300 Years Ago – More or Less: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose !

This weekend coming, the Saints will take on the Panthers. Put another way, the game will be Louisiana vs. Carolina. And in the light of the Tri-Centennial, this is truly a case of history repeating itself. In one of those bizarre thought-trains prompted by a TV news note on the upcoming game, it occurred to me that the Panthers decided (in a fit of geopolitical correctness) not to claim either North or South Carolina in their namesake. This led to the thought that in colonial times, until 1712, there was only one British colony south of Virginia, the colony of Carolina. Which in turn reminded me that a constant thorn in the side of French colonial Louisiana was the said colony. As we prepare to watch Sunday’s game, let’s look back to that original rivalry between New Orleans and Carolina. Maybe some good conversation during commercials and half-time can be gained.

It’s pretty well known that France wanted a colony at the mouth of the Mississippi in order to, among many other reasons, drive a wedge between the Spanish empire in the west and the looming British empire on the Atlantic seaboard. The “unoccupied” northern Gulf Coast also offered Louis XIV and his ministers a connection between their holdings in New France (aka Canada) and the Caribbean. After 1699, the colony was established and began to grow. The Louisiana government dealt with the Spanish presence in a variety of ways. Their handling of the expansion proclivities of British Carolina was centered in Lower Louisiana (the Arkansas delta down) and was primarily concerned with Native dealings. The “nations” between the lower Mississippi and the Atlantic coast thus became the chief “Indian Affairs” issue for officials in Louisiana and Carolina. Control of the Natives or,at least, friendly trade and military relations with them were the major tools of both French and British colonists. One of the more significant incidents of this rivalry was an uprising staged by Louisiana’s Native allies against trade interests from British Carolina. What has come down in history as the Yamasee War began in April of 1715. It has been called a “serious if temporary blow to English trade and westward expansion . . . against the grasping English traders and the expanding frontier settlements of Carolina” and was launched by a Creek confederacy including the Alibamon group. This in turn prompted the French to establish Fort Toulouse at the Alabamans on the Coosa.* The fort remained in operation until the end of the French & Indian Wars.

For the remainder of the 18th century, tensions remained between the Carolinians and New Orleanians until they were finally resolved by the Seven Year’s or French & Indian Wars ending in the French evacuation of North America in 1763. Throughout those years, most of the Natives along the Mississippi remained French trade partners and allies, while the Natives of the Tennessee Valley and those in the eastern forests between Mobile and the southern end of the Appalachian mountains tended to side with the British Carolinians. Of the “major” tribes, the Choctaw usually sided with Louisiana while the Chickasaw were friends of Carolina. The Creeks pretty much did not like either side. Another item to note was that the Natives were not bashful about playing one side off the other. As a common diplomatic means of treating with the Natives, the European custom of gift giving to the various groups was practiced by both colonies. The Natives were savvy enough to get gifts from both powers and then settle back into day to day relations.

Hopefully, this small Tri-Centennial footnote will add some enjoyment and depth to the friendly New Orleans/Carolina football rivalry, and provide another note of interest to your enjoyment of Sunday’s game. As well as once again justifying that old French saying, Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose ! The more things change, the more they remain the same.

* see Thomas, Daniel H. Fort Toulouse; The French Outpost at the Alabamas on the Coosa. Tuscaloosa: Univ. of Alabama Press, 1989. p.7 ff.

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300 Years Ago – RIGHT NOW

Oh Noooo! It’s already started !! The TriCentennial has begun, and we almost missed it !!!

Wednesday night, Nov. 15, 2017 I watched the reader’s digest version of the History of French colonial experience in Louisiana. Channel 12’s (WYES) “New Orleans: The first 300 years.” How refreshing it was to find out that the last seven years of my life could be covered in 12 minutes of TV air time !!!!! Of course, I realize that covering 300 years in an hour and a half is challenging to say the least. So I cannot begrudge the otherwise fine production of this TV event. It even throws into relief the notion that books like my “Petticoat Rebellion” a culinary history of the French era can only enhance, expand, and increase our enjoyment and commemoration of this monumental anniversary of our “Queen City of the South”.

300 years ago – right now, Autumn of 1717.

October 1st, 1717: The Board of Marine in Paris appoints a cashier (called Bonnaud) and orders that a “counter” (a thing not a person – you know, like a kitchen counter or a physical Board of the Exchequer, perhaps even like the counter in a store where customers check out) be built AT NEW ORLEANS. At the end of December, D’Avirl, a court politico and military man was named “Major” of the city, later raised to Major-General. He actually served at New Orleans until January, 1721.

New Orleans now, as of October, 1717, officially EXISTS. On paper, at least. Of course, nobody actually in Louisiana knows this until several months later. It would be about six months later, in the spring of 1718, late March to early April, that Bienville and his intrepid band of salt smugglers and 8 or 9 actual carpenters get to the Indian portage between the Mississippi and Bayou St. John and begin clearing the land. In true Louisiana tradition, the founding of New Orleans would be a process that would go on for several years until finally in 1722, the new town is named the capital of the Louisiana colony.

{ The following account is a summary and paraphrase of the History of the Foundation of New Orleans (1717-1722) by Baron Marc de Villiers. Translated from the French by Warrington Dawson. Mr. Dawson translated this work on the occasion of the BiCentennial of New Orleans at the end of the Great War in 1918/20.

The entire work is available as a book, or can be found in the journal of the Louisiana Historical Society, Vol. 3 #2 April 1920, or at

http://www2.latech.edu/~bmagee/louisiana_anthology/texts/de_villiers/de_villiers–new_orleans_founding.html

Several sources agree that sometime in March of 1718, work finally began on clearing the land at the site that is now the Vieux Carre. In a report to Paris in June of 1718 the Commandant of Louisiana (i.e. Bienville) writes;

“We are working on New Orleans with such diligence as the dearth of workmen will allow. I myself went to the spot, to choose the best site. I remained for ten days, to hurry on the work, and was grieved to see so few people engaged on a task which required at least a hundred times the number. . . . All the ground of the site, except the borders which are drowned by floods, is very good, and everything will grow there.” (Archives des Aff. Etrang., Mém. et Docum. (Amérique) Vol. I; p. 200.)

As work continued on New Orleans from 1718 through 1722, the powers-that-were in Mobile and Biloxi fiercely contested the establishment of the new town. Their power base and the economy (such as it was) was rooted on those first establishments on the Gulf Coast. The two main problems on the coast, however, was the lack of strong (read protected) port locations and the simple fact that the sandy shores and piney woods cannot support any significant agricultural activity. Nor could the coastal fortifications control the Mississippi. All of this taken together required that the colony locate a central facility somewhere on the river.

