October 23, 2008

Avoyelles Parish Events

October 1-31, 2008
New Deal Archeology, Marksville State Historic Site, Month long exhibit, $2 for ages 13-61; others free. Contact Marksville State Historic Site at 318-253-8954 for more information.

October 24, 2008
Myths and Legends, Marksville State Historic Site, 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., $2 ages 13-61, others free. Contact Marksville State Historic Site, at 318-253-8954 for more information.

October 25, 2008
Avoyelles Senior Health and Fun Day
Paragon Mari Center, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sponsored by the Avoyelles Council on Aging. Please call 318-253-9771 for registration and information.

November 1-2, 2008
Festival of Quilts, Cottonport Museum, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
220 Cottonport Avenue, Cottonport, LA 71327
Please call 318-876-2386 for additional information.

December 13th, and 14th, 2008
Christmas Parade and Fireworks on the Bayou Festival, Town of Cottonport, Hwy. 107, Cottonport, LA.
Fireworks, December 13th at 6:00 p.m.
Parade, December 14th at 1:30 p.m.
Please contact City Hall at 318-876-3485 for more information..

Nanking Restaurant

UPDATE 08-23-2009

Sad news, but Nanking Restaurant is closing at the end of August 2009.

Downtown Shreveport is home to an historic restaurant that has been around for generations. Nanking Restaurant which serves Chinese and American dishes is located in downtown Shreveport at 614 Milam.

The food is great! In my opinion they serve the best fried rice. One of our favorite dishes is Pineapple Chicken. Pineapple Chicken is made with two chicken breasts which are coated with a batter and deep fried. The sauce is a sweet and sour sauce with pineapple chunks that is delicious. This is served with white rice.

The egg rolls are huge and tasty. They are unlike the typical egg rolls you find in most Asian restaurants. They are loaded with celery, vegetables and spices.

Another family favorite is Cantonese Chicken. Cantonese Chicken is according to the menu "chicken fried golden brown in our special batter, mounted on a bed of fresh tender bean sprouts, covered with our Cantonese mushroom sauce."

The Combination Delight 1 which is an egg roll, tempura chicken and Teriyaki is perfect for little ones.

Oh, I almost forgot the bread. With your meal comes a tray of fresh, homemade bread. I have no idea what kind of bread it is but it is soooooo gooood. Hot, buttery bread.

The menu is full of Cantonese specials: Mongolian Beef, Hong Shew Chicken, Almond Chicken, Chow Har Kew, Beef Steak Kew, Shrimp with Lobster sauce and more.

There are combination plates featuring Pepper Steak, Chicken Chow Mein, Beef Teriyaki, Sesame Chicken. Nanking also serves Chop Suey, Chow Mein, Lo Mein, Egg Foo Young and Fried Rice.

In addition to all of the Chinese dishes, Nanking serves steak, pork chops, chicken, and seafood. Sandwiches include Hot Turkey, Hot Beef, Club, Ham and Cheese, Roast Beef, Cheeseburgers and Hamburgers. Soup and Salad is served as well.

A bit of trivia on Nanking Restaurant. It used to be the place to go after clubs closed down. Many musicians enjoyed eating at Nanking.

So the next time you are looking for a place to eat, trek off the beaten path and go to Nanking Restaurant.

October 21, 2008

Christmas Ideas from Louisiana

Christmas is right around the corner. I wanted to share this information with readers of Louisiana Trekker who are shopping for Christmas gifts.

These North Louisiana businesses offer everything for your holiday entertaining as well as possible gift ideas. And by supporting these companies you are helping the local economy. Keep your hard earned money close to home. Support local farmers and businesses.

The Louisiana Products Guide includes cajun seasonings, spices and rubs, honey, syrup, smoked sausage, fish fry mix, gourmet foods, cobbler mixes, pecans, wine, produce, fruit, candy, nuts of every kind, coffee, mayhaws, muscadines, hot pepper sauce, Natchitoches meat pies, jelly, jams and more. Click here for a list of North Louisiana businesses who have products that would make great Christmas gifts.

There are still some farmer's markets that are open. Click here for a listing of Farmer's Markets in North Louisiana.

