A few years ago Aubyn and I, along with Moby, our wonderful (now sadly-departed) pooch, drove from New York City to the coast of South Carolina, to board a ferry to Daufuskie, a sparsely-inhabited island about half-hour by ferry from the mainland. Daufuskie is where Aubyn’s half-sister lived at the time with her husband. The occasion was a Gwinn family reunion of sorts. I say … Continue reading For the Love of Gratin
Family customs, especially those based on folklore, are a lot like recipes – they change bit by bit over the years as they’re passed down. In my family Momma brought the New Year’s Eve custom of “Jabless” (pronounced “Jah-bless”) to us, as her mother, our mémère, had done for her children. Here’s how the Jabless custom goes: On New Year’s Eve, the children put out a … Continue reading ‘Twas the night before New Year’s
Wendy G., a friend from my Eunice Sr. High School days, found this letter to Santa published in The Eunice News in December 1960: Dear Santa,I would like a big piano for Christmas and a doll. I’m in the third grade. I am doing very nicely too. My sisters would like a little bear. My brother would like a gun. My brother Morris would like … Continue reading Cassie’s Letter to Santa
In our house in Eunice, Louisiana, in the 1960s and ’70s, bouillie au lait (milk custard) was a comfort food. We pronounced it “B-yo-ly,” and sometimes ate it for breakfast or as an after-school snack. In Momma’s childhood home in Ville Platte during the Great Depression, bouillie au lait was survival food. It was affordable for poor families like theirs because it required only three … Continue reading Great Depression Bouillie au Lait
The Cajun language is a mixture of ancient and modern French, some Franglais, as well as many words that are unique to the region of Louisiana where our Canadian ancestors originally settled. My new book, “Stone Motel – Memoirs of a Cajun Boy,” has lots of words and phrases whose meanings might prove a little challenging for non-Cajuns. This very selective glossary includes terms I … Continue reading Un Petit Glossaire Cajun
My Eunice Junior and then Senior High School chum Marc Andrepont passed this excellent article on to me this morning, so I figured you’d want to be in the know as well (these things are important!) Interesting tidbits of history about my family’s favorite white bread. M © All Rights Reserved Continue reading The Maid turns 100!
Our Earth seems hotter these days than it was in my childhood in the ’60s and early ’70s. With a humming attic fan (which scared the hell out of my pre-teen self because it looked like it would be a perfect hiding place for a big “tie-tie,” the Cajun term for monster) and a little blue “swamp cooler,” Mémère’s house was always pretty comfortable, even … Continue reading Mémère’s Swamp Cooler