Monday, December 28, 2009

I blame the boudin.

Well, it just so happens that my beloved state, Louisiana, took the title of happiest state.

While the state I just visited (that I did love, love, love), New York, was the unhappiest. And, I'm just sayin' ... the people of New York do lack for some hospitality. I made up for it while I was there by being extra nice just to irritate them.

In fact, most of the states in the Northeast were not happy, while the states in the South, and of course, Hawaii, (Who wouldn't be happy if they lived in Hawaii? Not sure that this state should be in the same category as all the others, seeing as it is a tropical paradise. So, we'll just disqualify them.) were the happiest. (except for Maine ... must be the lobster)

Now, you know I'm not about ruffling feathers (wink), but it seems to me that all those other states could learn a thing or two about the South, especially Louisiana.

Why are we so dang happy?

#1 - Boudin and beignets

Let's face the facts. Food makes people happy. Good food makes people even happier.

Because if a biscuit is good, then deep frying it and topping it with powdered sugar will be even better.
And, if rice dressing is good, then stuffing it in a casing (or in the old days ... pigs' intestines ... bleh) is just easier to eat ... no fork needed. See ... HAPPINESS.

No lie. Above this picture it said, "Happiness is a hot piece of boudin."
And, those little balls on the left are boudin balls. What'd I tell you? Boudin ... yet, rolled in a ball and deep-fried.

#2 - Mardi Gras

What other state shuts down for parades and debauchery? Banks close. Kids get out of school. (while my family tries to get out of town or stay indoors)

But, even for those who don't celebrate Mardi Gras, there is always the king cake (another deep-fried doughnut, the size of two loaves of bread, filled with cream cheese, topped with icing and sprinkles).

#3 - Music

From jazz to zydeco ... Louisianians love their music. Heck, we produced Britney Spears, you know. So proud.

OK. Harry Connick, Jr. then. There.

But, one thing's for sure. Cajuns can dance. And, the older you are, the better you are. Check out this couple. She does take a little spill there, but you get the idea.

#4 - Heritage

Louisianians are also very proud of their culture and strive to preserve their French heritage. I do love this part.

Down the street from our house is a French immersion elementary school and there are two cultural centers which feature mock Cajun villages.

It's crazy, but Beau and I each have a grandparent or an aunt who only spoke French and very broken English. And, some were fluent in both. That's neat. I'm kinda sorry that Beau and I don't know any French and our girls can't experience what we did as children. (Beau only knows curse words.)

#5 - The people

Ya'll ... the people here are just friendlier. They really are. I lived in another, mid-Western state for six years and have travelled around the country. I know. They're more hospitable here. They will just whip you up a gumbo in no time and beg you to stay and eat or drink with them. No one is a stranger.

On a side note, Louisiana is also one of the states with the highest crime rates. Go figure.


Jeff Ables said...

Great post Daphne! I heard the news about Louisiana having the happiest people over the Holidays and I thought it very interesting. You're right, it has to be the food, celebration and hospitality because it can't have anything to do with the weather, the mosquitos or a now struggling football franchise!

sara said...

I have only been to LA once, but hope to get back for a longer visit! The food there would make me very happy!!!

Katie@The Baby Factory said...

haha :) I think the debauchery and crime may be linked somehow.....just maybe ;)

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

You're killing me with the foodie posts.

Do you know I lived right next door to you all my life (Texas, that is), and I've never EVER had a beignet? I've always wanted one, because I love biscuits, but fried and sugared? Come on.

And I've had boudin, but didn't really know what it was...except GOOD.

I love the heritage part of your post, too.

But the food is my fave. :-)

thedomesticfringe said...

Ugh, I need to say something in defense of New Yorkers. It's not that we are completely and totally unhappy, nor are we completely and totally unfriendly and lacking in hospitality. We are purposed. Others mistake this for unfriendliness. You get caught up and actually stop noticing things going on around you and it's not on purpose. You also see so much absurd stuff that you get kinda hard.

