Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lovely Louisiana

A couple of weeks ago we had fun studying about Louisiana. I have been privileged to visit the State of Louisiana twice. Both trips were memorable and I had a good time. Louisiana definitely made an impression on me as it is quite different to what I am used too and I feel as though I am visiting another country.

Above is a picture of me (around 10 years ago) standing in the Gulf of Mexico in LA.

Louisiana became a state on Thursday, April 30, 1812.
Louisiana is called the Pelican State.
Louisiana is a state with much French and Spanish influence. It was originally settled by the French but then fell under Spanish rule after the French and Indian war. French settlers in a part of Canada called Acadia were forced from there and many of them went and settle in LA. They were Acadians which over time came to be called Cajun. The Cajun heritage is still very much there today and I was amazed to meet people who spoke mostly French when I went to LA.
Another group of people in LA are the Creoles. From my understanding of what I read Creoles were a mix of African American and French or Spanish. They also still have their culture a big part of their lives. I did not see that as much as I visited in Cajun country.

We had fun reading about one wealthy Creole, Charles Durand. When two of his daughters were married on the same day, Durand imported spiders from China. He then had them put on trees for 3 miles leading to his house. After they had spun webs on the morning of the wedding he had his slaves sprinkle gold and silver dust on the webs for a fairyland effect.

Louisiana does have a lot of wonderful food. Thinking about it makes me rather hungry! :-) I did attempt making Pork Jambalaya and then I invited my parents over to eat with us as they are fond of Cajun food too.

I also tried making Pecan Pralines but was trying to do to many things at once so they sat a little long before I put them on the pan and they got a little crumbly. They were still yummy however.

I also made Louisiana Crunch Cake (after a fashion, I have a tendency to never truly follow a recipe). I was thinking about trying King's cake (or 12th night cake) but I didn't get it done as we only need so many desserts in one week. There are a lot of recipes available for LA food.

We had a lot of fun looking through the photo albums at pictures from the trips to Louisiana. I scanned some to share with you.

When I was in college on one Spring break quite a few of us decided to go to Crowley, LA. One of my dorm mates was from their so she and I and another friend all planned on going to her house. Some others from college also had relatives or friends in that town (they all went to church together) and so down we went. We were there around 1 week and were blessed to see and do a lot. Above Stacy and I are trying our first craw fish (a big specialty there).

On that trip I also learned how to catch crabs (tie some old meat on a string, dangle it in the water and then when they~the crabs~ catch on you put them in a net) We had fun catching quite a few and then they had a crab boil.

Some of the guys crabbing.

One day we drove down to the gulf and on the way we stopped to walk on this path that went through a swampy area. The family we were staying with thought maybe we could see some wildlife. Well we did! At first we just saw a baby alligator but then we saw around 3 big ones. This big guy was I think less than 50 feet away. They were not in fences, just out in the wild. At the time I don't remember being scared (I do remember my friends dad being a bit concerned for all of our safety) but I don't know that I would want to do that again. (Especially when I think of the snakes that could be there as well.) Other things I enjoyed seeing was Spanish moss all over big trees and then Irises blooming all over in the ditches. It was so very pretty!

The other trip that I made to LA was nearly 4 years ago when my sister Martha and family were living there. We drove down when my niece Heidi was born. One of the places we went while we were there was to Avery Island where they make Tabasco sauce. My Mom, 2 youngest siblings, and my 3 kids drove down together. Above are my Mom, Kids and friend Rosella who lives there.

Louisiana is a fun place to visit and we had fun studying about it too. There is more I could tell about but it is time for me to go to bed!!


Michelle said...

I think it's about time you came back for a visit.

Esther said...

I agree with Michelle!

Anonymous said...

That's interesting---Louisiana and I share a birthday----except I was born Quite a few years later! Louisiana was fun and HOT and Humid! But a great experience!mom


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