This product guide includes the following Louisiana businesses: Allens Inc., Bayou Blends Seasoning, Inc., Bayou Queen Bee Farms, Bellevue Meat Processing, Breau Jo's, Cajun 2 Geaux,

Cajun Gold Catfish Processors, Calhoun Bend Mill, Inc., Cane River Island Foods, LLC, Catdaddy Sauce COmpany, Chauvin HOney Farm, Chef Hans' Gourmet Food, Chef Lorenzo, LLC, Cookie Cone Corporation, Casa de Sue Winery, Clear Lake Apiary, Company Farm Pecans, Crawfish City, Debbie Roy Brokerage Co., Dawson Farms, Shreveport Macaroni Mfg., Du Paul Enterprises,

Dumas Candy Company, Dove's Nest, Down Home Meats, E.B.’s Tamale Company, Earl Roy Produce, Eddies BBQ, LLC, Evan's Eden Fruit Farm,

Feliciana Delights, Inc.,Fertitta's Delicatessen, Farmer's Seafood Kitchens, Inc., Foremost Dairy, Food Way the Louisiana Way - Tasty, Haring's Pride Catfish, Harold Quebedeaux Produce, Honey Bayou Farm, Hummer and Son Honey Farm,

J. Bernard Crawfish Processing, Inc., Jelks Incorporated, Kinloch Plantation, King's Fish Market, Louisiana Cajun Classics, Louisiana Crawfish Company, Louisiana Pecans, Louisiana Sauce Factory,

McCain Farms, Ma's Cajun Meat Pies,Mitcham Farm, LLC, Minsky Pecan Market, Inc., Moe's Crawfish Kitchen, Natchitoches Meat Pie Company, Natchitoches Pecans, Inc., Music Mountain Water Company, Noah's Potato Chip Company, Norris Syrup Mill, LLC,

The Ole Homestead, On Mayhaw Hill, Panola Pepper Corporation, Peter's Crescent City Connection, LLC, Pleasant Acres Jams & Jellies, Plunkett Farms, Pomidoro House, Poole Produce, Poverty Point Produce, Rhymes Ohh La! La!, Ronnie's Bar B Que Sauce, Rosalie Sugarmill, Inc., Robertson Fruit & Produce, Roy's Best of the Bayou, Sonshine Orchards,

Sky Lin Farms, South Franklin Farmer's Market, LLC, Spring Branch Orchard, Sugarmakers, Sweet & Sons, Three Rivers Fish Company, The Nutcracker Company, LLC, Robert M. Tippett, Warren's Khoury Candy Company, The Yam Company, Ybar Farms.

The Louisiana Products Guide includes a host of businesses that manufacture or grow a variety of products right here in North Louisiana. Take a moment to view the list and shop at home. You won’t be disappointed. There are many talented, hard-working individuals who would love to visit with you and share their products with you.

Included in this product guide are nurseries, gourd crafts and purple martin houses made from gourds, high-end gas barbecue grills, hay, animal bedding, cotton items, whole cotton seeds, sterling silver wine glass charms, sterling silver wedding cake charms, gift baskets, pecan trees, handmade soaps, lotions, scrubs and other personal care products, clothing (jumpers, smocks, t-shirts), pillows, garden benches and fresh cut flowers and plants.

North Louisiana Businesses in this guide include:
Doug Young Nursery, Gourds - Gowards - Goards, G & C Nursery, Hickory Hill Nursery, Iron Works, Kingsland Ranch, Lady Lariat Animal Bedding, John Langston Nursery, Lagniappe Cotton Gin, LLC, Louisiana Creole Heritage Center at Northwestern State University, Marymade , Pelican State Baskets, Red Top Pecan Company, Robert Strange Nursery, Rocky Mount Gourds, Skin Soothers Handmade Toiletries, St. Augustine Historical Society, Sans Souci, Tensas Co-op Gin and Waters Edge Nursery. This list is by no means inclusive. There are many, many Louisiana businesses. If you know of one that isn't on this list, please let Louisiana Trekker know at louisianatrekker@gmail.com or write Publisher, Louisiana Trekker, PO Box 208, Elm Grove, LA 71051.

Source: Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry website

If you have a business or product that you would like added to the site, please email the Publisher at LouisianaTrekker@gmail.com or mail information to P.O. Box , Elm Grove, LA 71051.

Support Louisiana businesses, products and restaurants. When you get the chance, choose Louisiana products over others it benefits all of us.

Louisiana Sausage & Onion Rolls Recipe with Down Home Sausage

There are great foods made right here in North Louisiana. Over the weekend my husband and I made some scrumptious sausage and onion rolls. What made these so good is that they were made with sausage from Down Home Meats in Stonewall. We were first introduced to this sausage at the home of one of my best friends. Her father cooked it out on a grill. The flavor was amazing!

Louisiana Sausage & Onion Rolls
1 lb Down Home Sausage (this comes in mild and hot flavors)
2 large yellow onions, sliced
12 small Yeast rolls (we used some frozen yeast rolls purchased at a local wholesale food club)
Butter, less than a tablespoon

Cook yeast rolls per directions.

Cut up sausage into small links, fry in skillet. Set aside and keep warm.

In same skillet melt butter and add onions. Cook until onions become soft.

Cut rolls in half, add sausage and onions. Serve.

