Aug 14, 2012

Downs and Ups

This week's See Ya In the Gumbo is HERE.

Beloved Creole Tomatoes on the menu today.  In the form of a tomato-y, garlicky, creamy salad dressing.

But first a couple of ups and downs.

After registering The Boy for middle school, I found out that French classes have been cut as a result of my parish's horribly failed school budget.  (School librarians, nurses, and teacher's aides have also been cut.)  Yes, French classes cut in the middle of Acadiana where many street signs are printed in French.  Where grandparents go giddy conversing with their grandchildren in French.

The Boy's favorite class, in fact.

More and more often, children are being raised on McDonald's instead of being raised on rice & gravy.

Too often I see parents steer their children away from Cajun music, calling it "that old people chank-a-chank" instead of letting their children listen and form their own opinions.


Sometimes, though, there are little sparks of hope.

At the end-of-school skating party, the DJ played some zydeco music.  A bunch of the kids kicked off their skates and started dancing.  With their teachers even.
Really cool to see that.

Every summer The Boy attends The Louisiana Folk Roots Cajun & Creole Summer Camp for Kids.  And every year camp is overflowing with eager young accordionists, guitarists, and fiddle players.
Really cool to see that.

Another really, way cool thing to see was The Boy performing on the Rendez-vous des Cajuns show at the Liberty Theater in Eunice, LA.

This is a weekly show, in French, featuring Cajun and Creole bands.  The show is likened to a Cajun version of the Grand Ole Opry.  Young and old (admittedly, mostly old) gather on Saturday nights at the Liberty to listen and dance.

The Boy was invited to play 4 songs on stage July 28th.


His favorite song to play: 1755


The old people were thrilled to see a young squirt play "their" music.  Some of the kids in the audience were pretty darn into seeing one of their own playing on stage.

Sometimes I wonder about the fate of our culture--
about losing our language (which my generation doesn't speak)
about losing our music (which The Boy's generation doesn't seem to listen to)
about losing our food (which all generations don't seem to have the time to cook).

But maybe that's just silly talk.  Because there are those moments when the three mix together, forming something strong.  Cementing it all in an immovable bridge between young and old and in between.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My mom introduced me to a local salad dressing--Creole Tomato Dressing from Cousins (pronounced Cooz-anh around here).  Unfortunately, the distribution area does not include my part of Louisiana.  I whipped up some at home and even though it isn't really like Cousins, I think this dressing will surface again.


Printer Friendly

Creole Tomato Dressing

2 medium to large very ripe Creole tomatoes, quartered
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp rough chopped parsley
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
1 heaping Tbsp Creole mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise

In a blender or food processor, puree tomatoes and garlic together.  Add in the remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the mayo.  Process until thoroughly mixed.  Pour into a bowl and whisk in the mayo to thicken and turn the dressing creamy.  Taste and season with more salt if needed.  Cover and keep refrigerated. Makes about 2 cups.

This post featured at:

featured at  freedom friday

Recipe Box

Check out these parties I'm linking with this week:

Food on Friday: Tomatoes @ Carole's Chatter
Photobucket MyMeatlessMondays Photobucket
 Hearth and Soul blog hop at Premeditated Leftovers
Love Bakes  Good Cakes
Nap-Time Creations
White Lights on Wednesdays
Recipe Box Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
Gallery of Favorites
BWS tips button Freedom Fridays

Simply Delish Saturday  slice of southern button Seasonal Sunday Teapot copy

43 comments:

  1. It breaks my heart to see which areas in schools are being punished so harshly by budget shortfalls. I'll bet the football and basketball programs are doing just fine, aren't they.

    I spent a full week with my mom this summer learning some of the Armenian dishes that were passed down to her just to make sure they survive and can be passed on to Dudette some day.

    I love the look and sound of this dressing. I just need to find me some Creole mustard now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's nice to hear about the time you spent with your mom. Sounds like a day to treasure. Thank you for visiting!

      Delete
  2. Amen sistah! I have had people tell me that they don't allow the word "y'all" in their house because it sounds uneducated. I feel the same way about local customs and culture. LOVED the video. You should be so proud, both of his inhibitions and his ability.
    Oh, and the salad dressing looks great. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I can't help it. You all and you guys don't sound right to me. It's yall all the way, baby.

      Delete
  3. Michelle- I hear ya! And, I think it really stinks that the schools have to do without so many programs, etc. Hopefully they'll get French class in high school? Let's cross our fingers!

    Love the looks of that dressing. It looks so creamy! Bet you can find lots of things to drizzle it on :)

    P.S. Good luck with middle school. It feels like a giant step forward (and it is) but Olivia loves it and I expect the boy will love it too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad Olivia is liking middle school. Gabe does too. He likes the part about switching classes. They do get French in high school (hoping that won't be cut too!).

      Delete
  4. I too, love local customs and culture!!
    Hopefully, it will prevail.
    Wonderful video...I love the fiddle. and nice salad dressing too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Debbie. I sure hope so too.

      Delete
  5. I lived in Texas for a few years growing up and I fell in LOVE with Creole food. I cannot wait to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing :) New follower here. Yay for being blog friends!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting. I'm following you too.