Adding to the political resistance, geography and nature did not help the situation. Until the order of 1722 came down from the Company (of the Indies) in Paris, floods, hurricanes, and a “war” with Pensacola occupied much of Bienville’s and the government’s attention. In 1719, a Mississippi flood covered the new town. On September 12, 1722 a hurricane pretty much leveled the few buildings that were New Orleans.

This four year time-out did see some progress, though. On paper at least New Orleans began to take shape. Adrien de Pauger arrived at the site in March of 1721, “to trace on the spot the plan of New Orleans.” LaTour, the colony’s chief engineer, was an opponent of the plan to site New Orleans at the crescent and a proponent of the coastal capital. “Nevetheless, most Louisiana historians have attributed to La Tour the honour of creating New Orleans. This is both an error and an injustice. In truth, the engineer-in-chief, before receiving any formal instructions, had thought of building a big town at Biloxi, whose position he considered “advantageous, the air excellent, and the water good.” Pauger’s plans were buried in the colonial office’s paperwork and Pauger himself was sent to map the Mississippi River to Natchez. In spite of all this, Pauger’s plans of New Orleans mysteriously DID find their way to Paris. The decision was finally settled when, “Brought over by the Aventurier, the Company’s decision reached Biloxi on the 26th of May, 1722. A formal order being now given to transfer the seat of government, Bienville met with no further resistance; . . .”

Prior to and during all this skulldudgery, two other matters of note need to be mentioned: Jacques Barbazon de Pailloux, who might be called the first citizen of New Orleans, having lived there since 1718, was given the title of Director while remaining military commander of the counter. The Board deemed such an appointment a sufficient effort in behalf of New Orleans; Hubert, Father Charlevoix, and the Journal Historique all mention Pauger as the real author of the plan; and De Lorme, though he wasted no love on the engineer, yet writes at the end of 1721; “Pauger, after having sketched the plan of New Orleans, traced the alignments, and distributed the sites, came down the river with the Santo-Christo and built a beacon sixty-two feet high.” A few month’s earlier, “On the 15th of April, 1721, the Council of Regency reached a decision for founding in New Orleans a convent of Capucins (sic) from Champagne. Completing this, a further order was signed on the 16th of May, 1722, prescribing that the Company should “build in New Orleans a parish church of suitable size and an adjacent house for fourteen monks, with grounds for a garden and a poultry-yard.” Fathers Bruno, of Langres, Eusebius, of Vaudes, and Christophe and Philibert, both from Chaumont, were selected for rejoining the three Capucins already in Louisiana. (((And with them, of course, came our fictional Frere Gerard; cooks and servants are rarely, if ever, mentioned in official records.)))

”At last, an impetus had been given, and the number of inhabitants soon increased. From a census dated the 24th of November, 1721, we find the following:A total of four hundred and seventy inhabitants, of whom two hundred and seventy-seven were Europeans. In the list of residents, we find: Bienville, Governor; Pailloux, Commandant; Bannez, Major; de Gannerin, Captain; Pauger, Descoublanc, de La Tour, Bassée, Coustillar, officers; Rossard, notary; Le Blanc and Sarazin, storekeepers; Bonneau, secretary to Diron d’Artaguette; Bérard, surgeon-major; Bonneau, captain of the Neptune. We note also the commandant of negroes, a house outfitter, a turner, a barge-maker, a carpenter, two joiners, two armourers, an edge-tool maker, a black-smith, a harness-maker, a tobacco-curer, a carter, sixteen ship’s captains, some sailors, etc. Thirty-six head of horned cattle, nine horses, and “zero hog” complete the census.

If we add to the population of New Orleans that of the neighbourhood (Bayou St. John, old and new Colapissas, Gentilly, Cannes-Brulees, Petit-Désert, English Turn, and Tchachouas), we find six hundred and eighty-four Europeans, (293 residents, or planters, 140 women, 96 children, 155 servants); five hundred and thirty-three negroes or negresses, fifty-one Indians or squaws as slaves, two hundred and thirty head of horned cattle, and thirty-four horses.”

And so, there you have it. Beginning in late 1717 and through the intervening years until May of 1722, New Orleans becomes a reality. And the rest – as they say – is history !!!! How’s that for a cliche?

And speaking of history______________ H is the story of (whatever) based on the written records of the past. So goes the standard academic definition. However, we also have the words of the great English historian Edward Gibbon, who was required reading for any (of my generation) who had any pretensions of following the profession,

“The confusion of the times, and the scarcity of authentic memorials, oppose equal difficulties to the historian, who attempts to preserve a clear and unbroken thread of narration. Surrounded with imperfect fragments, always concise, often obscure, and sometimes contradictory, he is reduced to collect, to compare, and to conjecture: and though he ought never to place his conjectures in the rank of facts, yet the knowledge of human nature, and of the sure operation of its fierce and unrestrained passions, might, on some occasions, supply the want of historical materials.”

Edward Gibbon. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. opening paragraph, V. 1, Chapter 10.

The above account of the history of New Orleans’ founding used for this entry was written in French in 1792-4 and translated in 1918-19. As can be seen in the document quoted herein, the information is based on the colonial records housed in Paris. The interpretation of which is left to you, dear reader. Modern professional historians will undoubtedly have some bones to pick, but all in all, it follows the actual events pretty well. Besides, it was written for you, my blog followers, for as my all time favorite philosopher/historian – Will Durant – often said, “(Here I) pass it on, not to specialist scholars, who will learn nothing from it, but to (my) friends, wherever they are, who may find in it some moment’s illumination or brightening fantasy.”

HAPPY TRI-CENTENNIAL, EVERYBODY !!!!

(Undoubtedly, more to follow . . .)

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A Bonus Chapter from Vol.1

Native Americans and Seafood

Greetings from Dodge City, KS. Here on a business trip and I decided to finish this post which I began last week. Welcome to all my new likes on the Facebook page. I hope I can continue to provide a bit of historical entertainment for you pleasure. To that end and in a bit of shameless self promotion, here you will a find a “bonus chapter” from Vol. 1 of The Petticoat Rebellion. The chapter currently under composition in Vol 2 is also about the discovery and adaptation of the local watery resources to Gerard and Suzanne as they continue to mythologically create the cuisine for which New Orleans is famous.

