My name is Joshua Callandret, and I’m from a small rural town in south Louisiana called Arnaudville. The 2010 U.S. Census showed that Arnaudville has a population of 1,057. It was named after the Arnaud family (pronounced are-no). I grew up on a patch of land that covers nearly 70 acres. My grandfather grew sweet potatoes and raised cattle on that land, and my dad now uses the land to bale hay.
My dad raises chickens and rabbits, and he has a few goats and sheep in a pen on our property. He plants a pretty substantial garden in our backyard each summer, and we can and freeze the produce from that each year. He also dabbles in making muscadine wine, and he makes really good deer jerky.
My mom is the cooking queen. She spends hours in the kitchen on a weekend making gumbo, and she makes jams and jellies out of whatever fruit we find on the property. My mom also makes her own seasoning blend that she uses for all of her cooking. Most of what we eat at home is spicy and greasy, but it is amazing. Both of my parents speak Cajun French.
I want to paint a picture of Louisiana for you. What the people are like, our cooking, and the state’s history. I might even include a recipe or two.