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a trip with me down the Mississippi down to New Orleans”
America’s top 40
included the song New Orleans. According to the song, the city of New
embraced the charm of southern belles and the mingled aroma of
vines and magnolia blossoms. Blend this with the roaring good
spawned by the Dixieland music of Basin Street and you have Bonds’ New
Orleans. Indeed, a picture of New Orleans might include historic
oak trees against a starry southern night. Or it might depict city
that illuminate the way to the home of Dixieland jazz. Both pictures
be correct. And New Orleans owes it all to the Mississippi River.
is key to
New Orleans’ flavor and pizzazz. The seafood, the steamboat cruises,
swamp tours, and the history – it’s all there. In the French Quarter,
influence of past inhabitants creates an atmosphere of French colonial
tradition and West Indian Spanish colonial-styled architecture.
charm is exemplified in the plantation homes that dot what is known as
River Road, testimonies to a slower way of life that set its pace by
flow of the Mississippi.
New Orleans and
jazz – the
two just go together. The birthplace of a distinctive style of music,
Orleans jazz is its own blend of swing and blues. From Basin Street to
Bourbon Street, the cornets and trombones blast and the clarinets wail.
Add to that the tinkle of piano ivories and the hum of a big ol’ bass
and you know there’s a Dixieland band nearby!
Tradition plays a
the celebration of holidays with parades and festivals occurring all
long. The Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day parades feature floats
that are sculptured works of arts. The French Quarter
is a three-day celebration of New Orleans food – Creole, French, and
– to include the world’ largest jazz brunch. December rings in
with a tribute to jazz.
along. Sometimes the waters run peacefully by elegant structures that
as historical monuments amidst magnolias. Other times, it roars with
hustling rhythm of a modern-day harbor that provides the foundation for
a metropolitan economy. We are reminded that the past can blend with
present to fulfill destiny. That’s New Orleans.
1682 - Renée Robert Cavalier de la Salle, explored the Mississippi River from Canada via the Illinois River, claiming all the land the water fed for France and naming it Louisiane after King Louis XIV
Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville (b. in Montreal, Canada, 24 February, 1680; d. in Paris, 7 March, 1767) was the French Governor of Louisiana and founder of New Orleans in 1718.
The Saint Louis Cathedral is the oldest Cathedral in North America, founded as a Catholic Parish in 1720 at New Orleans.
east of the Mississippi ceded to Britain; west of it (including New
Battle of New Orleans– There were two! One was against Great Britain and occurred in 1815. The other was a Civil War battle in 1862.
Mardi Gras – A celebration prior to Lent. New Orleans hosts many Mardi Gras activities.
Louisiana tradition credits the Ursuline Sisters with introducing French cuisine in New Orleans. The Spanish probably brought pepper and the tomato. Immigrants from the West Indies contributed spices that the New World had never seen. Put all together, it gave us Creole cooking.
In one skillet, fry okra until it is no longer sticky. Set aside. In a second skillet, heat oil. Slowly stir flour into heated oil until the flour is dark brown. Add onion, celery, garlic, and green pepper. Stir until onions are well cooked and clear. Add tomato sauce. Transfer mixture to large pot. Stir in Rotel tomatoes and fried okra. Cook slowly over low heat, adding water as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add sugar. Cook for one hour, stirring occasionally to prevent gumbo from sticking to pot. Add more water if necessary. After one hour, add shrimp, crab, oysters and bay leaf. Cook 30 minutes, removing bay leaf just before serving. Serve as a soup or over rice.
A muffaletta sandwich is a New Orleans specialty! A round loaf of bread is filled with layers of salami, ham, provolone, and olive salad. Then it is cut into wedges for eating. Tradition has it that Italian workers at the New Orleans markets would scoop out the broken olives from the barrels and add them to their round loaves of bread. These round loaves were called “muffs”; hence, the name, muffaletta.
Cut bread in half crosswise. Layer salami and ham over bottom of bread. Add layers of cheese. Top with olive salad. Press down slightly. Cut sandwich in quarters. Use wooden picks to secure layers, if desired.
Olive Salad for Muffuletta Sandwich
Mix all ingredients together. Marinate for 2-3 hours at room temperature. If mixture is refrigerated before serving, bring it to room temperature before using in sandwich.
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