Hansen's Sno-Bliz, New Orleans
Ashley was born in New Orleans and adopted into the sweetest of childhoods. Her Grandparents were the Hansens. Her Grandfather had invented the first fully patented electric ice-shaving machine. He had big blue eyes that were magnified by his coke bottle glasses. He was a master machinist and worked in the hulls of ships and machine shops that lined the River. Mary put his Machine to Good Use. She was Italian, wore pants, and high heels. She was generous of Heart, flirty, and a firecracker. She made her syrups daily. As New Orleanians, Ashley and her twin sister were born with certain inalienable rights.
1. The right to cool off and “air-condition your tummy” any day of the long hot summer.
Educated by the Ursuline Nuns.
2. The right to take a walk on the batture and see the sweep of the mighty Mississippi and History from which it flows.
…and then educated by the Jesuits at Loyola University.
3. To spread newspapers across the kitchen table & eat mounds of crawfish with good friends
A visual arts degree positioned her (uniquely) into a self-taught culinary career
4. To have a profound experience of chicory coffee, pralines, and gumbo
While cooking professionally, Ashley was the primary caretaker of her Grandparents, Ernest & Mary. She worked committedly to ensure their care while running their beloved snowball stand.
5. To live in a city with many Voices, and yet, only One Soul.
Katrina ravaged neighborhoods and the way of life. Ashley re-opened the stand in Homage to her Grandparents, Healing for me, and to help shape New Orleans for her future children and the future citizens of our treasured city. Those new New Orleanians that will need to hear the bells/brakes of the streetcar, those that may and must absorb night blooming jasmine as perfume, those that swim and breathe the summer’s humidity. And maybe then, they will need to “air-condition their tummies.”