Real Cajun Cooking lets you choose from hundreds of authentic Cajun recipes. Learn to easily prepare and cook original Cajun-style family meals with help from south Louisiana's Cajun cook and connoisseur, Jacques Gaspard, who's been preparing great Cajun meals for several decades. Create the best gumbos, seafood, jambalaya, stews,, salads and deserts – the way they were originally prepared. Besides great original recipes, you will discover a hodgepodge of stories, recordings, music, videos and humorous anecdotes to entertain. So enjoy! Don't forget to tell all of your family and friends about Real Cajun Cooking. They will thank you for it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Scary Stories | Loup Garou | Cajun Werewolf

For Your Halloween Entertainment

A Haunting We Will Go

The four Cajun fur trappers in this bloodcurdling story eventually found themselves trapped (like rats) in an old hunting and fishing cabin deep in the dark and foreboding swamps of south Louisiana.

Date: October 31, 1969 -- Halloween.

Place: Indian Bayou, Louisiana.

Follow along as the unsuspecting quartet leads us on a journey of unimaginable freight as they experience, first hand, the full meaning of what it feels like to be truly terrified. Forget the popcorn, but NOT the garlic.


TASTE FOR THE BIG RATS
It was a long day and hard work running and setting rat traps for miles along the mosquito infested water's edge of the winding bayou.
It was also a few minutes before nightfall when the four trappers gathered at an old fishing camp where they planned to spend the night.
The cabin was an inheritance and now belonged to Gaspard, one of the members of the trapping party.
His deceased uncle left it to him several years earlier. The small weather-beaten shack had not been used by anyone since the old man's death.
The inside of the old fishing cabin had a tight seal to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
Old army cots,  which were still folded in place against one of the inside walls,  provided the trappers instant access when it came time to get some shut-eye.
Despite the harsh weather conditions it had experienced through the years, the old shack was still in good shape. Good enough to serve as a temporary shelter for the night.
No one wants to be caught outdoors in a south Louisiana swamp after the sun goes down.
A warped overhead sign hanged above the door of the small fishing camp.
The crooked hand-painted letters spelled, "TIDE OVER" and was almost illegible because, like the old cabin, it too had weathered many violent gulf storms over the years.
Like boats, Cajuns traditionally give their fishing camps names.
Most names have a story behind it, but no one knew why Gaspard's dead uncle gave his camp the name "TIDE OVER".
Behind the camp, catercorner to the porch, was a walk-way which jutted several feet out onto the waters of the bayou.
Gaspard's uncle had built a make-shift dock about mid-way and that was the place where the trappers safely secured their boats.
The bounty of nutria was stored in a large metal cooler near the back door.
The quartet had settled in for the night.
They had already bagged a couple dozen large rats so now it was time to pop-a-top on a few cold ones.
After skinning and tanning the animal skins, Cajun trappers would sell their hides to a French consortium who made fashion products with them.
The meat of the large rats was sold to the locals for consumption or for crawfish bait.
Soon the screened windows of the little camp were aglow and casting feeble yellow light into the labyrinthine darkness of the surrounding swamp.
Insects buzzed against the window screen and now and then a big moth would flutter there for a while before the darkness would swallow it up again.
The men made a quick meal of some catfish they had caught earlier in the day and washed it down with ice-cold beer.
Soon the lights were dimmed and the tired trappers contentedly took to their beds.
From outside, amid the comforting chirping of the crickets and katy-dids, the familiar snuffling of the raccoon and the possum could be heard.
Every now and then a little “plunk” from the still bayou water meant a fish was jumping or a frog had caught a meal.
Surrounded by the all encompassing darkness and the hypnotic symphony of sounds from the insects and bull-frogs, the trappers were soon asleep.
Baudier was the name of the first man to wake up, jolted, all of a sudden, but by what he did not know?
Blinking in the darkness, he listened. He sat up. And, he listened some more.
He heard nothing ... absolutely nothing ... not a sound. Not a cricket, not a katy-did, not a snuffle or a plunk, or a croak. He heard nothing.
“Chotin!” he whispered to the man on the cot next to him.
“Chotin! Wake up, man! Dere’s sometin’ wrong out dere!”
Chotin, a large figure of a Cajun man, slept shirtless with his pants and white shrimp boots on. Suddenly he sat up, too, and blindly gazed into the darkness toward Baudier’s voice.
“Maannn! What is wrong wid you?” Chotin droned.
“You waked me up from a good sleep, I tell you. Dis better be good!”
“Shhh!” said Baudier. “Listen!”
 Baudier looked around the small cabin until he focused on Chotin's face.
“Hear dat?”
Chotin listened, but he heard nothing.
“Hear what?” , Chotin asked with a scowl on his face.
As Chotin asked the question he became acutely aware of the dead silence outside.
He whistled in the direction of the front door using a low-pitch so as not to awaken the other men in the cabin. But, there were still no sounds coming from outside.
“Chere! Dere ain’t notin’ out dere!”
But, Tirout and Gaspard did hear Chotin's whistle and sat up too.
