Monthly Archives: July 2016

Primum est Edare

PRIMUM EST EDARE, DIENDI PHILOSOPHARII
EATING COMES BEFORE PHILOSOPHY

August, 2016. 65 years of age.

This month, eating is covered. Clothing and shelter as well ~ barring any unforeseen major catastrophes.

As I drove “down south” today to the Northshore of New Orleans, I was thinking about where had the joy gone?; the “joie de vivre” of a happy 42 year marriage, of the ‘golden years’ spread out before me. Well, as it turns out the joy hasn’t gone anywhere. I just could not see clearly enough. An overriding concern as I drove south was what had happened to my spirituality, my sense of place in the universe. What DO I believe in? Who am I? What am I? Is there a point to anything?

So now, “Philosopharii”.

Another old saw states that “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. during the course of this day, among the grocery shopping, the bookish errands of disposing old books, and seeking for some clue as to my existence, three weirdly odd and assorted volumes found their way into my possession. A philosophy professor writing in the “popular” style on the topic of learning how to die thereby learning how to live. A religious studies professor writing on the spirituality and mysticism of the Jesuit biologist/paleontolgist Teilhard de Chardin occasioned by his encounters with Eastern religions. And a historian’s account of the “moral character” of America’s founding fathers.

“There is no such thing as coincidence”, the love of life is fond of saying. A philosophy book on the end of life. A study in spirituality occasioned by a leading theologian’s real life encounter with comparative religions. A history book on American moral character as Hillary politics her way to a historical presidency and goofy Trump states openly that he wants to physically beat up his competition. De universe sure do work in mysterious ways – or does it?

Stay with this blog and see how these readings turn out.

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Roast Buffalo on the Fourth of July

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine blogging about buffalo. So here goes nothing !!!!

This entry will be the first of many installments wherein recipes, meal planning, and cooking will take center stage. Volume Two of the Petticoat Rebellion; A French Colonial Culinary History has been in preparation for some time now. This 1718NewOrleans2018 blog is now the venue for the cooking and recipe information that will be included in the book. And what better day to begin than Independence Day, 2016, and what better dish to serve up on America’s birthday than a Buffalo Roast. For the past many years my family has usually served a roasted then smoked turkey. This year we decided on something different, but still uniquely American.

The context of the recipe and meal is the Natchitoches chapter of Volume Two. Natchitoches, in the words of one historian, “the most important frontier post in the Atlantic World” (of the 1700’s) was also the most western outpost of French Louisiana. Additionally, it was the point of contact between the Spanish and French empires in North America. Natchitoches was the channel – as the eighteenth century progressed – through which flowed much of Louisiana’s livestock trade. Although technically illegal, Spanish cattle and horses, and Native American “wild cattle” or American Bison came into the colonial economy. Thus to showcase this chapter of Louisiana’s culinary development . . .

Acquire a buffalo roast of your choice (we chose an eye of round roast), about 2 or 3 pounds will feed a family of four. Prep for roasting as you would any beef or pork roast.

Tricentennial Method:

Prepare a traditional Louisiana mirepoix or Holy Trinity plus Pope =
One medium bell pepper
One medium onion
1 or 2 stalks of celery
+ 3 or 4 toes of garlic (i.e. The Pope)
Finely chop the vegetables

Into a large iron pot (with cover), coat the bottom with olive oil, and sauté the mirepoix until soft, add some beef stock and slowly warm it all up.

Rub the buffalo roast with an herbal rub of your choice.

Place the roast fat side up into the pot, cover, and put it into an extremely slow oven (280 to 300 degrees) OR an electric slow cooker for several
( 3 or 4) hours.

When the roast it done, for the gravy move the pot to the stove and remove the roast, set aside to rest. The sauce is now essentially a beefy vegetable stew. Add some more stock and cooking flour, bring to a boil, season to taste (salt, pepper, Creole seasoning, etc.) and let boil for 15 to 30 minutes. If desired, slice the roast and add the meat to the gravy.

Serve with potatoes or rice, green beans, and hot bread.

Colonial Method:

Much stays the same, except the cooking. In place of an oven or slow cooker, the Native or colonial cook would be at a fire – either enclosed in a large fireplace or outdoors in a fire pit. The iron pot containing the meat and vegetables would be placed among the hot coals at first for a half-hour to an hour, then moved to a cooler area at the edge of the coals for the remaining several hours. If the inside fireplace had the luxury of an built in brick oven, the pot would have been placed there much like in our modern ovens.

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