the greatest books and movies of all time. One more link. So sorry. Vivi Walker talks about her friends in the sisterhood like this:
“There are people in this world to save you when you need saving, to cover your butt when it needs covering, and who are always there when you need someone to lean on.” That’s Gail to me. And, I should add, to tell you when you have some green stuff stuck in your teeth.