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Book Review – The Cajun Twelve Days of Christmas: Delightful Cookbook Offers Festive Louisiana Recipes, Illustrations

Published by Amberly Claybrook

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The idea for this cookbook came from the First Baptist Church of Houston, Texas and their Music Minister Gerald Ray. Their annual Christmas Pageant featured a choreographed version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, and some members of the First Baptist Church of Lafayette, Louisiana thought it would be fun to dream up a Cajun version of the Twelve Days. They enlisted the help of some prominent Louisianans and the result is this delightful romp through Cajun cuisine.

Twelve Colorful Characters in The Cajun Twelve Days of Christmas

Don’t expect to see any maids a-milking in this recipe book. Instead, you will find eight Oil Drops Dancing (Oil Drops are teenage daughters of oil industry executives). There are Four Crawfish Boiling, Three Etouffees, and a Wild Duck in a Fig Tree. Since Louisiana is also known as Sportsman’s Paradise, there are Two Sac-a-laits (catfish) and Seven Pirogues Rowing (fishermen).

Whimsical illustrations by Suzan B. Gill add to the holiday mood. Her rendition of a happy little duck in a fig tree will make even the dourest Scrooge crack a smile. Nine cute dancing pigs hover above a pot of Cracklins and Eleven Ragin’ Cajuns romp through a clever scene, presumably on their way to get some Deep South Pecan Pralines.

Twelve Delicious Recipes in The Cajun Twelve Days of Christmas

 

Those pecan pralines are probably the most traditional recipes in the entire cookbook. Roasted Wild Duck, Shrimp Etouffee from Henderson’s Bar-B-Que Lodge in Lafayette, and Boiled Crawfish compete with Cracklins and Boudin for the reader’s attention. Many of these dishes call for large amounts of Louisiana spices and ingredients as well as an understanding of their origins. Holiday Egg Casserole calls for fifteen different ingredients while Blackened Redfish only calls for three. Dig into the recipes to understand why this is true.

Twelve Contributors for The Cajun Twelve Days of Christmas

Louisiana has its share of colorful characters, and a few of them contributed recipes to this effort. Among the notables are Rev. and Mrs. Perry R. (Kae) Sanders, pastor of the First Baptist Church which created the book, Senator and Mrs. Allen (Betty) Bares, Mayor and Mrs. Lucas (Bobbie) Denais and Governor of Louisiana Edwin Edwards. There are several others whose names are not quite as renowned, but they are prominent citizens just the same.

Treat yourself to this cook book. You’ll enjoy the illustrations, the stories, the characters and oh yes, the food. Merry Christmas from Cajun Country.

Burney, Luther A. (editor), The Cajun Twelve Days of Christmas, First Baptist Church of Lafayette, Louisiana. Undated. No ISBN issued.

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