Riding the New Orleans Streetcar

Submitted by Christi

One of the most iconic and enduring symbols of New Orleans is the streetcar.

New Orleans Streetcar

It is a great way for visitors to get around and see the city and it also a great way for locals to get to locations along the line and avoid having to find parking! We are 3 blocks away from the St. Charles line in the Carrollton area of New Orleans. We love to ride the streetcar down the Avenue (St. Charles Avenue) to church, to meet friends for drinks at The Columns, to the Palmer Park Arts Market, and to many of the wonderful neighborhood events around the area.

New Orleans Streetcar

The fare is just $1.25 with discounts for seniors and the disabled, and children under 2 ride free, so it is family and budget friendly too. A day pass is $3.00 and you can get on and off as often as you like! There are 3 streetcar lines, the St. Charles line is the oldest continually running streetcar line in the world.

New Orleans Streetcar

The other lines are the Canal line and the Riverfront line. You can see maps, schedules and fare information HERE.

If you are coming for a visit, don’t miss riding the streetcar. It is a fun way to see the city, it is economical and you can be a part of history.

New Orleans Streetcar

New Olreans Streetcar

The New Orleans streetcar – just another reason to love New Orleans!

Today’s Lagniappe:  Old New Orleans Streetcar #9 Cocktail Recipe
Made with Old New Orleans Rum, distilled right here in New Orleans by Celebration Distillation. The distillers and creators of this cocktail caution, “This ain’t your average trolly. Enjoy in moderation or you may feel like you were run over by one of these historic forms of transportation the next day.”

  • 2 ounces Old New Orleans Cajun Spice Rum
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1/3 ounce lemon juice

Shake with ice. Wet rim of a cocktail glass with lemon, then coat with a sugar and cinnamon mixture. Strain drink into glass, garnish with a lemon twist and a dust of cinnamon.

New Orleans Red Beans and Rice

Submitted by Cindy

It’s Monday and I was in the mood for red beans and rice.  Just like my grandmother used to do, I put the beans on early so they could cook themselves while I worked.  Except I was sitting in front of the computer all day rather than doing the laundry.
Red beans and rice is what the locals eat in New Orleans, especially on Monday, and there are as many recipes as there are cooks.  Here is the one that I use – the seasonings are what make this one so delicious.    Whatever recipe you choose, the key to good red beans is long, slow cooking in order to develop a creamy texture with thick gravy.  As an old cook once shared with me, you need to “cook to goodness”.
2 lbs. dried kidney beans, soaked overnight in cold water
2 cups chopped onion
½ cup sliced green onion
½ cup chopped green pepper
1 1/3 T. finely minced garlic
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 lb. or more ham or pork *
1T. salt
½ t. black pepper
¼ t. cayenne
2 bay leaves, quartered
½ t. dried thyme
2 qt. cold water, approximately

Drain the beans, and put them along with all the other ingredients in a heavy 8-10 quart pot, adding just enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low for 2 ½ to 3 hours, or until beans are tender and a natural gravy has formed.  Stir frequently to make sure that the mixture does not scorch.  Add a cup or so of water toward the end if the beans seem too dry.

Ladle about 1½ cups of beans over 2/3 cup of boiled rice.  Makes 8 servings, and freezes well.

*My favorite meat to use is a ham bone with meat still attached.  The bone marrow will add to the creamy texture.  You can also use pickled pork, salt pork, or leftover ham.  Do not use country or smoked ham – it’s too salty.

Porch Sittin’ in New Orleans

Submitted by Christi

November has brought some lovely cool weather to New Orleans. Chilly mornings warm up to glorious afternoons that fade into spectacular evenings. As the days are shorter, we have a more limited time in the evening to enjoy sitting on the porch to catch those last rays of sunlight.

This particular evening, we enjoyed the evening and shared a scrumptious combination of apple pie liqueur (which I found at a wonderful little shop on Magazine street) and cheese straws.

nola porch

Apples and cheese – a classic pair with a twist!

The apple liqueur is definitely a slow sipper and we enjoy it chilled. The cheese straws are from the grocery store. The last time I served these cheese straws to friends on the porch, one of my friends commented, “Oh, and I’m sure you made these, didn’t you?” Well, I am known for putting together little goodies but not this time. While I would love to take credit, it was just too easy to pick these up off the shelf. The brand is Dulion and they are made in Yazoo City, Mississippi. Yummy!

Porch sitting in New Orleans is a fabulous way to spend the evening. One of my favorite porches to sit upon in New Orleans is at the Columns Hotel on St. Charles where you can sip and sup and wave to the streetcar as it passes. If you stop there, try their home made potato chips. They are crunchy and crispy and delicious.

Another great “porch” is located at Brisbi’s on the Lakefront. Seeing the sunset over the Lake as you sip icy champaign and enjoy freshly shucked raw oysters is a delight not to be missed.

However, this evening it is just us on my own porch, as the sun sets.

Let’s just sit back and enjoy the sights.

Click to enlarge

Today’s Lagniappe:  Cheese Straws

If you can’t find cheese straws at the store where you are, or you are just feeling industrious and want to make them yourself, here is a great recipe:

10 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
1-1/3 sticks butter
1-3/4 cups flour (not sifted)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon Tabasco

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix cheese and softened butter. Add all other ingredients and work into stiff dough. Put though cookie press with star design in long rows on a cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes. Cut in 3-4? strips.

