Our Blessed Life

Monday, January 28, 2008

Meat Pies!

Okay, I (Shannon) am a Texas transplant. I'm originally from Louisiana. With all that implies ( I know the Louisiana jokes run deep throughout the country), let me just say that Louisiana food is completely unmatched.

I mean, gumbo? Etouffee? Begneits? ...c'mon! Of course, none of it is good for you.

I haven't lived in La. for over 5 years now, so I had really forgotten how unique and delicious La's cuisine really is. But earlier this month, we were able to travel to Natchitoches ("Knack'-a-dish"), Louisiana.

I think this is the town portrayed in Steel Magnolia's, if you remember that movie. And, I believe Oprah recently visited there and called it the "best little town in the whole country."

Our good friends Ginger and Oren serve at a church there. Oren works with youth & college, and Ginger heads up the girls' ministry. They're both 'ole college friends of mine. Ginger asked me to come speak at a girl's retreat, and I brought the whole family along.

While we were there, I was excited to savor some tasty dishes. And Natchitoches is replete with some fabulous cuisine. Our first evening there, our hosts served up some famous Natchitoches Meat Pies.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking - but don't think of "pie" as in dessert. This is a turnover filled with ground meat and seasonings. Along with meat pies, we had dirty rice, salad, and sweet almond tea, of course. We enjoyed the meal so much I decided to recreate it this weekend with some top-secret recipes Ginger handed over. (wink.)

This is how it went.

First, I made the "dirty rice." This is a flavorful southern fare of rice (of course), ground meat, and sometimes spicy seasonings. After I made this side dish, I started on the pies.

Here is a description of the origin of meatpies, as described on a souvenir from the weekend...

It seems the Meat Pie, which bears our town's name, was sold on the streets of Natchitoches long before the war between the States. A local creole lady said she first became aware of the delicacy in teh 1850's at a plantation she visited on Cane River. The pies are said to have evolved from several cultures... French, Spanish, African, and Indian. In early times, vendors would pack the pies in a basket with a hot water bottle to keep them warm, and walk the streets declaring, "hot-ta Meat Pies, red hot-ta meat pies for sale!"

The filling consists of, well, meat. (Ground beef and pork). And chopped bell pepper and green onion, as well as garlic, red pepper, and other seasonings.

After the filling is prepared, it is placed in pastry circles like this...

And then closed over to make a half-circle pie.

The pies are then either fried in oil, or baked in the oven.

We had meat pies last night, and invited our friend Lindsey over for dinner. (Her husband Daniel was working and couldn't come.) They both moved here from Washington, so I was happy to share a southern dish with her.

(Doesn't Lindsey have a beautiful smile? She is a fun, godly girl, and we love spending time with her and Daniel.)
Maggie liked dinner as well.

And that was our meat pie experience! Have you ever tried them?

Oh, here are some sweet pictures of the girls this morning...

I found Maggie in her room, reading The Foot Book, by Dr. Seuss. It's a favorite of ours, and she's recently taken to pretending to read. She'll also often bring us a book and say, "read."

Below, she is tickling the feet of one of the characters in the book. She does this every time we get to that page! So cute.

We were so thankful for some beautiful weather earlier today. So we went for a walk. Here's Maggie trying to push Lilly in the stroller. And this was Lilly's first day to ride in an umbrella stroller like a big girl! They loved our long, relaxing walk outdoors.

Bye bye!!


  • At 9:52 AM, Blogger Lindsey said…

    I love your family!

  • At 11:19 AM, Blogger Shannon said…

    We love you too! And we'll be both happy (for you) and sad (for us) when you guys move back to WA. But we'll visit your beautiful house on the farm!

  • At 9:57 AM, Blogger Hollie said…

    your fam is so beautiful. shannon, little Lil looks like you. :) You look fab by the way. and Jojo...how does he stay looking so young? seriously. He still look's like a 20's man.

  • At 8:42 AM, Blogger Ben and Mandy said…

    Hey Shannon! We are definitely excited about our girl. You make having little girls look like way too much fun!


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