5 Places To Eat Excellent Boudin In And Around Lake Charles, Louisiana

If you’re going to be traveling around Lake Charles, Louisiana, you should check out this list of the best places to get boudin.

It's pronounced "boo-DAN" in case you were wondering.

Think of boudin as the down-home Cajun style of sausage. The rice-and-pork tubesteak is native to Lake Charles, Louisiana and the surrounding area. And, it’s pronounced “boo-DAN,” thank you very much. This pale frank started as a typical product of a boucherie, the day Cajun-French families would butcher a whole pig. Like most of its meaty brethren, boudin provided an excuse to use up every last pig part. And, since this is rice country, some of that was thrown in to stretch the pork.

Though once looked down upon as a poor man’s food, boudin’s stock has risen in recent years. These days, there’s a thriving network of mom-and-pop joints in Lake Charles and beyond specializing in this homegrown product, each with a slightly different recipe. Smoked and spicy varieties are common. Fried boudin balls are popular, too. Creative spins might include boudin stuffed with alligator or crawfish. And, there’s at least one boudin burger. Here are five essential pit stops for getting your boudin fix in Cajun country.

1. B&O Kitchen & Grocery
Ten miles from Lakes Charles, in the small town of Sulphur, you’ll find this 31-year-old establishment with a billowing American flag and, most likely, a few pickup trucks out front. Jeff Benoit is the third-generation owner, and if you’re nice to him, he might let you come out back to the smokehouse, where some of the sausages are hung to dry. You might also spot the special oil-filled cauldrons rendering his award-winning cracklins (cubes of fatty pork meat and skin, another area specialty). The takeout joint goes through upwards of 200 pounds of boudin a day. It also offers cheese-stuffed boudin balls (popular for tailgating, says Benoit). And, there’s even a burger made from a smashed boudin ball, dubbed the gaudidaun (meaning “look at that” in the regional French). Thursday lunch plates like brisket or gumbo have proven so popular that Benoit is planning to add sit-down seating sometime in the next year. 3011 E. Burton St., Sulphur, LA; 337-625-4637; facebook.com/pages/BO-Kitchen-and-Grocery

2. Hollier’s Cajun Kitchen
Another one located in Sulphur, Hollier’s is most popular for its lunchtime and dinnertime all-you-can-eat buffets (as the girth of its clientele attests). Still, if you order off the menu, there’s some tasty boudin — and you can really taste the pig liver, a traditional ingredient many places now eschew. The deep-fried boudin balls are very nicely spiced, and there are alligator balls, too, in case you’re feeling adventurous. 1709 Ruth St., Sulphur, LA; 337-527-0061; hollierscajunkitchen.com

3. Famous Foods
Amid the gas stations and used-car lots of Highway 14, you’ll find Famous Foods, where three generations of the Guillory family turn out award-winning boudin and cracklins that folks have been known to drive all the way from Mississippi to eat. “It was my daddy’s recipe,” explains the charismatic Darby Sr. about the boudin his own father used to sell at another now-closed family restaurant. “He taught me to use every part of the pig.” Famous Foods, which sits on the site where Darby Sr. originally ran a snow cone stand, has plenty of seating. In addition to smoked and regular boudin and three kinds of not-to-be-missed cracklins (regular, smoked and spicy), you’ll find a freezer stuffed with specialties like Darby’s famous cornbread boudin. The must-have accompaniment to all that meat? Fresh biscuits drizzled with Steen’s, a molasses-like sugarcane syrup. 1475 Gerstner Memorial Dr., Lake Charles, LA; 337-439-7000; famousfoodsllc.com

4. The Sausage Link
In Sulphur, located next-door to the popular LeBleu’s Landing Cajun restaurant, sits the Sausage Link, a butcher shop turning out 1,000 pounds of boudin each week. Boudin master Matt Fruge, who started his work while still in high school, reveals that his secret recipe contains rice, pork, pork broth, green onion, yellow onion  and parsley, among other ingredients. You can watch it being made through glass windows that look onto the butchering area. The shop sells deep-fried boudin balls and cracklins, as well, along with unusual frozen offerings like crawfish etouffee and gator boudin. Or, for those special occasions, turducken. 2400 E. Napoleon St., Sulphur, LA; 337-625-2030; facebook.com/pages/The-Sausage-Link

5. Sonnier’s
If a boudin craving strikes while you’re exploring historic downtown Lake Charles, pop over to Sonnier’s, conveniently located near the town’s main attractions. The six-year-old outpost looks like it’s been around longer, and sells boudin in the now-familiar smoked, spicy and regular varieties. This is mostly a takeout joint, but there’s one plastic table and a couple of chairs out front if an immediate need to nosh should strike. 1217 Mill St., Lake Charles, LA; 337-656-2876; facebook.com/pages/Sonniers-sausage-and-boudin

Visit Lake Charles publishes an online and print map of the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail. Check it out here.

Read more about boudin in my post here.

Also, check out this short film all about boudin.

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

5 Places To Eat Excellent Boudin In And Around Lake Charles, Louisiana | Food Republic.

via 5 Places To Eat Excellent Boudin In And Around Lake Charles, Louisiana | Food Republic.

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Spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan

Have you tried roasting a whole head of cauliflower?  It sounds delicious!

Cauliflower Recipes - Kevin O'Mara

Roasting a whole head of cauliflower at high heat creates a caramelized coating that is extremely flavorful!  This zesty recipe combines cumin, garlic, and coriander with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice for a vegetable dish that is both easy to prepare and healthy.

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 6

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Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

Spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Recipe.

via Spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Recipe.

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Local shrimper hauls in unusual catch

Cinnamon River Shrimp

Raymond Leday was shrimping under the Interstate 10 bridge Monday afternoon when he pulled in something rarely seen in these parts.

Leday said at first he thought it was a mutation or a crossbreed between a shrimp and a crawfish.

He brought the catch to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries office in Lake Charles and they identified it as a cinnamon river shrimp.

According to “Crawfishes of Louisiana” by Jerry G. Walls, the cinnamon river shrimp is usually “found along the shore and in brackish bays but extends up large tidal rivers.”

The shrimp is notable for its extremely long legs with very small claws at the end.

Leday said he plans on taking the shrimp back to the LDWF office so it can be placed in an aquarium.

Local shrimper hauls in unusual catch – KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana.

via Local shrimper hauls in unusual catch – KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana.

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Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

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5 Of The World’s Oldest Wine Bars

This may give you an incentive to travel more.

Wine has played an important role in the world. It has been involved in ceremony, tradition and celebration since the beginning of recorded history — and even before that. With Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans spreading wine grapes throughout Europe and beyond, it’s not a surprise that they would create places specifically to imbibe these libations.

Check out this list of some of the world’s oldest wine bars, dedicated to the enjoyment of this tipple of the gods. Make your travel plans now!