This would be a great addition to any party, special occasion, celebration, tailgate party, or as a family dinner.

Note: It would be very easy to add bell peppers to this recipe. Cut up the bell peppers in rings and cook with onions. Use green, red or yellow bell peppers. Also, if you are feeding a crowd, just increase the amount of sausage, onions and rolls.
Recipe copyright 2008 Louisiana Trekker

Contact information on
Down Home Meats
P.O. Box 405, Stonewall, LA 71078
Telephone: (318) 925-6915 Fax: (318) 925-6930
Products: Smoked sausage, hot or mild
Source for contact information: Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry

October 19, 2008

The Legend of Spanish Moss

Louisiana is such a unique state. There are so many beautiful places to see. The trees are so beautiful. There are hardwoods, pine, dogwoods, cypress, magnolias, and crepe myrtles just to name a few. Everywhere you go there is beautiful scenery.

If you ever travel to the waterways and bayous of Louisiana there is something coating the trees that gives the areas a mysterious and sometimes spooky look. That is Spanish moss that covers many trees in Louisiana. If you’ve never seen trees draped in Spanish moss then you need to drive to one of the area lakes or bayous and look around. It is beautiful.

In the book “Louisiana” by Allen Carpenter, he reveals an old Indian legend about the origins of Spanish moss. The legend goes that there was a sudden flood and an Indian mother had to climb a tree with her two children. They had to spend the night in the cold so the Indian mother prayed to the moon to shine on them and keep them warm. A blanket of grey moss covered them. The Indian children told their mother that the moon had torn clouds out of the sky to protect them and keep them warm. The legend is that moss has grown there since.

So when you are out in the wild, untamed bayous, lakes or rivers of the great state of Louisiana look for the Spanish moss. The beauty will amaze you.

Legend from “Louisiana” by Allen Carpenter, published by Children’s Press, Chicago. Copyright 1967.

October 18, 2008

Trekker for Foodies: Homemade Pancakes & Norris' Syrup

Amy’s Homemade Pancakes
My children love pancakes. This is a fast, easy recipe for homemade pancakes. The hardest part is getting the pan or griddle to the correct temperature. I cook up the entire batch and freeze the leftovers. My little ones like to help me mix the batter together. Enjoy!

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
Milk (enough to make the batter easy to pour)
2 teaspoons vanilla or vanilla nut butter (can use almond extract also)

(optional ingredients: blueberries, mini chocolate chips, be creative and enjoy.)

Mix dry ingredients into large bowl. Add egg, melted butter, and milk. Mix thoroughly with a spoon. It may be a bit lumpy but that’s normal. Add vanilla.

Heat skillet or griddle on medium high. Pour batter by ladle onto skillet or griddle. The size of the pancakes depends upon how much batter used. For little ones make little pancakes the size of a silver dollar. For adults can make larger pancakes. Turn pancakes when they start to bubble up. Heat on other side for a bit longer.

Take pancakes out of pan and spread butter on them. Serve with your favorite syrup (Mine is Norris’ Moon Shine Syrup, made right here in North Louisiana; my husband enjoys Norris’ Best Syrup it has a stronger taste). These are also good with your favorite breakfast food of sausage, bacon, eggs, ham, grits, etc.

Product information: Norris Syrup Mill, LLC, P.O. Box 2696, 227 Laird St., West Monroe, LA 71294-2696 Contact: Pat Norris or Steven Norris at 318-396-8355 or email: syrupco@jam.rr.com Products: Cane syrup and syrup products

If you have any Louisiana Recipes you'd like to share, please email me at LouisianaTrekker@gmail.com. Check back often, future posts on Louisiana Trekker will highlight other great Louisiana products.

Support Louisiana businesses, products and restaurants. When you get the chance, choose Louisiana products over others it benefits all of us.

Trekker History: Vernon Parish

Vernon Parish, established 1871, was named after Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington

Logging and lumber products were main economy until 1941 when Camp Polk was opened. The Kansas City Southern Railway made it to Leesville in 1897. The original train depot is now the Museum of West Louisiana.

Fort Polk is the 5th largest military installation in the country. The base was named for Leonidas Polk the first Episcopal Bishop in Louisiana. He was known as the “Fighting Bishop of the Confederacy.”

There are six incorporated cities in Vernon Parish: Leesville, New Llano, Hornbeck, Simpson, Anacoco, and Rosepine.

Leesville, which was named for Confederate War Hero, Robert E. Lee, is the parish seat. Leesville was once known as “No man’s land”.

Burr Ferry was named for a local doctor and is known as the “Gateway to Louisiana” as it is near the Texas border. During the Civil War the Confederates set up an artillery site in Burr Ferry.

Source: Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce website.

