NATCHEZ IS A MUST VISIT IN JULY
BOOK YOUR STAY NOW
Dedicated Natchez master gardeners and citizens have long invested in the town's natural beauty and each July brings a full-on show with thousands of crepe myrtle trees reaching peak bloom season.
SCROLL FOR BLOOM MAPS!
I'm a longtime fan of the architecture and genuine hospitality Natchez offers. But in July of 2018, I was completely caught off-guard. I was stunned by the intense array of blooms! So, I asked around to understand how this happened, and a planned effort came clear. In addition to the ongoing commitment of its citizenry, Sallie Ballard, the architect of 2000 for 2000, funded planting of well over 2000 crepe myrtles for the millennium!
Instantly, I thought there needed to be a festival to draw attention to the extraordinary beauty of Natchez. And with plenty of help, I founded it! We met with Visit Natchez, the Chamber of Commerce, Master Gardeners and other Crepe Myrtle fans.
In 2019, we held the Natchez International Crepe Myrtle Festival. We had speakers and social events, and visitors were drawn to Natchez to Celebrate the Blooms. We honored Sallie Ballard, who sadly passed away in 2017. Everyone had a fantastic experience!
I'm proud of what we accomplished in 2019 and to keep interest alive for 2020 & this year, Master Gardeners created self-guided map tours. We've particularly leaned upon our Crepe Myrtle Archivist, Elaine Gemmell. (Yes, she has archives!).
The results: a Sip & See Stroll, a downtown walking tour (worthy of 2-3 visits) along the open container route with reliable watering holes, fantastic restaurants, shops, and there're live music opportunities. The Bloom Drive takes you beyond downtown to include top area gardens, and I never tire of touring the Natchez City Cemetery's grounds, established in 1822 with over 500 Crepe Myrtles on-site. It's breathtaking!
I've already planned by trip with a few friends. We'll motor upriver in a couple weeks for 2 nights, and you bet, we'll take in all the beauty and deliciousness that Natchez represents. I encourage you to do the same.
FOLLOW ALONG ON
FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM:
AND ONLINE AT VISITNATCHEZ.COM/EVENTS
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SCROLL TO BOTTOM FOR ONLINE MAPS
PRINTED MAPS AVAILABLE SOON AT AREA NATCHEZ BUSINESSES:
SIP & SEE STROLL, BLOOM DRIVE, NATCHEZ CITY CEMETERY
Thank you Sponsors!
Peter Patout/Talbot Historic Properties
Country Roads Magazine
Ellen C. English
United Mississippi Bank ● G. Douglas Adams Photography
Donna Ballard Masselli in honor of Sallie Ballard
Adams County Master Gardeners ● Monmouth Historic Inn,
Crye-Leike Stedman Realtors
Sip & See Stroll Map
Bloom Drive Map
Natchez City Cemetery Map
I am excited to offer Fairfax, an Elegant Colonial Revival Mansion
This Income Producing B & B Sits in a Grove of Ancient Oaks
Facing Bayou Teche, Franklin, LA
CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE
I love the excitement of Mardi Gras and the many opportunities it brings to gather with friends...and it's the season to enjoy King Cake! And it's the perfect way to gather with small groups - your pod, during the pandemic.
I began this story in Feb of 2020 and have added a few more favorites! I still love everything from last year and there's more now on my list!
Louisiana has so many wonderful bakeries. I enjoy trying everything from the classic homespun cinnamon-flavored King Cakes we grew up and other offerings including 3 that I'm highlighting below.
What's your favorite? Leave a note to spread the word.
A Few King Cake Favorites
Their version of the traditional galette de rois. This is phenomenal! Flaky pastry is filled with pecan citrus frangipane! Local artist Jackie Brown makes the feves....Availability is limited. Call ahead or email to order. I emailed my order and they were very responsive. Get the large!
This new bakery is a great addition to the city.
LIMITED HOURS DUE TO COVID - CAN ORDER ONLINE
Levee Baking Co. • 3138 Magazine St., Ste D, New Orleans, LA 70115 • firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cajun Kringle
A crowd-pleaser! This is a classic offering from Haydel's: Flaky pastry with praline filling that's topped with caramel icing and decorated with pecans!