Al Brindisi – Ferrara, Italy

This is considered by Guinness World Records to be the oldest enoteca in the world, believed to have been built in 1435. For a restaurant with a remarkable history and that can show off astronomer Copernicus, Titian, and Benvenuto Cellini as clients, the location is modest in its décor — bare wooden tables, dusty wine bottles and bench seating.

To be in good Renaissance company, drink a fine Port wine or sample authentic Ferrarese fare, be sure to stop by this wine bar located just southeast of the Duomo.

Antica Bottega del Vino – Verona, Italy

This is an osteria with a long history and an impressive number of domestic and international national wine labels. Founded in 1890, Bottega del Vina boasts more than 3,000 wines, hearty Veronese cuisine, and first-rate wine experts. Once an inn thought to have been built in the sixteenth century, this renowned restaurant and bar has hosted wine-loving artists and politicians as patrons for over a century.

If you’re in the home of Romeo & Juliet, the Bottega del Vino is an absolute must-visit – if not for the famous Amarone wine, then for the historical books, photos and documents.

Gordon’s – London, UK

Gordon’s has been a family run business since 1890 when Angus Gordon, one of the last ‘free vintners,’ (a person who could sell wine without applying for a license) set up shop in West London. The building itself has been around since at least the 1680s and since then has been used as a home, a warehouse and most recently (just about 125 years ago!) the place where Rudyard Kipling lived and wrote The Light That Failed.

The dusty bottles in the window add the charm of what looks like a Victorian shop on the outside. Once indoors, you’ll be led to a cool grotto to sip from their extensive list of wines. Try their very own Fat Bastard 100% Chardonnay wine – you won’t be disappointed.

Réserve de Quasimodo – Paris, France

This wine shop and eatery located on an old-world side street on Ile de la Cité is often overshadowed by the nearby Notre Dame cathedral. However, Réserve de Quasimodo deserves a little attention too – they serve affordable and authentic French food expertly paired with vintner-supplied wines  – and just happen to be the oldest wine bar in Paris.

Apparently a tavern opened here as early as 1240, but photos show that the location was a wine bar by 1869. Current owners Nathalie and Christian can suggest wines to accompany your meals in their back room or patio, or you can walk in, grab a bottle and sip it on the Seine with a nice picnic.

Zur Traube – Hamburg, Germany

Tucked away in old Ottensen, the stone of this bar was laid in 1880, and in 1899 it began operating as a wine shop. In 1919, renowned wood sculptor Otto Wessel developed the wood paneling over 6 years to complete and the owners commissioned the gorgeous ceiling artwork for its opening as the first wine bar in Hamburg.

Zur Traube has a selection of 250 French and German wines, which are served alongside French dishes. Candlelight and jazz music will definitely put you in the mood for a sophisticated tipple. Sit outside on the patio for a beautiful view of the river Elbe – a perfect setting to enjoy a glass.

What is it that makes a historic wine bar worth visiting? I asked Anna Von Bertele, of Roberson Wine in London. As she told me: “There are many wine bars that have stood the test of time because what they offer is interesting. Old wine bars have a lovely feeling of history and character to them, but at the moment there is also a new wave of wine bars due to the demand of something different.”

Now jump on a jet plane and enjoy the romance of history.

5 Of The World’s Oldest Wine Bars.

via 5 Of The World’s Oldest Wine Bars.

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Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

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38 Clever Christmas Food Hacks That Will Make Your Life So Much Easier

Here are some fun food ideas to do with the kids this Christmas.

 

1. Decorate upside-down waffle cones to make Christmas tree desserts.

Decorate upside-down waffle cones to make Christmas tree desserts.

It’s a more manageable alternative to the perennial gingerbread house.

2. Make “Elf Cookies” using Cheerios.

Make "Elf Cookies" using Cheerios.

3. Store your ice cream in a Ziploc bag so it doesn’t get too hard.

Store your ice cream in a Ziploc bag so it doesn't get too hard.

It’ll be soft and ready to serve.

4. Make hard-boiled eggs en masse in the oven.

Make hard-boiled eggs en masse in the oven.

Place the eggs in a muffin tray so they do not move around, turn the oven to 325º, and pop them in for about 25 to 30 minutes. Not only are they tastier, but they also are much easier to peel!

5. Use your leftover egg cartons to store ornaments.

Use your leftover egg cartons to store ornaments.

6. Pulverize candy cane dust in a food processor or blender and add to EVERYTHING.

Pulverize candy cane dust in a food processor or blender and add to EVERYTHING.

Icing, cookies, ice cream, mousse, hot chocolate, and cocktail rims are just a few ideas.

7. Make bulk French toast in the Crock-Pot for brunch.

Make bulk French toast in the Crock-Pot for brunch.

Get the full directions here.

8. Make lattice-pie mug toppers for your mulled cider.

Make lattice-pie mug toppers for your mulled cider.

Get the full directions here

9. For a no-cook snack, make Santa strawberries.

For a no-cook snack, make Santa strawberries.

Get the recipe here.

10. Freeze whipped cream dollops for a hot chocolate bar.

Freeze whipped cream dollops for a hot chocolate bar.

They’ll get melty once placed into a hot mug of cocoa.

11. Draw Christmas trees on parchment paper using melted chocolate.

Draw Christmas trees on parchment paper using melted chocolate.

Place in the fridge to harden. Once it’s done, you have a lovely cake decoration.

12. Make a snowman pizza.

Make a snowman pizza.

Pizza is now an official holiday food! And you can feed a multitude by making three pizzas in one.

13. Make a large serving of hot chocolate in the Crock-Pot.

Make a large serving of hot chocolate in the Crock-Pot.

This recipe for Crock-Pot coconut hot chocolate looks amazing.

14. Make Rice Krispie Treats with hot chocolate.

Make Rice Krispie Treats with hot chocolate.

Get the recipe here.

15. Turn candy into Christmas lights.

Turn candy into Christmas lights.

Use as a cupcake topper, or string them around a cake.

16. Use a potato peeler to make chocolate peels for garnishes.

Use a potato peeler to make chocolate peels for garnishes.

17. Easily make a large batch of French toast in your oven for Christmas breakfast.

Easily make a large batch of French toast in your oven for Christmas breakfast.

Get the recipe and directions here.

18. If it’s snowing outside, make snow ice cream.

If it's snowing outside, make snow ice cream.

It only requires two other ingredients. Get the directions here.

19. Set out small candles for a s’mores bar.

Set out small candles for a s'mores bar.

Requires no cooking on your part!

20. Easy hot chocolate stirrers: Stick marshmallows on the end of straws or candy cane sticks.

Easy hot chocolate stirrers: Stick marshmallows on the end of straws or candy cane sticks.

