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THE HISTORY OF LOUISIANA COOKING
Everybody from Louisiana knows we have the best food in the country. No other state, with the possible exception of Hawaii, has created a cuisine so distinct, unique, and altogether delicious as we have — but you know that already. What you may not know is how this one-of-a-kind cuisine evolved into what it is today. Louisiana cooking has become its own category, thanks to the worldwide success of celebrity chefs like Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse. Its roots, however, can be found in two separate but related cultures: Cajun and Creole. To understand the differences between the cuisines, it’s helpful to understand the history behind the two groups of people most responsible for the individuality of Louisiana. The Cajun people are descendants of the Acadians, the first colonists to arrive in what is today Quebec and Maine. When the British expelled the Acadians in the middle of the 18th century, many traveled south to Louisiana. Cajun culture is associated with swamp and bayou country. “THE HOLY TRINITY IS THE BASE FOR MANY ICONIC DISHES, INCLUDING GUMBO AND JAMBALAYA. NO MATTER WHERE YOU GREW UP IN LOUISIANA, YOU CAN BET YOUR GRANDMA’S COOKBOOK INCLUDED DOZENS OF RECIPES THAT CALLED FOR ‘TRINITY.’” Louisiana’s Creole people, on the other hand, were centered around New Orleans originally. Creole was the term used to describe people of both French and Spanish origin born in the Louisiana colony. Over time, it grew to encompass anyone who possessed heritage from the unique cultures gathered in New Orleans, including large numbers of Haitian and West African residents. The influence of France, a commonality among Cajun and Creole peoples, can be found in the central shared element of both cuisines: the Holy Trinity. This blend of onion, bell pepper, and celery is the Louisiana equivalent of the mirepoix used in France
and the sofrito popular in Spain and Italy. The Holy Trinity is the base for many iconic dishes, including gumbo and jambalaya. No matter where you grew up in Louisiana, you can bet your grandma’s cookbook included dozens of recipes that called for “trinity.” Cajun and Creole cuisines favor different proteins and other specific ingredients. Cajun food is heavy on pork and crawfish, while Creole kitchens favor oysters, crab, shrimp, and many varieties of sausage. Another distinguishing attribute is the presence of tomatoes, which are used extremely regularly in Creole recipes and almost never in Cajun ones. If you have to bet whether a chef has stronger Creole or Cajun influences, your best hint is to look at the roux they use. Creole roux is standard stuff, the same mixture of butter and flour you’d find in France. The Cajun variant substitutes lard or oil for the butter. This base is what gives Cajun gumbo its thickness. These days, the two cuisines have blended to form the type of food we know and love. We’re still fiercely protective of it, but we don’t care if a restaurant leans more Creole or Cajun. What matters is that they know how to cook Louisiana food right. All across the state, you can expect slap-ya-mama-good food when you sit you down to a table. It’s a point of pride for us and something that defines us as Louisianans. Good luck finding anything nearly this delicious anywhere else.
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Katherine N. Payne and Arthur Coates v. Marriott Employees Federal Credit Union
A SUMMARY OF A RECENT CIVIL ACTION
Plaintiffs Katherine N. Payne and Arthur Coates filed a civil action suit against Marriott Employees Federal Credit Union (MEFCU) in January. They argued that MEFCU did not comply with the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), and that they failed to disclose all information relevant to fees associated with “miniloans.” Miniloans are a type of loan available for any Marriott employee who needs quick access to $500. There are two fees associated with miniloans through MEFCU: the finance charge and the annual percentage rate (APR). MEFCU calculates the finance charge as $29.23 and the APR as 18 percent. However, neither of these fees takes into account the application fee. Normally this would not be an issue, since application fees are intended to cover the cost of credit checks, credit investigations and approvals. However, two key factors evidenced by the plaintiff revealed that MEFCU only charges the application fee to approved applicants, and that they do not run credit checks, credit investigations or appraisals. This means that this application fee had no purpose, and it should have been included as a part of the finance charge and APR calculations. MEFCU tried to argue that there was no evidence for the plaintiff’s claims, but the court rejected that argument in light of the substantial evidence provided by the plaintiff. Along with rejecting this argument, the court also rejected a motion made by MEFCU to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim that their applications and agreements made clear which security interests it would acquire.
While the application had clear instruction regarding security interests, the agreements did not. It was not clearly spelled out for either plaintiff where they would give security interest. This did not fulfill the clear disclosure of security interests required by TILA, so the court upheld the plaintiffs’ argument. The court ruled in favor of the defendant when it came to the plaintiffs’ desire to seek damages, however. MEFCU’s argument against awarding damages to the plaintiff had a solid legal precedent. In order for the plaintiff to recover damages, they would need to plead detrimental reliance. For that to be possible, they would need to at least prove that in borrowing from MEFCU, they acted to their detriment in a way that would be easily foreseeable. The plaintiff did not present any facts that would lead to this conclusion, so the court dismissed their claim.
