14 July 2010
(Above photo: Gil Young of Eunice making boudin at the Savoy's boucherie)
In South Louisiana there are certain topics that will assuredly cause hours long debate, possible loss of friendships and in some rare cases, physical confrontation. Boudin is one of those topics. We will argue over the proper ingredients, and what are the correct proportions of those ingredients (mainly this is about liver). We will debate the right way to eat boudin (do you eat the casing or not). And the most hotly discussed topic is, of course, who has the best boudin.
For those that don't know, boudin form South Louisiana is pork, pork liver, onions, spices and rice, ground up and stuffed into a sausage casing. It is hardy, spicy and earthy. It is mostly eaten by itself but some do eat it with crackers or pickles or with spicy mustard. Boudin is best acquired from local butcher shops that dot the country side of South Louisana. And this may be one of the reasons why people are so loyal and defensive of the favorite boudin and the place where it comes from - local tatses and local pride.
Boudin will differ from town to town and geographical location. I have found that In the northern most part of Acadiana boudin contains a more liver than boudin in the more Southern parts of Acadiana. But there are many other ways that people tweak their boudin recipe -how course the grind, rice to meat ratio...etc. These regional tastes and traditions make the 'who has the best boudin' debate so subjective that it could be impossible to find the 'best' boudin - but it is fun to try.
For more information on boudin, how its made, who makes it and what it tastes like you can visit:
The Boudin Trail http://www.southernboudintrail.com/
Boudin Link http://www.boudinlink.com/
I have come up with a cocktail that is just perfect for sipping on the back porch durning the Summer months. It is somewhere between a Mint Julep, an Old Fashion and iced tea. Let's call it The Valcour.
- 4 oz of black tea bourbon (to make -soak an ice tea, tea bag in 8 oz of good bourbon for 8 hours)
- 6 dashes of Peychaud's Bitters
- 3 bourbon cherries (to make -soak dried cherries in bourbon for a week)
- 8 mint leaves
- 3 tbs of simple syrup
Muddle the mint leaves and cherries in the bottom of 10 oz rocks glass. Place ice, bitters, simple syrup & bourbon into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds. Strain into your prepared glass to serve it 'neat' or over 2 large ice cubes for 'on the rocks'. Let stand for 30 second - it will have a frothy head. Sip & enjoy.
14 May 2010
News of the explosion on the offshore rig Deepwater Horizon on April 20 came with little fanfare. The story broke, making top local headlines, but not quite registering in the larger popular consciousness.
While the details of the explosion were grim and heartbreaking — 11 men perished in the explosion — there was very little indication of the monster story that waited down the road: an oil leak, an inability to stop it and the very real threat of an unprecedented ecological disaster.
Within 10 days of the explosion, however, that would all change. As thousands of gallons of oil poured into the Gulf of Mexico each day and as the giant slick inched closer and closer to the shores of the Gulf Coast states, the story of the Deepwater Horizon and its aftermath became fodder for debate, political punditry and partisan posturing across the country.
Within 10 days, a local story became a national crisis, and the Louisiana Gulf Coast — barely back on its feet from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina — was once again ground zero.
In that crisis moment, a group of young local professionals saw an opportunity — an opportunity to educate, to document and to affect change. They took the opportunity and ran with it.
And “Dirty Cajuns” was born.
26 April 2010
Daily Visionary Post #40: Festival International de Louisiane weekend has come and gone. We as a city did what we do best - we threw a giant party. Tons of bands flooded Lafayette's Downtown along with revelers from the city and the rest of the world alike. Through Festival, we show the world that tradition and innovation can coexist side by side and often enhance one another, creating an exhilaratingly creative and alive moment that will extend infinitely in time through the memories that were created in that very moment. One can say the same about the photography of local artist Lucius Fontenot. His artist's statement is simple : "Louisiana is where I am from. Louisiana is where I live. Louisiana is who I am. Louisiana is what I do." However, there is something complex and layered about his images which pay tribute to the past yet are alive with the present. Through his images, Fontenot exposes the soul of present day South Louisiana with a vibrancy that is astonishing. Louisiana is such an old place that is steeped in tradition that it's often easy for artists to romanticize it as a subject and somehow filter it through a dusty, sepia-tinged lense. In Fontenot's work, however, we see a sharp focus and colors that pop. We see the living tradition unfolding before our eyes. We can feel the sap flowing underneath the skin of the photo, still giving life to the moment. It's an achievement we rarely see in Louisiana photography and we should celebrate his work as only we can. Do a two-step for the man and his work ... and may your Louisiana reveries/revelries be as vivid and alive as his.