21. Two candy canes glued together makes the easiest place card settings or food labels.

Two candy canes glued together makes the easiest place card settings or food labels.

22. Turn your napkins into elf hats.

Turn your napkins into elf hats.

Watch the video here for the instructions.

23. Use Christmas cookie cutters to make pancake shapes.

Use Christmas cookie cutters to make pancake shapes.

24. You can bake brownies in cookie cutters too.

You can bake brownies in cookie cutters too.

25. Repurpose Pringles cans for storing and gifting home-baked cookies.

Repurpose Pringles cans for storing and gifting home-baked cookies.

26. Build a gingerbread house with graham crackers.

Build a gingerbread house with graham crackers.

Get a recipe for “Royal Icing” aka “Seven Minute Cement.”

27. The five-ingredient no-bake fruitcake

The five-ingredient no-bake fruitcake

Keep in mind that this needs eight hours to chill and it makes a very rich fruitcake.

28. Use condiment bottles filled with icing to decorate cookies.

Use condiment bottles filled with icing to decorate cookies.

A great way to let the kids help.

29. Set the condiment bottle in warm water for drizzling chocolate.

Set the condiment bottle in warm water for drizzling chocolate.

30. Use the bottom of a crystal glass to imprint shortbread cookies.

Use the bottom of a crystal glass to imprint shortbread cookies.

31. Use dental floss for cranberry or popcorn garlands.

Use dental floss for cranberry or popcorn garlands.

The items will glide on more easily.

32. Place cinnamon rolls in the waffle maker for Christmas morning.

Place cinnamon rolls in the waffle maker for Christmas morning.

Just use the canned kind for a breakfast that can be prepared in minutes.

33. Reuse cereal boxes for impromptu gift packaging.

Reuse cereal boxes for impromptu gift packaging.

Get the instructions here.

34. Use gingerbread frosting flavoring to make these adorable gingerbread man Jell-O shots.

Use gingerbread frosting flavoring to make these adorable gingerbread man Jell-O shots.

It can be very difficult (and expensive!) trying to get the perfect gingerbread flavor by mixing liqueurs. This one only requires gingerbread flavoring, sweetened condensed milk, water, gelatin, and vodka. Get the recipe here.

35. Snowman doughnuts

Snowman doughnuts

Easily turn store-bought doughnuts into fun treats for the kids. Get the directions here.

36. Dip cookie cutters in flour first to help sugar cookies retain their shape.

Dip cookie cutters in flour first to help sugar cookies retain their shape.

The dough slides out more easily. This trick comes courtesy of Sweetopia.

37. Possibly the simplest centerpiece ever.

Possibly the simplest centerpiece ever.

Just add shiny peppermint candies to a tray.

38. One dough, six cookies.

One dough, six cookies.

This recipe for cookie dough can potentially make six different kinds of cookies.

 

38 Clever Christmas Food Hacks That Will Make Your Life So Much Easier.

via 38 Clever Christmas Food Hacks That Will Make Your Life So Much Easier.

 

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

 

38 Clever Christmas Food Hacks That Will Make Your Life So Much Easier | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

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Mint Chocolate Chip Fudge

This fudge looks delicious and it’s easy to make.  Perfect recipe for holiday baking without the baking.

Mint Chocolate Chip Fudge-same great taste you love as ice cream in a creamy melt in your mouth fudge!

Mint Chocolate Chip Fudge

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups white chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2-3 teaspoons mint extract (not peppermint)
  • green food coloring
  • 3/4 cups mini chocolate chips, divided

Instructions

  1. Line an 8×8 square pan with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, microwave white chocolate chips and butter on high for 1 minute. Let rest for 1 minute then check to see if melted. If needed microwave for another 30-45 seconds. Stir chocolate until all lumps are gone.
  3. Stir in sweetened condensed milk and mint extract. Add food coloring to desired color. Once completely incorporated, let cool for a few minutes then fold in 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips.
  4. Press fudge into prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining mini chocolate chips on top and gently press into fudge.
  5. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours to set before cutting into squares.
  6. Store in an airtight container.

via Mint Chocolate Chip Fudge.

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Hunter faces backlash after bagging rare albino deer

Such a beautiful, rare animal.

Jerry Kinnaman was up early, hunting in southeast Missouri, when he saw it. It had been a chilly night — the ground was crunchy — but on Tuesday morning, Kinnaman spotted the albino buck about 85 yards in the distance.

Kinnaman bagged the buck — which was called “arguably Cape Girardeau’s most notorious deer” by the Southeast Missourian. It was a legal kill, but a controversial one.

“This is a buck of a lifetime,” he told the newspaper.

“Not my biggest buck but at 7 1/2 years old he might be the oldest,” Kinnaman wrote on Facebook.

“Let the bashing begin!”

And it did. Kinnaman said in an interview with The Post on Thursday that it has gotten so bad, he’s received death threats over the deer.

“People are all tough on the computer,” he said, “but it’s easy for them to say that because they know they’re not going to get in trouble for it.”

The deer was something of a celebrity in Cape Girardeau. Kinnaman said that some locals felt a connection with it and would notice the animal on drives through the Southeast Missouri city.

“I was the same way as anybody else about this deer, so I understand the relationship some of these people have,” he said.

Here’s the thing, though: The deer wasn’t doing well, Kinnaman said. He said there was “not an ounce of fat on him,” and Kinnaman’s taxidermist noted that the deer’s teeth were in poor condition. The animal would have died this year, Kinnaman said, whether he harvested him or not.

“They never even thought about how hard it would be for this deer to survive once he got to a certain age,” he said.

For what it’s worth, Kinnaman contacted a local conservation department office and was told he hadn’t broken any regulations. After his taxidermist is finished, Kinnaman said he might donate the mount to a local nature center, so Cape residents can continue to enjoy the deer.

“There’s a lot of rumors I shot this deer for a reward,” he said. “I’m like ‘no.’”

The kill — and subsequent backlash — follows a similar incident in Michigan, in which an 11-year-old bagged an albino buck. Gavin Dingman was crossbow hunting with his father, Mick Dingman, when he shot the deer this October.

“I’ve had people tell me, ‘You should have taken the shot. You don’t let an 11-year-old take a shot at a deer like that,’ ” Mick Dingman told the Daily Press & Argus. “To me, in my opinion, it doesn’t matter if it’s a spike or a doe or a trophy deer. If you have confidence in them, it shouldn’t matter what they are shooting at.”

by Sarah Larimer

Hunter faces backlash after bagging rare albino deer.

via Hunter faces backlash after bagging rare albino deer.

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Did you hear the one about the alligator shot during the Civil War?

You might have read this story here, but as it turns out, it was just that - a story.

civil-war-gator.jpg

 

Did you hear the one about the alligator shot during the Civil War? | NOLA.com.

via Did you hear the one about the alligator shot during the Civil War? | NOLA.com.

