Tag Archives: ebook

Ain’t Technology Grand !?!?

Hello Dear Readers,

This post is simply to inform you that the revised, updated, and latest corrected version of The Petticoat Rebellion (Version 1.3) is now available as a .pdf download from the cookbook page at the The 1718 Project main website (http://1718neworleans.com).

Thanks are due to all my patient readers who have put up with the typos, omissions, and bad grammar in the earlier versions. One of the glories of the electronic age is the ability to consistently make our resources more accurate and useful.

“Ain’t Technology Grand !?!?”

N.O. Historic Marker

The raison d’être of the 1718 Project

And now that Volume 1 is “put to bed”, I think it may be time to begin thinking about and writing about The 1718 Project as a whole once again.

Thank you again for your continued support and encouragement as the Tricentennial grows ever closer.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Louisiana History, Tri-centennial, 1718, 2018, 300th, anniversary, author, writer, speaker, teacher, non-fiction, Bienville, Iberville, Bayou St. John, Natchez, Indians, Native American, Tunica, Bayougoula, Mississippi,

IT’S FINALLY DONE . . . Self-Printing and Self-Editing, Part VI

Well, IT’S FINALLY DONE!  (BTW, its never done) But Beth and I’s book, The Petticoat Rebellion: A Culinary History of French Louisiana is now available IN PRINT from Amazon.com. Just search for Laiche or The Petticoat Rebellion and it will take you right to it (the print version is listed at $8.99).

As stated above, it’s never really done. But we have at least reached a milestone. and since this blog now has the added dimension of being a chronicle of the self printed and self edited work that is writing books in the 21st-century; it seems that there should be a few comments here on this process. First of all, for me anyway, it was not really difficult to understand the process but it was incredibly hard work to follow the process. Two of the largest issues were waiting on CreateSpace and iTunes Connect to process the pages contained in the book. Other than the waiting, there were a few issues with the illustrations(specifically in CreateSpace). Another significant issue was the formatting. and the formatting, and the formatting. Such is the digital aspect of self-publishing and self editing.

Although volume 1 is virtually finished, I am sure that my readers(If any) will point out the typos, the grammatical errors, and any other goofiness that appears in their copy of volume 1. Already in discussing the proof copy with some friends we have already found two errors which will be corrected for the next release, Version 1.4, that is sure to follow (whenever).

But now it’s time to turn my attention back to volume 2.

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Filed under Creole Cooking, Louisiana History, New Orleans Tercentennial, NEW ORLEANS TRI-CENTENNIAL 1718 TO 2018

Self-Publishing and Self-Editing, Part V

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.

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EVERYDAYNESS

My last post back in May originated in St. Louis. While I did in fact get lots of research done for the project there, it has been a while since I have been able to get back to my networking. Immediately upon our return from St. Louis we were thrown into the process of moving to a new house. Keeping it on the cheap, and since the distance from the old house to the new house was very short we decided to use our pick up truck to move. At the pace of one room every two or three days as well as all the accumulated stuff of 40 years of marriage, etc, the move took the entire month of June. We finally completed the last cleanup on the Fourth of July.  Naturally, except for an occasional visit into my real life – writing, that is – very little production was accomplished during that month. I looked forward to July to get back into the swing of things; production of new material, revision of old material, blogging, working on the webpage, et. al. Well, here it is the end of July and I have produced perhaps half a chapter. I have done no recipe testing and only a minimal amount of research. This morning in a moment of revelation, it occurred  to me that the nature of one of the great enemies of the writing life is “everydayness”.

TO MOWING DE LAWN

 

 

 

 

OR

DICKENS WRITING

THAT IS THE QUESTION

 

 

For instance, it is now One o’clock in the afternoon on a Monday, my family is away at work and I have the whole house to myself, I have plenty of food, lots of coffee, and yet what have I done since waking this morning? I prepared breakfast, I read the news, I watched the news, I went to the bank, I went to the gas station, I came home and cut the grass, then cleaned up a little bit in the yard and continued to do what I have been doing the entire month of July, that is, unpacking. The unpacking is almost done, as done as it needs to be for the family to be functional so now I can actually post to my blog. Last night I actually reviewed the construction of the new website. As of yet today I have done no research, have done no writing on the new production, nor any revision of the old material.

So there you have it –  everydayness – doing what a homemaker does, doing what a retired Country Gentleman does, doing all sorts of things except writing.

So now I will try to schedule not only general ideas of what I intend to do on a given day or during a given week, but I have taken up the idea of laying out a daily to-do list to balance the everydayness with the real purpose of my existence –  Writing Culinary History.

