From the pages of “The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book”

on November 19, 2017

Just in case you’re still looking for that perfect dish for your Thanksgiving table…this week, I’m going to be posting some of my favorite turn-of-the-century recipes from New Orleans!

First up, your appetizer–Cream of Asparagus Soup.

Here’s the recipe directly from “The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book”:

And here’s a rearranged version:

Cream of Asparagus Soup.

Creme d’Asperges.

1 Large Bunch of Asparagus.

1 Tablespoonful of Butter.

1 Quart of Milk.

3 Tablespoonfuls of Rich Cream.

2 Even Tablespoonfuls of Flour or Corn Starch.

Salt and Pepper to Taste.

  1. Wash the Asparagus, tie it in a bunch and put in a saucepan of boiling water.
  2. Let it boil gently for about three-quarters of an hour, or until perfectly tender.
  3. Take it from the water, cut off the tips or points and put them aside until wanted.
  4. Put the milk on to boil in a farina boiler.
  5. Press the Asparagus stalks through a colander, and add them to the milk.
  6. Rub the butter and cornstarch or flour together until perfectly smooth, and add to the boiling milk, stirring constantly till it thickens.
  7. Now add the Asparagus tops, salt and pepper.
  8. Serve, without Croutons, as the Asparagus tips form a beautiful garnish.

Ana’s Notes:

STEP FOUR requires a “farina boiler”, which I think is the same as a “farina kettle” which looks like this:

Although STEP SIX might sound like you’re making a roux, a roux is always made with exactly equal parts of butter and flour.




on October 28, 2017

I’m Ana Brazil, author of Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper. How to introduce myself? Let me just say that I’m curious about many, many things.

First of all, I’m fascinated by the exploits of bold and audacious women, especially the women who followed their strong hearts to challenge and improve American society during the Gilded Age (1870s to 1900).

Women like photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston and settlement house pioneer Jane Addams and “around-the-world-in-72-days” journalist Nellie Bly and Presidential candidate Victoria Woodhull.

I love the stories of courageous and clever heroines. How about you?

I also love New Orleans, a Gilded Age city beset by hurricanes, riots, lottery swindles, and yellow fever epidemics. But also a city celebrated for new educational institutions, the 1884 World Cotton Centennial, and the glow of electric lighting.

And finally, I admit to a healthy curiosity about London’s brutal butcher, Jack the Ripper.

All of my fascinations come together in Fanny Newcomb & the Irish Channel Ripper. In my Gilded Age New Orleans, the city is overrun with prostitutes, pornographers, and a malicious Jack the Ripper copycat. And there’s also Fanny Newcomb, an intelligent and ambitious typewriting teacher. But is Fanny clever and courageous enough to capture the fearful menace known as the Irish Channel Ripper?

Let’s find out here….

  • Curious about Fanny Newcomb and 1889 New Orleans? Read the first chapter here.
  • Want to know what the Gilded Age looked like? Visit my Fanny Newcomb1889 tumblr blog and pinterest pages.
  • Eager to read what I’m up to every month? Sign up for my newsletter here.

Once again, Welcome!