Excerpt From “Second Helpings” ~~ A Taste of Louisiana by Jan Linton

Second Helpings
An Anthology of Holiday Recipes and
Short Stories
From Authors of
Second Wind Publishing

Second Helpings

A perfect gift for short story lovers and food connoisseurs!

From sweet childhood remembrances to fanciful solutions of family dramas to romantic relationships that begin–or end–during the holidays, Second Helpings is an anthology of stories and memories, but most especially of recipes. Our end-of-year celebrations are occasions that bring reunions with unforgettable feasts and that one special, treasured dish. At the end of each story, vignette, reminiscence, you’ll find a recipe or collection of recipes that will make your next holiday memorable as well.


A Taste of Louisiana
Jan Linton

Louisiana. We aren’t like the rest of the world. My home state stands out in ways that make it a unique place to live. We have parishes instead of counties. We love our incorrigible politicians—Edwin Edwards, four-term former governor, current ex-con, is still one of the most beloved citizens in Louisiana. And, we adore our food.

We love to celebrate anything. Mudbugs, alligators, even those pesky mosquitoes give us a reason to “make groceries” and put on a feast-like spread. There is always a place for one (or a dozen) more at the table in Southern homes. If you’re hungry, I’ll feed you. If you’re not hungry, I’ll still feed you. If you won’t let me force-feed you, you’re not stepping out of my house without a sack full of leftovers. It’s just our way.

Some call it “Southern hospitality,” but it’s really just part of our heritage. Our mommas would slap us hard, in person or in spirit, if we didn’t make our visitors (friends, family and strangers) eat until they waddled out the door. No one leaves a true Southern home with an empty belly.

Holidays are celebrated in style. We not only have turkey and ham, we cook every possible meat we can lay our hands on. Venison and beef will be competing for space on the banquet table. We have our traditional fare, but no Louisiana holiday is complete without our seafood and beer. Crawfish, fish, crabs, shrimp; you name anything we can catch in the Gulf, we’ll have it on the holiday table.

Deserts? Oh, sweet Pierre, do we have deserts. At any holiday or family gathering, it’s normal to have at least half a dozen different cakes, cookies, pies and candy. And that doesn’t count what our guests bring.

In Louisiana, we celebrate life through our food. Holidays give us the perfect opportunity to put our culinary skills and social heritage to work. The highest compliment to a Southern cook is to see our friends and family nap after a full meal. We make our mommas proud.

Shrimp and Corn Bisque

1 tablespoon margarine or butter
¼ cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 cans cream of potato soup (10.75 oz)
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz)
4 ounces cream cheese
6 ounces Velveeta cheese
1 can creamed corn
1 can whole kernel corn
1 large baked potato, peeled and chopped
1 ½ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

Melt margarine or butter in large pot (Dutch oven works best). Add onions, garlic and pepper; sauté until tender. Stir in potato soup, evaporated milk, cream cheese, Velveeta cheese and both cans of corn. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. After cheese has melted, stir in baked potato chunks. Add shrimp and cook on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes until shrimp are done.


Second Helpings is available in print and all ebook formats from Second Wind Publishing.

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