For those taking in the Simien Open House and others venturing to New Iberia, Louisiana ...You are deep in the heart of Bayou Teche Country where I grew up! I offer a few stops to enjoy the day. But first things first - a wonderful Cajun lunch experience.
BON CREOLE LUNCH COUNTER
for the best Shrimp Po-Boy ever!
I always make a point of seeking out beautiful trees. Here's William Guion's Evangeline Oak photo. I call your attention to his blog The 100 Oaks Project.
It's Valentine's Day Weekend and could there be a more enduring symbol of love than the Evangeline Oak immortalized by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem about Evangeline and her long lost love Gabriel. It's a beautiful tree. Go see. Just 10 miles from Simien House.
The Jungle Gardens at Tabasco on Avery Island: Breathtaking blooms throughout the year along with phenomenal bird-watching opportunities.
Shadows on the Teche: Built in 1834 and set amongst moss draped ancient oaks. Take in the well-preserved home and gardens - operated by National Trust for Historic Preservation.
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!
New Orleans 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.
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
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.
TWIN OAKS GREEK REVIVAL HOME For Sale
Tableau Restaurant at 616 St. Peter Street, site of Tricentennial Luncheon with the Baron & Baroness Pontalba
Interestingly, the first Baron, Joseph Xavier Pontalba, owned a home on the property that's now the Tableau Restaurant site - which overlooks the Cabildo, upper Pontalba building and Jackson Square (the Almonester and Pontalba families are directly responsible for all of these important buildings).
Dripping with rich Louisiana French cultural history spanning four centuries, this Tricentennial Pontalba Luncheon opportunity is a wonderful finale to the year.
Of course, I'm also excited about the Founders Ball the next night at The Cabildo!
countryside was incredibly fortuitous! I met the de Pontalba family!
-Read about that wonderful adventure here-
Founders Ball tickets are $300 each for Louisiana Museum Foundation Members and $350 for non-members.
So, join me for Lunch at Tableau and at The Cabildo for the Founders Ball!
My best to you,
December 1 At The CaBildo
Founders Ball & Exhibition Opening:
The Baroness de Pontalba &
the Rise of Jackson Square:
How a Father's philanthropy and a Daughter's determination created the urban heart and architectural look of old New Orleans
This Final Tricentennial exhibit draws on the landmark buildings and rich collections of the Louisiana State Museum, portraits, treasures from the Pontalba Family château in France, loans from other collections, and historic and commissioned photographs to revisualize New Orleans' iconic urban core: Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo, the Presbytère, and the twin Pontalba Buildings.
It’s been a thrill to meet the Pontalba family and to forge their relationship with the Louisiana State Museum...that helped in turn to develop this incredible exhibition as the finale to our Tricentennial year. None of this would have been possible if I hadn't read this book.
Intimate Enemies is one of my all-alltime favorite books about New Orleans: If you haven't already read it, I encourage you to do so. It will deepen your appreciation of the exhibit and what Jackson Square means to all of us.
& Launch of the Baroness Pontalba Exhibit at the Cabildo!
I am thrilled to offer you early ticket access to the Louisiana Museum’s Founders Ball & Exhibition Opening at the Cabildo. This is one for the history books!
Taking a wrong turn in the French countryside six years ago was incredibly fortuitous! I met the Pontalbas!. This wonderful occurrence along with help from friends led to this year's Founders Ball and Baroness de Pontalba exhibition....Here's how it happened and what you can anticipate.
Founders Ball & Exhibition Opening
The Baroness de Pontalba & the Family that Built Jackson Square
How a father’s philanthropy & a daughter’s determination created the urban heart and the architectural look of Old New Orleans
My cousin and I were looking for a Joan of Arc site when we got lost. Then I saw a sign for Senlis, which I remembered from Intimate Enemies: The Two Worlds of the Baroness de Pontalba, Christina Vella’s biography of the Almonester and Pontalba families, as their family seat.
We stopped at the Visitor Center and asked if the Pontalba family still lived in Senlis and discovered that they did! We arranged to tour their gardens and drove through alleys of poplar trees and rolling hills to the château. To our delight we met members of the Pontalba family, who graciously invited us in.
That the direct descendants of the Baroness de Pontalba (1795-1874) would welcome us to Château de Mont-l’Évêque, that we would develop a warm friendship, and that they would embrace their Louisiana heritage was beyond any dream that I could imagine!
