Posts filed under ‘Ville Platte’
Thursday, April 17. Evening.
After a margarita cocktail hour, Stephen’s mother, Miss Yvonne proclaimed, “If I drink all of this, I’ll be taking us to the Pig Stand. My hair is standing on end!” We took that as our cue to head to the Little League fields.
Last season, Ville Platte’s Little League team was runner-up in the Southern Championship series, the Dixie Cup. Stephen’s nephew, Evan, was the catcher for the team, and also has quite a bat. Much of the town turns out for these games, and it’s a common place for the locals to catch-up and see one another.
Thursday. April 17.
Now that our ethanol-inebriated corn farmers are driving up world food prices, might I suggest that we consider the nutritional value of the Louisiana mud bug. Yep, crawfish. It ain’t just for breakfast anymore. In Ville Platte, Louisiana, the king of crawfish is a man named Weelo. No one seems to know where this nickname began, but Weelo is actually Weelo “junior”. His father is also named Weelo. Here’s his father’s store:
On Thursday, Weelo was kind enough to give us a tour of his acres and acres of crawfish and rice fields. I don’t know what the price of corn is, but crawfish prices are going down and Weelo is selling 200 bags per day. This was a great local tour. It may not be as eventful as an airboat tour, but Weelo did recently find a gator in his crawfish field (first time in 20 years).
There is some possibility that the majority of the party was hungover on Wednesday morning. I saw few early-risers, and Jason’s washerboard game was less than impressive. I think he proclaimed his need for a nap shortly thereafter.
Regardless, Wednesday was about a pig roast, and to stay on the right side of politics, I will simply say that there was little question as to whom would do the cooking. Stephen’s father, Mr. C.J., went to the auction and purchased an 80 lbs. pig (see my post Late Already). He took it to slaughter, and then seasoned and prepped it himself. Stephen and I picked up the pig in this condition:
Folks in this part of the country roast their pigs in a tomb known as a Cajun Microwave. Mr. C.J.’s was built for him 30 years ago by a lumber company, and he has cooked 5 or 6 pigs per year. You no longer have to have them built nor build them yourself. Around here, you can pick one up at a hardware store.
This pig roasted away for 4 hours while we threw washers and drank. Dinner was ready by 5pm. The process of prepping, turninging, and serving the pig follows in the gallery, but let’s jump to the winning photo. This is the lovely bride, Miranda, demonstrating the proper technique for eating a pig tail.
April 15. Nightfall.
We got the place warmed up in anticipation of a major Cajun dance fest that was going down that weekend. The groom, Jason, bought 2 bags of oysters in New Orleans and brought them to the park. Raw, Barbequed, with sauce, without sauce…. the oysters were delectable. Jason’s friend, Merrill, rolled in from Houston with at least one insulated bag of micro-brews. Incredibly, the bag seemed to be full for the entire week. Jason’s father, Mr. Ronnie, topped it all off with his Sauce Piquant, a delicious roux-based concoction complete with tasso (sausage) and chicken. Mr. Ronnie worked that pot for 4 or 5 hours. Perfection.
So this blog was delayed, though hopefully not decimated by 1) zero internet access in the ragin’ cajun city of Ville Platte, pop. 10,000(?), and 2) the usual debauchery associated with New Orleans.
Whisked away from the Lafayette airport, we arrived in Ville Platte on Tuesday evening, April 15, hit the drive-thru Dacquiri stand, aka Gator’s, got the tour (where’s Main Street?), and then visited the market. I could swear it was a convenience store, but this place had a full meat section, smoker, and several other essentials for our evening barbeque.
After multiple trips to New Orleans, and two trips to Mardi Gras, I should know that you can never arrive too early. That said, you can definitely stay too long. Ville Platte is cooking, or at the very least it’s preparing for a big cook-out. I just hope we make it before all of the squirrel is eaten. Pics via King Stephen. One day ’til”Sayonara SEATTLE.”
Advil. Aspirin. Vicodin, Valium, Xanax. Check, check, check, nix, check. We hope we don’t abuse them, but it is New Orleans.
In two days, we leave for a true cultural experience. It’s not simply a wedding in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Of course, that would be enough. But no, this is 3 days of revelry in the heart of cajun country, Ville Platte, Louisiana, prior to the wedding in the French Quarter. As they say, “Ville Platte: where it’s at!”
Jason will wed Miranda at the Maison De Ville, but not before we experience the home of down home. We expect the cajun bbq game of washerboard. We expect a hearty helping of squirrel, as all children in Ville Platte are relieved of academic duty on the first day of squirrel season. We expect a pig on a spit, and maybe even whiskey before noon. Like Death and Taxes, Louisiana doesn’t disappoint.