Two Years of Southern Sauce and Spice

Published 5:04 pm Saturday, July 16, 2011

I began writing this blog column where I promised you “…all things southern, saucy, and spicy.”

I hope I’ve delivered. I pray you’ve found some of this sauce and spice as you’ve explored Louisiana through this blog.

These past two years we’ve exchanged Mason jars of Louisiana peppers, squash and cucumbers to preserve LOUISIANA SUMMERS and jars of  LOUISIANA SUN-RIPE TOMATOES. We’ve discussed Louisiana’s state beverage over cups of COFFEE and learned that an ITALIAN BEIGNET raises the levee of New Orleans beignets to a new level. Just bring on a cup of melted chocolate! We cooked up a BLEND OF THE BAYOU and a pot of BOILED CRAWFISH as well as CRAWFISH FETTUCCINE. We whipped up a HOMEMADE HEAT SOLUTION, enjoyed it with MAWMAW’S PECAN PIE, ate KING CAKES GALORE, and rang in the new year with a RUM CAKE FOR THE NEW YEAR. That reminds me, before the month of July fades into August, it’s fig feasting month and demands a rich FIG CAKE RECIPE. And don’t forget that August is the month made for BBQS

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It’s good to eat in Louisiana!

We’ve slipped on our flip-flops and paddled BACK-TO-NATURE. We smelt the BURNT OFFERINGS OF AUTUMN and celebrated the TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS which are as thick as roux in the state of Louisiana.

It’s good to celebrate in Louisana.

We focused on the SPIRIT OF LOUISIANA and splashed in the GOODNESS OF THE GULF, despite the wake of hurricanes and oil spills.

We took a Spring day to tour AVERY ISLAND and got a CHILD-FRIENDLY EDUCATION at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. We went CRABBING IN CAMERON PARISH. We’ve made repeated camping trips to TOLEDO BEND RESERVOIR and STROLLED THROUGH OLD ACADIANA.

And there’s still so much more Louisiana and I have to share with you. Coming soon…

• A couchon de lait and more Louisiana food articles

• Trip to Hodges Gardens and other state parks

• Visit to a haunted Louisiana Plantation The Myrtles

Round-table forums with more Louisiana’s authors, artists, musicians, and chefs

• More recipes

• More celebrations and festivals

• Story or two

Two years ago I wrote:

“I’d like to play a part in encouraging all of us to ‘open our eyes to its (Louisiana’s) beauty and value.’ In this recession, and due to the wrath of hurricanes in our area, it can be wearisome to look for the good in a state much less find it. We are discouraged, humbled, at a stalemate.

“But it’s time to pull up our bootstraps and remember who we are and what we are. We are not the bottomless end of a great nation. We are the boot!

“I hope that this blog will be a thing of ‘beauty and (most especially) value’ to the people who live here. I hope it offers you a sense of ‘pride of state’ that Catharine Cole encouraged people to have back in 1892. I hope it informs you of the possessions that are here in this state. I hope it gives you a sense of pride to say “I’m from Louisiana.”

I still hope all these things in the sharing of this blog. I  hope those who come here from far away get a yearn, a pull, a call to visit us, tour us, dine with us. I hope those who live here get a sense of belonging to something strange yet wonderful familiar at the same time. I hope all who leave here go away with the joy, the prayers, the bon temps that wrap Louisiana like the fog does over our marshes, swamps, and bayous.

I hope y’all enjoy the itinerary, menus, and G.P.S. tracking planned for you here as much as I enjoy planning, mapping, and guiding you around the state.

Once again…

Bienvenue! And welcome!