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New Orleans Recipes: Easy Chicken and Sausage Gumbo – Part Deux

Of all the great New Orleans recipes gumbo is perhaps the most popular and the most requested. And that one along with jambalaya is one of the ones least frequently made at home. Why? As I said in the previous post, it can be time consuming.

New Orleans Recipes: Easy Chicken and Sausage Gumbo – Part Deux

Styrofoam bowl of chicken & andouille gumbo, a...

A yummy chicken and sausage gumbo. One of the favorite of New Orleans recipes.

But I got me a secret that makes it so simple that heck I could make it every week and not feel any strain. I got this recipe out of a slow cook creole cookbook and I’ve made some slight modifications to it, as really any good cook would usually do. When a recipe says to add 2 cloves of garlic I laugh derisively. Really? Only 2 cloves? Ha ha ha. Give me a break. How about 5 or 10 cloves?

I don’t think you can ever add too much garlic, except that time a buddy of mine made some guacamole and he added so much garlic it was inedible. I guess there is a limit when the garlic is going to remain raw in a recipe. Cooking it though, well, you can never add too much in my view.

Anyway, I know you be dyin’ to get this recipe so here it is. Although the recipe in the book says Chicken Andouille Gumbo I rarely use andouille because it’s usually full of preservatives and stuff I don’t want to eat. So I just opt for a clean (without chemicals, I mean) cajun or italian sausage, spicy and smoky is better but not necessary. But really almost any kind of sausage will do.

I use a crock pot. But if you don’t have one just use a nice size 4-5 quart pot. Cook the gumbo on low.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil, lard or bacon fat or a mixture of these three, and a little butter too
1/2 cup dry roux mix (that you’ve bought or made yourself. See the previous post.)
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup celery
6-8 cloves garlic mashed and chopped
1 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
3/4 lb sausage
1 lb frozen sliced okra (if you can’t get this it’s OK. Just use a bag of mixed veggies)
3 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt (add this last and taste the gumbo before you add it to make sure you don’t make it too salty)
6 cups chicken stock or broth
1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs, with or without skin cut into 1 inch pieces

So in a heavy skillet what I do is saute the onion, bell pepper and celery (we call this the ‘trinity’ in southern Louisiana cooking lore) in the oil and fat on medium for a few minutes, let’s say 5 minutes. Next I add the garlic and stir it around for about a minute. Then I take the dry roux and sprinkle it in with veggies and stir it around till it’s well mixed so that they are coated with the roux. This should only take a few seconds.

Put this mixture in the crock pot and add all the other ingredients except the salt. I would add like half the salt now and maybe save the rest after it’s cooked for 4 or 5 hours to taste it. Make sure you don’t add too much and make it too salty. I usually like to stir the gumbo occasionally while it’s cooking.

For the sausage I put them in whole. If you slice them and put them in raw they will all fall apart in the gumbo. So I let it cook whole in the gumbo for several hours and then at some point before I serve it I take ‘em out and slice ‘em and then return ‘em to the gumbo.

Set the crockpot to low for 6-7 hours. Serve it in large bowls with some steamed rice. White rice is best.

If you make this the day before you eat it it will be even better because when it sits in the fridge for 24 hours it has a chance to blend in well. Letting it sit for a day just does something to it that enhances the flavor.

 

Hey, leave a COMMENT. Tell us what YOU think!

 

Posted in New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Food, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Recipes.

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New Orleans Recipes: Easy Chicken and Sausage Gumbo — Making the Roux

One of the favorite of all New Orleans recipes is gumbo. Originally the word gumbo comes from the African word for okra – gombo. And as most good gumbos have okra in them, well, you can see how the word came about.

New Orleans Recipes: Easy Chicken and Sausage Gumbo — Making the Roux

Making the roux? Yeah, I don't do this when I make my gumbo. I do something easier and just as good. Making the roux? Yeah, I don't do this when I make my gumbo. I do something easier and just as good.

Making the roux? Yeah, I don’t do this when I make my gumbo. I do something easier and just as good.

This is going to be a two parter. In this first post we will talk about making the roux. The next post I’ll give you the recipe that I use to make great gumbo that everyone talks about and by which they will crown you with the moniker of “chef.”

The word ‘gumbo’ is also used to denote a metaphorical mixture of things, an inclusion in the idea pot of many different influences. And that’s what gumbo is, it’s a mixture of influences from Africa, Native American, French, Spanish and what-have-you that’s present here in south Louisiana.