Subsequently, I kept dreaming along with my friends, artist Andrew Lamar Hopkins and Louisiana Museum Foundation Director Susan Maclay.
We also realized that Mont l’Évêque is a treasure trove of historical items related to the Pontalbas' time in Louisiana - primarily in the 19th century. So, the idea for the exhibition was born.
Of course, none of this would have happened if I hadn't read Intimate Enemies. We should all be eternally grateful to the late Christina Vella, author of this book that was critically acclaimed by the New York Times.
If you haven't already read Intimate Enemies, I encourage you to do so. It will deepen your appreciation of the exhibit and what Jackson Square means to all of us.
The costume Ball will be reminiscent of the elegant parties Baroness Pontalba held in New Orleans and in her mansion in Paris, which today, still known as the Hôtel de Pontalba, serves as the official residence of the United States Ambassador to France.
Late-18th-century to mid-19th-century attire, recalling the days of Don Almonester and our Baroness, are encouraged for the ball. Contemporary black tie and ball gowns will also be acceptable.
Together, we will welcome Charles-Edouard and Isabelle, Baron and Baroness de Pontalba, their son Pierre, and other family members from France!
Here’s a link to buy your Founders Ball tickets. They are $300 each for Louisiana Museum Foundation Members and $350 for non-members. I suggest you do this today for tickets are limited and this remarkable event will sell out!
The only mission of the Louisiana Museum Foundation is to support the Louisiana State Museum through community donations and programmatic support. I hope that you will join me as a proud member of the LMF to support them for this event and beyond.
I'm very fortunate and humbled that business and homeowners in Mississippi are asking me to market their properties. I must say I'm excited!
For me, the allure of Natchez begins with its beauty: stately oaks and well-maintained gardens.
The Historic Downtown area is delightful! It's walkable and offers wonderful shops, coffee houses, fantastic restaurants and cultural events throughout the year with many opportunities to enjoy live music.
Farm to table is alive and well.
On Saturdays, there's a burgeoning Farmers Market Downtown that’s created a gathering place for the community. Among the prized produce, local artisans display their works all to the tune of local musicians. I felt so welcome here and especially loved meeting the Master Gardener group. Their efforts set Natchez apart.
Drink local in Downtown Natchez too as Charboneau Rum Distillery is nationally acclaimed and Natchez Brewing Company has many fans.
We met the Experts: I loved meeting with Stratton Hall and Jennifer Combs of Visit Natchez and appreciate their efforts to promote the city. From my team, Kelly Calhoun and Lee Anne Garner are to my right.
I'm also impressed by the vitality of the Downtown Natchez Merchant's group we met last visit at the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce.
And who says there's nothing to do Monday nights in Downtown Natchez? At Rolling River Bistro, we found delicious Chargrilled Oysters followed by fantastic Lamb Chops.
Oysters are half price on Mondays served up with a Delta Blues band. That was a fun discovery!
We took in this phenomenal view on Taco Tuesday and dined al fresco with a cool breeze from the river - great tacos! The Camp Restaurant, Under the Hill Historic District!
The hospitality is real. People are open here and It's been easy to make friends. I love impromptu gatherings: from a recent Friday night on the balcony at Dunleith Historic Inn.
Over that same weekend, we had the good fortune of meeting many long-time Natchez citizens and they welcomed us to celebrations at their summer camps along St. John.
What wonderful hosts! Their company and hospitality was incredible - and, yes, there was Peach Cobbler!
We also realized that we have met an equal number of newcomers that are referred to as: Natchoosians - a growing group of people without ties to the area - they found Natchez and have chosen to make the town their home. I understand why!
My foremost passions are architecture, history and art and there are so many inspiring cultural events throughout the year to feed these interests in Natchez.
Among the world class events you'll find is the Natchez Festival of Music which features top Opera, Broadway and Jazz national artists each May.
Natchez offers this and so much more ............ Oh, and the most majestic Crepe Myrtles you'll ever see!
The natural beauty of the region is breathtaking! Here's Lake St. John, an Oxbow River. It beckons for boating, fishing, swimming, and carrying on with friends. Its just 20 minutes away from Downtown Natchez!
Stay tuned for details about the World's Crepe Myrtle Festival
in Natchez next June!
I hope you are enjoying my Cultural Insider Blog! Stay tuned and spread the word!
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of the region!
Events & Celebrations
French Quarter Citizen
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