Holidays are sometimes the only time families get together anymore what with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, time off to travel, the distance one must travel and the fact that some of us have to share time spent with one side of the family or the other. Traditional holidays sometimes can be altered so this year we accepted the invitation from my son, Steve Hemperley and his wife, Andrea, to join them at their new camp on Bayou Cocodrie, a Louisiana state scenic river. It is located in Monterey, Concordia Parish, Louisiana.
It was the first time in quite a while that our family would be together for Thanksgiving and we were all excited! My daughter Kelly Brown and I left on Wednesday morning. Her husband, Scott, and daughter, Rachel, would follow after work that day. We were to meet Steve, Andrea and Max at their beautiful camp which sits high above the bayou. Steve’s son, Tucker, daughter Emy and her girlfriend Emily, my sister, Judy Stanley and Greg Kiefer were to join us on Thanksgiving morning.
For dinner that night Steve had promised duck and sausage gumbo, however that was not to be. It seems in his haste to get to the camp, he had forgotten to bring the gumbo from his home in New Orleans. Man! I had been salivating all day in anticipation. But all was not lost as a quick trip to the grocery store in Monterey resulted in a chicken and sausage gumbo. And by the way, Steve has a very quick method for making the roux. He does it in the microwave! It certainly was much quicker than the traditional way, and I must say the gumbo was delicious.
Thanksgiving morning found Steve off to deer hunt before putting a turkey and ham on the smoker. Scott preferred to wet a hook instead. He caught a few and threw them back but when trying to get the boat back into the slip, fell and broke his 4 weight fly rod! I guess that means he needs a trip to Cabella’s for a replacement!
Judy and I had mimosas at the gazebo.
Some shot a little pool in Buck Bayou Bar, a game room Steve built out back for everyone who comes for a visit to enjoy.
However, the overall pool winner was Scott, shown here planning his strategy.
Outside, Steve’s dogs Cain and Jax joined in the fun and were later joined by Emy’s dogs Macho and Jax.
Thanksgiving dinner was absolutely delicious! Andrea supplied her famous spinach dip, cornbread dressing, oyster dressing, potatoes, and a spinach casserole. Tucker made duck poppers. Judy, Kelly and I supplied desserts of cookies, a brownie pizza, bread pudding with Jack Daniels sauce and blackberry cobbler.
Friday morning Emy and Tucker made breakfast for the whole clan. Here Emy is wearing one of the aprons I had made for her. I also made her a family cookbook which had recipes from five generations of our relatives. As the saying goes, “you are what you eat”. Not all of the recipes were not low carb or cal, however they were all Seaux Good!!
Late morning, Scott, Kelly, Judy and I left headed for Judy’s new home in Folsom. Greg stayed to hunt a little more and Rachel headed back to Shreveport. While the Steve and Greg didn’t take any deer that day, look what Greg saw in the woods.
That night Judy, Scott, Kelly and I continued on an eating binge! First there was dinner at Mandinas in Mandeville followed by beignets and coffee at Café Du Monde. Lord knows you just can’t eat one without having powdered sugar all over yourself!
Saturday morning there was a stop in Folsom at Giddy Up, a cute coffee and pastry shop. Then on to Hammond to visit with dear friend Carolyn Long for a delicious lunch at Tope’ La, my very favorite restaurant in that part of the world. I love their Chicken Angelique which is a grits medallion covered with spinach, chicken breast and the to die for andouille cream gravy and topped off with sweet potato hay! There are some things I miss about not living in South Louisiana anymore. Tope’ La is one of them.
But wait!! There was more! We had to make a stop at Coffee Bean for coffee and pastries after that wonderful lunch.
We returned home early Sunday morning and as we drove I couldn’t help but think that I truly love holidays! Especially when you are with those you love; have a full belly; share lots of laughs and hugs; and bring home lots of wonderful memories. Needless to say, I did not get out of my pajamas all day Monday. Nor did I want anything to eat! However I am looking forward to our next holiday, so bring it on!!!