Sunday, March 14, 2010


If you've kind of forgotten the New Orleans Saints big victory in the Super Bowl this year, the people of Opelousa did not. For starters, I noticed this sign on a local business window-
We happened to be camped close to Devery's house where last night's party was long, and joyous and loud. But we didn't mind. So, today, we went to a local parade honoring Opelousas' Native Son, Devery Henderson. 
The admiring little kids, cheering their idol, were seeing the possibilities for their future as they watched Devery himself out on the street throwing beads to everyone. 

 He came up to an ederly woman sitting near us and placed beads around her neck. A talented player and a nice guy.
After the parade we ate at the Palace Cafe which is next door to Jim Bowie's boyhood home. A 300 year old oak tree stands in front of the place and is known as the Jim Bowie Tree. I paced it off and the roots alone spread 30 feet along the sidewalk.

 The visitor center has information about Bowie and his part in the battle at the Alamo.This set of knives, donated to their museum, was made from drawings of Bowie Knives. Jim's brother developed the knives, Jim made them famous.

Yams are grown in this part of Louisiana and celebrated with a Yambili every October with music, a recipe contest and good food. Getting ready for it in Vieux Village, I admired these painted guitars.

The promised recipe from Tony Chachere's book:  Yam Candle Cakes
 5 cups grated raw yams
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup oil
4 eggs separated
1/2 tsp cinnaomon
2 1/2  tsps nutmeg
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsps baking soda diluted with 2/3rds cup water
1 tsp. salt
2 cups chopped nuts
1/2 cup raisins
i cup cane syrup
1/2 cup coconut
8 to 10 empty soup cans.

Cook yams with 1 1/2 cups sugar about 3 minutes. Cool and add vanilla. Set aside. Cream remaining sugar with oil. Add egg yolks and spice. Sift some of the flour into a bowl and mix. Continue adding flour until all has been blended. Mix soda with water and add to batter along with salt, nuts, raisins, syrup and coconut.Stir in yam mixture. Beat egg whites and fold into batter. Pour batter into well greased cans, leaving 3/4 space for rising. Bake at 350* for one hour. Yields 60 servings.

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