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Want some more inspiration for enjoying the season? Check out:

Tablescape Thursday with Between Naps on the Porch

with Between Naps on the Porch

Foodie Friday

With Designs by Gollum



Wreaths on a New Orleans Walk

Submitted by Cindy

I was very late in getting my Fall wreath up this year.  We were doing work on the house – a necessity for old homes, but I wouldn’t trade for the world.  I brought my camera on a recent coonhound walk to document what the neighbors were featuring.  There were a number of Halloween decorations still up, but lots of seasonal presentations.  Take a look – fall décor, sports teams, life announcements.  In New Orleans we love to broadcast on the front door!

I tried to zoom in to focus on the wreaths.  This is not doing justice to the inviting front door presentations offered by so many of the homes – a topic for another column!

Click to enlarge

Partying today with A Southern Daydreamer:

Outdoor Wedenesday

Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer

Relaxing at The Fly

Submitted by Christi

New Orleans has and abundance of flora and fauna and beautiful parks. Audubon Park is a beautiful park and tucked away way at the back on the river side of the park is an area know as “The Fly.” It has a fabulous river view and wide grassy areas. While it is not as well “manicured” as most of the park spaces in the city, it is a great place that is nearby (to me at least) to get relax and enjoy God’s creation.

Many people enjoy the day at the fly, grilling, tossing a football, playing with their dogs and watching the ships pass on the mighty Mississippi River.

the fly new orleans

Recently, we took a break from work around 3 p.m. and headed out to the fly. The temperature was a balmy and breezy 73 degrees and the light on the river was spectacular.

Mississippi River

As a barge passed by, it was lovely passing through the shimmering water.

river barge

We also enjoyed seeing the big ships pass by (I’m sure there is a more appropriate term than “big ship” but I don’t know what it is).

ship on the Mississippi

Okay, that was very nice, but the coolest part was that, as we were watching the river go by, we heard a brass band. At first I thought it might be music coming from someones stereo but it sounded so good that I finally realized that it was live! It was a second line and it was passing on the park side of the fly. It was too far away for me to catch up but I did get at least the music on video. You have to look towards the back of the setting to see them. I realized that as I was trying to video them, I was about to walk through the middle of a football game and most likely would be tackled so I had to stop the tape, but you can still get the feel:

I should probably stop here and explain what a “second line” is. Of course, that deserves a post of its own and of course more and better pics. You can look forward to that in the future, but for now, I’ll just give you the quick version as defined by Wikipedia:

Second line is a tradition in brass band parades in New Orleans, Louisiana. The “main line” or “first line” is the main section of the parade, or the members of the actual club with the parading permit as well as the brass band. Those who follow the band just to enjoy the music are called the “second line.” The second line’s style of traditional dance, in which participants walk and sometimes twirl a parasol or handkerchief in the air, is called “second lining.”

What a lovely way to spend the day!

Another reason to love New Orleans.



New Orleans Friends

Submitted by Christi

Since moving to New Orleans, I have so enjoyed meeting new people and making new friends. It is especially fun when I meet someone who I have much in common with, and who wants to share the New Orleans experience with the world, just as I do.

Cindy BushCindy Bush is a New Orleans native who shares my love of gardening, cooking, pets and, of course, New Orleans. Cindy and her husband, Ed, have helped me learn so many fascinating things about this city, and I can’t wait for Cindy to share some of those things with you. Cindy will be writing with me, here at A Southern Life, and I know you will love getting to know her.

Cindy has a sweet bluetick hound named Maizie and a cutie pie cat named Tex (notice his burnt orange coloring). She also has a horse named Ringo that lives on the ranch that she and her husband own in Texas. Oh, and I don’t want to leave out the box turtle and the Russian tortoise that also are a part of their family.

Beautiful Maizie

And . . . her friend, Tex

And . . . her friend, Tex

Sooo, without further ado . . . Here is Cindy’s first post for A Southern Life – enjoy!

Satsuma Season in New Orleans

by Cindy Bush

Years ago my father planted a satsuma tree in his small back yard.  He babied it along, counting each and every fruit he picked.  Today it seems to thrive despite total neglect, not even water during periods of drought.  It has grown unruly, and my mother keeps threatening to cut it down.  We protest, since an abundance of fresh fruit is such a treat.

satsuma tree
Not sure what  you call the “seedless and easy-peeling citrus species” in your part of the world.   Officially known as Citrus unshiu, they are also referred to as mandarins or tangerines, or variations of these.  They are a major South Louisiana crop, despite being susceptible to our occasional prolonged freezes.

I went over today to check the tree out.  The branches were so laden with fruit that some were almost touching the ground.  Time to pick!

New Orleans satsumas
Most of the time we just peel and eat, but satsumas are great in salads and other dishes.  Here is a tasty recipe for a fall salad.

Salad with Satsumas and Pecans

¼ cup olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T orange or satsuma juice
1 T maple syrup
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Greens  for six servings
2 satsumas, pealed and sectioned
¼ cup chopped green onions
½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Resurrection Fern

Submitted by Christi

Many are familiar with the beautiful Spanish Moss that drapes majestic live oaks in the South as it does these lovely trees in Audubon Park, here in New Orleans.

Audubon Park Spanish Moss


Another thing that loves the stately live oaks is the Resurrection Fern. This fern gets its name because it goes from this in dry weather:

resurrection fern

to this during wet weather:

resurrection fern

I love sitting on the porch as it begins to rain and watching it start to open up and get green:

resurrection fern

When the weather has been dry for a long time, it is hard to imagine that the fern will ever get green and lush again. But, it does . . . every single time.

After many weeks of dry weather, it rained yesterday. Here is a shot of the resurrection fern this morning.

resurrection fern

Isn’t it lovely? May you have showers of blessings today!

Happy Monday!

Today, I’m partying with:

Metamorphosis Monday