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Ms. Lucy's Classic Cajun Culture and Cooking


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http://www.lpb.org/programs/lucy/

http://www.mslucy.com

Has anyone seen this show? Its a riot.

Its put together by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion Board, the Louisiana Department of Economic Development and Lucy Zaunbrecher, a Cajun grandmother who speaks to the audience like she's talking to developmentally challenged children. Seriously, I'm watching this thing and its like she's the visiting chef on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and she speaks ... really ... slow and she interacts with her pre-teen grandaughter like she's mentally retarded or as if this was produced for a 5 year old demographic or Forrest Gump.

The feature recipe on the episode I just saw was "Cajun Tator Tot Casserole" which was essentially trinity sauteed in 2 sticks of butter, a whole chopped kielbasa, 2 cans of mushroom soup and like a pound of grated cheddar cheese all glopped into a saute pan, mixed up for a bit and cooked until the cheese melted and then poured over a casserole dish layered with frozen tater tots and then baked.

Sick. Although come to think of it, i'd probably like it a lot.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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a Cajun grandmother who speaks to the audience like she's talking to developmentally challenged children

Sick. Although come to think of it, i'd probably like it a lot.

Jason,

Lucy has been on public television here for years. She cooks the same things over and over again ("First, you make roux and add onions, bell pepper, and celery, along with a little garlic-but don't put it in too early or you'll burn it" :wacko: ) and you are right about her diction. THe odd thing is this, she speaks exactly like a female version of John Folse. There is this accent that exists on the West Side of the River just above and below Baton ROuge that is unlike any other around here. I suppose it has something to do with the addition of German immigrants on top of the usual mix of Creole, etc.

But you are right about one thing, her show is pretty boring and not very remarkable. OTOH I'll pretty much bet that she could blow your socks off if you sat down for a meal at her table. So yes, you might like it alot. :laugh:

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I must admit I am actually starting to enjoy this program. Ideally, one should have a joint or two, or perhaps a few drinks, to fully appreciate her diction. Its a much more enjoyable program if you're stoned.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I must admit I am actually starting to enjoy this program. Ideally, one should have a joint or two, or perhaps a few drinks, to fully appreciate her diction. Its a much more enjoyable program if you're stoned.

I tried the same thing with Bobby Flay's programming.

No dice.

He's still annoying. :angry::laugh:

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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:laugh: My grandmother as well as some aunties from Old Agliers taught me allot about Creole cooking. Until I could prove I was a decent student they all talked to me as if I was mentally imbalanced. You know pointing at the ingrediants and saying thier names slowly always in careful English. Now they talk about recipes in rapid fire Creole that is so infused with slang I almost wish for those slower days when they were like Ms. Lucy. lol
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  • 2 weeks later...

Actually, in terms of lineage, alot of those people are not Cajuns-hence the name German Coast. There is much good sausage and head cheese coming out of that neighborhood and I do really like John Folse's entire operation-the restaurant, the cooking school and the artiisinal cheese operation. But I do agree that that strange accent is distracting.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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  • 5 months later...
Sweet lady, but I know NO cajun woman who speaks this way.

She's from Gueydan, LA. They talk different there.

I grew up in south Lafourche Parrish and no one talked quite like that either.

Dwight

If at first you succeed, try not to act surprised.

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Is it just me, or was this program much higher budget in previous seasons?

I used to watch this show, when our local PBS picked it up for a couple of seasons. It's hard for me to imagine a lower budget!

It looks like in earlier seasons, she had a much nicer kitchen and they were using much better TV cameras (broadcast quality versus some fuzzy-quality camcorder-type thing) as well as multiple camera angles. The promotional spots from the seafood board were more sophisticated as well.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Do you have to be of Acadian descent to call yourself "Cajun" ? Or does anyone that lives in Cajun Country have the right to call themselves that?

You can call yourself that but some may not accept it. Although we are a mixed bag of different base stock. My great-grandmother was a Smith even though her family had been in the area forever and true Acadian lines.

If you can walk the walk and talk the talk most will accept you.

Although my wife, from VA, was awarded the status by the rest of my extended family.

Edited for fumble fingers

Edited by pyrguy (log)

Dwight

If at first you succeed, try not to act surprised.

