As usual we made the Visitor Information Center our first stop in Natchitoches, Louisiana (pronounced “Nak a tish” or “Nak a tosh” or “Nak a dosh” or “Nak a dush” but never as it is spelled!)
Of course, after we picked up brochures and maps for the area our next order of business was lunch. While driving through town “Meat Pie Kitchen” caught my eye so we decided to try Lasyone’s (no idea how to pronounce Lasyone’s!) Since it was Homecoming Weekend for Louisiana Tech the place was especially busy-lots of visiting between tables and everyone wearing Tech. purple. (yes, Gary went to the game )
What a find for a great lunch on our first day! A Natchitoches specialty, Meat Pies (shown on the upper plate in the photo) are half-moon pastries filled with a mixture of ground beef, pork, Worcestershire sauce and Cajun spices, my new favorite! My side of red beans & rice was tasty. . .I love red beans & rice. Gary red beans & rice meal featured Andouille sausage (lower plate.) The rice was fluffy and the red beans were perfectly flavored. Needless to say we came home with “doggy boxes. “
The following day we hit the Natchitoches Historic Trail which roughly follows the Cane River which at some point turns into Cane River Lake, which looks exactly like the river, which previously was the Red River. . .confusing? Yes! Why? We do know that the Red River changed its channel but that’s about it.
Oakland Plantation house is a sprawling home. If the Mistress of the house ordered a piece of furniture which turned out to be too large for the room, i.e. the dining room, they simply added a new room! Then added a porch which may later become another room!
The Stranger’s Room was a guest room with a separate outside entrance. According to our tour guide the separate entrance also made it very convenient for the Master of the planation to entertain his mistresses. Oh my!
This is a centuries old bottle garden. Meals typically lasted for hours and hours and involved consumption of multiple bottles of alcoholic beverages. The bottles were then “planted” as borders for the garden. Many of the bottles in the garden date from the 1700’s making it a very expensive and expansive collection! Our guide said the garden most likely includes some Bud bottles since the tradition continued up until 1994 when the National Park Service took it over operation of the Cane River Creole National Historical Park.
Close-up of the bottle garden.
These huge oak trees are quite a contrast to our California Coast Oaks!
Poteaux-en-terre construction sounds so much better than “posts in the ground” doesn’t it? Apparently only about 10 examples of this ancient type of construction still exist.
Back in Natchitoches I kept seeing what I thought were duplexes but the houses seemed too small to be duplexes! Looked it up on-line and learned that they are double pen houses. When an addition was made to a pen house they gave the new room its own exterior door. Similar to shotgun and double shotgun houses we’ve seen elsewhere.
Do you recognize this house? It’s the house from the movie “Steel Magnolias.”
After touring the historic countryside and city of Natchitoches we treated ourselves to an authentic southern cooked meal:
but no, no way was it Baked Opossum!