Friday, September 12, 2014

I don't know why, but sometimes there are things that I really want to do, but it takes me way too long to get around to doing them. One example is the relatively new rum distillery down the road (I-10) from Lake Charles. Louisiana Spirits opened over a year ago. Touring the facility has been on my to-do list since then. My husband Bob and I finally made the trip to Lacassine recently.

This increasingly popular rum has been flying off the shelves at liquor stores and local establishments for several months.

Photo by Angie Kay Dilmore
Rum is made from sugarcane, which is one of Louisiana's primary crops. So it’s surprising to me that Louisiana Spirits is the only rum distillery in the state. They call their product "America's Rum" because they only use ingredients made in the United States. Most of the ingredients are locally grown and produced. They use unrefined granulated cane sugar and molasses from the Louisiana sugar mill, Patout and Sons, founded in 1829, making it the oldest family-owned sugar refinery in the United States.

The distillery offers tours, where you can learn all about the history of rum making in Louisiana (It started with the Jesuits in the 1700s) and the modern day process and methods of the present facility. They don't allow photo taking on the tour, but we could take pictures through this glass wall.

Photo by Angie Kay Dilmore
Photo by Angie Kay Dilmore
I learned things like rum is required to be at least 80 proof. And their production line can fill 22 bottles in a minute.

They do allow photo-taking in the gift shop. Prior to August, Louisiana Spirits sold only two varieties of rum -- Silver (plain) and Spiced. Their newest product is a Satsuma rum. Wow, is it yummy! We brought a bottle of that home with us. It is 60 proof, which makes it technically a liqueur. For non-Louisiana readers, a satsuma is similar to a mandarin orange and is native to the state.

Photo by Angie Kay Dilmore
They have a fourth rum in the works -- it's an aged rum. It ages in oak bourbon barrels from Kentucky for one year, so it won't be ready until December.

Naturally, at the end of the tour, there is tasting. Bob and I love the Spiced Rum.

Photo by Angie Kay Dilmore
Photo by Angie Kay Dilmore














One of the highlights of our tour was meeting Oscar, a one-month old raccoon who was rescued by the gentleman in the photo, Randy Harrah. Randy works at the distillery and calls himself the chief executive janitor. Oscar is as tame as a baby cat or dog. For now, anyway.


Photo by Angie Kay Dilmore
If you haven't yet been to Louisiana Spirits, it's worth the trip. Learn more on their website here.

To read more of Angie's adventures, check out her blog, angiekaydilmore.blogspot.com
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The men in my family are your typical “gear heads” so anything with a motor in it generally gets their attention.  For the last four years, we’ve been attending the annual Stars and Stripes in the Park Classic Car Show and Cruise Night in Sulphur, La.  This year, it kicks off Friday, Sept. 12 from 7-10 p.m. with a Hospitality Night and live music by Martin Duplechin at Heritage Square in Sulphur, 900 S. Huntington St., Sulphur.  The car show continues on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
More than 500 vehicles participate in the annual
Stars and Stripes Classic Car Show.

My stepdad, Brad Fontenot, always puts one of his hot rods in the show, so we enjoy going to support him and see the other vehicles there on display.  Anything goes from classic cars, hot rods, rat rods, trucks to motorcycles.  Entry for the show vehicle and spectators is free, and it is a great family event with food booths, live music and entertainment for children.

“This is one of the largest car shows in Southwest Louisiana and anyone who is a car enthusiast from Texas to Louisiana is there.  Everybody waits to see the cruise at the end of the event,” said Brad Fontenot, who will be entering his black 1966 Volvo this year.
Matt Hartman, Banks Hartman and Brad Fontenot enjoy taking
 part in the annual Stars and Stripes Classic Car Show
and Cruise held in Sulphur, La.
After the show ends, the classic cars and hot rods cruise down Ruth Street.  That’s my husband’s favorite part because they show off revving their engines and burning out! 
For me, the best part is tasting boudin from all of the vendors competing in the Boudin Wars!  While the men are looking under the hoods of the cars, I sample the traditional Cajun finger food to vote on my favorite.  The Boudin Wars takes place the same day at Heritage Square inside the Henning Cultural Center from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

“Boudin is as much a part of Southern Louisiana culture as Cajun music or gumbo,” said Thom Trahan, event coordinator and executive director of Henning Cultural Center.
A $10 ticket to the Boudin Wars allows you to sample
boudin from the vendors and cast your vote
for People’s Choice.
Boudin Wars is an event in Southwest Louisiana where local restaurants and chefs compete for the title of “Best Boudin in Southwest Louisiana” hosted by the Brimstone Historical Society and the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau.  A $10 ticket allows the holder to sample entries and cast a vote for their favorite boudin in the People’s Choice category.  Purchase your tickets in advance at www.brimstonemuseum.org because they always sell out!

"We wanted to do a food-related event here at the Henning Cultural Center,” said Trahan. “When the CVB approached us to help coordinate this event, it immediately appealed to us from the arts and culture side of it – we want to see mastery in the art of cooking. It’s a great opportunity for the public to come and sample good boudin from around the region.”
For more information, visit www.brimstonemuseum.org, www.facebook.com/boudinwars or call Thom Trahan at 337-527-0357.
Father and son, Wayne and Michael Hollier, from
Hollier’s Cajun Kitchen in Sulphur, La. won last year’s
1st Place Traditional and People’s Choice awards in the Boudin Wars. 

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