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My husband has a cousin who lives in New Orleans. We spent yesterday afternoon and this morning visiting with her. At dinner time, she said we were having rice and gravy. I thought, "I'm in BTD trouble, big time" but I was so wrong. Her idea of gravy was a stew loaded with beef and vegetables. It was so delicious that I asked for the recipe.
She asked if I knew how to make a roux. I said I had never been very good at it, so she gave me detailed instructions that made it sound easy. I'm going to play around with the recipe and see if I can make it work with another kind of flour. If so, I'll post the recipe.
It's a good thing I didn't worry about the wheat in the rice and gravy, because there was more to come - peach cobbler and ice cream for dessert. My stomach gurgled a little the rest of the evening, but I'm fine today.
This morning she took us on a tour of the Katrina damage. Did I really write a few days ago that we hadn't seen much hurricane damage? I take back those words. We saw devastation today that was unimaginable. I believed the news reports last August about flooding. What I wouldn't have believed if I hadn't seen it myself, was how many houses are still uninhabitable a year later.
Debris lines many streets where people are still gutting their houses. It is horrible to see a house with the windows broken out and realize that there was so much damage from the flood that protecting the house from further damage by rain would be futile. Sometimes there was only one house on a block that had been repaired enough to be lived in. Many houses are marked for demolition - they just aren't repairable.
The wonderful seafood restaurants around Lake Pontchartrain are gone. Just the foundations are left. The French Quarter was not flooded and it looks great, but many of the restaurants can't open because they can't find workers.
It was common to see signs posted on houses and businesses. In front of one house was the desperate message, "Where are you Billy?" Some signs expressed anger at the government at the insurance companies. But many expressed hope for the future, like the one on a church that said, "He is risen, and we will too."
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