Not only can you find gumbo in New Orleans but it’s all over the Cajun country as well. I mean, no self-respecting Cajun restaurant is going to be without it’s own version of gumbo, cher.

Some of the best gumbo I’ve ever had was at the New Orleans Country Club. They make this seafood gumbo that tastes like you died and gone to heaven. Thick, rich, tasty and chock full of seafood, I remember my mom’s manfriend would always admonish us that when we serve ourselves at the buffet table to always go to the bottom of the pot with the long ladle to get the best chunks of seafood and goodness that was down there.

And then of course you drop a big pour of sherry on the top and take the first unbelievable taste of it and well… heaven on earth.

But the hardest thing about making mosts gumbos is doing the roux which means standing over a pot stirring a mixture of flour in butter or oil or lard till it turns brown. It’s not that it’s hard, it’s just, well, boring and I got better things to do than that, OK. Call it lazy and spoiled but there ya go.

So, making the roux is I think one of the main reasons folks don’t like making gumbo at home. It’s just takes too long and if you are not careful you can burn it and then you have to start all over which is, of course, a drag.

Well, there is a way easier way. And here it is: you buy the roux at the grocery store. Now I like to get the powdered roux, not the one with oil already in it – that stuff’s got some stuff in it that, well, I don’t wanna eat. If the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of flour I just use 1/2 cup of the dry roux.

If you don’t have it where you live you can order it on Amazon. Also, Zatarain’s sells a gumbo base that does just as well, but they add flavorings in it that I would prefer not to use in my gumbo, but it’s OK and will do in a pinch.

You can also do what my brother does which is taking some flour, spreading it out on a baking sheet and toasting it in the oven. I’ve never done this so don’t know what temperature he uses or for how long. It seems like something you just have to figure out yourself.

So using this already-made roux is just one of the tricks you can use for other New Orleans recipes that call for roux. So you have no excuse now for cooking our delicious New Orleans food.

Leave a COMMENT. What do you think?

Posted in New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Food, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Recipes.

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Battle of New Orleans: The Myths, the Legends and The Truth

By contributor Timothy Pickles

The Battle of New Orleans is fast approaching its bicentennial year. It never ceases to amaze me how many things in history, or life in general for that matter, are taken at face value or just assumed and suddenly take on the stature of Holy Writ when, in fact, the assumptions are wholly wrong.

10 Things You Didn’t know about the Battle of New Orleans: The Myths, the Legends and The Truth

English: The Battle of New Orleans. General An...

The Battle of New Orleans. General Andrew Jackson stands on the parapet of his makeshift defenses as his troops repulse attacking Highlanders. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Almost all common assumptions about the battle are, to quote Douglas Addams “Apocryphal or at least wildly inaccurate.” So here is the list of 10 myths and legends and, to set the record straight, the real truth:

1. The battle was fought after the war was over.

A peace treaty had been signed on December 25th 1814 BUT the treaty did not end the war, the war was ended when both sides ratified the document their agents had signed, and the United States did not ratify the treaty until February 18th, over a month after the battle.

2. This was the last clash of arms between the US and Great Britain.

When the British sailed from the New Orleans area they did not sail for home, but to Mobile Bay where they attacked and captured Fort Bowyer which guarded the entrance to the Bay. This was preliminary to capturing Mobile, a port, unlike New Orleans, usable by British capital ships where the army could be landed, then march to Baton Rouge once called New Richmond when it was part of British West Florida.

Then, cutting off New Orleans from the North, the army would march down the river road and take the city with the whole British army arriving at the same time rather than piecemeal as it did. The plan was only abandoned after the British successfully captured the fort when news of the treaty arrived 3 days later. It is well to remember that at this time the treaty had still to be ratified by the US!

3. The US won because the British were not clever enough to use rifles and hide while the American did.

In actual fact, though many of the US volunteers had rifles, the only regular rifle troops at New Orleans were British! The 95th Foot (rifles) were formed to use the new form of weapon that was more accurate than the musket, but they were only used in specialized situations.

Though rifles were accurate they took a long time to load correctly, twice as long as a musket, so one gained accuracy but lost firepower. Like the British the US army was mainly made up of well-drilled musket men. The myth of the coonskin-cap-wearing volunteer, with his rifle winning the battle, was fostered in later years and bolstered in the immediate pre Civil War years by Southerners as a warning to Yankees.

