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!
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!
What a delightful morning to wake up and see Hubbs House as the featured home in Sunday's paper!
While the story isn't available with the online news edition, I hope these photos are legible...."This listing would make such a charming and rustic getaway from the hustle & bustle of the city," and I couldn't agree more! Here's the link to more Hubbs House details. Please also reach out to me to learn more.
A few favorites ... presuming you already own Intimate Enemies.
I'm so glad to be her friend, and yes,
that's my courtyard! Get the backstory here!
Holiday Shopping Ideas:
Most precious new children's book - a classic already!
See more here: jeanetteweiland.com
THE EXHIBITION CATALOGUE!
CHASING THE BUTTERFLY MAN:
The Search for a Lost New Orleans Cabinetmaker,
1810-1825 by Cybèle GontarBE SURE TO SEE THIS AMAZING EXHIBIT
NOW AT THE CABILDO!
DRAG QUEEN BRUNCH
I LOVE POPPY!
Tag along with Poppy’s bevy of rollicking drag queens for an
unforgettable time. Stunning photos of glamorous divas vie with world-famous brunch dishes bringing a surprise with every turn of the page.
Author Alexandra Kennon weaves classic offerings of
Creole grande dames with contemporary neighborhood staples
for a guide through the Crescent City's culinary soul.
THE BOOK! I CALL THIS THIS THE BIBLE!
Creole and Acadian Furniture, 1735-1835
by Jack D. Holden, H. Parrott Bacot, and Cybèle T. Gontar
PRESERVATION RESOURCE CENTER'S
Building on the Past:
Saving Historic New Orleans
...and so does Julia Reed! Recipe featured:
Julia Reed's NEW ORLEANS
Food, Fun, and Field Trips for Letting the Good Times Roll
Photo by Paul Costello
PETER PATOUT'S FAMOUS SATSUMACELLO
A few years ago, I gave my dear friend Julia Reed a bottle of my homemade satsumacello and she loved it enough to include it in her wonderful book - as part of her fun field-trips from New Orleans…to my country home in Patoutville.
P.V. is deep in the heart of sugar cane country, and I’m across the street from our family’s sugar mill. In grinding season, it’s quite the spectacle with smoke swirling, trucks unloading and all the energy the seasonal activity generates around the clock until suddenly it ends, usually by January.
Citrus season coincides with grinding season and many mature satsuma trees are near my home. While Julia Reed generously credits me for this recipe. Poppy Tooker is the one who steered me to creating this wonderful treat. Sip slowly!
Makes 6 cups
10 - 12 Satsumas
1 750 ml bottle of Everclear
3 cups of sugar
2 cups of water
That's my courtyard!
Get the backstory here!
Holiday Shopping Ideas:
Wash the satsumas in hot water with a vegetable brush to remove any residue of pesticide or wax. Pat them dry.
Continually zest the satsumas with a zester or vegetable peeler, being careful not to include any white pith from the peel. (The pith, the white part under the rind, is too bitter and will spoil your satsumacello.
Place the zest in a large jar and fill with the Everclear. Let sit at room temperature for at least 10 days and up to forty days in a cool, dark place. Turn the jar upside down 2 or 3 times to help bring out the flavor of the zest. The zest will eventually turn white.
When ready to proceed, combine the sugar and the water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes, until sugar is well dissolved.
Strain the Everclear/zest mixture through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth or a paper towel into the simple syrup mixture. Stir and allow to cool. When the satsumacello has cooled completely, you may pour it into individual bottles.
Two national publications feature my homes
Julia Reed, and Garden & Gun....details below
Julia Reed celebrates New Orleans & south Louisiana culture in her new book. Front cover shot in my courtyard.
Julia Reed's New Orleans: Food, Fun, and Field Trips
for Letting the Good Times Roll
All photos are courtesy of Paul Costello Photography
It's an instant classic and should be part of any southern cookbook collection. I'm so excited for my dear friend Julia Reed's accomplishment. What fun it was to be part of her effort. So when Julia called asking to shoot a chapter in her upcoming book at my house in the French Quarter, my quick answer: Well of course!
I have to believe that we inspire each other. Years ago, Julia Reed walked into my antique store in the French Quarter. She fell in love with some esoteric prints of bugs. They were ridiculous. After all, who buys pictures of bugs? I did and she did! Then, I realized that she lived nearby and I closed the shop and went over there for a drink, and the laughs and good times have been ceaseless since.
Julia's classic Seafood Gumbo is below along with a Rum Pecan Pie. That's my kitchen stove and though it's something of a relic, countless memorable meals have been created in that galley-sized kitchen. Most days begin with a strong cup of chicory coffee made in the French drip pot sitting there on the stove. Of course, they're sweetened with natural cane sugar from my family's mill in Patoutville and it makes me think of my French heritage.
Julia Reed is a world-class tastemaker and has an extraordinary talent for bringing people together. The other New Orleans celebrations she includes are magical: phenomenal settings with wonderful dishes featuring her recipes along with favorites from prominent chefs and home-cooks...and, it's a great cultural read. Paul Costello's photos are the perfect accompaniment to her narrative.
I particularly appreciate Julia's love for my home in South Louisiana. And as she started thinking about her forays over the years with me in Cajun country (we've shared many great adventures!), she decided to include a chapter at my country house in Patoutville set amongst the sugar cane background.
She penned this sweet note to Patoutville:
There's no bad time to visit Patoutville, but it is especially beautiful in summer and early fall, when the sugarcane is wait-high in the fields. In late fall and winter, the trucks full of cut cane form miles-long lines at the mill and there's twenty-four hours-a-day drama as great clouds of smoke fill the sky.
Ancient Oaks at BAyside Plantation
My cousin's nearby Bayside Plantation, was another destination in this chapter. As a realtor specializing in historic properties, I'm representing the sale of Bayside (click the above Bayside link for more images and listing details.
The culmination of the South Louisiana photo shoot was this fabulous meal celebrated with dear friends. I love that Julia was inspired by Teche country artist George Rodrigue's Aioli Supper Club and chose to recreate that celebration in her book. It's based on old Creole Gourmet Society traditions....another homage to the rich culture of South Louisiana.
Among the most cherished compliments
shared here from Julia:
... she's first referring to George Rodrigue and her vision to recreate the Aioli Dinner from his painting:
I think the artist would have approved of our
gathering under the live oaks. He so respected the traditions of his ancestors, and Peter, with his
antiques-filled houses and love of the land,
honors the past and his own Louisiana history
with more joie de vivre and élan than anyone I know."
Thank you Julia Reed!
As always with you, life is a magnificent celebration.
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