 

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

 

Did you hear the one about the alligator shot during the Civil War? | Benny Cenac – Louisiana Sportsman.

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Random Acts of Pasta – Making the world a better place

With the holidays upon us, here is a heart warming story of what “giving” is all about.

Meet Matt Tribe who used a special promotion from the Olive Garden restaurant to help the people of his community.  When Olive Garden offered a “Never Ending Pasta Bowl” pasta pass available for to use for seven weeks for only $100, he was one of the lucky 1,000 to people to be able to buy it.  Realizing after his purchase, he couldn’t possibly eat that much pasta himself, he conjured up a plan to use the pass for the benefit others.

Tribe decided that he could use the free pasta meals to pay it forward to friends and those people in his community who needed to eat more than he. His goal was to use the pasta pass to deliver 100 free meals during the seven week period. As it turned out, he delivered, with the help of his sister, delivered 125 free meals. The delivering of meals, which consisted of a pasta dinner, salad, bread sticks, and a drink, always became the highlight of the recipient’s day.  The side benefit was it also became the highlight of his day, too.

At the end of the promotion, this is what he had to say about his “Random Acts of Pasta“.

“After thousands of miles and hundreds of hours, Random Acts of Pasta was one of the most fun and fulfilling things I’ve ever done. Perhaps it’s because I live a very boring and uneventful life and doing anything is be better than the alternative, or perhaps it’s because that during the time I was doing Random Acts of Pasta, the only thing on my mind was who I was going to take pasta to.  Just imagine how cool it would be if everyone did something like this in their life. Obviously not everyone has a pasta pass or has the time to do something of this scale, but what if everyone spent a couple days a month just doing something nice for someone else? One thing I can tell you for sure, is that you, as a person, would be much happier. Don’t believe me? Just try it.”

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Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

 

Random Acts of Pasta – Making the world a better place | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

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PSA: Louisiana State Police towing vehicles left on roadsides by hunters

http://imgick.nola.com/home/nola-media/width620/img/outdoors_impact/photo/16431502-mmmain.jpg

If you are planning on hunting or fishing and leaving your vehicle along the side of the interstate, you better think twice before doing so. Though it is common to see people parked on the grass shoulders of a highway or interstate, it’s illegal.

Louisiana State Police have recently issued a statement stating, “The shoulders of the road are designed for emergency stopping only,” and “the parked vehicles pose a threat to motorists when they reenter or exit the road, and can be a hazard to motorists stopping for emergencies.”

Louisiana State Troopers will be towing any parked vehicles, at the owner’s expense, and in addition, the owner may be subject to additional traffic fines.

 

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

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Hunters Find Bullets from American Civil War in 185-Year Old Alligator’s Hide

bullet2

A group of Mississippi hunters who shot and killed an alligator weighting 910 pounds (413 kilograms) on Sunday, were amazed when they discovered that the animal already bore injuries caused by musket ammunitions from the Civil War era. A total of 9 spherical projectiles was found, and the various tests and analysis realized on them have confirmed that they were indeed fired at the animal in the 19th Century.

Nine of the wounds on the animal are believed to have been caused by Enfield Pattern 1853 rifle-muskets. These old injuries were concentrated around the animals tail and hind legs, suggesting that the reptile could have possibly been used as a target for shooting practise by Confederate troops.

The huge animal also bore five other bullet wounds from three different calibers of hunting rifles, as well as many dents and scars, which shows that it survived many firearm injuries in the past. It did not however, survive the six .50-caliber bullets fired at him by the group of amateur hunters from Jackson, who were finally able to take it down.

The bullets were confirmed as authentic musket ammunitions from between 1850 and 1870.

This incredible animal specimen brings a whole new perspective on this large crocodilian reptile endemic to the southeastern United States. American alligators have been known for years to live well over 50 years and were thought capable of possibly living as long as 70 of 80 years, but this unique specimen was estimated to have been 185 years old at the time of its death.

Other reptiles like turtles, have been known to have lifespans of over 150 years, but it is the first specimen of crocodilian of such an old age ever found. It is also one of the biggest alligators ever killed in the United States. The heaviest ever recorded, weighing in at a staggering 1,011.5 lbs, was pulled out of a river in Alabama in August of this year.

- See more at: http://worldnewsdailyreport.com/usa-hunters-find-bullets-from-american-civil-war-in-185-year-old-alligators-hide/#sthash.B6jBb79J.dpuf

A group of Mississippi hunters who shot and killed an alligator weighting 910 pounds (413 kilograms) on Sunday, were amazed when they discovered that the animal already bore injuries caused by musket ammunitions from the Civil War era. A total of 9 spherical projectiles was found, and the various tests and analysis realized on them have confirmed that they were indeed fired at the animal in the 19th Century.

Nine of the wounds on the animal are believed to have been caused by Enfield Pattern 1853 rifle-muskets. These old injuries were concentrated around the animals tail and hind legs, suggesting that the reptile could have possibly been used as a target for shooting practise by Confederate troops.

The huge animal also bore five other bullet wounds from three different calibers of hunting rifles, as well as many dents and scars, which shows that it survived many firearm injuries in the past. It did not however, survive the six .50-caliber bullets fired at him by the group of amateur hunters from Jackson, who were finally able to take it down.

The bullets were confirmed as authentic musket ammunitions from between 1850 and 1870.

This incredible animal specimen brings a whole new perspective on this large crocodilian reptile endemic to the southeastern United States. American alligators have been known for years to live well over 50 years and were thought capable of possibly living as long as 70 of 80 years, but this unique specimen was estimated to have been 185 years old at the time of its death.

Other reptiles like turtles, have been known to have lifespans of over 150 years, but it is the first specimen of crocodilian of such an old age ever found. It is also one of the biggest alligators ever killed in the United States. The heaviest ever recorded, weighing in at a staggering 1,011.5 lbs, was pulled out of a river in Alabama in August of this year.

USA: Hunters Find Bullets from American Civil War in 185-Year Old Alligator’s Hide.

via USA: Hunters Find Bullets from American Civil War in 185-Year Old Alligator’s Hide.

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Louisiana festival guide 2014: December

Louisiana festivals in December certainly have the Christmas spirit, with a month of light displays, parades, concerts and more. Highlights include Christmas Eve Bonfires on the Levee, Fire and Water, and the Plaquemines Parish Orange Festival.

Nov. 1-Dec. 7 (weekends only)

Louisiana Renaissance Festival A cast of 300 costumed actors re-create life in a Renaissance village, with live stage shows, jousting, craft demos, food, music, falconry, games and (man-powered) rides, plus vendors. Admission: $17 adult, $10 children 7-12, children 6 and younger free. 46468 River Road, Hammond, 985.429.9992, email info@larf.org.