4. It was a battle won and lost in one day.

Hardly. Though sometimes presented this way, what is often presented as a battle was in fact a month long campaign starting in December 1814. It encompassed a naval battle, an amphibious landing, amphibious operations in the Mississippi river and land artillery attacking US naval vessels.

5. At the end of the battle Andrew Jackson knew he had beaten the British.

Actually, at the end of the Battle Andrew Jackson was certain another attack would come and was fairly certain he would loose. The battle took place on both sides of the river and while on the East bank Andrew Jackson won the day brilliantly, on the West Bank the British, under Colonel Thornton, drove the Americans out of their main positions and two miles upriver.

In effect, Jackson’s right was destroyed and the British had all but a clear road upriver to the city. A badly wounded Thornton requested 2,000 reinforcements to take the last American position, but Maj. Gen John Lambert, the last general officer on his feet, refused, being badly shaken by the deaths of Pakenham and Gibbs and the wounding of Kean. Essentially, he grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory.

6. Andrew Jackson saw Edward Pakenham killed.

The story is often told, I am sure, that in the aftermath many a rifleman shouted to Jackson that he had shot the British General and Jackson shouted back that he had seen it. However, his aide records that the first indication Jackson had that Pakenham was dead was a note from Lambert requesting that a truce be called to collect the dead and treat the wounded, in which he signed himself  ‘John Lambert Commander of His Majesties Forces’; Jackson sent back to find out who this ‘Lambert’ was as he had never heard of him before.

7. Major General Sir Edward Michael Pakenham was killed by a rifle shot.

A popular romantic story which has no basis in fact, Pakenham was hit twice by multiple projectiles, the first blast breaking his right arm, wounding him in the leg and killing his horse, the second killing him. The descriptions make it quite clear that he was killed by grape shot. Cannon fire not a rifle ended his life.

8. The highlanders marched across the field wearing kilts and feather bonnets.

It is amazing how many serious historians get this wrong. In fact, the 93rd Foot (Sutherland Highlanders) were ordered to have their tartan cloth for their kilts made up into ‘trews’ (a type of Tartan trouser) for the New Orleans campaign. They also removed the black ostrich feathers from their feather bonnets and so they did not look very ‘highland’ like on the campaign, though the bagpipers would certainly identify them as such.

In fact, this was the only battle fought up to WW2 where the Sutherland (later Argyle and Sutherland) Highlanders did not wear the kilt and it was the only defeat they ever suffered. Of course, regimental tradition states that the reason for the defeat of the British at New Orleans was the lack of the kilt!

9. The British were great targets as they marched across the field in long straight lines.

While it is true that the standard formation for British troops in battle was the line, which allowed them to bring maximum firepower to bear on the enemy, this was NOT the formation they used at New Orleans. The Americans were hunkered down behind their thick barricade, impenetrable to both musket and artillery and the British had to assault the defense works. This was not done in line but in column.

The idea was to attack a small area of the works with an unending stream of men, the only way to take this sort of position because all fire was useless. While musketry and rifles certainly did do great damage to the British, by far the most effective and devastating fire came from the artillery which was very skillfully served.

10. The British way outnumbered the Americans.

Actually, for the battle they were fighting, they didn’t. Though the British did outnumber the US almost 2 to1 the Americans were behind a very well constructed earthwork. By all rules of war the ratio of attackers to defenders for this type of operation is supposed to be 3 to1, so, in effect, the British army was at least 6,000 men weaker than it should have been to attempt the attack.

This is why Pakenham tried to concentrate his troops at particular points and outnumber in detail what he could not outnumber in toto. He came very close to achieving his goal but in war there is no prize for second place.

 

So there you have it, some fascinating and unknown facts about the Battle of New Orleans that helps to dispel some of the many myths behind this famous and world-changing event.

 

Timothy Pickles is an author, film and TV producer for the History Channel, historical advisor on numerous Hollywood films, and coordinator for historical events.  Originally from Yorkshire, England, he now lives and works in New Orleans.

Posted in New Orleans History, New Orleans Landmarks, New Orleans Life.

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Gumbo – The One Word That Sums Up New Orleans

Who’d a thunk that as you are sitting slurping down that lovely brown, thick, chunky, spicy gumbo you are really chowing down on a history lesson about all things New Orleans.

