Episode 2: St. Charles Hotel, New Orleans, 1846
Join us for an opulent night at America's most famous hotel, the St. Charles in December, 1846. Located in the heart of New Orleans, we'll watch the golden age of Louisiana unfold before us. Joining some of the most prominent members of American society and politics, we'll dine in the finest French fashion on mock turtle soup, lobster salad, stuffed rooster, roasted bear, and more. See how meals were served in the 19th century & take part in one of the richest culinary traditions in America. Don't forget to down a cocktail or two, the latest drinking trend sweeping the nation. See you at the table!
Written and produced by Laura Carlson
Technical Direction and additional audio help by Mike Portt (aka Oakey Hall)
Guidebook to New Orleans, circa 1845:
Recipes from the Episode:
19th century Mock Turtle Soup, courtesy of Matilda Lee Dodd's Handbook of Practical Cookery (1868):
Put two ounces of butter in a saucepan and set it on the fire, when melted, add a tablespoonful of flour, stir, and when turning brown, add three pints of broth (either beef-broth or broth made by boiling a calf's head, according to taste); boil five minutes then add a liquor glass of brandy or rum, from one to three glasses of Madeira, Port, or Sherry wine, about four ounces of calf's head (the skin only) cut in dice, mushrooms, or truffles, or both, also cut in dice; boil five minutes. While it is boiling, cut two hard-boiled eggs and half a lemon in dice and put them in the soup-dish; turn the broth over, and serve.
"Updated" Mock Turtle Soup (no calf's head involved!) courtesy of In a While, Crocodile: New Orleans Slow Cooker Recipes by Patrice Keller Kononchek and Lauren Malone Keller, republished by the New Orleans Times-Picayune in 2014
Lafayette Cakes: a classic American style of gingerbread dating to the 18th century, named in honor of the Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de Lafayette. Courtesy of Mount Vernon Ladies Association.
Boozy Roman Punch, courtesy of Matilda Lee Dodd's Handbook of Practical Cookery (1868):
Make iced lemon with one quart of juice, same of syrup as directed, then mix with it the juice of four oranges, some lemon and orange rind grated, and about three gills* of rum (or according to taste); also, if liked, the preparation used for iced fruit. Then put the mixture in the freezer, stir while freezing, and serve. It must not be frozen hard, as it is better when served rather liquid and frothy. It may be made with any other liquor, if preferred.
*A gill was a common method of measuring alcohol until the end of the 19th century, roughly equivalent to 1/4 of a pint or 4 fl oz.
The Virginians' "Blue" (circa 1922-1928, Free Music Archive) Antique Phonograph Music Program 09/23/2008 by Antique Phonograph Music Program [Various Artists] is licensed under a Public Domain / Sound Recording Common Law Protection License.
Pickaninny Blues by Princes Orchestra is licensed under a Public Domain / Sound Recording Common Law Protection License.
Whispering Fox Trot by Paul Whiteman And His Ambassador Orchestra is licensed under a Public Domain / Sound Recording Common Law Protection License.
Other Great Resources on 19th century New Orleans
Thomas Ruys Smith, Southern Queen: New Orleans in the Nineteenth Century (2011)