COOKING AT THE
HERMANN-GRIMA HOUSE

On Thursdays from October through May, trained volunteer cooks prepare meals in the restored kitchen following period recipes. History becomes palpable as visitors see egg whites whipped with birch whisks, smell gumbo simmering in the stew holes (potager), and feel the intense heat and bustle of an urban 19th century kitchen. The first cooking day for this season is October 3, 2002.

Recipes

There are many types of food that are special to South Louisiana. Two of the most well-known are gumbo and bread pudding. There are literally hundreds of recipes for these dishes. The Hermann-Grima House attempts to use authentic recipes from cook books that were available in New Orleans in the 19th century.

The cook book from which these recipes were taken is La Cuisine Creole by Lafcadio Hearn, written in 1885. Lafcadio Hearn was a writer who lived in New Orleans between 1877 and 1887. He was one of the first to use the term Creole in reference to cooking. His recipes have withstood the test of time and are very good.


Remarks on Gombos* of Okra or Filee**

This is a most excellent form of soup, and is an economical way of using up the remains of any cold roasted chicken, turkey, game or other meats. Cut up and season the chicken, meat, or other material to make the soup; fry to a light brown in a pot, and add boiling water in proportion to your meat. Two pounds of meat or chicken (bones and all), with half a pound of ham, or less of breakfast-bacon, will flavor a gallon of soup, which when boiled down, will make gombo for six people. When the boiling water is added to the meat, let it simmer for at least two hours. Take the large bones from the pot, and add okra or a preparation of dried and pounded sassafras-leaves, called filee. This makes the difference in gombo. For gombo for six people use one quart of sliced okra; if filee be used, put in a coffeecupful. Either gives the smoothness so desirable in this soup. Oysters, crabs, and shrimp may be added when in season, as all improve the gombo. Never strain gombo. Add green corn, tomatoes, etc., etc., if desired. Serve gombo with plain boiled rice.(page 18-19, La Cuisine Creole, Hearn, 1885)
(*)(**)Spelled in this manner in La Cuisine Creole.

A Delicious Pudding, Very Easily Made

Butter some thin cut slices of rolls; lay them in a pudding dish with currants and citron cut up fine, and strewed between the slices. Then pour over the rolls, a custard made of a quart of milk, four eggs and half a pound of sugar; flavor this and bake lightly. (page 1 7 7, La Cuisine Creole, Hearn, 1885)

 

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