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Les bons temps

While Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of New Orleans, most of the rest of the state of Louisiana remained unscathed by the storm and is ready to receive and welcome visitors.

American uprising : the untold story of America's largest slave revolt
Daniel Rasmussen.
New York : Harper, c2011.
Rasmussen presents a gripping and deeply revealing history of the 1811 New Orleans slave rebellion that provides new insight into American expansionism and the path to the Civil War.
     
Bayou underground : tracing the mythical roots of American popular music
Dave Thompson.
Toronto : ECW Press, c2010.

Permeating the shadows and the darkness of the bayou—a world all its own that stretches from Houston, Texas, to Mobile, Alabama—this study of marsh music leaves New Orleans to discover secret legends and vivid mythology in the surrounding wilderness. The people and the cultures that have called the bayou home—such as Bob Dylan, Jerry Reed, Nick Cave, Bo Didley, and a one-armed Cajun backwoodsman and gator hunter named Amos Moses—are unearthed not only through their own words and lives but also through a study of their music and interviews with visitors to and residents from the region. The interviews with Jerry Reed and Bo Didley, who both died in 2008, are among the last, emphasizing the book’s importance as a piece of cultural preservation. Part social history, part epic travelogue, and partly a lament for a way of life that has now all but disappeared, this is the gripping story of American music’s forgotten childhood—and the parentage it barely even knows.

     
Leadership and crisis
by Bobby Jindal with Peter Schweizer and Curt Anderson.
Washington, D.C. : Regnery Pub., 2010.
In his new book, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal reveals the extent of the Obama administration's incompetence during the BP oil spill and shows why common sense conservative solutions are exactly what we need to solve our nation's biggest problems.
     
The terrible Axe-Man of New Orleans
music and lyrics by Rick Geary.
New York : NBM, c2010.
Nights of terror! A city awash in blood! New Orleans right after the First World War. The party returns to the Big Easy but someone looks to spoil it. Grocers are being murdered in the dead of night by someone grabbing their axe and hacking them right in their own cushy beds! The pattern for each murder is the same: a piece of the door is removed, the axe is borrowed on the property, and the assailant aims straight for the head! Why? How could he fit through that piece in the door? The man is never found for sure but speculations abound which Geary presents with his usual gusto!
     

Louisiana's bayous, plantations, and Cajun culture are waiting to be enjoyed.

Bayous
Louisiana has many slow moving bodies of water called bayous across the southern part of the state. Some of the earliest settlers of south Louisiana were Acadians, Canary Islanders, and French settlers. Here they earned their living by shrimping, fishing, fur trapping, gathering moss, and maintaining small farms.

Their distinct way of life exists today. Swamp tours offer up close views of alligators, cypress trees draped with moss, and exotic birds. Visits to the Tabasco hot sauce factory or deep sea fishing are other possible attractions.

Louisiana is divided into five regions.  Each offers its own unique set of experiences filled with fun, mystery and magic.

The Plantations

Cajun Country

New Orleans

Crossroads

Sportsman's Paradise

(What to see)

Plantations
In Louisiana a large farm, usually devoted to one crop such as sugar cane or cotton, is called a plantation. Part of the economic structure of the state since its founding, some remaining plantations date back to the 18th century.

This is not a “Gone with the Wind” South, but some magnificent mansions, like San Francisco near New Orleans, remain open to visitors. Others show what a working plantation was like and include the role of the slaves, such as Laura Plantation near Vacherie.

Cajuns
In 1755, French settlers were expelled from Nova Scotia by the British. Some went to France, while other to various parts of the United States, including south Louisiana. Called Cajuns, these people settled just above New Orleans along the Mississippi River, south of New Orleans along the bayous, or in southwest Louisiana.

In rural shops and businesses or on the radio, especially near Lafayette, the Cajun French dialect can still be heard. Many restaurants and bars have live performances of Cajun music. Any fair in the area will feature music and there are several internationally recognized annual music festivals.

A visitor to south Louisiana outside of New Orleans will find all three of these distinctive features of the state: bayous, plantations, and Cajuns. "Laissez les bons temps rouler."

Cooking in Cajun country
Karl Breaux with Chere' Dastugue Coen.
Salt Lake City : Gibbs Smith, c2009.
Travel through southern Louisiana and you'll quickly learn that Cajun cooking is more than a heavy dose of black pepper or a splash of tangy hot sauce. With more than 100 authentic Cajun recipes from Louisiana's Acadian parishes, now home cooks can create lip-smacking recipes such as Andouille-Stuffed Pork Loin, Butter Beans with Sausage, Grand Chenier Crawfish Jambalaya, Sweet Potato en Brochette, and Tried-and-True Pecan Pie. You will also learn a little about the history, people, and culture from which the Cajun cuisine originated. Breaux shows how a true Cajun cooks traditional meals as well as the modern methods of preparing delicious home-cooked meals.
     
Cajun and Creole cooking with Miss Edie and the Colonel : the folklore and art of Louisiana cooking
Edie Hand & William G. Paul.
Nashville, Tenn. : Cumberland House Pub., c2007.
This is a unique Louisiana cookbook that teaches the fundamentals of Louisiana's Cajun and Creole cuisines and explains their similarities and differences. Filled with traditional recipes field tested for their ease of preparation and delicious flavorings, "Cajun and Creole Cooking with Miss Edie and the Colonel" consists of three parts. The first part discusses the basic terms, techniques, tools, and ingredients of Louisiana cooking. The second part analyzes the varied ethnic influences?French, Spanish, Italian, African, and American Indian?that have contributed to Cajun and Creole cuisines. Significant events in Louisiana culinary history are highlighted, as well as unique cultural food customs. The final section consists of 150 recipes, including: sauces, breakfast dishes, appetizers and dips, soups and gumbos, entrees, vegetables, and desserts.
     
The 100 greatest Cajun recipes
Jude W. Theriot.
Gretna : Pelican Pub. Co., 2006.
Includes index.
     
In a Cajun kitchen : authentic Cajun recipes and stories from a family farm on the bayou
Terri Pischoff Wuerthner.
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2006.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 269) and index.
     
Creole nouvelle : contemporary creole cookery
Joseph Carey.
Lanham, Md : Taylor Trade Pub. : Distributed by National Book Network, 2004.
Top fine dining publications consistently award cutting-edge restaurants such as Bayona and Peristyle with top honors because of the trendy cuisines they have brought to New Orleans and the area. Susan Spicer, John Harris, Anne Kearney, Peter Vazquez, and Donald Link are redefining the Creole standard today. In homage to their fresh ideas, Creole Nouvelle features the New Orleans chefs who use local produce and seafood and bring in the best artisanal cheeses, meats, and wines from around the nation and the world. Creole Nouvelle redefines traditional recipes of the genre while offering wonderful dishes from today's top chefs. This book is truly a new take on a classic cuisine that will have both the novice cook and seasoned gourmand salivating. Book jacket.
     

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff