What you talkin’ bout der cher? Yup, my true Cajun spirit is soaring since last week I have plugged in a good 4 or 5 dozen restaurant recipes from the 1980’s into the database, my fingers feel the pain too! I also have started planting the seeds for getting some of the great family traditions and recipes from days gone by. My documentation process has started one of my cousins who reside in Acadia Parish, Louisiana to transferring some of the Boudreaux history from her side of the family into digital format, including various legal documents and photographs, she also shared with me a few of the recipes too. Work on the Boudreaux family culinary history puzzle has started!
Oh, about that Cajun Fais Do-Do! I thought I would sprinkle in a little Cajun history, culture, and tradition to help set up the foundation for what I am attempting to discover. I still am not sure what the outcome of all the Boudreaux family research will be, but I hope it is a good add-on to the venture!
In today’s vernacular a Cajun Fais Do-Do is a Cajun Dance Party! But first here is a definition:
FAIS DO-DO (fay-dodo) 1. French colloquial expression equivalent to “nighty-night” 2. A traditional French lullaby; 3. A township gathering where the children are put to bed in the nursery room while the adults party in the dance hall.
If you have ever been to a Fais Do-Do you know you’ll be dancing, and there are always a few folks who will teach you if you don’t know. The Cajun two-step and the Cajun waltz are easy to learn and very popular today, along with the more advanced steps of the Cajun Jitterbug or the Cajun Jig. Typically there is a live band performing some of the songs in the old country Cajun French dialogue. Popular Cajun dance music includes the songs and bands like Jolie Blonde of the traditional Cajun waltz, often referred to as “the Cajun National Anthem,” Allon a lez Chez Freds by the band File’, Diggy Liggy Lo and Louisiana Man by Doug Kershaw, and Love Bridge Waltz and Travailler C’est Trop Dur by Beausoleil. And one of my relatives Nathan Abshire was credited with and responsible for the renaissance of the accordion in Cajun music in the 1940s.
So, what does all that music have to do with Cajun cooking? I think the Cajuns like to eat too ya know! And there is nothing better than being able to eat a bowl of gumbo or a plate of jambalaya in between dances at the Fais Do-Do. As a matter of fact there are a number of popular restaurants in Louisiana that feature Cajun music nightly while serving traditional Cajun fare. Two in New Orleans are Michaul’s on St. Charles Avenue and Mulate’s on Julia Street, both feature the Cajun dance bands such as La Touche, Jay Cormier, and File‘.
Let the good times roll, or laissez les bon temps rouler! So, you want to get to a Fais Do-Do now, here is a list of Louisiana festivals, and a few of them might have some Cajun food and music too!