Louisiana Bound

So I forgot to mention that we're going to Louisiana for Thanksgiving. All of B's family hails from this murky Southern state, and the stories are legion: like the one about the baby alligators that crawled their way up the culvert from the Tangipahoa River into an uncle's pond. So of course he raised them as pets. And it was an amicable relationship until one of the puppies went missing.

I have a feeling Louisiana is full of this sort of thing: quirky, semi-brutal stories in which I laugh and then secretly thank God that I am only visiting. I know that sounds awfully cynical, and I really loved the last visit B & I made 10 (!) years ago. All of B's family are sweet Southern folk, very comfortable in their own skins, very welcoming and full of recipes for ice box lemon pie and fresh pork cracklins. Last time we were there I learned to play the Gut Bucket, and met the town's pet alligator, Old Hardhide. He lives in a cement pond, (behind bars) on the main street. From time to time Old Hardhide will die, and the locals parade him up and down the street in what is known as a jazz funeral, and then they get another alligator, and name him Old Hardhide. Sort of like Menudo.

We're spending one night in New Orleans, and I am rubbing my hands in anticipation of our visit to the legendary Cafe Du Monde, where the menu is: 1) chickory coffee 2) beignets (French doughnuts covered with powdered sugar.
The old trolley cars in the Garden District, the muffaleta sandwiches, I'm doing it all. I picked up a copy of Anne Rice's new spiritual biography Out of Darkness to read along the way, she's a New Orleans native. Ummm....anything else? I'm planning on drawing heavily on the pregnancy excuse when it comes to the local food. I don't know why Louisiana is so known for its bottom-feeder cuisine. Shrimp gumbo, seafood jambalaya, crawfish pie, fried catfish, I personally think these people need to eat a little higher on the food chain.....I am really looking forward to the big pile of cousins that G will get to play with as well as the pleasant jumble of folk that gather each Thanksgiving on Larpenter Lane.
I'll try to write some whilst we're there, otherwise I'll see y'all in a week!

1 comment:

Susan Harwood said...

It reads as if you are entering a land of myth; a storybook world. I can hardly imagine it's real.

Does it really exist outside films?

I thought I'd let you know that I'm putting the Bricks Advent Calendar at


No-one will make any sense of it, I don't suppose but . . . ! ! !

(Cos there's no explanation.)


Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.