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I'm a brogan wearing redneck. :wink: Raised North of I-20 near the Arkansas Line. I have lived in South Louisiana since 1983, but would never call myself a Cajun.

Cajun, as applied by us to natives, generally involves people who were brought up in Acadiana (broadly Central and South Louisiana-Draw an oddly shaped triangle from South of Alexandria to Cameron Parish to Lower Jefferson Parish (Grand Isle) -I will find a map, but I'm at work and can't do it right now). Pyrguy has it right. They know who they are and that's about as good a definition as you are going to get.

I think that Lucy's show is done by a local Public Television outlet in either Lake Charles or Lafayette. That would more or less explain the production values.

Did you see the one where she fried pork chops with her grandaughter? It was high comedy in a serious way.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Did you see the one where she fried pork chops with her grandaughter? It was high comedy in a serious way.

Oh yeah, that was brilliant. It was one of the older ones. "Now Lucy, grand-mama doesn't want you to burn yourself...."

So being of German descent, and not an Acadian, Ms. Lucy is NOT a Cajun, correct? Even though she can speak Acadian French?

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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As with most of the stuff down here, it's pretty murky water. Here are a couple of articles that will explain/confuse the situation even more

Cajun Evolution 101

Well, those Germans might be Cajuns after all

John Folse is a German who qualifies as a Cajun (in my pea brain anyway)

This should confuse things for you :wacko::laugh:

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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Pretty much south of the Intercoastal Waterway/US highway 90 (more or less) or I-10 (further west near Lafayette) and from the Mississippi River west into east Texas (barely) pretty much covers Acadia and the areas Cajuns come from. The borders are kinda hazy especially since the migration of the late 80's due to a lack of work in the oil fields and fishing.

That's how a bunch of us ended up in the Atlanta area. It's not home but the work is steady. I haven't been on the Bayou since 1999. Not many family members left there from my generation.

It was a good place to grow up. Kids learned to cook as soon as you could see into a pot on the stove, even if you had to stand on a chair to do it. Hunting and fishing were only a short walk from the front door.

Dwight

If at first you succeed, try not to act surprised.

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Unfortunately, none of the links on that page have any content on them.

THe Picayune, and their rediculous website policies, foil even my best efforts. A shame really as that was a great series of work. I am going to see if I can get the text version of the articles. It really was an interesting series.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Pretty much south of the Intercoastal Waterway/US highway 90 (more or less) or I-10 (further west near Lafayette)

To be south of the Intracoastal Canal in Vermilion parish you would need to be in Pecan Island! This misses Abbeville, Kaplan, Meaux, Nunez, Leroy, and Maurice! Erath and Henry! Cow Island and Forked Island.

I don't think that's correct. You can also go north of I-10 to places like Church Point, Eunice, Opelousas, Mamou, Basile, and Ville Platte. West to Kinder and Iowa. Oberlin too. Even Turkey Creek.

Mayhaw's map is less restrictive and more accurate, IMO.

Edited by My Confusing Horoscope (log)

Scorpio

You'll be surprised to find out that Congress is empowered to forcibly sublet your apartment for the summer.

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This is a pretty good map of Acadiana, although it uses Parish Lines as boundaries and that is not entirely accurate. Certainly the line could be extended into extreme Southeast Texas (ever been to Sartin's in Sabine Pass? (now apparently moved north to Nederland)-it might as well have been in Lafayette). And parts of several parishes on the Northern Border of Acadiana could easily be included.

Anyway, the map broadly supports my triangle description and I can use all of the support that I can get.

Incidentally, I live in St Tammany Parish which is located in the part of the map labeled as the Florida Parishes as we were not part of the Louisiana Purchase but were a part of British (and occasionally Spanish) West Florida. West Florida has been part of a number of nations.

Louisiana is an interesting place. with a very diverse history.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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Brooks, thanks for the definitions of what composes southern Louisiana. I used to kid my friends from Louisiana about the fact that the Florida Parishes used to belong to Florida and we gave them back. And in terms of food, the entire gulf coast region was different food wise that the deep south because of the abundance of the fresh seafood. My grandfather used to make a seafood chowder that was incredibly good. It was not a gumbo because there was no okra but it had potatos. It was spicy, spicy, spicy and not all that tomatoey. And he only used fresh red snapper for the meat. Of course that was when you could take home all the red snapper you could get into your cooler.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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