Just as most holidays spent in New Orleans, Thanksgiving involves flavorful dishes, themed cocktails and good company. Louisiana residents may not agree on most things (such as politics, ahem), but one thing we can all agree on is that New Orleanians know good food and how to party. I mean, we have been epicureans for coming up on 300 years. For me, it’s around this holiday that I discover the year is almost over and the season of gift-giving is fast approaching — hurdling both wallet and my routine into a panic. Never fear my wonderful readers! I have some great gift ideas and light reading finds for you and your hard-to-find-gifts-for loved ones. I wish everyone a fabulous Turkey Day and safe travels to all this week.
COOKBOOK/SPORTSMEN’S GUIDEBOOK: Gift alert for the sportsman in your life: for your Dad, husband or brother, "Chefs Casting about with Timing & Grace" by Susan Schadt is a gorgeous documentation of fishing with America’s best chefs. Get inspired to plan a fishing trip to the East Coast and Gulf South with national as well as locally known chefs including Louisiana’s own John Besh and Donald Link. Aside from stunning photography and the captivating personal stories told by the various culinary artists, the book also offers mouth-watering recipes best cooked using region-specific fresh catches, such as “Roasted ‘Clams Virginia,'” “Smoked Pensacola Mullet,” “Mama’s Seafood Gumbo” and “Lake Beans.” A coffee table book for your fishing boat or ocean-side kitchen, reminisce in the fishery adventures experienced from your youth and feel inspired to create new family traditions. You can order a copy here.
LOCAL HISTORY: Currently Amazon’s most popular new release on horse racing, "The Fair Grounds Through the Lens" by Peggy Scott Laborde and photography by Louis Hodges Jr., takes readers on a historical journey exploring New Orleans’ famous Fair Grounds Race Course. Beginning with the Antebellum days, through more than 150 years, learn about the origins of the course and location, to the few transitions of ownership and the newsworthy highlights. I discovered quite a few lessons about the course, which I didn’t have the slightest idea about previous to the book piquing my interest – such as how the course almost became a subdivision before it was bought last minute by investors, creating the Fair Grounds Corporation and saving the track from deconstruction in 1941. The level of in-depth details about the major players in the shifts and developments the track experienced over its century-and-a-half term in New Orleans makes it a go-to historical account of the third oldest horse racing site in the U.S. Not to mention, the photography archives tell a story on their own. Photographer Hodges Jr. has been working at the Fair Grounds since he was 12, and his family has been in the business of capturing images of the New Orleans track for more than 50 years. Just in time for the Thanksgiving at the track tradition, pick up your copy or order it here to celebrate this city’s most recognized race track.