Summer is over. It has been one heckuva summer too! it’s time for a few updates to the 1718 Project. Let’s begin with the actual”writing”. Three chapters have been written for volume 2, namely, a chapter on Gov. Vaudreuil’s regime in the 1740s, the backstory chapter about Tante Suzanne and her mother’s heritage from West Africa to San Domingue, to the original capital of Louisiana, Mobile. Finally, a very short chapter on Gerard and Suzanne’s take on coffee, chocolate, and wine. But you will have to wait for these chapters when volume 2 is posted.
Much of the time this summer has been spent on the title of this blog entry. I’ve uploaded volume 1.1 to CreateSpace, it is now in revision and more self-editing. Making no promises, I hope to upload volume 1.2 by the end of October, and have it ready for download as an e-book and also available in a print version. In other news, and with a bit of excitement, Beth and I will be presenting an author’s night at the local library at the beginning of November. The two sessions will be on Thursday November 6, and on Saturday, November 8. In character as Frere Gerard and Tante Suzanne, we will introduce the 1718 Project, The Petticoat Rebellion, and some recipes. The presentation will be enhanced by some actual food.
Here is a recipe that we came up with in the late summer. We made it from scratch, I don’t know if it’s very original. The more I research the history of food in the 18th century and then put that research into practice creating recipes that would have likely been used by our story tellers, Frere Gerard and Tante Suzanne, the more I get this feeling that originality is very hard to achieve. Most of Creole cooking is not rooted in its originality but rather in its variations. After all, there are only 4 or 5 meat choices, somewhat more vegetable choices, combined with 5 or 6 grains, and then enhanced with numerous spices and herbs. In any event, our Orange and Ginger Chicken (which follows) turned out to be a pretty fantastic meal. Hope you enjoy.
Tante Suzanne has come up with a new recipe using only ingredients and spices available in New Orleans in the mid-18th century.
Begin with the juice of four fresh oranges at least 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger, ground or crystallized. Sauté the holy trinity and the pope ( onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic *) in a bit of olive oil for 10 or 15 minutes, chunk up several pieces of boneless chicken (dark or white, as you prefer) add to the sautéed vegetables with about a cup of stock. Let that simmer for about a half hour, Add orange juice, Some pulp, and the ginger, stir well and let that cook at least for a half hour. Cooking time can vary but I wouldn’t go over a total of 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Serve over rice with a nice salad or side –. baby carrots make a nice choice.
* Quantity of each depends on amount of servings desired. For a family of four or five, Tante Suzanne uses one each medium onion and bell pepper, two or three stalks of celery, and five to six cloves (toes) of garlic. Reduce or enlarge the quantity according to your needs. The same idea goes for the amount of chicken.