Celebrate Art, Indian Traditions, Haunted History and Meat Pies

Natchitoches Parish is bustling with activities this fall.

Cane River Creole Legacy Exhibit

The Old Courthouse Museum, a branch of the Louisiana State System, presents their newest exhibit: Cane River Creole Legacy. This exhibit is a collection of colorful oil paintings by artist Gilbert D. Fletcher, documenting the historic structures, culture and community of Cane River. To compliment the paintings, the gallery will also have the works of master craftsman John Allen Leblanc. The exhibit is open until October 25. The Museum is open Monday – Saturday. For more information call 318-357-2270.

Natchitoches Meat Pie Festival

Enjoy meat pies, music and more at the 6th Annual Natchitoches Meat Pie Festival on Friday, October 17th and Saturday, October 18th on the downtown riverbank. The festival will feature food and beverage vendors including the famous “Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant,” well-known for their famous Natchitoches Meat Pie and Cane River Mud Pie. Vendors will setup on the downtown riverbank selling their special versions of this legendary meat pie along with other festival cuisine.

This is a free event and the public is asked to bring their lawn chairs. No ice chests will be allowed into the festival area. For a complete schedule of events visit the Festival website at http://www.meatpiefestival.com/.

Adai Indian Pow Wow

The Adai Indian Community on Hwy. 485 will host their 18th Annual Pow Wow on Saturday, October 18th. This event is held on the grounds of the Adai Indian Cultural Center located near Robeline, La. Festivities include arts and crafts, food, traditional Indian Dances and more! Special guests include visitors from tribes in Oklahoma, Texas and Mexico. Free admission. Remember to bring a lawn chair. For more information please call 318-472-1007.

Haunted History Tour

The Natchitoches Historic Foundation invites you to be terrifically entertained on Saturday as it resurrects some of the most colorful characters in the history of Natchitoches. The Haunted History Tour will feature live portrayals of area personalities buried in the American Cemetery on Second Street, believed to be the oldest cemetery in the Louisiana Purchase. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased at the Natchitoches Information Center, 781 Front Street, or at the Cemetery during the tour. For more information, including the tour's cast of characters, visit http://www.historicfoundation.org/ or call 800-259-1714.

For more festival listings in Natchitoches Parish, call 800-259-1714 for a yearly schedule.

Source: Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

October 05, 2008

Rapides Parish Events

Kent Plantation House, 19th Century Mourning Tours, October 1st - October 31st. Tour times scheduled for 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. Closed Sundays. Cost: $6 adults, $5 senior citizens, $2 children ages 6-12. For more information, call 487-5998.

Downtown ArtWalk on October 12th, in Downtown Alexandria from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. A free, family-oriented walking tour featuring visual arts and live entertainment. Visit the various museums, studios & galleries all located within a few blocks. Downtown businesses will offer food and drinks for purchase. Admission is free. For more information, call 484-4474.

Fall Herb Day and Yard Sale, Kent Plantation House on October 13th, from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Up to 74 varieties of herbs for sale. Admission is free. For more information, call 487-5998.

Sawmill Trade Days , October 13th, LaCroix Park (Hwy 8 West in Pollock) beginning at 8:00 a.m. Antiques, collectibles, farmer's market, concession, arts and crafts, jellies and jams, tools and more. Auction, 1 p.m. Each vendor may sell up to 2 items, no set-up fee. Admission is free. For more information, call 765-3796.

Annual Silent Auction & 2008 Raffle Calendar Kick-off on October 14th, Libuse Czech Community Hall from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Items of interest to bid on may include, but not limited to pysanky eggs, jewelry, Czech Crystal, kolache, original paintings, and more. Need not be present to win. Free admission. For more information, call 473-2745.

Jewish Food Festival on October 14th, at the Jewish Temple from 11:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. For more information call 561-7370.

Zoo Boo on October 29th - October 31st at The Alexandria Zoo from 6:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., admission is $4.00 per person, all ages. Biggest Halloween party in town for all ages! Kids 12 and younger can trick-or-treat along the decorated trails as scenery comes to life. For more information, call 473-1143.

Tamales! Tamales! Tamales!

In Louisiana food is not just for nourishment; it's art, history, heritage, culture, and flavor all rolled together. Each community has special dishes which tie the present to the past. Zwolle is known for their great tasting tamales.

The Zwolle Tamale Fiesta which is a celebration of Spanish and Native American Heritage will be held Thursday, October 9th through Saturday, October 12th at the Festival Grounds in Zwolle.

The festival features a tamale making demonstration, tamale eating contest, treasure hunt, street dance, arts and crafts, and a parade. Other activities include pageants, arm wrestling contests, Spanish costume contests, rides, food, and the Fiesta Mud Bog for trucks.

For more information: 800-358-7802.