21 April 2010
Letter to Jack Kerouac:
It is you Jack that taught me to be so careless. It is you that made me chase the madness. It is you that made me want to be one of those who burn, burn, burn. Thanks Jack - it is you that made me curious, you that made me questfull. Its you that made me literate. Shit... your even French. You drink like me (or do I drink like you?) Godbless - you wanted the right group and the right place and the right time with the right....whatever....did you ever find it? I hope so. I think I have. Maybe you should have left Burroughs in NOLA and come North just a bit. Well...maybe you were safer there.
Jack, America has changed. It is not the debutante in which you left it. There is "16 & Pregnant" & "Jersey Shore". Shit!... there is fucking "American Idol. Where is the America that you searched for? Did you ever find her?
Maybe it was easier then. Maybe it is harder to find her today.....with MSN, CSMBC, CNN, & fucking FOX NEWS.
What did you see? I want to see it. Jack, where is the beat, beat, beat?
Jack, this is just a rant. A playful rant. But it is fun.
Fun to question. Fun to rant. Fun to think of an America that we know can be. The America we love. The America that is.
Peace. Love. Bon Temp.
20 April 2010
I am very honored to be in "Louisiana Road Trip" which will take place in the Grandstand of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Not only will I have three photographs (seen above) in the exhibit and my father, Norris Fontenot will have a photograph in the exhibit. We Fontenots have 4 out of the 50 pieces in "Louisiana Road Trip." Not bad, I think. This photographs in this exhibit were chosen by Nick Spitzer, producer and host of "American Roots" radio program based out of New Orleans.
05 January 2010
23 October 2009
01 September 2009
It is interesting to read this article that was written in 1975 and reflect on where we today with the same issues.
-Firstly, the language is closer to extinction than ever before.
-Secondly, preserving the language (in any form) does not preserve the culture. This was very evident two weeks ago at Congrès mondial acadien. Everyone, young and old spoke French but their traditions culture were all but gone. But here we have keep the culture but the language is all but gone.
-Thirdly, CODOFIL in the decades its been operating, has neither saved nor killed the Cadien language/culture. This may be because it continues to be neutered by lack of funding and public disinterest in the organization.
-Fourthly, the reason schools didn't want to build upon the French language is because of the prevailing, über patriotic attitudes of the time (Post WW I).
-Fifthly, the school boards, 20 years later, are still the ignorant bastards that keep French out of schools. But at the same time they are pushing for Spanish to be taught. And yes, we -les Cadiens- are the ones to blame for the lost of the language. We quite speaking it and we didn't fight for it and we still don't. We are 30-40% of the vote in Louisiana. We could move mountains if we wanted to. We can get together tens of thousands, for festivals but we can't get together to force our elected leaders to SERVE US.
-Sixthly, the bitching and moaning about teaching kids standard French instead of "Cajun" French is simply and excuse to not fund French education. Soon after a person learns the very basics of standard French they can speak to someone who speaks le Français Cadien and pick up to words and phrases that make the local French special.
It is funny that somethings don't seem to have changed in the 20 years since this article. And we have no one to blame but ourselves.
27 August 2009
12 August 2009
07 August 2009
I miss going this club. One time I was at the bar and there was a drunk guy harassing this young lady to dance. She didn't want to dance with him. He got grabby and Mr. Hamilton came out from behind the bar, grabbed homeboy and through is ass out. This guys was 6'2" & 200lbs. Mr. Hamilton is 5'3" & maybe 100lbs.
28 July 2009
06 July 2009
University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
29 June 2009
August 1864. "Petersburg, Virginia. Group of Company B, U.S. Engineer Battalion." Photographs from the main Eastern theater of war, the siege of Petersburg, June 1864-April 1865. Wet-plate glass negative
From the Library of Congress photo archives.
