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…
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.
And that was our meat pie experience! Have you ever tried them?
Oh, here are some sweet pictures of the girls this morning…
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.