I picked mine up from the new 3117 Magazine Street outpost. For everything Haydel, visit their website or go to the mother store.
4037 Jefferson Hwy, New Orleans, LA, 70121
Crawfish King Cake
Garlic and butter brioche filled with warm Crawfish au Gratin and topped with colorful Parmesan Cheese.
Serve it warm with a green salad and you'll thank me later! I love this casual neighborhood gem in the Bywater. I haven't tried their sweet King Cake offerings and I'm tempted to do that soon with such heavenly sounding flavors as their Chantilly King Cake which is filled with Marscarpone Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries, and their Bouille King Cake that's filled with a Cajun custard....amongst their many offerings.
They are also offering a pop up location in the CBD for King Cake Season at 234 Loyola Street - in the Pythian Market, closed Wednesdays, 8am-6pm.
3624 Dauphine St. Bywater, New Orleans
The King Cake Bevi
get the recipe here!
Sip the flavors of Mardi Gras with this wonderful seasonal take on their ever popular Bourbon Milk Punch - this version made with rum. It's available to-go for taking in the street side revelry (HINT!). This is a delightful combination of homemade vanilla ice cream, orgeat syrup, cinnamon, orange, and local Old New Orleans Rum.
144 BOURBON STREET, NEW ORLEANS, LA 70130 504.522.0111
2021 New Offerings with Pairing Recommendations!
The insanity continues - More delicious offerings now than ever!
King Cake is a most excellent reason for celebratory
moments in safer small gatherings.
And another Shout out goes to Bywater Bakery!
Heaven in a bite! The Chantilly King Cake
filled with Mascarpone Cheese & Fresh Berries
Chicory Coffee Served Black in Hand-painted 1820's Paris Porcelain Demi Tasse
I make sure to use them every carnival season
to help celebrate life.
LA PETITE SOPHIE
Brioche Strawberries & Cream King Cake
PAIRING SUGGESTION: BOURBON MILK PUNCH!
Market + Eatery
HERE'S AN INSIDER'S TIP:
The Commissary is an extension of Dickie Brennan's restaurants and offers the most delectable items to create celebratory experiences.
A few menu highlights:
Bloody Mary's, party dishes like: Crab & Brie Dip, Beef Debris Po-Boys, Gumbo Ya-Ya, Red Bean Hummus, Pimento Cheese, Smoke Catfish Dip, and everyone's favorite: Crabmeat Cheesecake -whole or squares with a side of sautéed roasted mushrooms and Creole meunière sauce!
Angels are singing!
Here's another stunner from
this gem in Baton Rouge
Pink Champagne King Cake
with pink champagne mousse filling, iced, painted, sprinkled and glittered with everything pink!
Champagne is always a great idea!
HAPPY MARDI GRAS Y'ALL!
A realtor friend, Michael Zarou, shared this popular article with me and it resonated! Coupled with my experience, my historic property focus helps me to offer the highest level of service. I hope you also find this article helpful.
You're selling your home to recoup your investment and fund your financial goals--
to lose money during the sale is an unthinkable possibility that unfortunately befalls many sellers.
Even if they successfully sell their home for an amount higher than they originally paid for the property, there are still many ways in which the seller can miss out on thousands of dollars. The following are a few surefire ways you can instantly lose money when selling your home.
MORE MEMORIES OF DEAR JULIA - Kumquat Season is Here
As I move past her untimely late August passing and with the holidays upon us, memories of Julia Reed have and will continue to flood my mind. These are joyful memories tinged with the bitterness of her loss.. Sharing always helps. So, here goes.
I've already told a few of our stories...
In a previous blog post timed after the release of her last cookbook writing effort: Julia Reed's New Orleans: Food, Fun, and Field Trips for Letting the Good Times Roll....with the front cover shot in my courtyard and a marvelous Creole Gumbo Lunch chapter. There's also a foray to my Patoutville family home and Bayside Plantation for an entertaining chapter which included the company of dear friends over an Aioli Dinner.