A VISIT TO THE HOUMAS (Ch.13 from vol. I)

When my countrymen first arrived in Louisiana under the command of Sieur d’Iberville, the many villages of our Native brethren lined the river and streams between La Balize and the Arkansas Post. During the next three decades, we discovered an important fact about “les petits nations”. Here in the New World, or at least here in Louisiana, the people do not stay in one place very long. Entire villages and towns move about quite freely and quite often. For instance, my current visitation and mission to the Houmas nation will take me upriver to the Pointe Coupèe settlement, then back downriver to where the Mississippi forks a few leagues below the Baton Rouge. At that point, we will travel down La Fourche (the Fork) into the swamps, streams, and lakes that is the marsh to the south and west of New Orleans. In all of these places we hope to meet with the Houma people and bring them the Good News and learn from them the ways of catching and cooking the abundant seafood and fishes that inhabit our rich new land. I am traveling to these settlements with Father Anselm**. Pere Raphael has sent him to minister to the Houmas and the the Frenchmen at Pointe Coupèe and beyond. I am tagging along to help him in his work, and not accidentally, to learn as much as I can from our little brothers about the local food production.
Past Baton Rouge, the land begins to rise. To the east, the terrain rolls away in hills and gullies, with bluffs very much like cliffs along the river and other waterways. to the west stretches a vast flatness of grasslands and meadows, which we call praerie in French. The settlement at Pointe Coupèe lay on the western side of the St. Louis. More technically, it is situated on a loop in the river that has been “cut off” from the main stream and now forms a lake. Folks moving up from Baton Rouge and even the local Indians often call the place False River. Pere Anselm and our party stayed there a couple of months, while Father preached the Word, and made arrangements to start building on a permanent chapel to serve the population. Since the locals were Frenchmen like ourselves, and – more to the point – cooked with the same ingredients I do, following the same methods and cooking on a hearth, there wasn’t much done here in the kitchen that I did not already know. So I spent most of my time, helping with the chapel and exploring the surrounding country. The settlement side that is the western bank is the rich alluvial prairie, which is perfect for the plow. Large farms had already begun to be established. On the eastern side of the river, the land was much more broken up and vast forests covered the hills and bluffs along the bayous and streams running down into the St. Louis. It was a rich hunting ground for native and settler alike, and the forest trees were filled with nuts, berries, and fruits of all kind. This indeed is a wondrous land and The Lord has blessed our countrymen in being able to come and partake in its bounty.
Monsieur d’Iberville first found the Houmas on the hills and bluffs of the eastern side of the great river. But, as I said earlier, these New World folk do not stay in one place for long periods of time. Pere Anselm and I did, indeed, find some of the Houma nation at Pointe Coupée, but we also learned from them that most of their people had moved south to the big fork in the river below Baton Rouge. During the visit, I had concluded that my time would be best spent in learning about the watery food resources that abound in Louisiana. To that end, I was excited when Pere Anselm finally decided to visit the scattered Houma nation down La Fourche and minister to them there. So, after some pleasant months, we left the rich farmlands around the False River and headed down the St. Louis (aka the Mississippi) toward La Fourche. Our first stop was at the town which had been a native community since before we clumsy Frenchmen stumbled into the river’s mouths. Since we arrived some thirty years ago, it had been occupied by the Bayougoulas, the Chitimacha, and now the Houmas. Here where the river forks, we stayed for a few days to get some sense of where we were headed. As Pere Anselm sought information about their beliefs and their spiritual culture. I befriended the hunters, the women, and the fishermen to see what they fed their people and, more importantly, how they acquired it and how they prepared it for all to eat.

Since I was expressly seeking information about the acquisition, preparation, and consumption of the local fruites de mer, the very first thing I learned from the Houmas is that – most interestingly – the native nations do not eat their symbol or sacred animals. The Houmas, recognized by the red crawfish, would not have consumed it. It was the same for the other petits nations as well. Each nation has its sacred animal, and will not consume it. Now as to the crawfish or, in French, la ecrevisse, this water dweller is very like a miniature lobster. while most of the nations find it very tasty, specifically the tail meat, it is small and rather difficult to extract the meat. But, once one has peeled enough of them, they make a variety of delicious dishes.

Anyway, since the Houmas do not prepare or consume them, for now we will consider the other fishes and their kin. La Fourche itself as well as the numerous streams, bayous, lakes, and ponds that are the Houma homelands provide a wealth of tasty species, including gar, choupique, catfish, paddlefish, sunfish,bass, eel, sac a lait, sturgeon, gizzard shad, and buffalo fish. As we travelled down the La Fourche closer to the Mexican Gulf, the natives took drum, croaker, speckled trout, redfish, flounder, and mullet from the coasts and bays. Along with the various finfish, during our extended visit we caught and consumed oysters which were abundant in the lakes and coastal waters. Everywhere from the river down to the Gulf, there were huge amounts of mussels, shrimp and crabs. From the marsh itself, I learned to prepare and – surprisingly, really enjoy – frogs of extraordinary size and even turtles, terrapins, and alligators. Finally, even though my Houma friends and guides showed me how, I couldn’t bring myself to consume the snakes.

Gathering the harvests of the waters occurred in many methods. The Houmas (and, most other natives) harvested the catch with hooks, lines, hoop nets made of rabbit-vines, cone-shaped traps made with wooden slats, trot-lines (a local creation where many hooks are dangled from one strong line stretched over the entire stream) and weirs ( sort of a fence or corral set into the stream, which were first used by the Natchez nation). Sometimes, fish were speared in shallow water by night and sometimes poisoned.This technique was usually employed in summer when the small streams were low. Poison was obtained from the horse chestnut, or buckeye; the root of the devil’s shoestring, or catgut or from green hickory nuts or walnut hulls. The natives would crush these materials and stir them into a pool, where the fish, with their gills paralyzed, floated to the surface.

Once the fish and/or shellfish are gathered, there is virtually no difference between our “civilized” way of cooking and preparing the meal, and the cooking ways of Houmas and other nations in the region. Well, maybe one difference, all of their cooking is normally done outside over a fire pit, whereas ours is usually done over the fire of an indoor hearth. Nevertheless, boiling, baking, broiling, roasting, frying, and parching are all accomplished on the bayous and marshes surrounding La Fourche just as in the royal kitchens of Paris. Separate pots are used for each type of food prepared, meat, vegetable, grain , or fish are usually cooked separately, except when combined in common soups, porridges, stews, and mush. Here, in this part of the new world, at least, bear oil serves as quite an adequate substitute for olive oil. I can only wish that my readers can see from this, that even to its most level, we Europeans are really not much advanced in the ways of life as our “little brothers” of the Americas. ‡

After a large catch, the Houmas would put the extra fish on a grill over a low fire to smoke and dry for later use. This common method would also be used for any game or other meat they wished to preserve over time.

As to the cooking of the fish, as is normal among all folk, there is a traditional set of cooking styles for any and all of the fish to which then are added all sorts of variations. For instance . . .

