Monthly Archives: April 2012

Invitation to Contribute: essays/lesson plans on non-British colonial American History

Be part of the 1718 Project! Looking for info on French, Spanish, Dutch, and other 18th century European colonial efforts in and around the Gulf/Caribbean area. Especially smuggling and trade.


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The Making of a New Media Historian

All my life, it seems, I have been a wannabe. Now, with the advent of New Media, an advent 20 years in the making, I have decided to BE.

For the past 20 years (plus), I have been a student of New Media, of books great and small, of history, of geneology, and of philosophy. I hold two college degrees, both humanistic in nature, the Bachelor’s in History and the Master’s in Religion. I have gotten paid to be a teacher, a techie, a bookseller/appraiser, and even a philosophy professor. Now, I enter my seniority as a self-employed historian and writer. I perceive that New Media allows this.

So, what is a historian? When I began my adult life, that was my career goal. Through the seventies, the eighties, the nineties, I studied, I taught, I adopted technology and New Media, within which I studied and I taught. In the America of the late twentieth century, the term historian seemed to apply to two types of work exclusively, a college history professor and/or a published writer of history books. All other practioners of history, K-12 teachers, students, creators of historical web pages, etc. were mere drones serving the greater enterprise of the historians. Also, another apparent professional fact-of-life in America, at least since 1900, is that the definition of any profession is determined by how many $$$$$$ are gained by the practice of that profession. Mr. Jefferson’s meritocracy is now a $$$$$$ocracy.

So, am I a historian or not? I am certainly a student of history, I am certainly a Bachelor of History, I am certainly a writer of history, I am certainly a teacher of history. And even though I have taught Internet and Ehtics at the college level, I have never taught history at the college level nor, except in New Media, have I published any writings in history. Therein lies my conflict.

New Media Changes Everything. Or, so we’ve been told. Now, in the 21st century, I can claim to be a historian! Follow this blog to for my published work.  It does not take much insight to see that here, on the Web and in Social Media, lies the future of knowledge and education. For those among us just beginning their adult lives, that future is now.

No more wannabe! I am now a historian, and readers can give meaning and substance to my claim by sending 99 cents to Paypal in my name for a download of my latest essay and lesson-plan from “New Orleans: The First Decade.” But regardless of whether you buy or not, keep The 1718 Project in your web browser. Contribute to, Review, Condemn, Commend, and most of all, Enjoy my New Media-published History Book.

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There’s a new blog at

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April 24, 2012 · 9:30 pm

Lesson plan working

Working on the Natchez Indian lesson plan. It’s taking forever. Also, I have set up a new blog on wordpress, it’s called 1718neworleans2018

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Petticoat Rebellion Cookbook: Oranges, Pork

I have to begin today by declaring an unsubstantiated axiom to preface my historical  discussions and recipes for the Petticoat Rebellion Cookbook. That axiom is that Smuggling was the foundation of the Louisiana colonial economy. A corollary to this is that if a foodstuff, spice, herb, or potable was available anywhere in the Caribbean, or the Gulf Coast of North, South, or Central America, or even available through international Spanish, French, or British colonial trade; the possibility of it occurring in New Orleans cuisine of the first half of the 18th century is likely. I will substantiate this claim in a future article.

Oranges and Lemons: This week’s research for the The Petticoat Rebellion is citrus in 18th century Louisiana. The citrus group of fruits were Asian in origin and had spread to Europe by the Middle Ages. Columbus brought citrus seeds to America on his second voyage, where they quickly adapted to the climate of the Caribbean and the Gulf Coast. Therefore, the access to oranges and lemons in 1720’s New Orleans is not only substantiated but also documented by the original sources, to wit:

From the Letters of Marie Magdeleine Hachard:

Letter IV – peaches and figs and blackberry jelly, lots of oranges.

From Le Page du Pratz:

The orange-trees and citron-trees that were brought from Cape François
have succeeded extremely well;

The oranges and citrons are as good as those of other countries; but the rind of the orange in particular is very thick, which makes it the better for a sweet-meat.

Page(s): 190, History of Louisisana / Or of the Western Parts of Virginia and Carolina: Containing by Le Page du Pratz
NOOKstudy (Jon Laiche, This material is protected by copyright.

