My Cajun Roots run Deep

My Cajun background

I travel quite a bit and it’s inevitable that someone will ask me where I am from. When I say “Louisiana”, it never fails, people always say “but you don’t have an accent”. While it is true that certain areas of Louisiana come with a heavy Cajun accent, the last 2 generations of my immediate family have lived in the Metro New Orleans area, which softened the accent.

However, our family Cajun Roots run deep. My great grandparents (and yes, I do remember them) did not speak English. My Grandparents learned English, but continued speaking the Cajun language with their parents and their children (my generation’s parents). My dad spoke both Cajun and English, but the buck stopped there. After my Grandparents passed on, the language died off in our family. We do have family that still live in the Bayou areas. Cajun is still their primary language but, we, the city family rarely see them. Over the years the language died off and the accent softened up a lot.

Growing up Cajun

I like to think I had the best of both worlds; country girl and city girl. My grandparents had a farm when I was a child, which resulted in spending many weekends and summers on the farm. My father loved the water and always owned a boat. We spent a great deal of time in the water as well:

  • trawling for shrimp
  • fishing for salt water fish (our favorites were Red fish and Trout)

Trawling Trips

Trawling was hard work but I enjoyed everything about it. The first drag was the boring part. Trawling in a small vessel goes at a slow pace and not much to do but anticipate what we were going to yield from the 1st drag; it always set the pace for the rest of the day. If our 1st drag came up with a full net, the excitement would build as we jumped into action. After we pulled the net up we emptied it into the pick box, prepped the net and drag boards and dropped it back into the water. After the 1st catch came in, it created timely work picking the shrimp out, tossing them into the ice chests. Sometimes we would get lucky and catch some soft shelled crabs in the net, which always contributed to the celebration. That meant we would have fried, soft shelled crabs as a result.

When we pulled the boat out of the water, we were calling home from a payphone at the dock, so my mom would know what to expect. If we were coming home with ice chests full of shrimp, she would make some phone calls to everyone on standby to come help us pop heads and package the shrimp for the freezer. It became a big party. There would be music playing, and an outdoor burner and pot to boil some of the catch from the day. We would sit there for hours popping heads, eating and talking about our tales from our day on the water. Time well spent as a family.

Fishing Trips

My favorite activity on the water was the fishing trips. There is something so exciting about seeing that cork go under the water line, pulling that pole up and setting the hook. When you set that hook on a good catch you can feel it. The Adrenalin starts pumping and the fight to real it in ensues. I can recall the excitement and the team work that would happen. My dad was a great coach.

Get the net! Oh, it’s a big one! Coming along the side to keep from losing him. He is running!

Me

Let some drag out so he doesn’t pop the line. Don’t let him get around the back of the boat and wrap the line around the motor. You will lose him. Keep the line tight. Get him closer so I can get the net under him.

My Dad

Growing up Cajun was fun, energetic and a great deal of hard work. Not to mention the sunburns we would suffer with after being on a boat all day. Back in those days you needed a prescription to purchase sunscreen. Things have changed a great deal since I was a child. Some for the good.

There are many charter boat fishing captains in our area if you ever want to experience the excitement of catching a big Red fish or Trout. I have included a personal friend’s link, Fry’n Pan Fishing, for your convenience but you can also search google in the specific areas you want to try.

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#Branch off and Smile!

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I love to Smile!  That is just me.  Not only do I like to smile, I like to see others smile.  When hiking and spending time outdoors I sometimes come across Nature smiling, I like to think its because I left my mark.

Catherine Bares

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#Cooking Venison

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The first time I cooked venison I swore I would never cook it again.  It smelled bad and tasted bad.  But, living with a family of hunters I decided to investigate how to better prepare the meat before cooking. Now, venison is my preferred meat.

First, in order to remove the wild game taste the meat should be drained of blood.  How do you do that? I have found 2 effective ways:

  1. For a quick turn around: cover defrosted meat with milk and set in refrigerator overnight.  Drain milk that will now look pink, rinse with water and cook as desired.
  2. Let covered meat sit in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Drain blood, rinse with water and cook. (If meat is frozen it can sit in fridge up to 5 days.  If meat is not frozen reduce sit time to 2 or 3 days.)

Food cooks more evenly at room temperature.  You will find that more blood will come out when you let it get to room temperature (Up to 30 minutes).  Drain the blood and cook. Always take precautions when letting meat get to room temperature.

  • Never refrigerate room temperature meat without cooking it first.  Once it is out and at room temperature it should be cooked.
  • Always keep meat covered.
  • Clean any cookware and/or cooking utensils with hot soapy water after using on raw meat.
  • Never use the same utensils from meat to other food before washing.
  •  Always wipe counter tops down with antibacterial cleaners if raw meat or blood touches it.

One of my favorite venison recipes from Tony Chachere’s Cajun Country Cookbook. Venison Parmesan   Copy & paste web address into your browser to view recipe.

http://www.food.com/recipe/venison-parmesan-458282

Catherine Bares

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#Hunting Season Withdrawals

Hunting Season is Over!

As an experienced hunter’s wife and mother, I thought I would share my experiences with “end of hunting season” withdrawals.  Keep in mind, as human beings we get accustomed to habits and we acclimate or adapt as needed.  During hunting season as wives, we get accustomed to dealing with things on our own and long for our husband’s and/or our children’s return.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go as well as we anticipate.

Before hunting season begins, we have the opportunity of slowly prepping and getting accustomed to their departure with some dress rehearsals: work weekends, planting, scouting, etc.  Unfortunately, we don’t have that luxury at the end of hunting season: Bam it’s over.   Now that our men are home, do you find that things are not going as smoothly as you expected it to?  Are you snapping at each other and arguing?  Why do you think that is?

During hunting season, hunters have a specific purpose in life.  Everything a hunter does and thinks about revolves around the hunt.  They invest a great deal of time and emotions into the process every year.  Then, when it’s over, what happens to that purpose and that drive?

The best advise I can give you to help your family get through the “end of hunting season”:

  1. Recognize that emotions are involved when their season is over.
  2. Be understanding and supportive. Smile and hug rather than snap and argue.
  3. Recognize that it’s not about you.
  4. Recognize that they still love you and want to be with you but, they are struggling with the change.
  5. Schedule some weekend activities.  Hiking in the Spring is an awesome activity; it gets them back in their element. It also gives them the opportunity to share their emotional ties to the outdoors.

Catherine Bares

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Instagram: @Catherine Bares     Facebook: Catherine Bares                Twitter:  beentheredonethatlifecoach

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