Boiling seafood
A very common method of preparing shellfish, especially crabs, crawfish, or shrimp is to boil them. The process is similar which species is being cooked. There are actually two stages in the boiling method, cleaning and boiling. Begin with live crabs or crawfish, with shrimp this is not necessary. Cleaning the shrimp is a simple matter of washing them in clean water. Some people like to devein the shrimp. There is even a special tool, sold in most local supermarkets, which is like a long curved toothpick which makes this easier. This usually works best with larger shrimp, with small shrimp, the vein does not make that much difference. When boiling fresh shrimp, remove the heads (reserve for stock), but do not peel the shrimp, then proceed to the boil.
Since live crabs or crawfish is used in boiling, the cleaning process is a bit different. The first stage is gently hosing down the shellfish to remove all the external dirt, mud, vegetation, etc. Once cleaned the animals are then “purged”, that is coved in a bath of brine, which serves to internally clean them out. From the purge the crabs or crawfish are dropped live into the boiling water.
Before starting the cleaning process, it is useful to set up the boiling pot and start the seasoning and boiling. While there are large pots sold for the specific purpose of boiling seafood, stock pots are also commonly used. Also, if you are cooking for two (or one), a large 2 or 3 quart saucepan works equally well. Start with enough water to cover the intended quantity and then some. The first seasoning is salt, which is used liberally to make a strong brine. The second essential is some form of pepper. Cayenne is usually used, but there are several cayenne and spice/herb mixtures commercially available under the name of “crab boil”. Experiment with several of these to find your preference. After these two, the boiling pot is open to interpretation. A standard combination is onions, celery, garlic, and lemon. The combinations, however, are endless and totally up to the cook. Bay leaf is often used, and most boils include fresh corn-on-the-cob and new red potatoes in the mix.
The actual cooking of the shrimp is done very quickly, for two minutes to be exact. The overall procedure, though is somewhat lengthy. Adherence to the strict timetable will insure a perfect boiled shrimp every time.

Step 1; Add your chosen seasoning to the boiling pot and make the stock first, boil for about 10 to 15 minutes minimum.
Step 2: Add the potatoes to the pot, return to boil and let boil for four (4) minutes.
Step 3: Add the corn to the pot, return to boil and let boil for eleven (11) minutes.
Step 4: Add the clean shrimp to the pot, return to boil and let boil for two (2) minutes.
Step 5: Turn off the fire, remove the pot from the burner, add one half a bag of ice to quick cool the shrimp, the shrimp will sink into the flavored stock and begin to soak up the seasoning.
Step 6: Let the shrimp “soak” for 15 to 20 minutes, the longer they soak, the more seasoning they absorb.
Step 7: EAT !!!
*The above procedure is adapted from Frank Davis Cooks Cajun, Creole, and Crescent City. By Frank Davis, Pelican Publishing Co., Gretna, LA: 1994.

Basic fried fish or shellfish
Frying means cooking something in hot oil. In colonial Louisiana that meant either bear oil, olive oil, lard, or butter. Seasoning the seafood with some salt and placing it into the heated oil is the simplest method. One can fry in deep fat (about an inch or two deep in a home kitchen) or simply in a pan coated with the fat or perhaps a quarter to a half inch in depth. Seafood generally cooks through very quickly. Depending on the size and thickness of the food being cooked, anywhere from a minute on each side to no more than five minutes a side should do. If deep fat is used the fish, oysters, shrimp, etc. will be done when it floats. That’s it!
The art of turning cooking into cuisine is what makes a culture like the Creole famous and sought after. Knowledge, experience, openness to new ingredients and methods, a sense of simplicity, and even some playfulness all combine to make a process as simple as frying into a work of art. A first step may be adding more spices and herbs to the seafood before the frying. A common second step is to “bread” the seafood in flour, breadcrumbs, or a combination of both. After these have been done and tested to your taste, the addition of sauces or the combination of other meats or fish with the fried morsels is a final step in the potential endless line of variations on the “frying” theme. To get started, lets do three dishes to explore the basics of fried, breaded and sauced seafood.

FRIED SHRIMP

Remove the heads and peel the shrimp, reserve the heads and peels for making a seafood stock. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, fennel and/or ground coriander add that “Louisiana” taste. In a pan heat up your fat of choice until a small ball of meat or some bread sizzles when it is dropped in. Keeping temperature in mind, add one or two shrimp until they began to sizzle, then add the rest of the shrimp one at a time until they all are happily sizzling away. Let them fry until pinkish brown in color and they begin to float in the fat. Remove with a slotted spoon or spatula and drain on paper towels until cool enough to eat. Enjoy!

Breading catfish (or anything else)

Breading (simple) Mix a cup of flour and a cup of cornmeal together, add some salt and cayenne pepper. Begin with this simple mixture, then add other herbs and seasoning to taste. Vary the type and grind of the flour and cornmeal as well. Place the mix in a clean, empty butter tub. Get the deep fryer or a heavy pan ready, place the pan on the heat and add about one half inch of oil (of your choice). Have the fish soaking in water or beer. Place a fillet or some “nuggets” in the flour, close the lid and shake the tub until the fish is coated. Using the same test for temperature (as above) place one small piece in the oil, when it begins to sizzle, add the fillet or the nuggets. Bread the rest of the fish in the same manner, and fry for about five minutes. Judge the time by the thickness of the fish, and turn over at least once in the hot oil. Remove with a slotted spoon or spatula and drain on paper towels until cool enough to eat. Enjoy!
Breading (complex) Use two types of breading, a flour mixture as above and some breadcrumbs in separate plates. Soak the catfish as above, but also prepare and egg/milk wash (seasoned as you like). Prepare your hot oil and proceed: Shake the wet fish in the flour mixture, from her though move the fish to a quick dip into the seasoned wash, then roll in the bread crumbs. Repeat until you have enough to fill the pan. Place all the fish into the pan and let fry for five to eight minutes (depending on size).Turn over at least once in the frying process, Remove with a slotted spoon or spatula and drain on paper towels until cool enough to eat. Enjoy!
These same breading techniques work well with shrimp, oysters, any fish fillets you like, chicken, pork chops, and small, thin cuts of beef.

Ramoulade Sauce (1693)the following recipe is translated (by the author) from Massialot, Francois. Le Cuisinier Royal et Bourgeois, Chez Charles de Sercy, au Palais, Paris, 1693.

For several fillets of fish, one makes a sauce called Ramolade, it is made of chopped parsley, chopped leeks, chopped anchovies, chopped capers, put it all in a plate (bowl) with a little salt, some pepper, nutmeg, oil and vinegar, mix together well in a little water; Set your (cooked) fillets on a dish, and sprinkle with this Ramolade. Now, some dishes add some lemon juice, to serve it cold.