Having established availability, now we have to put ourselves in the shoes, er kitchens, as it were, of the ladies – French, German, African, and Creole – of the Isle d’Orleans (referred to henceforth as New Orleans)  as to what one can do with all of this good fruit. For this week’s work, we are leaving aside the  obvious, candied citrus, orange juice, citrus desserts, just plain eating the oranges, and concentrating on the savory uses that such fruit adds to the Creole menus of the district. Also, at this early stage it may be useful to imagine a useful pantry for our 1720’s Creole cooks.

To begin, the question confronting the Creole cook is how to use these oranges because “there were so many oranges growing (near New Orleans) that the settlers allowed them to rot on the trees.” (Midlo-Hall, p.126). Beyond the realms of dessert and breakfast, another excellent use of the fruits was the preparation of a savory orange sauce. This preparation will also allow us to consider some other stores that were to be found in the 1720’s Creole pantry. For instance, a quick Internet search for savory orange sauce yielded the following ingredients, all of which were available to Creole cooks in 1720’s New Orleans:

vinegar, ginger, pepper – black, red, fresh; salt, stock, sugar, wine, garlic, parsley, green onions, mustard (German), olive oil, bear fat, butter, lard, thyme, honey, horseradish, corn flour, wheat flour, more follows.

I guess I should close with some explanation of the philosophy behind The Petticoat Rebellion Cookbook. There are very few actual recipes in existence from this time and place in Louisiana history. Lafcadio Hearn’s Creole Cookbook was the first Creole collection published and it was 1885 before it appeared. So when faced with our specific mission of compiling this cookbook we are relying first on available ingredients, then on colonial cooking methods, then on the oldest contemporary (early 18th century and before) cooking sources we can locate such as herbals, other cookbooks, food and agricultural lists from the primary sources,and finally on the Creole cooking  traditions inherited from our mothers and fathers. We pull all of this together, think in Colonial French, African, and Creole terms, and then produce recipes to reflect that understanding. Hope you will enjoy.

Finally, the recipe for pork chops with orange sauce will appear shortly (after testing) on the website

Jon (aka Jerry) Laiche

Historian, Philosopher, Antiquarian Book Expert

Primum est Edare, diendi Philosophari


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A Native Responds

Six more years.  Back in 2006, when the brick-and-mortar Philosopher’s Stone was still a reality, it occurred to me that 2018 would be here sooner than anyone expected. I believed that the bookstore should begin building its antiquarian New Orleans and Louisiana collection in anticipation of that great occasion. Economics and Recession put an end to that plan. By 2010, finding myself “having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on the shores {of the Gulf Coast}, I thought I would . . .” invest my time, my academic skills, and my techie background in a new media production of materials cogent to 2018. The materials would take the form of a study of the 1718 Gulf Coast colony of Louisiana. is now a reality in progress. Work continues and will continue for the foreseeable future. In the next few months, however, work will be distracted by Lawrence Powell’s “The Accidental City”. I have not read it yet, but that will soon be remedied. It’s previews and reviews show great promise. The fly in the ointment, though, is that it covers the exact same material that does. This blog is being posted on Monday, April 16, 2012, and I want it to stand as copyrighted proof that Prof. Powell’s and my work are contemporaneous with each other.

Contemporaneous, but with significant differences. “The Accidental City”, to which I anticipate with high expectations, is predicted to be the standard academic history of New Orleans’ first century. As such, it will only complement my website/pop history/cookbook of New Orleans’ first century. I do, however, make one claim that differentiates the good professor’s work from my efforts. While he went to Yale, I went to UNO and Loyola. While he researched the southern US and taught upper adolescents, I researched and lived Louisiana History, Louisiana/New Orleans culture, Louisiana/New Orleans cooking in my mama’s New Orleans’ kitchens (one at home and one in our family restaurant),my family history (native to Louisiana since 1758), and and taught younger adolescents, as a native Creole/Cajun historian, teacher, and scholar.

So, kudos to Prof. Powell, and I look forward to my new bibliographic entry. To the Professor and my followers, keep up with, and keep me posted and do not hesitate to contribute, criticize, condone, condemn, and complement it at will. There is no such thing as bad publicity.

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