Stay tuned, something interesting may begin to develop as summer begins it’s march toward fall.

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Filed under Creole Cooking, New Orleans Tercentennial, NEW ORLEANS TRI-CENTENNIAL 1718 TO 2018, Non-Fiction

Self-Publishing and Self-Editing, Parts IV b & V; et. al.

http://1718neworleans.com

Self-Publishing and Self-Editing, Part IV b

The institutionalized process of academic printing has also encapsulated all of the above functions (i.e. create, print, edit, bind, publish, sell) into the peer-review system, especially the editing function. Whereas 20th century publishing houses offered editors to their authors* , in the academic system, the process of research, writing the essay, submission to journals, peer-review, criticism, controversy, rewrites,response to critics, presentation at conferences, more rewrites, collection into a book, submission to university presses, etc. pretty much solves the problem of having a book edited. Independent scholars and authors have yet to solve this problem. Or, better stated, the system is now basically a money issue. One can pay a professional editor to go over your work, do the rewrites and then submit ( see Part IV a). Or, I see hope in the revision process. The Petticoat Rebellion Vol. One is now at version 1.0. I know that it contains some errors. Over the next several months, as these errors come to light, the can be corrected and offered as updated versions, much like software has been done for decades. It remains to be seen how this process will play out.

*Note: how one became one of their authors is a whole other matter.

Self-Publishing and Self-Editing, Part V

Four units moved on the iBookstore. Thirty-eight downloads from the website. One download from Gutenberg Self-Publishing. And even one fan letter – in the FIRST MONTH !

Whoop didily do    !!!

This week Version 1.1 was posted making some minor corrections to chapters 6 and 17. I hope that my readers (that sounds so cool!) will forgive chapter 6’s title and fix themselves some red beans and rice, rather than some “read’ beans and rice. Oh well, after all, that’s why version 1.0 is free. Subsequent versions will also remain free. I am thinking of charging a dollar on the iBookstore once the on-going editing and revisions play out. Of course volume 2, will carry a charge, but that amount hasn’t been decided yet.

The self-publishing process was really a learning experience as well. Not only mastering the technology of iTunes Producer but tending to the thousand details regarding copyright, page layout, and book layout. Nevertheless, as time-consuming as the process was and remains, it is definitely NOT a waste of time.

Apart from the marketing, which never ends, the final task remaining is conversion to EPUB and submission to Amazon for the Kindle version.

And now for something completely different. 

I find it fascinating that one who could probably be considered the best of Louisiana’s French governors (after Bienville) is also the one least documented, the hardest to pronounce, and almost unknown to the general population, much less to the historically minded population. PIERRE DE RIGAUD DE VAUDREUIL DE CAVAGNIAL,  Marquis de VAUDREUIL, called by the citizens of New Orleans and Louisiana, and mercifully for historians and writers, the Grand Marquis. Monsieur Vaudreuil was a quintessential French aristocrat of the Old Regime. His governorship during the 1740’s raised Louisiana to it’s highest point as a French colony. He dealt with (and controlled) the Native Americans of the Mississippi Valley, he stabilized the colonial economy, he opened up trade (against policy) with the Spanish and British empires in North America and the Caribbean; and finally, for good measure, he introduced gracious living to New Orleans’ nascent Creole society. The Grand Marquis was indeed a traditional New Orleans character. He then went on to become governor of New France, that is all the French possessions in North America, where-in the wrong place at the wrong time-he was the governor who found himself surrendering to the British and pretty much losing the French and Indian Wars.

You will read more about him in The Petticoat Rebellion Volume 2. If you can’t wait, here is a link to probably the best biography available in English at this time.

http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/rigaud_de_vaudreuil_de_cavagnial_pierre_de_4E.html

 

http://1718neworleans.com

 

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Self-Publishing and Self-Editing, Part IV a

http://1718neworleans.com

It’s finally done. I am a self-published author. It’s curious how many parallels exist between this newfangled, all-electronic, website, blog, social media, etc. publishing process and the publishing process of, say, the seventeenth century. Back in the day (i.e. the 1600’s) a person would write a book and there it was – a manuscript. He* would then try to convince someone (a printer) to take the manuscript and print it out. Now the writer had a nice stack of paper of his printed work. Next, he had to shop around for someone to bind it all together. At this point it became a matter of “who you know” or of money (plain and simple). OK, let’s say our writer had the good luck or wherewithal to produce a nicely bound copy of his work. What now?