 

SOME HISTORICAL NOTES
About 50 miles upriver from New Orleans, the Mississippi opens one of its largest distributaries in SE Louisiana. On its western bank a large bayou drains some of its mighty waters through a rich and fertile plain down into the Gulf. So large, in fact, that its name defines it, not as a bayou, but as a fork in the great river. Later usage has demoted it to a bayou, but Bayou LaFourche still remains the fork in the river at present day Donaldsonville. Even in the earliest French records, this river fork, and the land around it was occupied.

Figuring out which Native group lived where in Lower Louisiana is an on-going puzzle. Between 1699 and 1750, the Louisiana Indians grew and shrunk in numbers, moved around, merged together, broke apart, fought with each other, lived with each other in the same villages and towns, battled the French settlers, traded with them, intermarried (or at least interbred) with Frenchmen, Spaniards, each other, and even some British wanderers. It is safe to say that basically they were rovers of the swamps and rivers of SE Louisiana. Comparing and analyzing the colonial sources along with modern studies of archaeology, tribal histories, and Native Louisiana folklore, a picture emerges of nomadic groups who survived along the edges of the marsh and the various rivers and bayous that is the Gulf coast of south Louisiana. It may be useful to compare their wanderings to the semi-nomadic lifestyle of the buffalo hunters of the same era on the North American Plains. In simple terms, all of these family groups and clan/tribes followed the game migrations. Seasonal villages were built along the group’s migratory cycle. People came and went with the seasons or with the flux in population. Different groups merged together and broke apart as climate conditions, landscapes, game populations, and human politics demanded. Unlike our neat Euro-American farmsteads, settlements, ranges, and ranches, which we claim and call our private property, Native Louisianians lived in the best places they could find, and the distributary at Bayou LaFourche remained a “best place” for this entire period and beyond.

Here in 1699, Iberville found the Chitimachas. Upriver he met the Bayougoulas and the Houmas. Further on were the Tunica. Later the Tunica joined the Houmas, then fought with them. The Tunicas eventually moved north to the Red River confluence and the Houmas south to Bayou LaFourche. By then, the Chitimachas and Bayougoulas had merged, and had been absorbed by the Houmas.* In any event, the now consolidated Houmas spread out down LaFourche and over the marshlands on either bank. It was here that Frere Gerard finds them in the 1730’s.

Frere Gerard indeed found them on the LaFourche in the 1730’s. Today, native Houma Indians may be found all over Louisiana. Our readers need to be aware that although the evidence is overwhelming, the Federal government still does not recognize the Houmas as a native nation ! Typical of the injustice caused by the silly action or non-action of the US bureaucracy, we should do all we can to right this wrong. To learn more about Louisiana’a largest Indian nation and their battle for recognition and against this blatant injustice, please visit:

http://www.southernstudies.org/node/4730Share.      OR.        United Houma Nation at http://www.unitedhoumanation.org

* In modern times, the Chitimachas again split from Houmas and are now their own group – the process continues.
** Vogel, The Capuchins in French Louisiana, p.60
† Kniffin, et. al., pp. 202-204.
‡ All of this has been paraphrased from Kniffin, et. al., pp. 204 ff.

If you enjoyed this bonus chapter, why not enjoy the whole book. Unlike this blog entry,  it is illustrated and contains many more recipes. The Petticoat Rebellion; A Culinary History of French Colonial Cuisine  978-0990737896
is available from
Amazon.com in print or Kindle
And via CreateSpace though
Biblio.com, alibris.com, B&N.com and many many other venues

HAPPY READING!

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Popular History, Creative Non-Fiction, the Histoire; A Reflection (perhaps a rant)

I recently turned 66 (last Saturday, the 19th), and like most birthdays – especially ones that mark an “official” change in life, like reaching the full retirement age for my generation (according to Social Security)  – this past week has been a time of reflection.  Where have I been,? where am I going? what have I done? what is there left to do?

I thought today about 51 years ago (or was it a millennia or two ago) sitting in Nick Revon’s World History class as a sophomore at Aloysius and deciding then and there that I would be a Historian ! Then I thought about the ensuing 51 years during which I spent being an ALMOST Historian. You see, having a Bachelor’s and a Master’s does not make one an official anything. Even during my academic career as a teacher of historical content and actual History classes, having a Ph.D doesn’t even do it anymore (BTW, I never had enough money to get a Ph. D.). So, in my mind, perhaps paranoiac, perhaps self-defeating, I never achieved attaining the rank of  an official bona fide “Historian”. So upon retirement, 7 years before getting to full retirement age, I decided to write a history book. A book to mark the 300th anniversary of the founding of my home town, the Queen City of the the South, New Orleans.

Thus I put on the mantle of Historian which (as followers of this blog know) has evolved into being a student and writer of Culinary History. As such, the 1718 Project has mostly morphed into The Petticoat Rebellion.

Noting the above, I have decided to proclaim in as official a manner as I can muster that this “Culinary History of French Colonial Louisiana”  enters the ocean of published books as a  – Popular History, sub-category Creative Non-Fiction and with the French connection – A Histoire.

To this end, I feel that I must – for my own peace of mind – substanitiate and justify my life’s work with the quotes of not one but two actual Professional Historians. The first is from none other than what was – if it still isn’t – required reading for all students of history in the last half of the 20th century; Mr. Edward Gibbon:

“The confusion of the times, and the scarcity of authentic memorials, oppose equal difficulties to the historian, who attempts to preserve a clear and unbroken thread of narration. Surrounded with imperfect fragments, always concise, often obscure, and sometimes contradictory, he is reduced to collect, to compare, and to conjecture: and though he ought never to place his conjectures in the rank of facts, yet the knowledge of human nature, and of the sure operation of its fierce and unrestrained passions, might, on some occasions, supply the want of historical materials.”

Edward Gibbon. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. opening paragraph, V. 1, Chapter 10.

The second quotation is from a modern, still practicing scholar from the University of Chicago, and a MacArthur Fellow, and an expert and published (official, by the way) author of a history of French Colonial Louisiana, Dr. Shannon Dawdy:

“… these memoires, letters, and travel accounts are “a useful kit of knowledge” called Histoire, a combination of both “story” and “history” histoires were often a mixed bag of natural and administrative history, astronomy, fashion and culinary critique, and good old fashioned storytelling in which the tall tales spun by the writer were at times self-serving aggrandizements, or worse, gross distortions of reality.”

Quoted in Greenwald, Erin M. Marc-Antoine Caillot and the Company of Indies in Louisiana. p. 5

And so, hopefully avoiding those “gross distortions of reality” I conclude my rant and set my sights on completion of Vol. 2 of The Petticoat Rebellion. Have also decided that since 2018 is virtually upon us, I will set up a New Age publication sequence, in which the second volume will be published digitally via this blog, or perhaps a distinct one for the book, and then followed by a print/Kindle version after the work is completed.