Nov. 22-Jan. 6

2014 Festival of Lights Several weeks of festivities offer outdoor light displays, live entertainment, children’s activities, open houses, arts and crafts, fireworks, food vendors, parades, 5K, holiday home tours and more. The annual Christmas festival is Dec. 6. A full schedule of events can be found at the website. Admission: Varies. Historic Landmark District, Natchitoches, 800.259.1714.

Nov. 29-Dec. 13

Fall Harvest Festival Arts and crafts, farm demos and hayrides. Grant Christmas Tree Farm and Syrup Mill, 716 Whitaker Road, Grant, 318.634.3408.

Dec. 1-23

Noel Acadian Au Village Light display with music and performing arts. Admission: $9 ($7 advance/online), free for children under 4 and active military with ID. Acadian Village, 200 Greenleaf Drive, Lafayette, 337.981.2364.

Dec. 1-31

Christmas – New Orleans Style Tours of historic homes, concerts, candlelight caroling, madrigal dinners, cooking demonstrations, costumed characters in the French Quarter. French Quarter and other locations, New Orleans, 504.522.5730.

Dec. 4-7

PhotoNOLA 2014 More than 50 photography exhibits open (continuing through the month of December), with symposiums, a gala benefit, plus workshops, gallery talks and lectures, presented by the New Orleans Photo Alliance. Admission: Free for most events. Various locations around New Orleans, email info@photonola.org.

Dec. 5-7

Christmas in the Country Caroling, tree lighting, fireworks, food, a spacewalk and children’s activities, dance, live music, candlelight tours and and a library tour of homes. Admission: Varies by event. Downtown St. Francisville, 225.635.3873.

Plaquemines Parish Orange Festival Live music, carnival rides, food, 5K walk/run, children’s revue pageant, citrus dessert contest, games, duck calling, shrimp de-heading and catfish-skinning contests. Admission: Free. Historic Fort Jackson (Buras), 100 Herbert Harvey Drive, Plaquemines, 504.398.4434.

Dec. 5-31

Holiday in the Park: Lights at Lafreniere The park comes alive for the holidays with thousands of twinkling lights and displays, many of them donated by the Al Copeland family. Admission: $3 per vehicle (free Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 31-Jan. 1). Children’s carousel, open nightly until 9, is $1 per child. Lafreniere Park, 3000 Downs Blvd., Metairie, 504.838.4389.

Dec. 6

Christmas Bonfire Party A buffet, open bar, live music and good cheer in the seasonally decorated mansion, followed by a parade, lighting of the bonfire, caroling and dancing. Oak Alley Plantation, 3645 Louisiana 18, Vacherie, 225.265.2151.

Christmas in the Park Family-style Christmas event with caroling, parade, fun jumps, hot chocolate, children’s activities, Santa’s workshop, hayrides and more. Admission: Free. Downtown Gueydan, 337.536.6140.

Cracklin’ Cook-off and Car Show Live music, crafts, a car show and cook-off. Cut Off Youth Center, 205 W. 79th St., Cut Off, 985.632.7616.

Delcambre Boat Parade Games, rides, music, photos with Santa, a lighted boat parade and fais do do. Admission: Free. Boat launch next to Shrimp Festival Building, Delcambre, 337.685.4462.

French Market’s St. Nicholas Day Fair The family-friendly event features a Santa second-line, music, craft booths, a petting zoo, miniature golf, photos with St. Nicholas in Dutch Alley, and more. Admission: Free. French Market, 1 French Market Place, New Orleans.

Jennings Christmas Festival and Gumbo Cook-off A gumbo cook-off with food and craft vendors, live entertainment, a bonfire, fireworks, Christmas caroling and more. The cook-off starts at 10 a.m., and judging is at 4:30. At 5:30, the Christmas parade rolls north on Main Street from South Market Street to Shankland Avenue, followed by the bonfire, caroling and fireworks. Admission: Free. Louisiana Oil and Gas Park, 100 Rue de l’Acadie, Jennings, 337.821.5532.

Le Feu et L’Eau (Fire and Water) Festival The 10th annual rural arts celebration showcases creative talent produced primarily in Acadiana, with cooking demonstrations, feature films, live music, poetry, arts and more. Admission: Free. NUNU Arts and Culture Collective, 1510 Bayou Courtableau Highway, Arnaudville, 337.523.5832 or 337.754.9898.

Dec. 7

A Rural Life Christmas Costumed reenactments, demonstrations, wagon rides, games, storytelling and a bonfire. Admission: $9 (free for children age 10 and younger). Rural Life Museum, 4560 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, 225.765.2437.

Dec. 20

Christmas Party and Holiday Craft Fair Holiday crafts, pictures with Santa, entertainment. Westwego Farmers and Fisheries Market, 484 Sala Ave., Westwego.

Dec. 21

Caroling in Jackson Square Candles and song sheets will be provided for the annual caroling in the Square, a tradition dating to 1946, sponsored by Patio Planters of the Vieux Carre. A tour of French Quarter homes decorated for the holidays takes place 1-4. Admission: Free; gates open at 6:30. Jackson Square, St. Peter and Decatur streets, New Orleans.

Dec. 24

Christmas Eve Bonfires on the Levee Teams build large wooden structures on the levee and then, when dark falls, set them on fire to light the way for Papa Noel. Admission: Free. Various locations around Lutcher and Gramercy.

Dec. 31

New Year’s Eve Kids’ Countdown Make a noisemaker and paper bag party hat to wear for the countdown to noon, culminating in a balloon release and confetti toss. Admission: 2014 pricing TBA. Louisiana Children’s Museum, 420 Julia St, New Orleans 504.523.1357.

New Year’s Eve Party Free concert and fireworks. Westwego Farmers and Fisheries Market, 484 Sala Ave., Westwego.

Zoo Year’s Eve Children ring in 2015 twelve hours early with a countdown to noon, a non-alcoholic drink for toasting, party hats and noisemakers, with musical entertainment and games. Admission: By zoo admission ($17.50 adults, $12 children age 2 to 12, $13 seniors age 65 and older). Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St, New Orleans, 504.581.4629.

 

Louisiana festival guide 2014: December | NOLA.com.

 

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Thanksgiving serving sizes guide

Sometimes it’s difficult to know how many pounds of turkey, or bottles of wine you should buy to serve all of your guests.  This helpful guide will show you just how much you will really need. Don’t forget to add to your guest count if you want to have leftovers!

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Thanksgiving serving sizes guide | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

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How to keep 3.1 million ducks in Louisiana this hunting season

If you are planning on duck hunting this season, experts say you should do it sooner than later. Migrating ducks won’t stay long in Louisiana due to less natural habitat. Here’s a story from WVUE which explains why.

Photo Credit: Shantel Bouffanie

Ducks escaping the arctic blast to the northern states migrated to Louisiana in record numbers just in time for hunting season.