The next two steps were publishing the work and selling the work. The seventeenth century saw the fairly rapid development of a commercial support mechanism, that is “the publisher” (usually called the “printer”) who would take the manuscript through the entire above process. On occasion, the printer/publisher would also attempt to sell the work. More often, a separate operation existed to actually sell the book – called, not surprisingly, the bookseller. This last part of the process was usually encapsulated on the title page, to wit:

Title Page example

Title Page of the 1629 printing of the Lex Mercatoria

 

London, Printed by Adam Islip, and are to be sould (sic)  by Nicholas Bourne, at the South entrance of the Royall Exchange

_________________________

These last steps, publishing and selling were usually where the money issue also manifested itself. Finally, the finished product was done and offered to the public. So, what about the parallels?

 

1. (Then) Write a book – (Now) pretty much the same, except now we usually use a word processor or dictation software.

2. (Then) Bind the book – (Now) Actually print it out at home or take it to a printer like Fedex or UPS, then self bind it or pay someone to bind it, usually very expensive.

3. (Then) Print the book- (Now) Submit it to an online book service/printing/selling operation like iBookstore (Apple), Kindle (Amazon), Smashwords, CreateSpace, etc.***

4. (Then) Publish the book- (Now) Same as step 3.

5. (Then) Sell the book- (Now) As step 3, but with the marketing aspect essentially tossed back to the writer.

So then, like the song says, “Everything old is new again”!

 The Petticoat Rebellion Vol. One may now be downloaded for FREE from:

The iBooks Store

Project Gutenberg (http://self.gutenberg,org), and the 1718neworleans.com website, click on the Cookbook link.

* I use the masculine pronoun because it was seventeenth century Europe after all. For better or worse, not very many female writers went through the process described. Some did, but the people involved were overwhelmingly male.
*** Note that these operations represent the end point or publishers, which appeared at the end of seventeenth century.

http://1718neworleans.com

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Filed under 18th Century, Creole Cooking, Louisiana History, New Orleans Tercentennial, Non-Fiction, Recipes

Three Blogs in One

http://1718neworleans.com

Self-Publishing and Self-Editing, Part III

St. Joseph’s Day, March 19, 2014. iTunes Producer reads “Uploaded package to the iTunes Store”. We are almost there, in the olden days I could now say my book is at the publishers. But it is not the olden days and while the book is in fact at the publishers that doesn’t mean it will be published in short order. Meanwhile, I am on pins and needles waiting for the OK to come in and for The Petticoat Rebellion to appear in the iBookstore.

So in the meantime, I cannot market, so I am updating the social media pages. I have decided to focus on five venues. First and foremost, the 1718 New Orleans website, then the Facebook page, then the LinkedIn page. In addition to these three, serious work will be undertaken to update and activate more fully the Goodreads page/account and the Project Gutenberg account and whatever they may require for their program. In the midst of all this activity The Petticoat Rebellion also has to be converted from an iBook into an e-book. I will be doing this activity through a very helpful website and publication called Unruly Guides. The centerpiece of this process is an application called Sigil. Never fret, though, this process will be well-documented through this blog. Once the e-book conversion is completed, then submission to Kindle, Smashwords, and Project Gutenberg will be undertaken.

At now, like I don’t have enough to do, research and writing on Volume 2 progresses. To wit…

Doing History

Academic historians spend years pouring over documentary evidence isolating their research data and verifying their information. Unfortunately, this is about where their production levels off. On the scale of Information Architecture, data is followed by information is followed by knowledge is followed by wisdom. It is only in the lecture hall and, hopefully, in the books produced by the historian where said historian can rise to the level of knowledge and wisdom. However, communication in the classroom and sometimes even the books always seems to be bogged down by all the discussion of data and information. Reading histories written in the 1800s and before, then post-Von Ranke in the late 19th and early 20th century, and then continuing on to those written in the later 20th century, a definite pattern can be seen to emerge. Unfortunately, it is a pattern of devolution. The early historians, even going back to Herodotus, communicate at the level of knowledge/wisdom. During much of the 20th century historians communicated at the level of data and hopefully, occasionally, rising to information. Those of us trained in the late 20th century are possibly breaking out of this mold.