Then, after her passing, I shared an extensive recollection in an email linked below featuring photos she had saved over the years. She sent them to me after becoming ill.
To see the story, just keep scrolling and PLEASE, if you see a house you want to purchase, contact me before continuing.... The Julia post is a celebration of our friendship filled with.our crazy wonderful adventures, and a recipe, of course.
IT'S A HOLIDAY TRADITION!
But back to why I'm posting now, the holidays are here and Julia treasured handmade delectable gifts so much that she wrote about it years ago in a New York Times essay.
Julia recounts her early recipe gift failures and offers two favorites. There's a praline recipe and my Aunt Evelyn Patout's Kumquat Preserves. About this time, every year I make Aunt Evelyn's Kumquat preserves. I get so many recipe requests. It is indeed a holiday tradition!
"Among the Holiday Baubles, nothing shines like real home cooking."
When I posted the video above 55 weeks ago on Instagram, there she was in the comments.
Thank you dear Julia.
You are missed!
Click the recipe title link below to enjoy the full story.
FOOD; EXTREMELY GIFTED
By Julia Reed
an excerpt from...
Evelyn Patout's Preserved Kumquats
"His Aunt Evelyn's candied kumquats are fabulous on cake or ice cream, with pork or duck or sweet potatoes, and I once slivered them and used them to decorate the top of a glamorous holiday charlotte russe. Peter managed to finagle Evelyn's recipe, which calls for three days of stirring and boiling -- but only for a few minutes each morning. And Peter says he actually enjoys the ritual of fooling with them while he makes his café au lait."
1 quart kumquats
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup.
1. Scrub kumquats thoroughly. Prick each several times with a large needle or poultry pin. Put them in a large saucepan, add water to cover, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Drain.
2. Combine the sugar and 3 cups of water in a large saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes. Add kumquats and boil again. Remove from heat and set aside, covered, overnight. The next morning, add 1/2 cup corn syrup. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover and let stand overnight again. Repeat the process twice more.
3. On the fourth morning, after the kumquats have been brought to boil, spoon them into hot, sterilized, Mason-type jars. Pour in hot syrup to within 1/4 inch of the top of each jar and seal. Refrigerate until ready to give or seal in a hot-water bath according to jar manufacturer's directions and store.
Yield: 2 1/2 quarts.
NOTE: For directions on how to sterilize jars, see page 60 of the new edition of ''Joy of Cooking.''
Click to Read My
Enjoy this Excerpt Below
Oh how I would have loved to have served the cocktail below to my dear friend Julia Reed. I enjoyed it when visiting Barbee and his wife Ashley Ponder recently.
Now this is a welcome drink!
THE DIRTY SUGAR
by Barbee Ponder
This libational masterpiece I made to welcome Peter and Lee Anne
to Covington for a weekend classical tour
Photo by Barbee Ponder
Dirty Sugar Recipe
She’s best prepared midday to be enjoyed that evening. Here’s how it’s done--
Take a vintage Bayel Venus de Milo cordial glass and wet the rim with fresh squeezed lemon juice.
Then dip her rim in a plate of M. A. Patout raw sugar.
(When you’ve spent the entire day grinding, there should be plenty around)
Move the rim around the raw sugar making sure it’s properly “dirtied” inside and out.
Next, in a small disposable plastic cup, add the following ingredients:
1.50 oz Cognac
0.75 oz Cointreau
0.75 oz Fresh squeezed lemon juice
Place both glass and cup in the freezer for a hard chill till evening.
Using this method to chill the drink, rather than ice in a shaker, ensures the drink is not diluted in the least. (After all, “water’s for gardens” ... not cocktails.)
That evening, when you’re ready .... for your toddy, take Venus out of the freezer, pour in the contents, and add a mist of Absinthe over the top with your atomizer.
She’s ready. Bottoms up!
a letter from a client
I haven't heard from the Clinton resident who talked to you about representation. She is welcome to call me to discuss the advantages of choosing Peter Patout as her listing agent. An agent who specializes in houses of all types in a region will not be as effective in selling a historic home as a firm that specializes in historic homes.
