Baton Rouge, LA, offers several plantation tours. Because of the size of our ride, I selected BREC’s Magnolia Mound, which looked easily accessible. The on-line site I found at first listed it on Sharp street, which we found quite easily…except, Magnolia Mound was nowhere to be seen. A stop at a gas station nearby netted no information—no one had heard of it! On the trusty smart phone, we found the “real” address on Nicholson street, about 10 miles west of where we were. Still have no idea how the address came to be listed wrong, but we finally arrived.
On 16 acres of the original 900, the architecture is called “vernacular,” influenced by early settlers from France
and the West Indies. The property includes a 200-year-old historic museum house, an open-hearth kitchen with a kitchen garden, overseer’s house, a slaves’ quarter house, crop garden, pigeonnier, and carriage house.
We thoroughly enjoyed the tour and marveled at the cooking processes of the day. fireplace, with a brick oven built into the wall for baking, and the devices, such as a “toaster,” a metal frame to hold two pieces of bread that one could turn for toasting on both sides. With no refrigeration and winters not cold enough to collect ice, food was buried in the ground in large crockery olive oil jars from Europe. The pigeonnier housed squab, a delicacy in early America.
This plantation is kept up by the Baton Rouge’s park system, offering educational programs, workshops, lectures, festivals, and other special events to illustrate and interpret the lifestyle of the French Creoles.
That evening we found Boutin’s Restaurant, a “Cajun music and dining experience.” This certainly was a great experience, from the boudin sausage (casings stuffed with rice and sausage) the crab-stuffed catfish entrée I had (complete with corn maque choux, Cajun rice AND a stuffed potato!), to the folk music band. Their music reminded me a lot of the old time groups my dad used to play fiddle with. A great evening—I recommend Boutin’s.
The next day we had planned to stop at Moss Point near Gulfport to take an alligator ranch boat tour, but the sunny southern weather had turned downright cold, with clouds, rain and wind. Next stop: Mobile, AL!