In an interesting bit of timing, New Orleans' Times-Picayune brings us the story of one woman who began a quest to save treasured family recipes after Hurricane Katrina wiped out her home. Michele Montalbano and her family fled their Chalmette home, located three blocks from the 40 Arpent Canal, as the hurricane arrived in New Orleans. Montalbano had looked after a collection of family recipes that had been assembled over generations.
The storm wiped that out. When she returned months later, her cookbooks had sprouted mushrooms but the recipes remained largely intact. Though moldy, Montalbano has dedicated herself to copying the recipes by hand and preserving them for future generations. She calculates that 8 or 9 recipes would have been lost forever had she not recovered them.
"There wasn't much I could save from my home in Chalmette, but some of the best memories in my life have come out of the kitchen and these recipes symbolize those good times," she said.