Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cajun Corner - Vol. 4, No. 25

Cajun Corner – Vol. 4, No. 25 – July 7, 2012

Bon Jour!  Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.


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Did you miss me?  I know.  I should have emailed last week to say there was not going to be a Cajun Corner.  I really thought I would write one but Friday turned into Saturday and before you know it, it is today. 

The week before the 4th of July was very busy.  You see, we planned a party for the 4th under our Live Oak tree.  A simple 4th of July party turned into quite the ordeal.  Since we knew it would be hot during the day and guests were invited to arrive between noon and 1:00 p.m., we decided to put the Cajun Stitchery canopy up for additional shade.  Since we were doing that, we might as well use the Cajun Stitchery folding tables for the food.  Since we were going to put the food outside, we needed some sort of cover so the bugs, birds and critters would not devour our food before we could eat it.  I decided to make a food tent.

I think I mentioned the food tent idea in the last issue.  The pile of old blue jeans were ripped apart and cut and sewn to make a huge role of six inch wide bias tape.  George built the frame for the food tent our of PVC pipe.  He actually built two of them; one for each table.  The fiberglass screen came in the size of 48” wide and 84” long.  We placed the screen over the frame and I fiddled around with it, placing pins where needed and up the stairs I went to see Doris in her sewing machine capacity.  Up and down the stairs in my off hours were spent creating the tent.  The screen wasn’t long enough and I had to take part of another role of screen.  That’s what we bought it for.  Once the screen part of the tent was sewn, the blue jean bias tape was pinned and then stitched around the bottom.  The pieces of the blue jeans which are the seams were perfect for ties.  The front of the screen was cut up to the middle to create a flap opening for getting the food.  Then the flap required more bias tape.  It looked very nice.  I ran out of time in the middle of attaching the ties.  We did put the food tent out and I pinned ties where needed.

Dollar Tree was our source of decorations and we were red, white and blue everywhere.

The menu was going to be barbeque beef sandwiches, hot dogs, potato salad, and apple pie with vanilla ice cream.  The recipes came from  George did most of the shopping during the weekend while I was working on some rush orders for Cajun Stitchery.  Tuesday was filled with cooking and cleaning the house.  I was still working on the food tent Tuesday night.  Wednesday morning arrived and the bbq sauce was made. 

I had seen some real neat ideas for watermelon on Pinterest.  George got 2 watermelons and Wednesday morning I began carving the watermelons.  The first one was to cut the rind of the watermelon into the shape of a basket.  I used a magic marker to draw the lines and then carefully cut the shape with a knife.  Then all of the fruit was scooped out.  It turned out really cute.  The watermelon was then filled with watermelon pieces, cantaloupe pieces, and blueberries.  To top it off, I added toothpicks with little USA flags on them.

The second watermelon idea also came from Pinterest.  The idea is to stand the watermelon on end, cut off the top, scoop out the fruit and fill with ginger ale mixed with the watermelon juice.  I looked at that watermelon and knew there was going to be a disaster if I stood that thing on end.  Instead, the watermelon was placed on its side and an oval lid was carved out of the top.  The fruit was scooped out and the lid replaced.  I decided to wait until the party began before adding the ginger ale.

Guests were bringing bean salad, coleslaw, baked beans, potato chips, and a neighbor brought over a cake with the icing design of the US flag.

The canopy and tables were placed under the tree.  The food tent was placed on the longer table.  As the guests began to arrive, so did the rain.  In all we had 16 people in attendance.  Most were in my kitchen.  By the time we were ready to eat; we just ate in the kitchen and had a wonderful time.  A few were sitting on lawn chairs under the canopy.  After we ate, the rain subsided.  We spent the rest of the afternoon under the canopy.  Never even put the food outside.  Everyone just went into the house to get food when they wanted some.  There was so much food and everyone loved the barbeque beef.  There simply was no need to cook the hot dogs.  Insofar as the watermelons were concerned, we all ate some of the fruit but the watermelon with the ginger ale turned out to be unnecessary and one watermelon too much.  We have bags and bags of fruit in the refrigerator.  In fact, George and I have eaten leftovers every night since the party.

It was a fun party.  Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  I totally forgot to tell everyone that we had vanilla ice cream for the pie.

After everyone left, George and I just kind of crashed in front of the television for the evening.

Thursday brought a couple of customer appointments and an order for labels.  George decided that the canopy and food tent should stay outside to dry in the heat all day.  It isn’t good to pack these things away when they are wet.

When I awoke on Friday we were having quite the lightning storm.  The canopy and food tent got wet, again.  Our power went out and was out for 11 hours.  George and I played cards and took lots of naps.  There really wasn’t much else for us to do.  Although we were anxious to get the power back on, I think our bodies needed the rest.  Despite all of the naps of the day, at bedtime we both fell fast asleep without a problem.

Today, the canopy and food tent were still outside drying.  Sure hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.

The shabby chic, ruffled purse with flowers and rhinestones that was listed in our Etsy Store for $10 has been sold.

Have a wonderful week.

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The following was found at  I thought it was interesting:

Sprawling over a million-acre swath of southern Louisiana, the Atchafalaya River Basin is the largest swamp in the United States and one of the country's most ecologically varied regions. Its wetlands, bayous and marshes are home to 300 species of birds, 90 species of fish and shellfish and 54 species of reptiles and amphibians, including the great American alligator. It owes much of its haunting and mysterious beauty to the towering, moss-draped bald cypress trees that thrive in its swamp waters.

For hundreds of years, the Basin's human dwellers—from the Native Americans who harvested its timber to the present-day Cajuns who hunt alligators in its murky depths—have subsisted on its many bountiful resources. In the second half of the 18th century, the region became a refuge for several thousand French colonists who had been expelled from Acadie, part of present-day Nova Scotia, for refusing to swear allegiance to the British crown and church. Known as the Acadians, the settlers adapted their way of life to the changeable nature of the Basin's wetland environment, where water levels fluctuate depending on the season, by favoring houseboats and campsites to more permanent homes. Many began growing sugarcane and other crops in the fertile bayou soil, while others made a living as loggers, hunters, trappers or fishermen.

The Acadian community grew and prospered, eventually giving birth to the distinctly Louisianan "Cajun" culture, known throughout the world for its food, music and unique dialect. Today, the Cajuns make up a significant part of southern Louisiana's population, and many continue to embrace the lifestyle and traditions of their ancestors.

In spite of the region's natural bounty and unmistakable splendor, swamp living has never been easy for the Cajuns and other residents of the Atchafalaya Basin. For instance, the disastrous Great Flood of 1927 decimated many communities, sparking a mass exodus that dramatically reduced the region's population. But to many people born and raised in the cradle of the lush and majestic Atchafalaya, the dangers and challenges they face are an accepted–and even welcome–part of life.


C’est tout, mes amis

Peggy Henshall

Cajun Stitchery

(850) 261-2462

P.S.  You are always welcome to stop by and look at all of the catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.

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