My cooking memories revert to the time when my mother, Renolla Sensat Dupre' cooked & baked at home in Chataignier, LA. Mom and Her mother, Angelina Walker Sensat, originally from the Duson area of Louisiana were cooking at home. The wafting of cooking ordors in their kitchens have been indelibly imprinted in my memory banks as well as the impecable tastes of their combined cuisine art.
My favorite things to cook
I love cooking Gumbo, seafood with Okra; or Gumbo w/ Sausage, hen, and endouille with Okra; Crawfish etoufee'(smothered) or frite (fried); Goulache (browned ground beef w/ homemade tomato gravy cooked in a black iron pot over elbo macaroni; homemade reaux also in a black iron pot over the stove stirred frequently (over & over) with a wooden spoon until just the right texture; rie au fevres ou rie au oeuffes ( blackeye peas or eggs over rice); sauce piqunante or jambalaya; gourmet ice box pies a' la Chef du Pre'
My favorite family cooking traditions
An early family cooking tradition was as a young boy going fishing on the bayou banks of Evangeline & Acadia parish with my father, catching yellow and blue catfish (goujon ou barbeu), cleaning and cooking it on the banks of the bayou, over a wood fire in black iron pots avecs les pates (iron pots with 'legs'), smelling the cooking odors and tasting the rice and poisson with the smoke flavors au juste. Many other memories of my mom and maternal grandmother's cooking. One particular poignant memory of my mom cooking ( baking ?) des creunx ci oile (donuts). I remember asking mom how to measure the ingredients and all she would say '...a lil bit of this and some of that'! Mom would cook and bake a' cou d'ouille (visual measurements) never measuring by cup or teaspoon, etc. Consequently, I was never able to write or compile her recipes nor my grandmothers. I never learned to cook or bake that way! I must measure all!
My cooking triumphs
I was unable to learn mom's abilities to cook by visual measurement (a' coup d'ouille). However, she gave me a unique ability to learn to cook in a style all my own. I learned from le meiurre (best of) the Cajun and Creole cooks in the bayou area of my origin and use my unique abilities to combine their skills and techniques and add a style all my own, 'a la Chef du Pre'! I love to experiment with cooking in so many varied ways! La cusine Creole et Cajun! My father played a large role in my cooking skills. He had a recipe for homemade pure pork sausage which was used at his store in Chataignier, LA (Dup's Superette); he and my sister and broter-in-law, Nancy Dupre' & Landie Thompson who purchased the grocery store, used the same recipe combined for over 50 years!
My cooking tragedies
I have never been able to bake as mom and gradmother were so adept nor with their expertise. After over fifty years cooking experience 'under my belt', many baking tragedies, I have still try my best at donuts, pien perdu (french toast), cakes, etc. However, my highlight is ice box pies a' la Chef du Pre', which I have learned without familial knowledge.