“It’s going to be a great year,” Ryan Lambert, the owner of Cajun Fishing Adventures in Buras, said.

However, the problem may be keeping the ducks in Southeast Louisiana through through the winter.

Feathers flew off thousands of birds harvested in the first week of one of the best starts to duck hunting season in decades.

“In fact it was the highest since November of 1995. We estimated about 3.1 million ducks in the state,” Larry Reynolds, chief waterfowl biologist for the LA Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, said.

Reynolds said there were three times as many ducks in the state for opening week as there were during the same time last year.

However, they may not be around for long.

“These birds are going to wise up pretty quick,” Reynolds said. “It’s not going to be super easy just because we got a bunch of ducks in the state.”

Reynolds said the big spike in ducks now means fewer coming down the flyaway later in the season.

Meanwhile, Cajun Fishing Adventures Owner Ryan Lambert was more concerned about another scenario.

“We don’t have enough habitat to keep them like we did in yesteryear,” Lambert explained while showing Fox 8 pictures of habitat loss in Buras. “You come and look at this boat row in 2010, 2011 time frame, and then you come and look after they shut the diversion. Boom, killed everything.”

Lambert said saltwater killed the plants the ducks winter in, which affects the bugs they eat.

“When you take and lose 10,000 square miles of habitat, you can’t winter those ducks. There’s not enough food to maintain them for the winter. So they leave. They go up north again,” Lambert said.

He said that means hunters should prepare for a great but short season. Lambert could only hope the many ducks in the region stick around longer than they did last year.

“It was so cold up north, the ducks you would think they had to come here. They came, they saw, they left,” Lambert said.

Even with the lucky season and millions of birds, Lambert said keeping the vegetation is the only way Louisiana can maintain the Sportsman’s Paradise that so many people appreciate.

“Louisiana is the duck hunting mecca of our country, and it’s a heritage in which we all grow up in,” Lambert said.

 

How to keep 3.1 million ducks in Louisiana this hunting season – FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports.

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Ruth’s Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole

Of course, here in the South, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving if you didn’t serve sweet potatoes.  But, they wouldn’t be Southern if they didn’t include a load of sugar and local pecans.  Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse makes a great version of this dish all year long.  Watch Ruth’s Chris’ former Chef, Pat Gallagher, show you how to make this popular casserole at home. 

Ruth’s Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole

(Makes 12 servings)

Crust Topping

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup flour

1 cup chopped nuts (pecans preferred)

1 stick butter, melted

Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter in mixing bowl. Set aside.

Sweet Potato Mixture

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs, well beaten

1/3 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a medium-size casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter in a large mixing bowl in the order listed. Beat thoroughly with a hand mixer to increase the fluffiness of the sweet potato mixture.

Pour mixture into the baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes. (At this point, dish can be covered and refrigerated.)

Sprinkle the surface of the sweet potato mixture evenly with the crust mixture and return to oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool and set before serving.

The brown sugar and pecan crust should be slightly browned and crunchy.

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Ruth’s Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

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McKenzie’s Oyster Patties

If you grew up in New Orleans, then you will remember eating some type of canape, whether sweet or savory, served in small, flakey pastry cups made by McKenzie’s Bakery. To facilitate sales, the bakery even handed out fliers of filler recipes that used their pastry shells as the base. One of the most popular uses of the shells, especially for holiday parties, were for Oyster Patties.  Here is the original McKenzie’s recipe.

 

Fills 12 large or 36 miniature patty shells

4 dozen oysters and liquor

1 onion, grated

1 tablespoon flour

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 cup chopped canned mushrooms and juice (optional)

Salt and pepper

Dash cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

12 large or 36 miniature* patty shells (find them in the frozen food section or local bakery)

Cook oysters in their liquor by bringing to a boil, then simmering 10 minutes. (*For miniature patty shells, finely chop oysters before cooking.) Sauté onion in butter; blend in flour until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and oysters. Cook 5 minutes; pour into patty shells and bake at 375 degrees for 5 to 8 minutes.

 

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McKenzie’s Oyster Patties | NOLA.com.

via McKenzie’s Oyster Patties | NOLA.com.

 

McKenzie’s Oyster Patties | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

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Saving the Louisiana Black Bear

Louisiana black bear

 

There is some good news in the nature world. Saving the Louisiana black bear, a species that is currently considered threatened, may be possible if conditions remain stable, the US Geological Survey revealed Wednesday in a new study.

Along with alligators and brown pelicans, black bears could also be one of the state’s iconic species to recover. According to the study, things are looking up for the animals that inspired teddy bears, with findings suggesting they will survive for another century.

“We’re super excited,” Maria Davidson, head of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, told The Associated Press (AP).

Led by associate professor Joseph Clark of the University of Tennessee, and his colleague Jared Laufenberg, the research team found that bear numbers jumped from a sparse 80-120 in the 1950s to 450-600 animals today.

In order to learn the movements of the Louisiana black bear – mostly to determine whether or not populations were inbreeding, which can hinder recovery – Clark’s team used barbed wire to (harmlessly) snag hair from live bears around the state, from 2002-2012, to study their DNA.

The study showed that almost one-third of today’s bears are in the lower Atchafalaya River Basin in south Louisiana, while over 10 to 15 percent are in an area located northwest of Baton Rouge called the Upper Atchafalaya River Basin.

Researchers also said that in the 2000s, almost 48 female bears and 104 cubs were moved from Tensas into central Louisiana in order to bridge a gap between the upper Atachafalaya basin and the small stock northwest of Baton Rouge.

Clark and his colleagues could not be more hopeful for these cuddly omnivores, especially after extensive habitat loss and hunting by humans drove it to being an endangered species.

Paul Davidson, executive director of the Black Bear Conservation Coalition, however, is a little skeptical.

“I might question some of the assumptions, but overall, it represents a very good study,” he told the AP.

Louisiana black bears, one of 16 sub-species of American black bears, are the smallest bears found in the United States. Though there are just three core populations left in Louisiana, the state’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries notes, these mammals once ranged in parts of Mississippi, Arizona and Texas as well.

Saving the Louisiana Black Bear : Animals : Nature World News.

via Saving the Louisiana Black Bear : Animals : Nature World News.

 

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Saving the Louisiana Black Bear | Benny Cenac – Louisiana Sportsman.

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Louisiana Thanksgiving Recipes – Shrimp Stuffed Mirlitons

No matter what you call them, mirlitons, alligator pears, chayotes, a favorite in Louisiana during Thanksgiving are shrimp stuffed mirlitons. 