Thanks for bearing with me through this ranting and raving, but as the work moves forward here is the recipe for Riz-au-Lait (rice pudding) from the Ursuline chapter:

Rice Pudding/ Rice and Milk/ Riz au Lait 

3 cups cooked rice (equals 1 cup raw)
3 cups milk
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 T vanilla
1 t. Mace (or Nutmeg)

Boil the rice and the milk until the rice is mushy. Beat together the eggs and the sugar, add to the boiling rice and cook for 3 or 4 minutes until the egg mixture sets. While cooking add the vanilla and the mace (or nutmeg). Stir all together, let it simmer for a minute or two. Put into custard cups to cool.

If you wish to use cook the rice especially for the pudding, remember, one cup of uncooked rice boiled or steamed yields 3 cups of cooked rice. Overcook the rice until it turns into a mush similar in consistency to mashed potatoes. At this stage, begin adding the other ingredients.

This is also one of those dishes wherein you can let your imagination run wild. For instance instead of or in addition to:

… mace and/or nutmeg, use cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, allspice, etc.

… add small fruits like raisins, currants, chopped apples, mashed bananas, chopped orange peel, strawberries, blueberries, etc.

… top with cinnamon sugar, cane syrup, (only Yankees 😁use maple syrup), cocoa, instant coffee, etc.

ENJOY and keep on reading!

 

 

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300 Years Ago: Summer, 1717. 

Jean Michiele de L’Epinay
Birthdate: circa 1665 (56)
Birthplace: Fougères, Brittany, France
Death: January 3, 1721 (52-60) Martinique
Occupation: Governor of French territory of Louisiana

Managed by: Joel Scott Cognevich, Last Updated: February 3, 2015

“Through patronage of comte de Toulouse, head of the Conseil de la Marine, Jean Michiele de L’Epinay secured appointment as governor of Louisiana on March 16, 1716. On October 21, 1716, while awaiting departure he was awarded the Cross of St. Louis. Left France in December 1716, he reached Mobile March 9, 1717, and immediately took over his duties as governor. During his short term in office he met with almost constant wrangling among various royal officials. Because of this, following the transfer of the colony’s trading rights to the Company of the West in late 1717 he was recalled on February 9, 1718. Shortly before leaving Mobile for France he was notified of his nomination as governor of Grenada. Before accepting his new position he was forced to defend himself against charges of corruption and malfeasance in office. Exonerated of all charges he sailed from France May 18, 1720, for Grenada, reaching there on June 28, 1720. Died, January 3, 1721, while visiting the governor of the French West Indies in Martinique. B.C. Sources: Marcel Giraud, Histoire de la Louisiane française, II (1958), III (1966); Emile Lauvrière, Histoire de Louisiane française (1940); Dictionary of Canadian Biography, II (1969).”

https://www.geni.com/people/Jean-de-L-Epinay/6000000010492638218
(accessed 8/5/2017)

Summary and paraphrases from Giraud, Vol. II, Chap. XII:

After Louis XIV’s death, the regency passed to his brother. Louisiana was still under the proprietorship of Crozat. Realizing that his business venture wasn’t going anywhere. Crozat began to extricate himself from the deal. In 1716, Cadillac was relieved as governor which left Bienville’s “boots on the ground” in Louisiana. In 1717, the new appointee of the Regency, Jean Michiele de L’Epinay, arrived to take over. Beinville was once again shoved aside, given the Cross of Chevalier de St. Louis and made Lieutenant de Roi (military commander ) to keep him quiet. Lepinay was destined to stay just a year in Louisiana, but Beinville became his chief local opponent despite his honors. The irony here is that while Beinville was an acknowledged master at handling Indian Affairs, Lepinay was quite the opposite. In fairness, the policy of the colonial authorities in Paris was to provide “constantly repeated distributions of gifts” and “kind actions toward” the Natives to guarantee their support. Unfortunately the Council never came through with any resources for Lepinay to effect such a policy. The new governor’s failures to treat with the Natives, whether through the policies of the council or through his own attitudes, resulted in a marked decline of relations between the Natives and the French. Fortunately, for the colonists, the long established connections between the colonists and the Natives, especially among the coastal tribes and the Natives along the lower Mississippi were able to outlast the temporary incompetence of the new governor.

“Louisiana” Natives according to Giraud; {Paraphrase}

In and around Mobile (the capital in 1717) were the Chaktaux or Chatot, and the Apalachee. On the rivers feeding Mobile Bay, were the Tawasa, the Mobilians, Taensa, Toome (aka Tohomé). Between Mobile and the Mississippi (what New Orleanians call the Gulf Coast) lived the Pascagoula, the Capina, the Biloxi, and the Colapissa (whose “hunting grounds” were from the Pearl River west covering today’s Northshore. In and around today’s New Orleans lived the Tawasa (aka Chawasha), the Biloxi, and the Washa. In the “River Parishes” were the Tchoupitoulas, Bayougoula, and the Houma. Further north, up to the Red River were the Tunica. All of these groups got along well with the colonists It was those further north, in those areas of no-man’s land between French and British influence, that the Natives were put off by the actions (or rather the inactions) of Lepinay and/or the Parisian politicians. These groups included the Choctaw, the Chickasaw, the Natchez, the Alabamas, and the Creeks. These nations had traded with both the French of Louisiana and the British of South Carolina all through this period. Some like the Choctaw and the Natchez mostly favored the French. The Creeks and Alabamas mostly sided with the English. The Chickasaw mostly played both ends against the middle, remaining neutral and benefiting from the traders of the moment.

A comparison beween Giraud’s research and the Penicault’s journal (including 1717) are noticeably the same.

Louisiana Natives: Frem Penicault’s Journal*:

Chactos, Taouschas, Apalaches, Tinsas, Mobiliens, Tomez, Gen des Fourches (forks of the Alabama and Tombigbee, not Bayou La Fourche). Chactas, Pascagoulas, Passacolas, Capinans, Colapissas, Bayougoulas, Oumas, Tonicas, Chaouachas, Natchez, Chicachas, Nassitoches, Yatachez, Alibamons, Canapouces.

In 1715, many of the “northern” nations staged an uprising against the British which drew in the French to a limited degree. Such a situation could have been of great advantage to the French. Between the departure of Cadillac and the arrival of Lepinay, however, the administration was in more than it’s usual turmoil.

