People respond to being made feel welcome and valued in a lot of ways. In Louisiana we believe in chit-chat before we get down to business. We smile and say "Hello" to strangers because it's just good manners. Most of all, we serve up great food as a sign of hospitality and caring. So lately I've been on a hunt for down home recipes.
Mama used to make these all the time. I didn't hear them called "Johnny Cakes" or "Hoe Cakes". We just called it cornbread. It was a quick way for her to feed us without heating up the house with the oven. We lived in a small shotgun home in Baton Rouge, and it didn't take much to get it hot (though it was nice on a cold winter's day!).
Another staple that I love is baked chicken. Now that sounds really basic, but when you season the chicken with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and slow bake it on a bed of sliced onions, bell peppers and celery? Taste anything but basic!
Finally, as Beyonce so famously put it in her mega hit video Formation, I got hot sauce in my bag swag. My go to is this right here. Ah, yes. It makes my food world go round.
What's all this got to do with writing books? Authentic settings include all aspects of life in the story world. When you read my novels, characters will be eating or drinking Louisiana coffee at least once. More likely multiple times. Just part of the culture. Check out LaShaun Rousselle cooking in all four books of the mystery series. Ditto for my other novels. Even in the movie After All based on my book of the same name, Louisiana cooking is featured even though the movie producer changed the setting to another LA - Los Angeles!