Gumbo – The One Word That Sums Up New Orleans

Jazz musicians Kermit Ruffins and Danny Barker...

Marco Werman of NPR came down for a visit to radio station WWNO and did a nice little piece about the city. Here is an excerpt from his article on NPR website:

… New Orleans’ two best known cultural contributions to America – music and food – express multiple layers of meaning in this city.

Think jazz.

Think gumbo.

And whenever new people come to New Orleans, the words and the music and the food evolve. When you listen to trumpeter Kermit Ruffins performing at the Bullet’s Sports Bar in the city’s seventh ward, it’s easy to forget that all this comes out of a few hundreds years of history.

“You know, it’s like “there’s no place quite like this place, so this must be the place”? There is no place in the United States quite like this place. Southern Louisiana,” says New Orleans food historian Jessica B. Harris. “This is a place that has been French, then Spanish, then French, then American. That’s a lot of stuff going on.”

“It is that place where things mix. People often have referred to the culture of New Orleans as a gumbo,” Harris says.

 The origin of the word gumbo is from Ghana where ‘gombo’ means okra. And okra is just one of the ingredients in a good gumbo. So whenever I eat gumbo I see it as the one part of our unique cuisine that reflects that true essence of New Orleans. So many influences, such a great flavor.

Allen Toussaint has a little song that reflects this essence of the Crescent City:

“A yankee saw a crawfish called it a baby lobster
We laughed so hard we nearly busted our sides.

But when he tasted the difference he started raving so much he got a southern welcome arms open wide.

Imagine boudin cooking.
Imagine cracklins cracklin.
Almost enough cayenne to water your eyes.

But in the midst of all this fine southern cuisine, I’ll take the crawfish everyday, everytime.

Laissez laissez bons temps rouler.
Laissez laissez bons temps rouler.
Laissez laissez bons temps rouler.

I could eat crawfish everyday.
I could eat crawfish everyday.”

And although I personally would not want to eat crawfish every day, I know what he means.

Posted in New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Food, New Orleans History, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Music.

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European Podcast Spells Out What Makes Native New Orleans Food Unlike Any Other

People come from all over the world to indulge in our New Orleans food. You know when I was growing up we just ate food that was from here. I don’t think we called it New Orleans food, it was just what we ate. You know, we got the gumbo, and the shrimp creole and the beignets and the coffee and chicory and all the other foods that make our cuisine so unique.

European Podcast Spells Out What Makes Native New Orleans Food Unlike Any Other

English: A traditional Creole/Cajun cuisine cr...

It was not till I went away and lived other places that I could really appreciate what we have here in New Orleans. I lived for 16 years in the Pacific Northwest and although they got some restaurants that have decent food, there is really no coherent cuisine. Nothing that was unusual from the rest of the country.

I mean I can remember going to eat at people’s homes and just having well, not really good food. It’s was just plain, boring, anywhere-in-America food. The thing is we here in the city are spoiled. We have been raised on fabulous food, that’s just normal to us but really different from anywhere else. What makes us different is that we have a distinct native cuisine, and other places in the country don’t.

Marcus Hippi of Finland who traveled all the way to New Orleans just to do this interview talked to Liz Williams of the Food and Beverage Museum, Ryan Prewitt, Ann Tuennerman, Francisco Robert of Dinner Lab and Tim McNally, of world-wide fame.

Local food blogger Robert Peyton of appetites.us paraphrased from the interview that ‘our cuisine stems from our ability to relax and enjoy the moment, and that we appreciate food on a different level from our neighbors.’

Yep, I think that about sums it up. You can hear this interview on Monocle at this link: Podcast

Posted in New Orleans Life.


Best Things About New Orleans – the Quirky, the Festive, the Free

Local folks know the best things about New Orleans are many, varied, funky, delightful and delicious. What better way to find out what locals think about the city than to ask them point blank to their faces, what they think  what makes life in New Orleans so danged great.

Life in New Orleans is very different from anywhere else. Oh, you know it, babe!

Life in New Orleans is very different from anywhere else. Oh, you know it, babe!

