Preparation / Directions:
Perhaps more than any other seasonal holiday, the celebration of Thanksgiving reveals the Cajun's amalgamation of American and local tradition. While harvest festivals mark the season elsewhere in the United States, Acadiana's Thanksgiving festivities are associated most particularly with the regional fascination with hunting. Cajun land lies directly on the route followed by millions of ducks and geese flying south from Canada to Mexico.
The region also abounds in rabbits, squirrels, turkeys, doves and deer, which add to the huntsman's quarry. Even today, when wildlife is no longer necessary to fill the winter pantry, hunting preoccupies most of the male population in November, December and January. Thanksgiving feasts usually feature game from the hunter's bag. Hunting camps dot the Louisiana marshland. Some are elegant and palatial, others mere wooden shacks.
Male camaraderie begins the evening before the hunt as sportsmen gather in the camps to cook a hearty gumbo or spicy sauce piquante, which prepares them for the cold and wet weather they will face when they rise before dawn to travel to the blinds. Heavily clothed in hip boots or waders for protection against the marshy waters, the hunter takes his decoys - formerly exquisitely carved wooden models, now rubber or plastic - his shotgun, his game bag and ammunition, and travels to the blind.
Duck blinds - most often simple boat blinds made of two-by-fours with a platform and camouflaged with marsh grasses into with the pirogue can be secured or cast-iron barrels sunk deep into the marsh and also camouflaged with weeds - shelter him from sight of the waterfowl. All through the winter, waterfowl, venison steaks, sausages and roasts, and gumbos of infinite variety will fill Cajun homes with irresistible aromas. t Thanksgiving meals throughout Acadiana, gratitude is expressed not only for the successful harvest, but equally for the abundance of game which enriches the Cajun table.
Found in : Talk About Good II Shared by : Scott