People in the South, and this is not said to be offensive (PROMISE), are friendly on the surface and across the board. It's kinda a shallow blanket niceness, the culture of the people; however, when you develop a relationship with a New Yorker, it will be something deeper. Different culture, that's all.

Ok, I'm done defending the North!

Enjoy your happy state. I think it's the sunshine that makes you guys so happy. I'd be friendlier with a little bit of that sunshine myself! ;-)


Mama Belle said...

Fringegirl ... obviously you need to find some better Southern friends because I would never use the word "shallow" to define Southerners. I think they're mostly genuine.

And, obviously, I need to find some different New Yorkers if they'd just slow down to talk to me. You're the nicest one I know.

Amy@My Front Porch said...

My husband grew up in New York and he still can't get over how much friendlier people are here. We live in Iowa now -- not exactly the South -- but even that's a far cry from what you find in the NE :)

Although I will have to say -- the most unfriendly people we have ever encountered were on our honeymoon in South Carolina. It made me wonder what all the fuss about southern hospitality was. Looks like we should have gone to Louisiana instead! :)

thedomesticfringe said...

I'm like the lone voice of the North crying in the wilderness of the South. It's too bad I don't have some Yankee backup here! :-)

Shallow was not the best choice of words - sorry. I guess I just mean that people in the South are nice to everyone, whether they like them or not. There are lots of nice acquaintance type relationships and those are really missing in the North. I don't think New Yorkers take the time to develop acquaintances...either you're a friend or you're not and why bother being friendly to someone you have no intention of developing a relationship with? Not right, but I think it's in the mindset.

It's not that I think all Southern relationships are shallow. I just think Southerners have a broader spectrum of friends, acquaintances, and people they are nice to. Does that make any better sense?

I'm going to shut up for good now, because I think I'm digging a bigger hole for myself and I'm pretty good at that! I don't want to end up being banned from LA or anything.

Just for the record, I like the South. I like sweet tea and that white gravy you guys make, and sunshine - LOVE it!

JenT said...

Love, love, love beignets and king cake! I tried for YEARS to get to the French Quarter and Cafe Du Monde to get beignets straight from the source. I finally succeeded last year in January. So it's been almost two years since I've been, but I still remember! I love those bits of pastry!

{Jodie} said...

This is awesome! Agreed - it must be the food? As for the crime rate? I don't know? Maybe people get desperate when they run out of boudin?

BaronessBlack said...

Great post Mama Belle!
Although finishing with the point that no one's a stranger, and everyone's treated like family, may lead directly on to the point about crime rates!
I'm just saying, this time of year makes you remember why there are family members you choose to phone instead of visit!

Cathy said...

I love the south and the north. I love Ohio where I live because if you don't like the weather, wait a couple hours and it'll change. Plus it's just home. But I have to say I love the south too. I've been to Louisiana once and had a blast in New Orleans. No I wasn't there for Mardi Gras, just a regular visit. Plus I love love love Forida, because it has beaches and it has Disney World! But even though I love the south, I still want to live no where else, but Ohio!

The Hat Chick said...

I tried to make beignets (or Big Nuts, as Big Baddy calls them) this Christmas. They never turn out right for me. I love everything about New Orleans and LA. My step-father spoke Cajun French, Big Daddy is from N.O. and I lived in Slidell from 1st-3rd grade.

Have you heard the 12 days of Christmas, N'Awlin's style.... "12 Manuel's Tamales/ 11 Schwegmann bags/ the Tenneco Chalmette Refinery/ the Lower Ninth Ward/ Ate by ya mama's/ the 17th St. Canal/ a 6-pack of Dixie/ fried onion rings/ 'fore ya drive me nuts/ 3 french breads/ a Tujague's recipe/ and the crawfish they caught in Arabi."

Rachel @ Future Pastor's Wife said...

I'm finally getting around to go through everything in my reader from Christmas, and this might be the best post in there (not that I'm partial or anything).

You know you right about all this - the South (and Louisiana) are the best!