      Delete
  6. Ah, this made me tear up. I wrote a post on this in my blog awhile back http://sainteasy.blogspot.com/2011/07/cultural-heaven.html

    I feel such a strong pull to preserve the culture and the language and I feel like I can't because here in Colorado, it's like I'm even further in exile. Hopefully someday when I have kids I can pass these things on to them, even if it's just letting them know when they're being couyons or having a treat when we get an envie...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Paige. I'm going over to your post comment. (P.S. you made me laugh over "couyons")

      Delete
  7. Your dressing looks and sounds delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you...and thanks for stopping in.

      Delete
  8. I have to try this! It sounds awesome! Thanks for linking up! Sarah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for hosting, Sarah.

      Delete
  9. This really does look amazing!! I am loving your blog! Im a new follower! Would LOVE for you to join my site as well! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. This really does look amazing!! I am loving your blog! Im a new follower! Would LOVE for you to join my site as well! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I joined! Thanks for visiting.

      Delete
  11. your dressing looks (and sounds) amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm so sorry to hear about your son's French classes! Languages and culture are so important, and yet they are always the first thing to get cut. Sadly it seems to be like that almost everywhere these days. You are doing a lot to keep the Cajun culture alive with your wonderful blog and recipes! This salad dressing sounds so delicious. Although I'll have to try it with ordinary mustard and British tomatoes, I'm sure it will still taste good - although I'd love to taste the 'real thing'!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. April, thank you for the encouragement!

      Delete
  13. Hi MM,
    I just loved your post and this dressing is amazing, can't wait to try it. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Miz Helen. And thank you for hosting each week.

      Delete
  14. Looks yummy. Thanks for sharing with Simply Delish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you--glad yall are back blogging.

      Delete
  15. Awful about the French class our Catholic schools are having a hard time around here in NY. Is there a cultural center that maybe offers it? The dressing sounds fantastic and very versatile thanks for sharing it on foodie friday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a cultural center here, but the French classes are once a year. My husband found some teaching materials geared towards kids--we're going to try that. Thanks for coming by.

      Delete
  16. It is very sad to see cultures lost. The school systems nationwide are in a terrible mess. Your post is great - hopefully there will be people from the younger generation to keep the Cajun culture alive! I pinned this salad dressing - it sounds phenomenal! Thank you for sharing at All my Bloggy Friends this week! I hope to see you again Tuesday! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the Pin! And thanks for hosting.

      Delete
  17. I love, love, love your culture. I became completely smitten when I worked as a seismic broker in Houston for a company based in New Orleans. Some of the nicest people I have ever met lived there and always showed me the finest hospitality whenever I came to town. I live in Idaho now and my jeep's license plate reads LANYAP ~ the phonetic spelling of lagniappe. No one at the DMV knew why I wanted this plate, and asked if it was a swear word! Go to the library and get cd's on French. Help your son learn. Keep your culture alive. You have reason to be proud. I am your newest follower and you better believe I will be trying out this great dressing recipe!

    Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much. Great plate you have! I love that your coworkers though it was a swear word--too funny!

      Delete
  18. never made much sense to me why schools teach world and state history yet forgo local customs, culture and knowledge that make up who they are and where they come from...
    love that boy of yours up there, I know you and everyone there are right proud of him....
    just goes to show, y'all have done good...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, Drick. Thanks for the nice words.

      Delete
  19. I can't believe I haven't commented on this yet. I have been back to this post numerous time over the past week. I love hearing your boy playing. My Fellow has a fiddle and picks it up ever so often. He so enjoyed this when I shared it with him.
    I am glad you are on a campaign of your own to keep the culture going. I know it feels like a losing battle but you are doing an outstanding job of sharing your culture with us (ME). I enjoy reading about your travels, foods and of course the awesome music:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the pep talk, Evelyn...you are good at that! And thank you for watching (and sharing) the video.

      Delete
  20. Your dressing is being featured. I hope to get back to link up, during the week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the feature, Chaya. I linked up today.

      Delete
  21. It is sad to see our cultural heritages disappear, but so encouraging when you see young children like your son carry on the tradition. I enjoyed watching his performance.

    Your dressing looks wonderful! While there are fewer people who are learning to cook when young, I see a resurgence among young adults trying to fill in that gap. Your blog will preserve those great recipes for future generations!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh man that dressing looks amazing! I have to try that! but what is a Creole tomato?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The answer to this question sparks debate. My opinion is that a Creole tomato is a tomato grown in the alluvial soils south of New Orleans. It is all about soil and climate--much like wine grapes. At one time, the LSU Ag Center released a variety of tomato named "Creole." Now, people want to call practically any tomato grown in Louisiana a "Creole tomato." I still say it's all about the soil found where the Mississippi ran it's course. Creole tomatoes are super juicy with more "jelly" inside than a lot of other tomatoes. For this dressing, very ripe garden fresh tomatoes will work.

      Delete
  23. Oh i just love this dressing! Thanks for sharing on Southern Sundays!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments.