I now weigh 157 pounds. That is not, statistically, a lot for a man of my age and height. The problem is that whereas some people can wear weight well, at 157 pounds I look something like a pincushion. A beautiful, blue-eyed pincushion, but a pincushion nevertheless…

I would blame the pandemic, but I worked from home before we had to start sheltering in place so that’s probably not it. I have been exercising less, I suppose, and that could have something to do with it.

But mainly I think it’s because what I’ve been cooking has tended toward the “rich” end of the spectrum. Let me put it this way: we damn near ran out of butter yesterday, and my wife and I looked at each other and, though we did not speak out loud, both said “what have we become?”

I have quarts of heavy cream in my refrigerator, and I don’t have a big refrigerator. We buy milk at Costco, where one can buy milk in volumes more suited for industrial purposes, and I will not disclose our weekly cheese consumption because you would not believe me if I told you.

I also cook healthy things; at least twice a week I cook some sort of “light” meal with bean thread noodles or quinoa with roasted or and steamed vegetables and herbs. I enjoy those meals as much as I enjoy the pork chops with mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts, but that I had tonight, but I don’t tend to raid the pantry at 2:00 a.m. after I have pork chops and mashed potatoes with roasted Brussels sprouts.

We are entering into a very odd time in New Orleans. We’re starting to think about Carnival, but we’re not really going to have Carnival this year. We’re not going to have parades and we’re not going to have large gatherings. We’re not going to have crawfish boils.

I have many strengths, but my greatest may be my ability to pretend bad things are not happening. I have been thinking that this whole thing is going to be over in a week or three since March. My ignore-fu is strong, but at a certain point even I must admit we’re in for a long haul.

My resolution for the new year was to be a better person and to try to do good work. I’m working on the first part and doing pretty well on the second. And if you define “being a good person” by the amount of weight one gains, then I’m doing pretty well on that count too.

I hope all of you are doing well in the new year as well, and that if you had “resolutions,” you’ve already broken them. It’s what they’re made for, after all.