DiningDiarySquare-150x150 Saturday, December 16, 2017. The three days starting yesterday get a tremendous amount of rain, around three inches at the Cool Water Ranch. It was probably enough to flood the road to the ranch, but by the time the rain slacked off, it had also drained away. The western part of St. Tammany Parish has terrific drainage. We haven’t had any serious drainage in years. The rain is, however, severe enough to keep our electrician from rewiring the breaker boxes. You can’t fool with electricity in the rain.

I spend a lot of this rainy day backing up computers, which is among the most tedious jobs on my plate. The thousands of food photographs alone constitute an endless job. But I have a feeling that I’ll buy a new computer soon, and it will need a lot of configuration. It’s moments like this when I envy Jude’s position in his company. He has dozens of people n his payroll whose job it is to take care of this kind of toil.

Sunday, December 17, 2017. We are a week away from having a gang of people coming to the house to eat Christmas dinner. We haven’t hosted on of those in years. For that matter, we haven’t done Thanksgiving in awhile, either. It’s nostalgic to thin about baking the root-beer-glazed ham, roast a turkey over sugar cane, bake a cheesecake, and help with all the side dishes that MA insists on serving.

Meanwhile, other parties invite us. Two in one day. One of these is an engagement party for one of Mary Ann’s nieces, hosted by MA’s brothers. The food is from Palate New Orleans Catering, whose work we have enjoyed before and did again tonight. The attendees are approximately the same relatives and friends who full the houses during the party season.

But MA is intrigued by another invitation, this one from people whose name we didn’t recognize. The event is in the beautiful neighborhood on and around Walnut Street, far Uptown. I should have known: it’s a Jesuit connection, involving some folks who asked me to be the auctioneer at the Jesuit auction a few weeks ago. It’s also an annual event in which the host shows off a big pot of turkey gumbo that he has left over from Thanksgiving. He puts a lot of work in the gumbo, enough so that this is already an annual event. He took pride in making the gumbo without a roux, but with a full-flavored stock. They seemed elated that I showed up. Mary Ann was equally pleased that the stylish hosts added us to their list.

I attempt to do my part by singing a few Christmas songs, accompanied by a guitarist who often performs in the bar at Andrea’s. So, with the rain and chilly breezes turned off for a few hours, we enjoy a full evening. Sure beats fooling with a computer.