DON’T LET A LITTLE RAIN RUIN THE GREAT OUTDOORS
UNIQUE WAYS TO PASS THE TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY
Taking your family on an outdoor excursion can build memories that last a lifetime. Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate. As most Louisianans know, bad weather can turn a trip from uplifting and exciting to monotonous and frustrating in a heartbeat. Don’t let unexpected weather bring you down, especially if it’s something as minor as a little rain. Just because you can’t do all the things you’d planned on doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of fun to be had. By thinking outside the box, you can bring the fun to your campsite — even if you never get to leave the tent. Create a Zany Commercial or Skit Depending on the age group you’re dealing with, chances are they’ll probably get a kick out of performing in front of a crowd. And while every
family dynamic is different, there is surely some form of this idea that can lead to an afternoon of fun for your family. The basic idea revolves around splitting your group up into teams, putting some topics in a bag, shaking them up, and then having the teams draw a premise for the activity. With their newfound prompt in hand, have the groups meet for a few minutes in as much seclusion as the weather allows. Once all teams are ready, put on the show of a lifetime for your tiny audience of adoring fans. Now that everybody from your grandma to your toddler has a cellphone, you’ll surely be able to capture some footage to laugh about later. Set up an Obstacle Course Assuming the weather has died down, it may be time to venture out of the tent and stretch
your legs. Every campsite — or even the trunk of your car — is likely to have some easy-to- implement obstacles to set up for your little ones to run through. While being mindful of the mud and other weather-related conditions, it’s easy to convert your coolers and folding chairs into obstructions in the greatest obstacle course of all time. Give specialized awards to all the participants and watch as your family grows closer together over the course of another rainy day.
Like so many of our coastal state neighbors, a large portion of Louisiana’s commerce deals with trade on the seas. From oil rigs and gas drilling to commercial fishing, we all know somebody who’s been involved in the industry to some degree. Yet even with modern advances, these industries are still extremely dangerous, and occupational hazards are much more dangerous when you’re in open water. Even with protections put in place by the state and federal government, a well-traveled personal injury lawyer can better help you get the justice you deserve. For the thousands of workers employed in seafaring professions in our state alone, the trouble you face when injured at sea can be further compounded by the volatile and ever-changing environment. An injury in these conditions is normally much more dangerous and potentially devastating due to the remote proximity of your location and the types of hazards offshore platforms present. These injuries vary in severity, and the way our laws work alongside your claims may surprise you. The most common injuries we see are back and spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, burns, and crushing accidents. These can be caused by many factors, like falls, falling objects, overexertion, exposure to dangerous chemicals, and being pinned by malfunctioning machinery. The results can forever alter the lives of those they touch. Out to Sea, Not out of Mind ENSURING YOUR OFFSHORE INJURIES DON’T GET SWEPT OUT TO SEA
The importance of finding proper legal representation after an accident lies in determining which laws your claim will fall under. Louisiana is a state that practices something called “comparative negligence” when it comes to determining fault. This means that the injured worker will have the right to claim damages only after it’s determined whether or not they were also potentially at fault for the accident. The precise percentage that the victim is found to be culpable for in their injuries is the precise percentage that will be taken off their claim. For example, if the victim’s actions were found to be 25 percent of the cause of the injury, the damages they receive go down by 25 percent. As there is a time limit for claims, we advise that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as any incident takes place. When it comes to serving our community and providing you with the justice you deserve, your friends at Jones and Hill, LLC are here for our blue-collar workers. We’ll fight for you.
TAKE A BREAK
homemade corned beef
• • • •
2 quarts water 1 cup kosher salt 1/2 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons saltpeter (potassium nitrate)
8 whole allspice berries
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12 whole juniper berries 2 bay leaves, crumbled 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cinnamon stick, broken into large pieces 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 pounds ice
1 5-pound beef brisket, trimmed
• • •
1 small onion, quartered
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
8 cloves garlic
1. In a large stockpot, combine water, garlic, and all herbs and spices to make brine. Cook over high heat until salt and sugar are fully dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in ice. 2. Once water temp reaches 45 F, place brisket in a 2-gallon zip-close bag, pour in brine to cover, lay flat in a large container, and store in fridge. 3. Brine for 10 days, checking daily to make sure brisket is fully submerged and brine is stirred. 4. After 10 days, remove brisket from brine and rinse under cool water. In a large pot, cover brisket, onion, carrot, and celery with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and gently simmer for 2 1/2–3 hours. 5. Remove, slice across the grain, and serve.
Inspired by Food Network
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Phone: 888-481-1333 Monday–Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.joneshilllaw.com
Jones & Hill Injury Lawyers 131 Highway 165 South Oakdale, LA 71463
4 RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES
Create Your Own Film Festival
As the weather warms up, the urge to get out of the house becomes stronger. However, any plans you might have can be abruptly canceled due to rain. If you find yourself stuck inside for the day, here are a few activities to keep you occupied. Get Bakin’ A wet and chilly day is an excellent opportunity to warm yourself up with some baked goods. Bake your favorite snickerdoodle cookies or fudge brownies, and pour yourself a mug full of hot chocolate or cider to get through the stormy day. Read a Book If you have a bookshelf full of novels you’ve not cracked open, a rainy day is the perfect time to jump in. Settle down on the sofa with a cuddly blanket and enjoy some uninterrupted reading. The rain smattering against your windows creates the perfect background noise to delve into the pages of a new adventure.
Having a movie or TV series marathon is another great way to pass the time. You can watch some of the classics, like “Forrest Gump” or “Singing in the Rain,” fill the day with “The Lord of the Rings” series, or start a new Netflix show. If you want to involve your kids in the binge-watching, you can let them pick out one of their favorite movies too. Piece Together a Puzzle A rainy day is a great opportunity to pull out a puzzle. You can also grab your friends or family members and make the puzzle a team activity. With the whole day ahead of you, you’ll have several hours to devote to one of your favorite hobbies.
Don’t let the rain keep you down! Instead, take advantage of the weather and enjoy a cozy day at home.
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