25 June 2009
11 June 2009
All Fontenot's in the United States are descendants of Sergeant Jean Louis Fontenot (Fonteneau). Jean Louis was one of six children born to Joachim Fonteneau and Joane Prado from the St. Germain Parish in Monturneuf, city of Poitiers, France. He was born on December 18, 1686. Jean Louis joined the French Colonial Marines as a young man and left France in 1720, at the age of 34, for assignment in the Mobile (Alabama) military district. Six years later (February 8, 1726) he married a widow from New Orleans (Marie Louise Henrique) and was assigned to the Poste aux Alabama (Fort Toulouse) shortly afterwards. Based on "roll call" records at the fort in the mid 1700s, it appears that Jean Louis was the only sergeant at the garrison of about 40 soldiers. He and Marie Louise had twelve children, 8 sons and 4 daughters, all born at the post. When these children became of age (teenagers), the boys joined the marines and married daughters of other marines and the girls married sons of other marines at the fort. Family names for the spouses were Doucet, Brignac, LaGrange, Lobell and Berthelot.
Jean Louis died in September 1755 at the age of sixty-nine and is buried in the cemetery at the fort; however, the exact location of his remains are not known.
In 1763, the fort was abandoned by the French and came under the possession of the British. At that time, seven Fontenot sons (one son, Francoise, died several years earlier in Mobile), their families, the widow (Marie Louise), the daughters and their families migrated westward and resettled on land grants in the Louisiana territory. Some of the daughters and their families settled in what is now Edgard, Louisiana. All of the sons and their families (including the widow Louise) settled in the vicinities of Opelousas, Chataignier, Ville Platte and Church Point, after a short stint in the area of Pointe Coupee. All Fontenot's in this country are direct descendants of these early settlers.
Taken from The Fontenot Family Home Page
30 May 2009
26 May 2009
Village Acadien, Caraquet, New Brunswick
21 May 2009
14 May 2009
08 May 2009
David Greely and Joel Savoy are two of the most proficient and versatile fiddle players that Louisiana has ever produced. Recently they started playing gigs together.They play songs that Cajuns of the 1800's played and most Cajun of today have never heard. The songs are complex, twisting, reels, jigs and waltzes -hard enough to play by one but even harder to play in twin fiddle style. They challange each other. That makes it fun for them and us.
04 May 2009
29 April 2009
For those that don't know, I have a day job. Yes, its true freelance photography and owning a music label doesn't quite cut it.But luckily it is at a photography studio. I am a photographer and lead printer. And I am nose deep in Senior portraits. Everyone seemed to wait till the last 2 weeks of school to get their photos done. In consequence, I am living at my computer and I have a great relationship with Red Bull.
24 April 2009
Festival is so ingrained in the people of Louisiana that when you say "festival" to someone, there is a visceral response. Why? Because we have 2 festival seasons in Louisiana - spring festival season and fall festival season. The rest of the year is just hot (Summer) or cold (Winter). Just in the past month there has been: Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, Cajun Hot Sauce Festival, French Quarter Festival, Dewey Balfa Cajun & Creole Heritage Festival, Bayou Teche Bear Festival, Festival International de Louisiane and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Louisiana IS Festival.
I will be out at Festival International tonight and I will be Tweeting and Whrrl(ing) all the fun.
Photo by me from 2007 when I was Festival International's official photographer.
20 April 2009
Photo taken with 1967 Polaroid Land Camera with Polaroid 669 film at a Boucherie (hog slaughtering).
12 April 2009
11 April 2009
Every Good Friday, my family meets at my Nonc Mark's camp in the woods of South Evangeline Parish. We fry perch, Nonc Roddy cooks a catfish coutbouillon on a open fire, we drink and visit. I look forward to this all year long.
Photos shot with a 1967 Polaroid 230 Land Camara, Fuji 3000B film
06 April 2009
So last Friday I was meeting with Cedric Watson to drop of some cds and photos when a guy in a huge old Linclon drives up and tries to start up a conversation with Cedric. Next thing I know Cedric is in this dude's car and driving the thing around the block. Crazy.
It's Spring time, for sure.
05 April 2009
From Zack Smith's blog
Sunday, April 5, 2009
NOLA-->Jackson, MS-->NOLA-->Tipitinas'-->CANARY opening...was an asskicker 3 days in a row...and realizing now too that i will be in Europe, on a bus and in venues all next week...fat chance i'll post. damn.
This week i'll make up.