Sara Roahen’s taste of home
New Orleans, Mardi Gras, Cajun cuisine, oysters, cold beer and all kinds of gumbo is
enjoyed the happy, prototypical American childhood of Norman Rockwell paintings: family dinners, football weekends, stockings hanging from the mantelpiece. And yet, from the time I graduated from high school until my now-husband entered medical school in New Orleans, Louisiana, 10 years later, I lived in two different countries and five
Istates. I loved discovering new ways of life and never considered staying anywhere permanently, and certainly not returning to the small Wisconsin town where I grew up.
New Orleans was like nothing I had ever seen, heard or tasted before. From our first days there, living on one side of a rented double-shotgun house half a block from a major Mardi Gras parade route, I felt like I had found the home I was meant to have all along but never knew to miss. We could walk to Casamento’s for raw oysters and cold beer, to Guy’s Po-Boys for fried catfish sandwiches that we dressed with potato salad, and to Hansen’s Sno-Bliz for cups of shaved ice sugared with root beer syrup and sweetened condensed milk.
While my husband studied, trained, and ultimately worked long hours as a