I finally left Florida on April 10th and made my way to Hammond Louisiana to the home of my friend Sandra Blair. Sandra and I met a number of years ago when we were both selling our respective art at street festivals. It was my first art fair, we were in Birmingham Alabama, and staying at the home of fellow artist Joe Decamillis. Although he was out of town for his honeymoon, Joe and Allison were so gracious as to let a bunch of us stay at their art filled home. This was also when I met Paul Andrews, outstanding connections, both – thanks Joe! While in Birmingham, Sandra and I bonded over strong coffee (and some alcohol), while doing some serious porch sitting in the post show evenings. Since then I had kept up with Sandra via Facebook and watched as she continued to add to her fur family, stopped doing art fairs, started making decorative masks, entertained her grand-boys and posted all kinds of food related photos and recipes (always with notes on how she would adjust them if she were ever to make them). When I started to head towards Louisiana, I knew I wanted to spend time with her and her many dogs. From our time together on Joe’s porch, I had known how talented she was and how varied her creative skills and her love of dogs and food. What I didn’t know was how truly fantastic she was as a cook! Here is where I would love to include some amazing recipes to share with all of you, but alas, Sandra does not use recipes and once she has made a dish she doesn’t quite remember all that went into it. I will say that, I ate well, really, really well! Not only was a large portion of each day with Sandra devoted to cooking and eating highly delicious food, but she also knew the very best places for oysters (Guy’s Oyster Bar in Amite), and it was oyster season. We also did a fair amount of exploring, thrifting, bargain hunting, coffee, beer and cocktail drinking (some of which happened whilst sitting on her porch), discovering DIY storage solutions for her mask making supplies (extraordinary, elaborate, colorful and amazing masks – sorry no pictures), admiring an abundance of live oak trees and laying about covered in furry friends. It was a spectacular time. There is nothing better than great food with great friends and great dogs, in my humble opinion.