So Zillow, you know that all things real estate site, did just that. Here’s an excerpt from their post:

The people are the best part about New Orleans. They are festive, quirky, lovable, gritty, creative and tenacious. They work hard and play hard. I also love that we can get our drinks in “go cups” and walk down the street. Only in New Orleans. — Carlie Kollath Wells

There are so many free and cheap activities to take advantage of in New Orleans. You can start with the parks — City Park is so big you could spend an entire day there exploring the different attractions, Audobon Park is picturesque and The Fly is a great spot to lay out by the Mississippi River or barbecue. — Tiffany Mast

This only touches the surface of what makes the city so great. What are the best things to do in New Orleans? Heck, where do I begin?

 

Posted in New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Neighborhoods.

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New Orleans School System is Set to Become All Charter Schools – Video

Before Hurricane Katrina the New Orleans school system was one of the worst in the country. It was a travesty that a large percentage of students graduated high school who could barely read, write or do simple math. Tens of millions of dollars that were supposed to go to these failing schools were pocketed by corrupt school board members and teachers who were no longer working were still collecting paychecks. Millions upon millions of dollars simple disappeared.

New Orleans School System is Set to Become All Charter Schools – Video

In this video from PBS special education correspondent John Merrow and Sarah Carr, author of “Hope Against Hope,” join Jeffrey Brown to discuss the transition and its national implications.

Before the hurricane the scene at New Orleans school board meetings that were anything but peaceful, the teachers’ union wanted more and more control and more and more money all the while proclaiming “it’s for the children.” That was their always ongoing and tired mantra “We’re doing all this for the kids.” Nothing could have been further from the truth.

The system was terrible, rampant with terrible and unqualified teachers and several generations of kids were lost to bad education. Is it any wonder why crime was so rampant in the city? What kind of future could these poorly educated kids expect? How could they possibly get decent jobs if they could barely read or write? It was a terrible shame really.

Before the hurricane I was thinking that the only way the school system could be changed was if a bomb were to be dropped on the school board and leaders of the teachers’ union and obliterated the whole thing. Well, that’s exactly what happened with Katrina.

And that hurricane did the city the biggest favor when it comes to giving our kids a decent education. The state came in and took over failing schools, which were most of them, and let them be run by charter groups. Some charters succeeded and others failed, which is perfectly normal if schools are allowed to compete with each other.

Is it perfect? No, but it’s a positive step in the right direction to give our kids the decent future they deserve. Now our kids are getting better educated and New Orleans schools have become a model for quality education in the country.

 

 

Posted in Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans Culture, New Orleans History, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Videos.

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Chefs and Musicians Hit the Road to Share New Orleans Culture

New Orleans and Louisiana is one of the few places in the United States that actually has an authentic culture. So some chefs and musicians take to the road to Norfolk, VA to feed folks that are starving for it… culture I mean.

Chefs and Musicians Hit the Road to Share New Orleans Culture

They’ve been doing this thing called the Bayou Boogaloo for going on 25 years now. And it looks like they’ve been having a fantastic time up there in Virginia. They got New Orleans musicians and artists and able to get more exposure for what they do.

And it’s great to bring New Orleans culture to other parts of the country. Cuz some folks are just dying of starvation for it.

Posted in Louisiana, New Orleans Art, New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Food, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Music, New Orleans News, New Orleans Videos.

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My Urbanist’s Guide to New Orleans – Gumbo, Mardi Gras and All Dat Jazz

OK. This is a shameless plug for my New Orleans urbanist’s guide which recently appeared on The Guardian of London’s website. Your humble correspondent was requested to do a post for their website. Came out pretty nice, if I do say so myself.

My Urbanist’s Guide to New Orleans - Gumbo, Mardi Gras and All Dat Jazz

Here is thy humble reporter, Richard Bienvenu, on the banks of the mighty Mississippi.

Here is thy humble reporter, Richard Bienvenu, on the banks of the mighty Mississippi, taking the required ‘selfie’ for The Guardian.

As I report in an excerpt from the piece on The Guardian site:

A joie de vivre is our way of life here. Very different from any other American city, it’s been said that if it were not for New Orleans the United States would be a bunch of free people dying of boredom.

If there were any words that would best describe the attitude of New Orleans it would be “laissez les bon temps rouler” which means let the good times roll. It seems that there’s always something to celebrate, and there is never a lack of something fun to do. With beautiful parks, a world class zoo, great public transportation and year round festivals this place would be paradise if it were not for the sweltering summers.

So go there now to The Guardian and check out what else I say about the good, the great, and the not so good about the city. You know you wanna know more about this urbanist’s guide to New Orleans. It’s a way to be informed and…of course… impress your friends with your NOLA knowledge.