Life continues, however,  and one chronicler, M. Penicault makes some interesting entries in his journal. In 1717 we can read about:

  • In an unabashed entry, shortly after Lepinay’s arrival, he sent a ship to Vera Cruz to sell a load of trade goods from France. The ship, Le Dudlot (probably Dudlow or Ludlow), landed some distance from Vera Cruz at a place called Villa Rica, sold the shipload at a tidy profit, and returned to Mobile. This entry is phrased in such an offhand way that it testifies to the NORMALITY of such trade (i.e. smuggling) between the colonies of different empires around the Gulf.  Within a few days after its return to Mobile, Le Dudlot, sailed away to France taking Cadillac and his staff back home. Over the next month or so, Lepinay had a fort built on Dauphine Island to secure the harbor. While it was under construction, an English ship stopped over at Mobile, and along with the usual illegal trade, took away several British men and women (Carolinians) who had been prisoners there since the 1715 Indian rebellion.
  • In August of 1717, a storm (most probably a hurricane) closed the port at Dauphine Island. The administration then decided to move the capital and the roadstead to Isle aux Vaisseaux – aka Ship Island. A town was built on the back bay a Biloxi, called New Biloxi, and the government moved there. Old Biloxi across the bay eventually evolved into Ocean Springs (due to the presence of some fresh water springs in the area).
  • In a testament to the quality of colonial journals, Penicault places an entry at the end of 1717 that most historians today note as happening in March of 1718. Think you can guess what its about? Seems a ship called La Dauphine arrives at Ship Island, loaded with workmen (salt smugglers) and carpenters. They were immediately employed to build houses, barracks, and warehouses at New Biloxi/Ship Island. In the vague time period called “the beginning of winter”, many of these workers went with Bienville to “a place quite suitable for a settlement on the bank of the Missicipy thirty leagues above” the mouth of the river. *

And so fellow revelers, we can pick the start of the Tri-Centennial celebrations any time during the upcoming winter. Party like its 2017-2018 !!!!!

* McWilliams, Richebourg Gaillard, Ed. Fleur de Lys and Calumet: Being the Penicaut Narrative of french Adventure in Louisiana .  Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1953, renewed 1981.  p. 208

 

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300 Years Ago: Writer’s Block & Meat Pies

A few weeks back, while working on the chapter about “hunting as a food source”, I found myself stumped, stymied, shut down, – blocked as it were. I couldn’t think of any way forward with the story. Luckily, with several more chapters in the bullpen as well as dozens of recipes to get on paper (metaphorically of course), I turned my attention to those tasks. 
The chapter on Natchitoches was completed some months back, but I only had some recipe ideas in mind, no actual cooking had occurred. Natchitoches, of course, was the first permanent French settlement within the current borders of the modern state of Louisiana. The story of its founding, its Natives, and the very colorful character of its founder, Louis Jucherau de St. Denis is one of the more entertaining stories among colonial Louisiana’s many colorful tales. During his adventures in Spanish Tejas, he met, loved, and married the “most beautiful woman in New Spain” Emmanuela, the daughter of the commandant of the Rio Grande province. Spanish reaction to his adventures, marriage, and natural diplomatic abilities prompted them to check out (vigorously) the new French settlement he had established on the Red River. This in turn led to the establishment of the Spanish post of Los Adaes, a few miles west of Natchitoches itself. Officially, the Los Adaes post was there to check the French expansion into Spanish territory. Unofficially it became the connection between Spanish “New Mexico” and French Louisiana. Through this connection ran an active and vital and totally illegal trade channel between the two colonies. It was here that (New) Spanish culinary culture entered Louisiana early in its history, primarily in the form of cattle and horses. And lest we forget, during the eighteenth century, cattle could be of the domesticated variety (longhorns) as well as the “wild” cattle (aka buffalo or bison) mentioned in so many of the colonial records of Louisiana.
Although there are no records (that I know of) of the origin of the famous Natchitoches Meat Pie, it is within the realm of high probability that the beautiful and talented Emmanuela knew how to put an empanada together. Through her or her New Spanish kitchens this meat pie entered the culinary culture of Creole Louisiana. Stretching our imagination a bit, and cheating just a little (we used store bought pie shells instead of making our own), here is the recipe for the Spanish meat pies using buffalo instead of beef and some other original ingredients.

Buffalo Meat Pies

1 tbsp + 1 tsp. lard

1 bunch of green onions 

1 stalk of celery

1 bell pepper

1 medium head of garlic

1 large onion

1 lb. finely ground buffalo meat (ground beef may be substituted)

1 lb. finely ground pork

1 tbsp flour

1/2 cup beef stock

Salt, cayenne, red pepper to taste

Chop all the vegetables as finely as possible. Sauté in the tbsp. of lard. Push the veggies to the edge of your pan, add the tsp. of lard, and fry-off the buffalo until it browns. Push the buffalo to the pan edges and repeat the fry-off with the pork. No need to add more lard. After the pork browns, mix everything together in the pan, season with the salt and peppers, and cook for several minutes until well mixed and browned nicely. There should be no chunks of meat left. Remove from heat and let the meat mixture cool a bit. Add the flour and the 1/2 cup of beef stock. Use a potato masher or a dough cutter tool to thoroughly mix and grind the mixture. When done, the mixture should be moist and hold together in a ball.

If you are experienced at making pie dough from scratch, prepare enough dough for a large pie. If not, purchase pre-made pie dough that comes in a roll.

Roll out the pie dough and cut into discs about 5 inches in diameter. Fill half of each disc to about 1/2 inch from the edge and stop in the center. Do not overfill or stack the meat mixture too high. Fold the dough over forming a half-moon shape, then crimp the edges together with a fork. 

Deep fry for 4 to 5 minutes until golden brown.
In the Natchitoches chapter of the upcoming volume 2 of the “Petticoat Rebellion”, Emanuella brings this recipe to New Orleans when she visits her friends the Marignys for the wedding of Antoine de Marigny and Francoise deLisle in the1740s. Whether or not this really happened is irrelevant as this is “histoire”, the historical “fiction” part of the work. The Tricentennial Memo (the historical notes here) deal with the actual founding of Natchitoches and St. Denis’ actual activities in New Spain and the Red River valley. 

Stay tuned, more of this to come.

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Not Exactly 300 Years Ago: A Way-Overdue Entry Second Printing

A Very Simplified Timeline of French Colonial Louisiana 

 and a timely Springtime recipe from Volume 2 (in progress)

{This second posting is here because the first had to be removed from Facebook due to an error preventing it from being posted properly.}
The 1718 Tri-Centennial is fast approaching, so I thought a quick overview of the French Louisiana timeline was in order. Be advised that while the dates and entries are as correct as I can make them – all fact-checked and verified as not fake. Within the entries, my tongue (as the saying goes) is planted firmly in my cheek. And included below is one of Tante Suzanne’s recipes for a springtime roast chicken.