Shrimp-Stuffed Mirlitons

Shrimp-Stuffed Mirlitons

1 hour 30 minutes 6 entree or 12 side dish serving

Ingredients

  • 6 mirlitons (chayote squash)
  • ¼ tablespoon butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chopped parsley
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed, canola or other neutral oil
  • ¾ cup sweet onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons bell peppers, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons celery, diced small
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons minced garlic (3 to 4 cloves)
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes
  • 12 ounces of chopped shrimp (about 13 large, unpeeled shrimp)
  • 1 ⅓ cups shrimp, chicken or vegetable stock

Preparation

  1. Cut mirlitons in half and scoop out the large seed in the middle. Boil in salted water to cover for 25 minutes, or until tender when punctured with the tines of a fork. Be careful not to overcook.
  2. Drain and cool for 15 minutes, then scrape out insides into a colander to drain. Leave 1/4 inch of flesh inside shell, being careful not to puncture skin.
  3. Chop drained mirliton flesh and add to a medium bowl. Mix in butter, lemon juice, parsley, salt, pepper, cayenne, Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 cup bread crumbs; set aside.
  4. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil in a medium saucepan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and celery and sauté until almost translucent. Add garlic, green onion and tomatoes for just about 2 minutes. Add shrimp for 30 seconds to give them a touch of color. Quickly remove pan from heat and let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes to cool slightly. Fold sautéed ingredients into mirliton mixture.
  5. Scoop stuffing mixture into each mirliton half. Place mirliton in an oven-safe 1 1/2-inch deep pan. You may need two pans. Dust top of each mirliton evenly with remaining bread crumbs. Pour stock into pans to a half-inch depth, before covering and baking. Cover pans tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.

Thanksgiving Recipes Across the United States – NYTimes.com.

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Thanksgiving turkey meets crawfish boil: a new way to cook your main dish

Tired of the same old turkey on Thanksgiving? You’ve probably had it baked, fried and even stuffed with a duck, and a chicken, but more than likely, you’ve never had it like this.  Start a new Thanksgiving tradition this year and boil it like crawfish!

 

Kerry Gogreve vividly remembers a certain family crawfish boil when he was 17 years old.

“We had boiled some crawfish and were sitting around, and had eaten all the crawfish. My dad said, ‘We ought to try a couple of chickens.’ We went to Winn-Dixie and got two chickens, boiled them and took them out. Everybody was full of crawfish, but people went after that chicken.

“So we did it every time after that,” Kerry said. “That chicken turned into turkey.”

This is why, for the past decade or so, Kerry and Mary Kay Gogreve have turkey prepared three different ways at Thanksgiving. None of them is roasted in the oven.

One is deep-fried; one is smoked; and the third is boiled with onions, garlic, new potatoes and a lot of crawfish boil spice.

Straight out of the boiling pot, the turkey is not pretty. This is not your Norman Rockwell roasted bird. The Gogreves remove the skin and bones and cut the bird into slices for serving, with a little of the boiling water poured over it.

It always goes first, they say.

“It’s better for you,” Kerry said. “Fried turkey is good, but when you eat the boiled turkey you forget about it.”

The Gogreves are the prototypical south Louisiana skilled indoor and outdoor cooks, generous and friendly, devout Saints fans. Their back yard has rows of neat vegetables, fruit trees and trellised grapes grown from seeds of supermarket grapes. Kerry’s creativity is evident everywhere. In the garage he makes traditional-style copper lanterns and is putting a new engine in an El Camino; he converted an industrial-size air compressor tank into a smoker that makes what he says is the best brisket ever.

A family photo gallery in their spacious Harahan home includes his great-grandfather in his streetcar conductor uniform. Kerry, an engineer and facilities manager at a busy medical center, grew up Uptown. Mary Kay is a Waguespack from the tiny rural community of St. James, and is the operations manager of a local law firm.

Neighbor Robbie Lack came over to consult on something in the garage with Kerry on a recent Saturday, as Kerry boiled a turkey for a reporter and photographer. Lack has eaten it at their home.

“I never heard of anybody doing it before,” Lack said of the turkey in the boiling pot. “It’s a way to make the bird juicy.”

Like many things, their boiling pot turkey got its start after Hurricane Katrina.

Some 45 pounds of chicken thighs, which had been frozen in cold storage, were available when the power came back on in their house on the Thursday after the storm. They were some of the first in their neighborhood to have lights. They decided to invite all the neighbors. Kerry boiled the chicken thighs as his dad had done with those chickens when he was 17.

It was the first time Mary Kay had poultry cooked in a boiling pot.

“I was immediately enamored,” she said.

Mary Kay said she likes the crispy wing of a fried turkey, and having the two on Thanksgiving is the best of both worlds. Sometimes, Kerry smokes the turkey after it’s boiled, as he has also done with ribs.

The turkey is harder to overcook when it’s boiled, Kerry said. A turkey fried for five minutes too long can be dry. Traditional roasting has long-documented problems that successful cooks must overcome: The white meat cooks and dries out faster than the dark meat.

For the past couple of Thanksgivings, a technique making the rounds of national media was to braise turkey legs separately from the roasted breast. This is similar but much less fussy, in that the whole bird is cooked in liquid.

One could think of the Gogreve’s boiling pot turkey as a creative Louisiana cooking crossover, applying the traditional seafood boiling technique to poultry.

Years ago, readers taught me to add a couple of drops of liquid crab boil to perk up the flavor of poaching liquid for chicken breasts and the cooking liquid for hot dogs.

The couple never knows how many they will have for Thanksgiving dinner, but they plan for around 16 to 20 guests. For the sample boiled dinner for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, Mary Kay also made mirlitons and shrimp casserole, and sweet potatoes mashed and topped with a crunchy pecan mixture. For the first time ever, she cooked a cucuzza, the heirloom Italian squash that grows as long as a yardstick, which somebody had given it to Kerry. (“My mom cooked it all the time,” he said.) She boiled it, scooped out the flesh and cooked it with shrimp like the mirlitons.

She made a buttermilk custard pie and a chocolate pie for Kerry, who prefers chocolate desserts over all things. Click here to see the Buttermilk Custard Pie recipe, which she got from a co-worker years ago.

After sharing the early Thanksgiving meal, Kerry stood up and looked toward the garage.

“Time to get out the Christmas decorations,” he joked.

 

BOILING POT TURKEY RECIPE

Kerry Gogreve prefers Cajun Land brand seasoning. He uses a four-pound jar of dry seasoning and a cup of the liquid crab boil, which makes a seriously spicy turkey. You may want to lower the amount of seasoning the first time you try this, especially if guests do not have a high tolerance for picante flavors.

“I taste the water as I go,” Kerry says. “You make the water taste like what you want the food to taste. Stir it, and stick your hand in there and taste. I play with it.”

Size: Be sure to choose a turkey that will fit in the boiling pot you have and that the water line will stay above the turkey for the entire cooking time. (Kerry’s unmarked pot is 30 or 40 quarts, plenty big for a 13-pound turkey.)