“Man, what yous doin’?” asked Gaspard.
“Shhhh!” came a hoarse little whisper from Tirout.
“Listen! What’s dat?”
Together they heard it. It was the sound of a thump, followed by another thump, followed by a couple of splashes ... then two more thumps.
The trappers were terrified by the approach of  the thumping sounds and were wondering where they were coming from?
Then they heard another thump, and then another, coming from the little spit of land where the traps were set. 
The splashes put the sound near the boats which had been tied-up at the dock.
Waiting, sweating, not understanding what had them so frightened, but too scared to ignore their gut, the four trappers sat petrified, in the dark, while they listened to something approach in the absolute stillness of the night.
Thump! Thump!
“Gawd!", said Baudier as he cleared his throat. When the white eyes of the other men turned on him he said, “Dat sounds like feet to me!”
Then all eyes turned toward the screened windows.
Just then came three more thumps in succession followed by the definite sound of something stepping onto the wooden porch alongside the camp.
The men had never before been so frightened in all their lives. The feeling of terror inside the little fishing camp hit a peak as a sniffing, snuffling, snorting kind of sound filled the air around them.
 SOMETHING was out there and it was SMELLING for them!
Beads of sweat broke on Baudier’s forehead and dripped down into his eyes.
He glanced at the windows which were sparsely illuminated by the moonlight as it shown down on the shack between the passing clouds high above the canopy of moss laden cypress trees - like a scene from a horror movie.
He could feel the others looking, too.
There never was any doubt as to what Baudier saw next before he passed out, because the other men saw it too!
A huge animal head slowly went past the windows. It had the head of a dog - blown-up to enormous size. They saw the creature in vivid profile against the shimmer of the full-moon.
Long dog-like ears stood straight up to hear every sound. The glassy-yellow monstrous and watery eyes that, had they turned to look inside the camp, would surely have caused the shaking Cajuns to die of fright on the spot!
Drool hung in long sinuous strings from its grisly teeth, and, perhaps worst of all, was the scraping and screeching of what could only be long nails scratching along the outside wall.
Suddenly, the creature bent down, probably to walk on all fours because the next sound was like a big dog scampering on the wooden porch planks.
The thumping led away to the rear of the camp and suddenly there came a loud metal “CLANG!” The beast had found the old cooler where the nutria were stored.
With growing terror and disgust the Cajun trappers sat in the darkness of the camp and listened while the horrible loup garou devoured every single one of the large nutria rats they had trapped in the swamp that day.
Guttural gulping and horrible cracking of skulls and bones filled the men with dread, but they dared not move so long as the loup garou was feasting.
Long moments passed that seemed like hours, then suddenly, to their horror, Baudier began to awake and he was groaning loud enough for the werewolf to hear!!
All the white eyes in the pitch-black room turned upward and each man began to pray, while Baudier continued to groan. Suddenly, the horrible eating stopped. The loup garou was listening!
They heard a limp and sad little thump. The men knew the beast had dropped a nutria to the wooden floor of the back porch. A rustling and clicking noise meant the beast had surely heard Baudier’s pitiful groaning.
Chotin, Tirout and Gaspard thought about all the things they would miss in life – boudin sausage and Miller Lite beer, bingo and deer hunting and their boats and wives – when suddenly, from out in the swamp, they heard a sound that made the hair on their bodies rise and stand straight on end!
“Aaaarooo!!” came the howl. The noises on the porch outside stopped.
“Aaaaarooooooooooo!”
Another loup garou was out in the swamp calling for its mate!
In a flash of thumps, snorting and splashes, the loup garou bounded away from the little camp, leaving the trappers in a drenched, watchful peace.
They clung together, with the revived Baudier holding on for dear life, until the pale gray light of day could be seen through the windows. Then, all together in a group, they moved toward the back door and opened it.
What greeted them was such a feast of horror that none would soon forget it!
Nothing was left of their trapped nutria except some patches of brown fur ... and some bones ... and a lot of blood.
The men moved around to inspect the area. They found huge prints, like the footprints of a large canine, all around the camp. It was Baudier who pointed out the scratches on the outside walls.
Suddenly Tirout stopped.
“Listen!” he called out in a hoarse whisper.
They listened.
Out of the silence they heard a single cry.
It was the “caw” of a lone black crow from the very top of distant cypress tree.
As they watched, the old crow spread its wings and flew away. As it did it seemed to the men, that life in the swamp might be returning to normal.
“You know what dey say, don’t you?” asked Tirout.
“Dey say that dem old gypsy women ... dey go around like big black crows and dey is the only one dat know how to get rid of the loup garou!”
The men watched the crow grow smaller in the distance - wheeling and fluttering down to be lost among the moss-shrouded trees and vines. This was a sign to them that it was safe to move on.
And this, they say in south Louisiana, is a true story of the loup garou.