"An agent who specializes
of all types in a region
will not be as effective
in selling a historic home
as a firm that specializes
in historic homes."
When my father decided to put Hubbs House on the market my husband, Hal, & I recommended to him that he list the property with you. Though Hal has been a broker for over 2 decades, and I have been a licensed agent for about 15 years, our brokerage does not have the "historic home" specialty that you have cultivated in your shop. We knew that your clientele is rich with people interested in the preservation of historic homes and it was no surprise at all that the offer we accepted came from a client of an agent within your brokerage. That is just evidence of the pack you run with!
We were so pleased
with the care you gave Hubbs House on your website. You spent time with my dad collecting information about the historical nature of the property. Dad told you the history and gave you old family photos that you used to build the Hubbs House
page of your website.
Mom and Dad were so pleased to see it all in print on the web. All the details we thought were important to the charm of Hubbs House are included in your writeup and our family photos of the house became part of the story you tell to prospective buyers. The website is first class and I believe that our buyer used that resource in making the decision to place an offer.
"We anticipated that it
might take 2 years
to sell Hubbs House
to the right buyer.
We are all so happy to have
had an acceptable offer
within about 8 months."
We could have sold the property (with no value for the house) to a neighbor who thought it best to bulldoze the historic home and build several new homes on the property, but we wanted better for Hubbs House. We could not be more pleased with our choice to list Hubbs House with Peter Patout!
Thank you, Peter, for the good work you do. Your passion for this type of listing is unique in our industry and you play a much needed roll in the preservation of Louisiana's fragile historic architectural fabric.
A licensed Louisiana real estate broker
The city is awash in blooms! Here's how to experience Natchez now!
Photo Credit: G. Douglas Adams
Last year year, I founded the Natchez International Crepe Myrtle Festival because the extraordinary Crepe Myrtle Blooms of Natchez are worth celebrating! While there’s not a festival with speakers this year, our Committee members have created a perfect experience to Celebrate the Blooms!
There's three self-guided free tours have been developed by Crepe Myrtle Historian and Committee member, Elaine Gemmell:
Trees & Counting!
self-guided bloom tours
So here's a summer sightseeing trip idea: take in some of the loveliness and deliciousness that Natchez offers and experience the city in a low contact manner!
Rita Tebbetts tells us the trees are still moving towards peak season and that the blooms should be pretty possibly even into August!
"Of course, mother nature didn't get the Co-Vid memo. Come to Natchez to take in the show. the beauties won't mind a bit if you want to snap a few photos to share with friends. You'll need evidence anyway to prove to doubters what you will witness.
The best photos are probably done from a distance, but these trees won't mind if you want to move in close. I don't think they will be taking social distancing too seriously," Tebbetts said.
Take in the magnificent architecture of Natchez!
In addition to digital downloads at
Self-guided bloom tour maps are available:
Fat Mama's Tamales
Rolling N' The Dough
Natchez Brewing Company
Biscuits & Blues
The Guest House
Natchez Coffee Company
Natchez Grand Hotel
Pearl Street Pasta
Silver Street Gifts
Natchez Convention Center
Photo Credit: Ben Hillyer
Natchez Celebrates the Blooms FB event page
See 2019 News Stories & Details
On Press Page:
Scroll down the page to read about last year's event.
I became aware of our rich culinary culture early on having grown up in Bayou Teche Country, Patoutville, just next door to New Iberia. Our family was filled with great cooks. Simple backyard gatherings, crab boils this time of the year, often become incredible feasts.
The pleasures of the table, and how it evokes friendly conversation and develops lifelong friendships is a tradition I carry forth in my life. Sometimes I post pics on social media capturing these traditions. Are you enjoying blueberries and peaches these days? Has peach cobbler always been this good?
Fittingly, New Iberia and Natchez get their due in this short list of tasteful small southern towns in Forbes Magazine (click for story).I'm glad for the Tabasco shout-out, which is like adding sunshine to a meal, and over in Natchez, Regina Charboneau gets her due. I encourage you to visit all the restaurants featured, and to bring a friend. Bon Appetit!
See Press for more News!