The Prudhomme Family Cookbook

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

The Prudhomme brothers and sisters searched their memory banks to reproduce the dishes of their childhood, many of which had disappeared from their mother’s repertoire by the time Paul had started to cook with her when he was seven years old. Prudhomme and his staff visited each family member to document the ingredients, preparation methods, and tasty results of favorite recipes. Later, each recipe was refined and retested to make it easily accessible so that anyone could come up with a close facsimile of the original dish.

Many of the recipes feature dishes of the past that may be a little too exotic for modern palates. Few contemporary cooks will want to concoct Alligator Soup, Red Boudin (a sausage made of fresh pork blood), or Bouilli (a classic soup utilizing the internal organs of beef), but it is of value to document the eating habits of a more frugal time when little was wasted. Also, the liberal use of such high-cholesterol ingredients such as butter, oil, and eggs in many of the recipes may be off-putting to health-conscious readers.

This compilation is more than a cookbook. Folksy anecdotes precede each recipe, giving the reader an intimate insight into bayou life. The book is also a family history and a record of a way of life in which the urge to create transcended the necessities of survival, elevating everyday food to a work of art.