October surely ranks as the most pleasant month of the year in coastal Louisiana. At last, the heat has broken and the humidity is in temporary retreat. The first satsumas are ripe, pecans rain down from the trees, speckled trout return to the inshore marshes, and the sugarcane harvest spreads sweet smoke through the countryside.
October is also time for the 40th annual French Food Festival in Larose, LA, my hometown community center’s fundraiser celebrating food and folkways. (The fest is October 25, 26, and 27, 2013. Festival music schedule here, and click here for driving directions. Full festival website here.) As always, I’ll be working with family and friends all weekend, cooking seafood gumbo on site. Our seafood gumbo is just one among dozens of traditional foods on offer, ranging from shrimp boulettes, grattons, pork routtee, fried seafood, jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, alligator sauce piquante, boudin balls, hogshead cheese, and homestyle desserts like pralines, pecan pies, tarte a la bouillie, and much more.
The weekend promises perfect “gumbo weather”, with highs in the mid 70s and lows in the upper 50s, so consider a road trip this weekend to support a good cause. In addition to the food, a carnival midway, a “Glow in the Dark” evening run over the Intracoastal bridge, and a fantastic 40th anniversary poster created by artist Richard Thomas (pictured at left). Read about Thomas’ experiences in Larose after Hurricane Katrina, and how he came to appreciate the community spirit of this small town.