Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fangtastic New Orleans.

     New Orleans is knee-deep in the superstitions of Voodoo and Vampires, and remains one of the most haunted cities in America. It's history is far more twisted than any authors could write.
      The state of Louisiana was occupied by the French and for some strange reason, they believed that it would be a good trade area. What they found were swamps, the wealthy french deemed the area undesirable and the King of France found a loophole to France's overcrowded prisons. The worst of the worst were the first to settle New Orleans, and the living conditions were horrible. Murder, venomous snakes, alligators, mosquitoes and disease set the stage for the Big Easy.
So how did Vampires manage to root themselves in New Orleans history. In the 1700's vampire history was rampant in Europe, and New Orleans with all of its death and disease, was a perfect place to get lost, if you were in fact a vampire. Legend says that a certain distinguished gentleman arrived in the French Quarter,Jacques Saint Germain.  He was popular with the ladies, had unexplained vast amounts of money, threw lavish parties and was seen many a nights with different women.  Until one night, when a woman's piercing scream was heard from Saint Germain's home. She flung herself from the second floor window, bystanders coming to her aid, listened to the horrifying tale. Saint Germain had bit her, later that night she died at a nearby hospital.  That is not even the strangest part of the story. The home was declared a crime scene, with large blood stains on the wood floor and wine bottles filled with human blood. The home was sealed, Saint Germain had vanished and to this day all property taxes are paid to date, however nobody has been able to contact the owner or owners. Among the dregs of society it is easy to get lost, even if you are a vampire.
     New Orleans is not New Orleans without Voodoo. Voodoo is a religion and originated in Haiti. These people were devoted to rituals that honored nature and the spirits of the dead. For many slaves brought to the New World this was the only connection to their countries.  If you could not resist physically, spiritually and emotionally was the only other way to adapt to the harsh treatment given by the slave masters.
      Voodoo began to dig its roots into the tarnished quick sand soil of New Orleans.  It was a force to be reckoned with, devoid of a leader until Marie Leveau, she was the undisputed Queen of Voodoo and unequivocally a force to be reckoned with.  Rumor has it she bore fifteen children and was the daughter of white man. She was a hairdresser by trade and this gave her access to many things about her customers, and fostered her "psychic" powers. Marie brought creativity into Voodoo and wove the Virgin Mary into the weave.  Even after her death in 1881, many believe that she returns to lead the faithful in worship on St. John's eve, and many have seen her walk among the confines of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.  One thing is for sure New Orleans would not be New Orleans without her.
     So if your in the business of scaring yourself, be sure an visit theThe Haunted Mortuary for a fantastic journey through an 1872 home that was run as a mortuary for 80 years. Where you can be the ghost hunter monitoring 30 cameras that include thermal, night vision,and color.  Be able to use EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) devices that record and playback the possible existence of ghosts. If walking the shadowy streets of the French Quarter is more your style try The Ghost and Vampire Tour, or if you would like to experience St. Louis Cemetery with the infamous Marie Leveau's grave Cemetery and Voodoo Tour this is your haunt.  If you would like to experience the family-friendly G-rated version then Boo at the Zoo is a fun and safe way to celebrate Halloween with the whole family. There are so many activities, the children are sure to have a fantastic time.  If Mardi Gras wasn't enough the Krewe of Halloween is New Orleans official Halloween parade, and travels through the "Boo Carre`", in addition to the traditional mardi gras beads the floats throw candy to the kids. After you have digested enough Halloween in The Big Easy, sit back, relax and enjoy a veritable bowl of good Cajun Rabbit and Sausage Jambalaya at Coop's Place.

Transylvania Bisque not be confused with the Twist.

2 cups of peeled garlic
8oz butter
1 cup maple syrup
2 onions diced
5 stalks of celery diced
8 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
10ozs of butter
8ozs flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
large buttery homemade croutons.

In a 400 degree oven, combine the garlic, butter and maple syrup in a oven proof pan and roast until the garlic is soft and golden brown.  Drain the liquid and mash the garlic.  In a soup pot melt 2 ozs of butter and add the onions, celery and mashed roasted garlic and saute until onions are translucent and sweet-smelling.  Add chicken stock and bay leaves and bring to a simmer.  Meanwhile in a saucepan, melt the remaining 8ozs of butter, and add the flour cook on low heat for 3 minutes or so.  In same saucepan add some of the simmering stock until the flour and stock mixture is mixable.  Add the stock-flour mixture back into the soup pot and whisk well.  The soup should thicken.  Simmer until the soup is smooth.  Whisk in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper.  Garnish individual bowls with buttery croutons.

If nature had intended our skeletons to be visible it would have put them on the outside of our bodies.~Elmer Rice

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