Timing: Kerry cooked a 13-pound turkey for 40 or 45 minutes, then let it soak for 20 minutes in the boiling water, “just like seafood,” he says, to absorb flavors; this gives the meat a reddish cast. A 16-pound turkey would need to be boiled about an hour to hour and 15 minutes at a rolling boil.

Vegetable notes: Kerry leaves heads of garlic whole and adds them with the onions (halved or whole) at the beginning of the boil. The onions dissolve into the water after about 20 minutes. New potatoes are added about 20 minutes before the end of cooking.

Boiling Pot Turkey

Makes 15-20 servings

1 (13-pound) turkey, defrosted if frozen

1 (3 pound) bag onions, peeled, halved and/or whole

10-15 heads garlic, tops cut off

3 to 5 pounds new potatoes (use as many as you like and what will fit in the pot)

4-pound container powdered crawfish boil seasoning mix (or less if you can’t take very spicy)*

1 cup liquid crab boil (or to taste)

Prepare a boiling pot with water as for a seafood boil: Add powdered and liquid seasoning; stir well. Add onions and garlic.

Taste the water for seasoning and adjust accordingly. The water should taste like what you want the food to taste like. When water has come to a hard rolling boil, submerge turkey in the water.

Add potatoes after the turkey has boiled about 20 to 25 minutes.

After about 45 minutes, remove turkey from water and check the thigh joint to see if the turkey is done. There should be very little or no redness. The turkey can be left in the water to soak up additional seasonings. Kerry recommends at least a 20-minute soak.

Remove turkey from water, and remove potatoes and garlic. Keep potatoes warm. Reserve boiling liquid until turkey is prepared for serving.

When cool enough to handle, cut turkey into large slices, removing skin and bones. Put the slices on a large shallow platter or bowl. Arrange potatoes and heads of garlic around the slices. To keep the turkey moist, pour a cup or two of the boiling liquid over the turkey. Serve with a meat fork as well as a big spoon for the liquid.

*As noted above, this amount of seasoning makes a very spicy turkey. Adjust the amount to your taste.

 

By Judy Walker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

 

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Thanksgiving turkey meets crawfish boil: a new way to cook your main dish | NOLA.com.

via Thanksgiving turkey meets crawfish boil: a new way to cook your main dish | NOLA.com.

 

 

Thanksgiving turkey meets crawfish boil: a new way to cook your main dish | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

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7 countries where Americans can study at universities, in English, for free or almost free

If the cost of a college education is holding you back from getting a higher degree, this might be the answer you’re looking for.  There are several countries in Europe that you can attend English speaking classes for free.  Perhaps it’s time for an extended European vacation!

Since 1985, U.S. college costs have surged by about 500 percent, and tuition fees keep rising. In Germany, they’ve done the opposite.

The country’s universities have been tuition-free since the beginning of October, when Lower Saxony became the last state to scrap the fees. Tuition rates were always low in Germany, but now the German government fully funds the education of its citizens — and even of foreigners.

Explaining the change, Dorothee Stapelfeldt, a senator in the northern city of Hamburg, said tuition fees “discourage young people who do not have a traditional academic family background from taking up study.  It is a core task of politics to ensure that young women and men can study with a high quality standard free of charge in Germany.”

What might interest potential university students in the United States is that Germany offers some programs in English — and it’s not the only country. Let’s take a look at the surprising — and very cheap — alternatives to pricey American college degrees.

Germany

Germany’s higher education landscape primarily consists of internationally well-ranked public universities, some of which receive special funding because the government deems them “excellent institutions.” What’s more, Americans can earn a German undergraduate or graduate degree without speaking a word of German and without having to pay a single dollar of tuition fees: About 900 undergraduate or graduate degrees are offered exclusively in English, with courses ranging from engineering to social sciences. For some German degrees, you don’t even have to formally apply.

In fact, the German government would be happy if you decided to make use of its higher education system. The vast degree offerings in English are intended to prepare German students to communicate in a foreign language, but also to attract foreign students, because the country needs more skilled workers.

Finland

This northern European country charges no tuition fees, and it offers a large number of university programs in English. However, the Finnish government amiably reminds interested foreigners that they “are expected to independently cover all everyday living expenses.” In other words: Finland will finance your education, but not your afternoon coffee break.

France

There are at least 76 English-language undergraduate programs in France, but many are offered by private universities and are expensive. Many more graduate-level courses, however, are designed for English-speaking students, and one out of every three French doctoral degrees is awarded to a foreign student.

“It is no longer needed to be fluent in French to study in France,” according to the government agency Campus France. The website studyportals.eu provides a comprehensive list of the available courses in France and other European countries.

Public university programs charge only a small tuition fee of about 200 dollars for most programs. Other, more elite institutions have adopted a model that requires students to pay fees that are based on the income of their parents. Children of unemployed parents can study for free, while more privileged families have to pay more. This rule is only valid for citizens of the European Union, but even the maximum fees (about $14,000 per year) are often much lower than U.S. tuition fees. Some universities, such as Sciences Po Paris, offer dual degrees with U.S. colleges.

Sweden

This Scandinavian country is among the world’s wealthiest, and its beautiful landscape beckons. It also offers some of the world’s most cost-efficient college degrees. More than 900 listed programs in 35 universities are taught in English. However, only Ph.D programs are tuition-free.

Norway

Norwegian universities do not charge tuition fees for international students. The Norwegian higher education system is similar to the one in the United States: Class sizes are small and professors are easily approachable. Many Norwegian universities offer programs taught in English. American students, for example, could choose “Advanced Studies for Solo Instrumentalists or Chamber Music Ensembles” or “Development Geography.”

But don’t expect to save money in Norway, which has one of the world’s highest costs of living for expats.  And be careful where you decide to study. “Winters in general are quite different in different parts of the country, with the north having hard, arctic winters, and the southwest mostly having mild, wet average European winters,” the Norwegian Center for International Cooperation in Education notes.

Slovenia

About 150 English programs are available, and foreign nationals only pay an insignificant registration fee when they enroll. Slovenia borders Italy and Croatia, among Europe’s most popular vacation destinations. However, Times Higher Education, a weekly magazine based in London, did not list one Slovenian university in its recent World University Ranking.

Brazil 

Some Brazilian courses are taught in English, and state universities charge only minor registration fees. Times Higher Education ranks two Brazilian universities among the world’s top 400: the University of Sao Paulo and the State University of Campinas. However, Brazil might be better suited for exchange students seeking a cultural experience rather than a degree.

“It is worth remembering that most of USP activities are carried out in Portuguese,” the University of Sao Paulo reminds applicants on its website.

7 countries where Americans can study at universities, in English, for free or almost free – The Washington Post.

via 7 countries where Americans can study at universities, in English, for free or almost free – The Washington Post.

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Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

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