Thursday, August 18, 2005

It's a Very Very Small World

I think I've mentioned it here before, but I'll repeat it to catch you guys up. In college, I moved into a house on campus with a couple of friends of mine. This was a house that belonged to a gentleman whose mother had recently passed away. It was his mother's house, and he didn't have any use for it. We really got a steal on the rent, because I was able to negotiate on the final number. I was able to negotiate a really good rate on the rent only if we agreed to clean the house from top to bottom. Turns out his mother was an unbelievable pack-rat and her house was filled with stuff she'd collected over many years. He didn't feel like dealing with it, and so for a reduced rent we agreed to throw out all of the garbage and host a garage sale to get rid of all the stuff. The stuff we found in that house is a topic that could be spread over a number of posts. There was some weird stuff in that house. Most of the stuff we got rid of, but we kept some things for ourselves. One of the things I kept was an old cookbook found in the kitchen. Lindsey wanted it and so we kept it. It is one of those local cookbooks that are printed locally, when someone decides to collect recipes from people around the town, put them together in the form of a book, and sell them.

The cookbook we kept is called "Louisiana Lagniappe." It has been sitting up in cabinet over the stove in the various places I've lived since 1999 when we moved out of that house. It is currently residing in the cabinet above the stove in the house we just bought. Since buying our house, Lindsey and I have been trying to cook more often, rather than go out to eat. Two nights ago Lindsey was flipping through this cookbook for the first time and found the following recipes:


For those of you who would like to make cafe-au-lait (milk coffee) here is the way Alden said his mother did it. "My mother used to carmalize sugar or syrup in a skillet. Pour in the leftover coffee from the pot and the add the whole thing to a saucepan of hot milk for the best cafe-au-lait you ever dunked a piece of toasted stale French bread into."
- Alden Sonnier


Shrimp-Olive Honolulu

2 cups cooked rice,
- medium grain
3/4 cups stuffed olives,
- chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 cups boiled, ground shrimp
1/4 cup ground raw onion
1 teaspoon salt
paprika for color

Mix the mayonnaise, salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.

In large bowl, place the cooked rice and add to it the ground shrimp, olives, raw onion and mayonnaise mixture.

Mix the ingredients in the bowl with a large fork, so as not to break the grains of rice. Transfer combined ingredients to mold and store in refrigerator until serving time. Serve with special tartar sauce.

- Mrs. Alden Sonnier


Pork Sauce Piquante

2 lbs. pork
3 onion heads
3 small bell peppers
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 bunch green onions
3 stems celery
1 can tomato sauce
black and red pepper to taste

Chop the onion tops, onions, celery and bell pepper into small pieces.

Brown the pork well in oil heated in a thick pot. Add the salt, black and red pepper. Cook over very low fire. Add the chopped green onions, onion heads, bell pepper and celery and cook until tender. Add small amount of tomato sauce and a small amount of hot water at the time until all the sauce and an equal amount of water has been added. Continue to cook until tender over low flame. Serve with rice cooked in separate pot.

This recipe serves four.

- Mrs. Meus Sonnier

Alden Sonnier is my cousin Scott's grandfather, the brother of my grandfather Edward Sonnier. I'm not sure who Mrs. Meus Sonnier is, but chances are I'm related to her somehow.

Now what are the chances that I would find this book in a random stranger's house (a dead random stranger at that) and that the book would have recipes submitted by people just a branch or two up in my family tree.

Small world eh?