Eighty? Can't Believe it!
Aunt Dut is one of nine children born to Edmond and Hortense LeBlanc in Morganza, Louisiana. Morganza is a village near Old River, near False River and near the Mississippi River in south Louisiana. New Roads is the largest town near Morganza and it is also a small place. In 1950, as a young woman, she left the small town on a bus by herself with less than $100 in her pocket and went to New Orleans. Her bus was met by one of the nuns of the Sisters of Charity who ran the nursing school where she was to study and become a Registered Nurse.
Among the guests were four of her surviving siblings and she was delighted to see them all. In the photo the brothers are John, Cleve and Jack. Seated next to Aunt Dut is her sister, Barbara. Another living brother, Ed, was too ill to attend. The afternoon was spent eating some really good food prepared by her children and friends. We young folks (I am 63!) were mesmerized by the stories of the old days in Morganza.
On their way back to Milda's house at about 9:45, they noticed that the donut shop had a red flashing light indicating hot pastries. They stopped for some of those freshly cooked delicacies and were delayed for their "curfew" set by Milda. She had locked them out. They knocked and begged to enter. She let them in with much scolding, but being the health nut that she was, she forbade them bringing the donuts into her house. They are still laughing about that experience to this very day! There were other stories, but this entry would be way too long if I recounted all the stories I heard. Those LeBlancs (and their mates) really did and still do know how to have a good time!
The cooks for the day really outdid themselves. We dined on Marinated Cheese, Layered Mexican Dip, Muffaletta Sandwiches, Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs, assorted finger sandwiches, a salad that contained about 20 ingredients, veggies and dip, fresh fruit and a huge pot of Jambalaya cooked by one of Aunt Dut's son-in-laws. The melding of various New Orleans cultures was evident in the varied cuisine.
Hosting the soiree were all of Aunt Dut's children and her oldest son and daughter-in-law welcomed us to their home! I am including a recipe that was prepared by the hostess, Shirley. Her husband, Pat, is Aunt Dut's oldest son. She confided to me that she got the recipe from the Internet so here it is with the link. It's Marinated Cheese. This recipe originally appeared in Southern Living magazine, but I don't know the date and issue. I do want to credit the magazine for this luscious appetizer. I like three things about this recipe: 1) Can be prepared ahead and refrigerated and 2) Looks very pretty and 3) it tastes wonderful! It's a real crowd pleaser. I hope you will try it!
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
dash black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cut white wine vinegar
1 (2 oz) jar diced pimentoes, drained
3 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons minced green onions
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1. Cut cheeses into 1/4 inch slices and then cut them into small squares of the same dimension.
2. On a small dish with a rim, stand the cheese slices on end alternating cheddar and cream cheese.
3. Combine remaining ingredients to make a marinade. Pour this sauce over the cheese and marinate in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
4. Serve with crackers of choice and enjoy.
Did I mention that I am so lucky to to have married into this family 43 years ago? The family ties are so strong that it is remarkable. Happy Birthday, Aunt Dut! May you have many more and may you continued to be richly blessed with family, friends and good health.