Here are some great books about food, cooking and drinking - all available free for download. Click on the title of the book to open it in a new window. Late in I began to realize how important food was to the culture of the New Orleans family. After being separated for more than a year after relocating, food was still a topic that I could discuss with any family member. I also realized that if all of the family recipes weren't in writing, some of them would eventually be lost. With the help of my immediate and extended family, I put together this cookbook full of family favorites.

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David Beniot was head of credit and collection for NOPSI and decided to compile the cookbooks when he learned the home economics department was to be shut down. NOPSI's recipe for divinity tastes just like the candy you enjoyed as a child. Remember these from Penny Parties at school?

NOPSI's divinity recipe results in little clouds of sweet childhood memories. Be careful when making divinity. If the syrup is not hot enough, you won't get those lovely cloud-like divinity candies. Duck recipes from NOPSI on a flyer like those that appeared in regular electric bills on brightly colored sheets. Do a search online and you'll find used copies available. It's essential to let your French bread dough double in size. The NOPSI recipes calls for letting the dough rise for 30 minutes after kneading, but we had to let ours rest for an hour before it rose enough.

It's more like a traditional baguette than a New Orleans-style bread. For example, we made buttered Panko bread crumbs as a topper. Year-round air conditioning - imagine! From reader Janet Giacontiere's copy of 'Creole Favorites'. I do NOT have fond memories of the freezer before 'no-frost' appliances became common. From reader Janet Giacontiere's copy of 'Creole Favorites. That piece sparked readers to write in with their fond memories of the collection as well as their love of specific dishes.

NOPSI, which was the gas and electricity provider and ran the city's public transportation into the s, created quite a legacy with the endeavor. Readers wrote in to say they, too, revisit the recipes and that the straightforward, home-cook-friendly dishes played a big role in their lives. Reader Catherine Parmley said simply: "How I learned to cook. The recipes also were included in the "Riders Digest," which was tucked into holders on the buses and streetcars.

That building once housed NOPSI's home economics kitchen, where these recipes were tested and classes were taught. After I wrote the piece, readers not only shared memories, but asked questions, too. I wish I had her collection, but most were lost in one or more of the hurricanes that hit my parent's home in Waveland. We used to have a lot of fun there and eat some good food. The office was near LaBiche and Sears and the treat would be lunch at the Spanish-styled cafeteria with a courtyard and faux building facades with lit windows and wrought iron window boxes with artificial flowers.

There was a wishing well in the center with tables all around. I believe it was on Common, next to Sears. I think it was a Morrison's.

It was a time when little girls wore their "best dress" and black patent Mary Janes and their moms wore hat and gloves. Before I married in , my husband-to-be suggested it might be a good idea for me to take a cooking lesson or two at NOPSI! I was indignant! I could cook the basics. Besides, I had my mother to turn to for advice. She was an excellent cook and having grown up during the Depression, she could concoct the most delicious meals from left overs.

My husband has been gone 10 years and big family meals are infrequent in my home. Now, most meals at home are Lean Cuisine or I make reservations and dine with friends.

But, oh how your article brought back memories that I sometimes long for! All of them are delicious. I tried to find oyster patties online, but discovered it is listed as being on page 10 and that one page is missing for the pdf collection. Sad-face emoticon! Anyone have it handy? Please send it to me. Found it! My latest dilemma: Finding codfish! Tried rehydrating bacala salt cod , too salty! And, of course, "stretched" it with potatoes! I cannot count how many codfish cakes I made as a child.

So many. We used canned codfish and mashed potato flakes from a box. Don't judge! I'm the youngest of eight and my mom had to stretch meals, too. Although we don't have the cookbook, we probably have every page published. One of my favorite is Spinach Casserole. Old memories! NOPSI created cookbooks from the recipe collection as well. They included "Creole Cuisine," published in , and "Creole Favorites," published in I have tried and still use several of the recipes, including the redfish courtboullion, oyster patties, crabmat au gratin, shrimp creole, etc.

I enjoy this little cookbook as it brings you back into another era with the scattering of ads for things such as "year-round air conditioning" and one for "dishwashers - the homemaker's friend" Ann H. Butcher wrote to say she has had trouble tracking down a favorite recipe: "I used to have one of the older cookbooks , probably "Creole Favorites," that somehow disappeared.

I used it, and loved the stuffed mirliton recipe. I was excited when the "Woodstoves to Microwaves" came out because I thought it was reprinting the ones from that book, but the recipe was not in it. It was different. I searched online and the recipe there is not the one this reader is seeking. She said it called for soaking breadcrumbs and then squeezing the moisture out of them; and it has the option for shrimp or maybe ham.

If anyone has one of the old cookbooks or flyers handy, please take a look and see if you have it? In , Entergy gave the collection to the United Way to use as a fundraiser. They charity republished the book.

Do a search online and you'll find used copies available at Amazon. Walker wrote about the NOPSI recipes frequently during her tenure as food editor and writer, most frequently at the request of readers following the storm and levee breaches, which also prompted Walker to work with Marcelle Bienvenu to create "Cooking Up a Storm: Recipes Lost and Found from The Times-Picayune".

I searched for some of the recipes that readers mentioned online and in my own collection. On NOLA. One of my favs is the stuffed peppers, it calls for allspice which I thought was strange, but it really makes the stuffed peppers delicious. I didn't have that one in my files, so I decided to find it at Entergy. I also rounded up that codfish cake recipe because it brought back such great memories for me as well. It's a great one, if money is tight. I haven't made either of these recently, so, I'm sorry, I don't have photos, but the recipes are so simple and so familiar that I feel confident sharing them here.

Slice top from peppers and carefully remove membrane and seeds. Parboil peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes. Melt butter over medium heat; add onion, garlic, meat and tomatoes; cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Mix thoroughly. Fill pepper with meat mixture. Top with buttered crumbs. Combine fish, potatoes, egg, pepper, parsley and onion. Mix well. Shape into small patties and coat with flour. Toggle navigation. Close 1 of Reader Janet Giacontiere shared.

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