 

Posted in New Orleans Culture, New Orleans History, New Orleans Landmarks, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Neighborhoods, New Orleans News.

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The Kinks Complicated Life Provides Soundtrack for a Bicycle Cruise Through New Orleans French Quarter

The New Orleans French Quarter has always been a mecca for unusual characters and visitors from all over the world. Yeah, it’s just a cool place where a lot of quirky things happen. Take this video for instance. It was made mid-2005, in other words right before Hurricane Katrina.

Everyone in the city was pleasantly oblivious to all the meteorological power and elements influencing each other this way and that which would eventually form that hurricane of the century.

The Kinks Complicated Life Provides Soundtrack for a Bicycle Cruise Through New Orleans French Quarter

“Life is hard enough already. I don’t know why we gotta make it so complicated” says the man at the table at the beginning of the piece. Little did anyone know that within a short time Hurricane Katrina would cause massive flooding and everyone’s life in the city would suddenly get really complicated!

The irony of this video is not lost on those who had to endure the destruction and its aftermath. Here the Preservation Hall Jazz Band do their own version of The Kinks song and the lead singer takes us on an unusual one-shot bicycle tour of the New Orleans French Quarter. Interesting camera effects are used to speed up and slow down time all the while the singer keeps up with the tempo.

We as humans do have a tendency to complicate things. But living in New Orleans is pretty easy going, not complicated at all. You just gotta enjoy life.

And we here in the city are still rebuilding, still cleaning up, physically and metaphorically. And with all that things really have never been better here in New Orleans. The resiliency of the city and its people are on display in the New Orleans French Quarter which throughout the centuries has endured several fires, epidemics and threats to its very existence.

You can find out more about the Preservation Hall Jazz Band at the WWOZ website.

Posted in New Orleans Art, New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Music, New Orleans Videos.

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Blonde Bombshell Claims You Need Tums To Enjoy New Orleans Food

New Orleans food is some of the best in the world from our simple poboy sandwiches to our elegant mix of French Creole cuisine and Cajun cooking. When visitors come to New Orleans to enjoy our exquisite culinary fare, sometimes they just can’t control themselves.

Blonde Bombshell Claims You Need Tums To Enjoy New Orleans Food

Nothin' like a New Orleans fried shrimp poboy. Do you really need Tums to enjoy New Orleans food?

Nothin’ like a New Orleans fried shrimp poboy. Do you really need Tums for this?

Now the Tripping Blonde, a blogger from New York city who travels the world, says you need to pack antacid to make through a visit here. Well, I guess that would be true if you stuffed yourself silly. And I know people come here to do that.

I live here and enjoy the food and I don’t stuff myself silly. At least… not any more… very much. You know it’s all about pacing. And really fried foods, and we got a lot of that but most of our best food is not fried, will just kinda put that lump in your stomach if you eat too much. Top that off with beer and a dessert. Well, that’s just gonna hurt.

Here The Tripping Blonde gives a warning and a little tutorial on a muffaletta sandwich:

While I’m on the topic of sandwiches, I must talk about the muffuletta sandwich.  Be warned, if you don’t like olives, skip this sandwich and stick to the po’boys.  The muffuletta is a variation of an Italian sandwich using a marinated olive salad spread as the dressing.   It’s made using large, round flattened bread topped with sesame seeds  (Sicilian muffuletta bread).  

The sandwich is then stuffed with layers of capiocola, salami, mortadella, emmental cheese and provolone cheese.   It is then topped with the marinated olive salad spread which is what differentiates this sandwich from an ordinary Italian hoagie.  The olive salad is made of green olives, celery, cauliflower, carrots, and giardiniera, seasoned with oregano and garlic, covered in olive oil, and allowed to sit for at least 24 hours for the flavors to blend.

It really is all about pacing yourself, you know. Being wise with your eyes when you wield that knife and fork. Just cuz something looks good doesn’t mean you have to eat it all, and you can split a plate of something with yo’ buddy instead of chowing down on the whole thing. And there is such a thing as a doggie bag.

I love almost all New Orleans food. Me, I don’t take tums, never need it. I know what’s gonna make me feel icky so I avoid eating too much of it.

Posted in New Orleans Food, New Orleans Life.


