“Good morning, Mr. Candy,” Darcey said as she walked past the large, colorful house three blocks from her own home in New Orleans’ Vieux Carre.
“Good morning, Darcey,” the old man replied. Mr. Candy sat in his wheel chair on the front porch each day. He always seemed glad to see them. He seemed especially fond of Kelli, Trent Marshall and Darcey Anderson’s three year old daughter and she of him. Even now she went running up to the old man to give him a hug and a kiss on the cheek, a gesture that always seemed to delight him.
Kelli looked anxiously at the front door. Sure enough the old man’s daughter, Lottie, appeared. She had inculcated in Kelli an expectation of a warm plate of freshly-baked cookies to show up about this time. The child wasn’t disappointed.
“Hello, Darcey,” Lottie said, brightly. “And I know what you want, young lady!” She held out the tray of cookies to Kelli.
“You can have two cookies, Kelli,” Darcey said.
“Looks like you’ve been doing some shopping, Darcey,” Lottie said.
“Yes. We’re headed to Alaska next week. There were a few things we needed for our trip.”
“Can I help you with those packages?” Lottie asked.
“No, thanks. I can handle’em. We don’t have far to go.”
“Well, anytime you need someone to look after Kelli, don’t hesitate to call on us,” Lottie continued. “You know we just love her to pieces.”
Lottie was always so friendly, so helpful, Darcey thought later as she chopped zucchini and onion in the kitchen of their home on Governor Nicholls street. Sometimes she wondered if the woman was too sweet. There were strange things going on in New Orleans. Things that made one suspicious of what at other times would be ordinary common courtesy.
Darcey was preparing sautéed zucchini and onions to accompany the ribeyes she had bought for dinner. Her mother, Betty, and Ivy Ford, Trent’s surrogate mother, would be there for dinner. The three women and Kelli would fly out of New Orleans for Anchorage.
Darcey Anderson’s Sauteed Zucchini and Onions
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ounce zucchini (about half a pound), sliced lengthwise & then crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 onion, chopped
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce
salt & white pepper to taste
In a heavy skillet, heat the butter and olive oil.
Saute the zucchini, onion, and mushrooms in the hot oil and butter until they soften and begin to brown. It should probably take three to five minutes.
Add the wine and soy sauce along with salt and white pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
Continue to cook until the liquid has evaporated and the vegetables are well browned, two or three minutes longer.
Serve as a bed for your favorite steak.
As we say in New Orleans, Bon Temps!