Mom's box of treasures

Last time I was home for a visit, my mother brought out some treasures to show me. I knew she was a scrapbook-er back in the day but, sadly, when she moved away from home her mother threw out a ton of stuff she left behind. Including a dozen or so scrapbooks documenting her late childhood and teen years. She was heartbroken. 

She had one incomplete book she'd taken with her and, in the early years of her marriage, she filled the remaining pages. She never bought another scrapbook to fill after that. She intended to, but only got so far as to keep treasures for the future book in a box. It was this box she wanted to share with me. 

Overflowing with photos, postcards, and other keepsakes, we spent over an hour flipping through everything as she shared stories with me from her past. We came to a real treasure, a menu that she's swiped from the fancy French restaurant she and my dad dined at on their honeymoon in New Orleans. I think anyone who has been to NOLA knows of Antoine's. It's been there since 1840. 

In the moment, I didn't know this, but the first question we both asked was "I wonder if it's still there!?" I swiftly found the restaurant website on my tablet and we perused photos together. Mom noted it hasn't changed much and that made her really happy. You never know after decades of hurricanes and whatnot. Then we focused out attention back on the menu. Circa 1954, the menu was entirely in French. 

My mother laughed as she related the story of how the newlyweds asked the hotel concierge for recommendations on special places to eat. They were really pleased when they arrived at Antoine's. It was elegant, impressive and had exceptional service. After the waiter placed their napkins in their laps for them, he presented the menu to my dad first, then my mom. They were startled when they realized it was all in French. Neither of my parents speak French. They laughed as they tried to find a dish they recognized and were relieved to see some familiar item. Neither wanted to bother the waiter to ask for a translation. 🤣 

Mom got really excited when she remember that I'd taken French for many years. "Can you read it??" Of course! And we were transported to 1954 and a very classic selection of traditional and more modern French cuisine. The prices tickled me to death! I found myself wishing for a time machine. So many things I wanted to order!! We then went back to the website to check out their current menu to compare. It was, of course, much more expensive but still surprisingly affordable given the grand history of the place and they still have some of the same traditional dishes on the menu. 

I convinced mom to let me bring this treasure home so I could scan it and share it. Finally, before I head back up there for Mother's Day, I got around to scanning the menu from Antoine's (circa 1954) from my parent's honeymoon. Sadly, I think the file size is too big. Blogger won't let me upload the images. I do have them on my facebook page. If you know me, you can see them there.


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