1699 – March 3, Iberville and his kid brother, Bienville, with their expedition pass into what seems to be a river running fast into the Spanish Gulf. According to Iberville’s calculations it turns out to be none other than LaSalle’s Fleuve de St. Louis, what the locals call the Mississippi. The next day, March 4, Mardi Gras that year, a friendly local, probably a Bayougoula, show the brothers a portage from the river to a large lake that connects to the Spanish Gulf and the islands where their ships are moored.

1704 – The ship Pelican arrives at Mobile (then Louisiana’s capital) carrying a boatload of young ladies (NOT THE CASKET GIRLS, they came later) who are quickly married to the Canadian settlers of the new Louisiana colony. These are the new wives who just as quickly rebelled (while properly wearing their petticoats) against the oversupply of Indian maize and the undersupply of French wheat.

1714 – In December, the first settlement within the borders of present day Louisiana was founded at the Natchitoches villages along the Red River. 

1718 – Beginning in March, Bienville and some 50 or so workers spend the spring clearing the palmetto/cypress at the portage to lay out a new capital city for French Louisiana.

1719 – A few shiploads of unwilling Africans from Senegambia arrive in the colony. They are settled across the river (nicknamed Algiers) from the new city, now named after the Duc d’Orleans. The African ladies had managed to smuggle in some “gombo” seeds woven into their hair and this along with the heritage of rice farming in Senegambia, as well as their placement in and eventual dominance of colonial, antebellum, and Southern kitchens constituted a MAJOR influence on Creole and southern cuisine. Gombo, of course is the West African term for okra.

1727 – The Ursuline nuns arrive at New Orleans. One of their number, a young novice named Marie Madeleine Hachard, Sr. Stanilaus, has left us a number of letters describing life in the new city and colony including a most valuable catalogue of the food regularly consumed at the convent. 

c. 1729 -30 – The Natchez War – the Natchez lose and effectively disappear from history. As a result of the Natchez uprising, The Company of the West, which had been ruling Louisiana since 1717, finally gives up on the colony in 1732. The king re-appointed the long-suffering Bienville as governor, who upon his return mounted a campaign in 1736 against the new or rather ongoing threat of the Chickasaw (allied with the British).

1736. 1739, et. al. – The Chickasaw War – the Chickasaw stalemate the French and their Quapaw (aka Arkansas), Choctaw, and Illinois Confederation allies for years. From roughly 1735 through the British victory over the French in 1763, the country east of the Mississippi from the mouth of the Arkansas river to the Ohio confluence was a see-saw struggle for influence between the Natives, the French, and the British.

1742 – Pierre de Riigaud Vaudreuil, Le Grand Marquis, becomes governor and sets the tone of New Orleans Creole “cul-tchah” until the middle of the 20th century. Under his regime, all the elements of Creole Cuisine were falling into place. The 2nd or Creole generation of French colonists were coming of age. The middle and upper classes were established, if not flourishing. Trade and food supply networks were in place between Upper Louisiana (the Illinois county), the settlements and plantations between Pointe Coupee and New Orleans (extending over to Mobile), Natchitoches and points west (into Spanish “New Mexico”), Pensacola and the Spanish Caribbean, as well as the French islands, etc. Homes, kitchens, taverns, hunters, gardens, fishermen, markets, and merchants all provided the resources for the fetes, dinner parties, Mardi Gras balls, and frivolities prompted by the presence and extra-governmental activities of Le Grand Marquis.

1753 – 1763 – Louis Belcourt, Chevalier de Kerlerec. Although not officially the last governor of French Louisiana, he was effectively the man who closed out the French regime in Louisiana. As had become usual in Louisiana, there were dirty politics all around. Not a whole lot happened from the cultural or culinary point of view. 

1756-1763 – The French and Indian (aka The Seven Years) War.

1763 – France loses its North American empire, aka Louisiana and Canada.

Mid 60’s – our fictional cooks – Frere Gerard and Tante Suzanne pass on to the heavenly dining room, where they can eternally enjoy their creations of the original Creole Cuisine and never have to cook again (unless they want to).

1768 – The Rebellion of 1768 was an unsuccessful attempt by Creole and German settlers around New Orleans, Louisiana to stop the handover of the French Louisiana Territory, as had been stipulated in the Treaty of Fontainebleau, to Spain in 1762.

1769 – The rebellion aimed to force the new Spanish Louisiana Governor Antonio de Ulloa to leave New Orleans and return to Spain. The rebels did indeed force Ulloa but his replacement Don Alejandro O’Reilly was able to crush the rebellion, execute five of its ringleaders and firmly establish Spanish law in the territory.

1777-1783 – Another Spanish governor of Louisiana deserves special note, Bernardo de Galvez. His major claim to fame in Louisiana history is his generalship in several victories over the British during the American Revolution. He was victorious against the British in campaigns at Manchac, Baton Rouge, and Natchez. He then recaptured Mobile and went on to capture Pensacola in an 1781 amphibious assault. The next year he captured the British port in the Bahamas. When the war ended, he was preparing to invade Jamaica. In modern times, he was one of the only eight people to be awarded American citizenship.

1803 – The Louisiana Purchase, Here come the Caintuks. 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

As volume 2 of the Petticoat Rebellion, a culinary history, progresses, I find that for several reasons – I hit a old-fashioned writer’s block in my story telling and historical chronicling. However, since the Petticoat Rebellion also contains a colonial cookbook of sorts, I have altered my focus to the heretofore neglected creating and testing of the recipes to be included therein. And so to mark the coming of what has turned out so far to be a marvelous spring in the New Orleans region here is one of Tante Suzanne’s springtime chickens.

Chicken Roast (w/ Rosemary) – olive oil, salt, pepper, sage, onion, peppers, 4 sprigs rosemary, sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350°, 

Coat a deep frying pan liberally with olive oil. Season a 5 to 6 pound chicken liberally with salt, pepper, and sage. Roll chicken around in olive oil in the pan. Rub in the seasoning, add more if needed. With four freshly cut 8 inch sprigs of Rosemary, strip the leaves from one twig and rub on the back office the chicken. Roll the chicken over stripping the leaves the rosemary rub between the thighs of the chicken place in the twigs in the cavity of the chicken. Rub the remaining sprig of leaves completely over the chicken breast.chunk up one half of a small onion and one half of a medium bell pepper. Place the chunks in the cavity of the chicken with the Rosemary twigs. Salt-and-pepper as needed.

Place chicken in oven, raise temperature to 400° for 20 minutes, generously cover the chicken with sesame seeds, cover chicken, lower temperature to 300°, roast for 2 to 3 hours.

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