I carefully picked the last of my backyard blackberries a few days ago, hoping I would receive my copy of the new Mosquito Supper Club Cookbook before they disappeared. And thankfully, it arrived just in time….
Melissa Martin’s cookbook feels like sitting in my great-grandmother’s kitchen, as I desperately tried to decipher the Cajun french banter whirling around my head. With my chin barely over the tabletop, I watched her speckled, calloused hands place a bowl in front of me, as she whispered, “Manger, mon chérie.”
Smiling, my grandmother handed me 2 pieces of paper, photocopies of a handwritten recipe. She knew those papers would make me very happy, as she explained how she came to possess them.
Hanging in my foyer, I have a picture of my grandparents’ first date, a high school basketball game in rural south Louisiana in 1935, a barn in the background, the legs of the rooftop spectators hanging low. My grandmother became a widow at 65, after which she learned to drive and created a whole new life for herself, a life centered around volunteerism and her love for Jesus.
I always feel nostalgic about May 1—today is the first day of my birth month, as well as May Day in France. Did I mention I am a bit of a francophile? Maybe a bit more than a bit, and here’s why….
I remember struggling to take deep breaths, coughing uncontrollably anytime I moved around too much. Having asthma as a child left a mark on me, as did the time I was sent “down the bayou” with my grandparents for a week because my asthma had flared up and both of my parents had to work. I was five years old and my grandparents spoke only French.