Hi, I’m glad you stopped by!
Hi, I’m Kay, and I love cooking and sharing recipes from my rich Cajun heritage. I was born and raised in south Louisiana in the parish of Vermilion, the gateway to the wetlands in the heart of Acadiana. I grew up amongst French-speaking people who believe that food, family, and living life to the fullest are most important. I’m doing my best to represent my culture authentically and to keep it alive for generations to come.
Here you’ll find everything from gumbos to étouffée and beignets with a few stories along the way about growing up in Acadiana. Cajun cuisine may not be your favorite, so I’ve included other delicious dishes to enjoy. I also have a fancy for kitchen gadgets, trendy eats, hints for better cooking, and great Louisiana products.
So have a look around! Find something scrumptious to cook up for yourself and the ones you love and have a peek into some Cajun culture.
My name is Kay Hartshorn, a Louisiana woman married to a Mississippi man.
(Cue the Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty song.)
Steve and I live here in the Southeast corner of Arkansas in an area called the ArkLaMiss with our Weimaraner, Cord.
I began this blog with a desire to share the gift of food and the unique culture of my southern Louisiana roots, making this a means of preserving my heritage for my children and grandchildren.
Acadiana is a place of wetlands in the middle of the boot just above the coast of The Gulf Of Mexico and south of Louisiana’s Interstate 10. My childhood home is near the center of Vermilion Parish where not too long ago the only language spoken was Cajun French, and the primary sources of living were fishing, rice, and cattle farming.
It is also a place of unique eats where many start with a roux. Its geographic area attributes to the abundance of fresh seafood giving the opportunity for many different dishes for the Cajun diet. It is the land of roux and crawfish!
Growing up in South Louisiana always seemed like a normal life to me. Then I found out different when I moved away to attend mortuary college in Houston, TX. I know, not a normal thing one does. You see, my uncle owned funeral homes in Vermilion Parish, so the funeral business and its ceremonial burying of loved ones in a respectful manner are very familiar to me.
Living in Houston was an eye-opening experience of just how different and unique life in Acadiana is. I became aware of the curiosity people have for the Cajun culture, but I was just as curious about life outside of those bayou boundaries. It’s probably what drew me to that young Mississippi man I met and later married. We have 3 married children and 5 grandchildren, and I am still drawn to that Mississippi man today and thankful to God for ordering our steps toward each other.
Now, becoming a funeral director, marrying one and owning our own funeral home was not in any of my childhood dreams or plans. However, this life has proved to be the fulfillment of God’s call on us. Through serving families in our community, we have grown to appreciate this kind of life and its opportunity to help others along their way.
Although we are both Southerners, our cultures are different. I think the link that bound us together was our raising. We both grew up with a strong faith in God and close family ties with our grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
We each had experienced sleepovers at our grandparent’s with cousins during summer break and weekends along with Holiday gatherings. And all of it included good food, but with many differences.
The unfolding of the foods we grew up eating and their preparations have been an exciting adventure. Few are similar, and some, if not most, are very contrasting. There are foods like boudin, which Mississippians have nothing to compare it with, were often turned away from until that first bite. Now it’s a staple in our freezer.
I’m glad you’re here. Go ahead and take a look around to see what you can find. Enjoy!