Thursday, November 15, 2012
Louisiana Kitchen & Culture photographer David Gallent and I are off the Natchitoches this weekend for the opening celebration for the town's 86th Annual Christmas Festival of Lights, which happens Saturday night following a concert by blues guitarist and singer Tab Benoit, one of my favorites.
What is sure to be an eye-popping display will feature more than 300,000 lights over 100 holiday art installments throughout the Landmark Historic District along the Cane River and Cane River Lake. An assortment of holiday marketplaces, fireworks displays, a Natchitoches/ Northwestern Christmas Gala, holiday home tours, a children's Christmas party, entertainment on the downtown riverbank stage, and visits and photos with Santa on the riverbank will continue through January 6, 2013.
Natchitoches is a beautiful, unique town so it should be a memorable weekend. We are bringing our spouses along and staying at the newly-renovated Maison Lousiane, a Victorian-area home just steps from downtown. We are told it is sensational so we can't wait to check it out.
Something for you to check out: I came across a new book this week, How to Build a Better Pie by Millicent Souris (Quarry Books, 2012). While I am a confident cook I remain intimidated by making pies but this books breaks the process of making both sweet and savory varieties down with illustrations in a logical manner anyone can grasp. Souvris covers how-to's on making crust (that's the daunting part for me), addressing not just basic crusts but crumbles, shortbread, gingersnap and Cheddar varieties, as well. Recipes for the expected Apple and Rhubarb varieties are here but so are more daring choices like Chocolate-Olive Oil, Corn-Buttermilk, Oyster, and Lamb pies. She also teaches how to make hand pies, galettes, and turnovers in addition to the classic round varieties most of us expect to find on the Thanksgiving side board.
Enjoy this week's recipes, and let us know what's on your mind.
Jyl Benson, Editor in Chief
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Shaker Lemon Pie
"I've had my eye on this pie for a while, intrigued by a pie so ballsy to use sliced lemons but wondering how it would really taste," Millicent Souris writes in How to Build a Better Pie. "This version should give you a tangy pie somewhere between a custard and a curd. The lemon slices become soft and edible, and the ones on top end up with a candied quality. And it's pretty. Real pretty."
Sweet Potato Pie w/Sesame Praline Crust
In How to Build a Better Pie, Millicent Souris writes "It is really important to make this pie with actual sweet potatoes. Canned sweet potatoes have a disconcerting texture, one thought up by men in suits over a three-martini lunch. It’s tantamount to public school or hospital food, something capable of holding its shape in times of need and needlessness. A starch should never be so gelatinous."
Nov 14, 2012 to Nov 17, 2012
Lake Charles: Mistletoe and Moss Holiday Market
Nov 15, 2012 to Nov 17, 2012
Moss Bluff: Moss Bluff Harvest Festival
Nov 15, 2012 to Nov 18, 2012
Nov 16, 2012 to Nov 19, 2012
New Iberia: El Festival Espanol de Neuva Iberia
Nov 16, 2012 to Nov 17, 2012
West Monroe: Annual Mistletoe and More Show
Nov 17, 2012
Woodworth: The Half: half marathon, 10K, 5K
Nov 18, 2012
Alexandria: Inglewood Farm Harvest Barn Market Grand Opening
Nov 24, 2012
Springhill: Springhill Christmas Parade
West Monroe: Special Lighting Ceremony
Nov 27, 2012
New Iberia: New Iberia Christmas Parade
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