I went to New Orleans for the first time in 2016. My daughter lived there a year after college working with the AmeriCorps. We drove from Minnesota in her little Toyota Corolla, packed to the brim with her belongings. She had rented what they call a shotgun house in Mid-City with two other girls moving there to work with the AmeriCorps. I will never forget the feeling I had when we first arrived, coming from the land of milk and honey, this was a different world.

After vacuuming up the dead cockroaches and knocking on the neighbor’s door for help to remove the salamanders out of the sink, we shined her new place up and made it home. I quickly adapted to the surroundings and embraced the culture, the people, and all of the amazing food. I went back three more times that year with different friends and family. I couldn’t get enough. Although it’s a great place to visit, one year was enough for my daughter. Between the heat, the storms, and the cockroaches, she was ready to move on. I feel very lucky I was able to experience it and I will definitely get back there again.

I’m sure most of us know New Orleans is famous for Mardi Gras, a multi-week celebration that begins on Jan. 6 and ends the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday being the first day of Lent, which for many Christians is 40 days of fasting, prayer and penance in preparation of Easter. One way to put it is Mardi Gras is a celebration of life before the more-somber occasion of Ash Wednesday and Lent. Traditionally, in the days leading up to Lent people would binge on all the excess, indulging in their favorite foods, favorite drinks, and good company before prayer and fasting. Basically, a party before penance!

Join us at the Friendship Cafe’ on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 16, for a Louisiana style meal of Jambalaya and cornbread. And before that, Happy early Valentine’s Day on Thursday, Feb. 11 – enjoy a piece of pink champagne cake with your meal. Hope to see you!

The Friendship Café is open for limited indoor dining, takeout, curbside pick-up and delivery. COVID-19 precautions will be implemented and signage will be posted on the doors with established protocols. We are open Monday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Main Entree, $6. Comes with a vegetable or fruit, bread and dessert.

Friday, Feb. 12: Center closed.

Monday, Feb. 15: Creamy Tomato Italian Chicken/noodles.

Tuesday, Feb. 16: Jambalaya Casserole w/Cornbread.

Wednesday, Feb. 17: Baked Fish w/Elegant Au Gratins.

Thursday, Feb. 18: Pizza Pasta Casserole.

Soup and Sandwich (Ham or Turkey) w/fruit, $6.

Turkey or Ham Wrap w/cup of soup or salad, $7.

Chef Salad or Taco Salad w/bread, $7.

For payment we take cash or check.

Senior Meal Delivery Program: If you are a senior citizen located in Isanti County and interested in delivery, call us at (763-689-6555) the night before or the morning of, between 8-10 a.m. Please state your name, phone number and address.

Package Deal: You can order fresh, hot meals to be delivered to your home Monday thru Thursday for $25/week. This includes an extra bag on Thursday containing soup, bread, and fruit for your weekend meal. Please call by Sunday and leave a message, including your name, phone number, and address, to place your meal package order for the following week (763-689-6555).

The Senior Activity Center is located at 140 Buchanan St. N., Suite 164, Cambridge, 763-689-6555.

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