Travel

Complementary Cast

I want foods to taste like themselves, but I also enjoy dishes that are a synthesis of many ingredients, some of which are not readily identifiable. Often it is those supporting elements that round out and enrich the principal ingredient…

Traveling Gournet: Radical Gumbo

Not long ago, four couples were having drinks before dinner, chatting about this and that while nibbling on almonds roasted with smoked paprika and homemade bread with cheeses. As often happens, the discussion turned to food and cooking, and from…

TRAVELER: Back on Track

This year, along with the usual azaleas and Spring Fiesta home tours, spring promises St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans an even greater gift. Streetcars. First, some terminology: It’s crawfish, not crayfish; parishes, not counties; neutral grounds, not medians; and…

Undertaking a Tour

Historian, author and attorney Payne Williams of the Natchitoches Historic Foundation is already recruiting spirits to make gravesite appearances during the town’s popular Sacred Places Tour in mid-March. South Louisiana towns are preparing for the All Saints Day whitewashings and…

Louisiana pies

If you bake pies you may have experimented with different recipes to find your ideal crust. I know I have. I can’t begin to remember how many ingredients, combinations of ingredients and techniques I’ve tried over the years. I’ve used…

Visiting History

Our family calls it “La-La Day” – Louisiana Purchase/Louisiana Statehood Day, April 30 – and this year’s was a good one. My Louisiana belle was off on a sister-sister getaway but our (ahem) doc and juris-doc sons Paul and Matthew…

Louisianians Barbecue too, ya’ll

Barbecue is so deeply ingrained in the psyche of the South that natives from North Carolina to Texas will argue heatedly and endlessly about the merits of their local barbecue traditions. But Louisiana usually gets left out of the conversation.…

Waders, Warblers and those who Watch

Snowy EgretShhh,” she says suddenly. It’s early March and wildlife photographer Nancy Camel is at Lake Martin, surrounded by the woods and waters of Cypress Island Preserve in St. Martin Parish. That’s not news; she’s there most any time, with…

Someone’s in the Kitchen

Composing a menu can be either a dreaded chore or a rewarding challenge. The latter is much more fun of course, and it prolongs the enjoyment of the evening. Diners, whether family or guests, enjoy the food but the cook…

A WINTER MENU

Restaurants open, close and change so frequently that even the most conscientiously researched restaurant guides are usually a bit dated when first published; and it’s all downhill from there. Relying on a guide that’s a year or two old can…

Oldies but Goodies - Top 25 Sites for Revisiting

This old Municipal Association coffee mug with its fine-print list of towns, Abbeville to Zwolle – a constant companion through half of Louisiana Life’s 25 years – is as good as a journal for recording memories of past adventures.There are the Big…

Centennial Celebration

Postcard, circa 1911, showing the then recently built pavillions1906It was a relatively new century – a new age – and fairs were the bee’s knees. The Louisiana Purchase Centennial Exposition had been held in St. Louis just two years earlier,…

Soups in Short Order

Fall often brings some of our nicest weather. Unless we have a hurricane, you can almost hear the entire state breathe a great sigh of relief when the summer heat finally breaks. With clear blue skies, lower humidity and some…

Campside Cooking

Weekend Favorites When I was finalizing a move back to Louisiana from New York 15 years ago, I told friends that the house I had found was originally built as a camp. Initially, it didn’t occur to me that “camp”…

Basin Basics

The Atchafalaya, Louisiana’s best-loved swamp Like most outdoors adventures in Louisiana, wetlands explorations are best done when temperatures are perfect and barometer readings are tolerable. That means spring or fall. The tiebreaker for the Great Atchafalaya Swamp is that fall’s…

Thrill of the Grill

Suitable meals for summer by STANLEY DRY My favorite summer meal is grilled food, a salad and a cold bottle of dry rosé. If there’s any meal more welcome than that on a hot day, I don’t know what it…

The Great Wine Hunt

Searching for Louisiana's good grapes by PAUL F. STAHLS JR. For a road trip that’s perfect for summer – “cool” enough, in fact, to repeat in any and every season – let’s blaze a trail through the southeastern parishes seeking…

Grand Coteau

by PAUL F. STAHLS JR. When it comes to luring tourists, the St. Landry Parish village of Grand Coteau prints no brochures, runs no ads, concocts no slogans or sales strategies. One reason is that it has not a single…

Spring Fling

by STANLEY DRY Other states may herald spring with the arrival of shad roe, fiddlehead ferns, a final melting of the ice or robins returning from the South, but in Louisiana, crawfish are the true harbingers of the season. It’s…

Mounds of Mystery

The day is shaping up to be unseasonably perfect for early September – 7 o’clock and the breeze through this great stone courtyard in Monroe is cool enough to chill the coffee. Louisiana has a newly designated “Ancient Mounds Trail”…

Soups for the Season

I love all kinds of cooking and baking, but there is no kitchen task I enjoy more than making soup. The very process of combining a variety of ingredients in a single pot, letting them simmer while their flavors meld,…