Quirky New Orleans Celebrations: Deceased Attends Her Own Funeral

New Orleans has been known for its celebrations. You got your Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest and your jazz funerals. Oh yeah, babe, we are known for our jazz funerals, all dat dancin’ in the streets and partyin’ while the hearse rolls with the casket.

Quirky New Orleans Celebrations: Deceased Attends Her Own Funeral

KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Well, does it seem that New Orleans has started another trend? Here on these pages I reported a well-known New Orleans socialite who planned and attended her own elaborate wake where many Crescent City celebrities showed up to pay their respects.

Now we have another lady doing the same thing. And at this one there was dancing. But really not too unusual for New Orleans

Posted in New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Videos.

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Old New Orleans: Fresh Milk and an Old Restaurant – Vintage Photo

Here is a beautiful photograph of old New Orleans. This is a milk delivery truck in the French Quarter and it is on Iberville Street. You can see the number of the the building behind it, 719.

Old New Orleans: Fresh Milk and an Old Restaurant

Old New Orleans photo - milk cart on Iberville in the French Quarter

Old New Orleans photo – milk cart on Iberville in the French Quarter. FDR and Houdini hung out here.

See the cobblestone street, imagine the racket the truck must have made coming down. It would seem that all the rocking back and forth would’ve curdled the cream on top to that milk but I guess they had all of that figured out back then. Heck, maybe that’s how they made their butter! Or ‘buttah’ as we say here.

Where my mom grew up, where today is between the Carrollton Area and the Interstate 10, there were dairy farms. So New Orleans had no paucity of milk or cream or buttah.

The La Louisiane Restaurant in the photo was also a hotel and saw the likes of FDR, William McKinley, William Randolph Hearst and Harry Houdini among many others. The building was built in 1837 and today it still houses the La Louisiane as a bar and catering venue.

Pretty cool that in finding this photo and researching the building behind the cart I discover an establishment I was not aware of.

Leave a COMMENT. What do you think?

Posted in New Orleans Art, New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Food, New Orleans History, New Orleans Life.

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Photographer Frank Relle’s New Orleans Haunted Houses

There is something mysterious about New Orleans that’s difficult to put a finger on. People have tried to do it through music and art but to put it into words just does not seem to do it justice. I think it’s a conglomeration of feelings and pulses and spirits. I’ve traveled to many cities and countries, lived for a while in Spain, yet nothing I’ve seen or experienced can match the mystery of the Crescent City.

Photographer Frank Relle’s New Orleans Haunted Houses

An example of Frank Relle's New Orleans haunted houses.

An example of Frank Relle’s New Orleans haunted houses.

Somehow local artist Frank Relle through his photographs has been able to capture that mysterious something that is New Orleans, that strange and inexplicable essence that permeates everything here.

This excerpt from Huffington Post spells it out more clearly.

“I walked the streets of New Orleans since I was a kid,” Relle writes in his artist statement. “She talked to me on the corner and at the checkout counter. I danced with her down the middle of the street. Her food stimulated and comforted me. I got scared and left her because she lacked mountains and clear water. She lured me back with something I can’t describe. She has been my greatest teacher and my longest lasting lover. The photographs I make are evidence of our all night conversations.”

Unlike the “disaster porn” made popular by the internet in recent years, Relle’s images attempt to pay proper tribute to the catastrophic damage in New Orleans, painting those scenes as just a few moments in the slow erosion of Louisiana’s architecture and spirit over the past century. His series does respectfully extend to the now famous lower 9th ward. “Katrina gave my photographs recognition,” Relle added, “a recognition I desired but it’s always been a strange feeling juxtaposed with all the people and memories she took away.”

It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to New Orleans Relle’s photos are the perfect expression of this saying.

To see more of Frank’s photos go HERE.

Posted in Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans Art, New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Neighborhoods.


Music Duo Carousel Jams in a Van in New Orleans

Now here is a pretty cool idea. A company called Jam in the Van travels the country recording what they call ‘intimate musical experiences’ in a van they set up with recording equipment and cameras. Here they are in New Orleans doing their thing with a duo called Carousel.

Music Duo Carousel Jams in a Van in New Orleans

This song has a nice sound, a nice beat, something really feel-good and catchy. What a great sound they produce with just a few instruments and vocals. And do you catch all the New Orleans memorabilia the beads and fleur-de- lis in the background? Nice touch.

Posted in New Orleans Life, New Orleans Music, New Orleans Videos.




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