Now at the beginning of the 21st. A return can be seen to be re-evolving from the previous “scientific” histories into a more
?enjoyable? type of historical presentation. It is at this juncture where information is being transformed into knowledge that I strive to place my work. For those interested in following the information, the 1718 website has a link to the Project’s bibliography. The iBook/e-book also contains footnotes that links to or references entries in the bibliography. It is my hope that by choosing a mixture of historical fiction (i.e. stories of cooks and cooking in New Orleans during the 18th century); adding the recipes that would be generated by the available foodstuffs and kitchen activities, filling in with actual recipes from 18th-century French cookbooks; and finishing with historical essays that supply factual backgrounds to the stories and recipes; that the combination takes the reader from information to knowledge. I do not go so far as to state that reading these books will lead to wisdom, but I can only hope that my readers see the difference between the fictional and historical entries and take away, not only a knowledge of what this Tricentennial is celebrating but more importantly, a feeling, or an understanding, of what the early settlers of New Orleans and Louisiana had to deal with and SUCCEEDED IN DEALING WITH thereby creating the unique culture that we celebrate today.

To this writer, a retired teacher an active scholar, this is what DOING HISTORY is all about. Enjoy the study, make the recipes, and Bon Appétit. And to La Nouvelle Orleans and it’s culture which created us, Joyeux Anniversaire !!!

Recipe:

One of the glories of Creole Cuisine is its simplicity. Especially in considering 18th Century Creole Cuisine, where official records are quick to chronicle all of the shortages and suffering in the colony, thankfully, there were always enterprising settlers ( and their “creole” descendants) to supply the kitchens and markets of the capital and surrounding settlements (see The Petticoat Rebellion, ch. 18). Where the official colonial records note scarcity and want , private records of the time consistently mark “imported luxuries lavishly spread on carved oak tables: olive oil, brandied fruits, anchovies and invariably, coffee which the Creoles served in spectacular quantities. People ate remarkable amounts of chocolate, considering that it was expensive and hard to come by. . . . a formal dinner {was described} with “many courses”and “many spices”,which was nevertheless followed by desserts”seemingly without end.” Cakes was served at every party;The guests divided up the leftovers and brought them home in their lanterns which might not be needed for light because many parties broke up after dawn.The pastries so generously distributed were not cheap, {wheat} flour was of course in short supply, “ (Vella, pp. 30-32)

This following recipe should be noted for its incredible simplicity. The only extravagant ingredients would be the coconuts and vanilla. The “spice” would have been brought in by smugglers from one of the many ships which traded in the trans-Caribbean Spanish/French/British/Dutch commercial network. Spices, such as vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon, made their way to the Gulf and Caribbean from the Pacific ports of Mexico and New Spain (Petticoat Rebellion, ch. 18). And in reality, the following dessert recipe can skip the vanilla without much detriment to its enjoyment. I have no proof, but I would be willing to say, that good old custard, that is the mixture of milk and eggs and sugar or sweetener probably goes back to time immemorial. Creoles throughout the Caribbean, South America, and the Gulf Coast call this variation on custard-Flan.

Tante Suzanne* (See the 11/5/13 blog entry) in preparation for a family feast (like the one described above) and having acquired some coconuts† and vanilla beans from her market sources proceeded to create her Flan as follows:

CARAMEL SAUCE: (first known use of the French word caramel was 1658)
Mix a cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of light cream, 4 tablespoons butter, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until it gets thicker. Add 1 tablespoon crushed vanilla seeds and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat, cool slightly and pour the sauce into a baking dish. Let it cool and thicken some while you mix the custard.

FLAN:
In a heavy saucepan pour 3 pints of milk and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 5+ tbsp. sugar and continue simmering 10 to 15 minutes, or until milk has reduced to 3 cups. Strain. To this boiled down (condensed) sugar milk add a pint of coconut milk, some coconut flakes, another pint of of fresh milk, and four or five eggs (depending on size). Mix all of these together very well. Pour the custard slowly over the caramel sauce and bake in a moderate oven for about an hour or so until the custard sets.

† The coconut is not indigenous to tropical America; it was introduced to the Caribbean and the Atlantic coasts of the Americas in the 16th century. By the end of the 17th century the coconut was well established in Jamaica, but did not become an important plantation crop until the middle of the 19th century.

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20061005/eyes/eyes2.html

Whether or not the markets of New Orleans had coconuts in the 1700s is problematic. They were introduced to the Caribbean environment during the 1500s and 1600s, However in San Domingue, {after 1665} “More cattle, and slave agricultural holdings, coffee plantations and spice plantations were implemented, as well as fishing, cultivation of cocoa, coconuts and snuff”.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint-Domingue

If Tante Suzanne access to them in San Domingue or Louisiana she could have used them in this Flan recipe. They are not technically required for this recipe but if you have a romantic streak in you may want to include them.

http://1718neworleans.com

 

 

 

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