I hope you enjoyed this anonymous short story entitled "A Taste for Nutria".

And, I hope he or she [the unknown author] does not mind the few embellishments I made.

I don't know if even a boat-load of garlic would have done the trappers any good, do you?

Garlic offers a variety of  benefits besides culinary uses and scaring hairy monsters away.

It is a natural insect repellent which can be used on the body and garlic helps us ward-off other insidious creatures which lurk inside our bodies, like parasites and harmful bacteria.

It is also claimed to help prevent heart disease (including atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure) and cancer.

So, it might be a good idea to keep garlic around the house for other reasons besides warding-off evil spirits and werewolves.

Ahheee!!
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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Precooked Turkey Stuffings Recipes | Safe Alternatives | Cajun Boudin Stuffing vs. Dirty Rice Stuffing

Is Your Turkey Dressing Safe?

Each year thousands of Americans get food poisoning around the holidays because the Thanksgiving or Christmas turkeys were not safely prepared and cooked correctly. The same thing applies to turkey dressings.

It takes more heat to penetrate the inside cavity of a large bird. By stuffing its cavity with raw foods you are inviting a potential disaster for you, your family and guests. Salmonella is hideous and can even kill by attacking the weakened immune systems of the very young and elderly.

To be truly safe is to maintain a minimum temperature of 165 degrees F. throughout the bird--especially the dressing when turkey giblets are used in the recipe.

On the other hand, when you stuff your turkey with safe alternatives (delicious ones) you diminish the risk of food poisoning. Here are a few alternatives which are safe to use as turkey stuffing because they are all already precooked.

Cajun Boudin Stuffing

Below are a few boudin recipes (pork and chicken) which call for 'casing' so it can be made into sausages. Just omit the part about making them into sausages and use the boudin as a stuffing instead. Everything is precooked.

Can I freeze the stuffing until I am ready to stuff the bird, you ask? 

Sure you can. Just let it thaw in the refrigerator and not out in the open. If you prefer not to stuff the turkey, you can always heat-up the Cajun dressings in the microwave oven before serving.

The following links will take you to some delicious and safe turkey stuffing recipes.

  1. Secret Chicken Boudin Recipe (3-part video)
  2. Boudain (a/k/s Boudin) Balls
  3. Pork Boudin (3-part video)


Cajun Rice Stuffing

  1. Gaspard's Cajun Dirty Rice Recipe (video)
  2. Cajun Dirty Rice (Rice Dressing)  

Cornbread Stuffing 
  1. 3-Meat Cornbread Dressing

I sincerely hope that you got a few good ideas from these popular Cajun recipes. Whatever you decide, remember--safety first. 

Here is wishing that you and yours have a great and wonderful holiday season. God bless.

You can learn more about making your holiday foods more safe by visiting "Environment, Health and Safety Online".

Also, check out this excellent resource that will put your next Thanksgiving celebration on the right track. Click Here!

Bon Appetit!
KT
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