Some Coffeehouse Ramblings

Once again in the coffeehouse. Once again wondering what to blog about. I still don’t quite get all of this stuff about social media. I guess it’s a generational thing. Anyway,Volume One of The Petticoat Rebellion is now in the rewrite stage. I’m hoping to publish the free version by Christmas. Volume Two research and planning is well begun. I have decided to introduce a new character next year. While Frére Gerard can continue to cook his way thru the eighteenth century, his position in the presbytere hinders the development of the cuisine by it’s very nature of required simplicity. Therefore, Gerard has made friends with the cook and chef de cuisine at the home of a rich New Orleans merchant. Allow me to introduce Tante Suzanne. A femme de coleur libre, raised in the kitchens of a prosperous farmer who immigrated from San Domingue to Mobile in the early years of Louisiana’s settlement, she makes her way to New Orleans in the late twenties. Having the skills, the facilities, the equipment, and the opportunity, Suzanne and Gerard- and all those early cooks which they represent – can lay the foundations for Creole Cooking in all it’s forms from sagamites and stew to the finest courtbuillions, étouffées, and gateaux.

On another front, I am now officially retired!!! Receiving Social Security, income from a small part-time job, and the gracious provision of major living expenses from the most wonderful woman in the world (Yes, I am a kept man) I can pursue my dreams of history, of cooking, and of multimedia to my heart’s content.

Finally, on yet another topic,I have been receiving some encouragement from a reader who also writes about food and heritage. ( see her work  at She has family connections with the Pennsylvania  Dutch. Although I have never really emphasized it,  the Creole half of my own heritage has roots that extend into Germany as well. In an oft quoted story, at least in Louisiana, during the seventeenth century the Germans on the West Bank of the Rhine in the provinces of Lorraine and Alsace suddenly found themselves to be Frenchmen. Over the next hundred years, many of them found their way to Louisiana. Within a couple of generations, they were French speaking Creoles even to the extent of basically losing their (public) identity. The most quoted example of this was the transition of the Zweig (twig) family to the famille Labranche. Thankfully, their industrious agricultural heritage was not lost. Food from the Cõte des Allemandes was essential to the survival of Louisiana during the early and mid eighteenth century. While they are most noted for their culinary contributions of sausage – andouille and boudin – their foodstuffs and farming techniques are also foundational to the original Creole Cuisine.

As I prepare this to post, I am thinking that perhaps this blog should be ramblings from the coffee house, or ramblings from the study, or ramblings from wherever. In any event, and whatever substance these ramblings emerge as, keep reading and you will be the first to know and among the first to be able to download Volume One of the Petticoat Rebellion in the next few months


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