Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple

Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Weekend in Natchitoches

Several weeks ago we made plans with the Hastings to go to Natchitoches for the Festival of Lights. Then we found out that the Bibles would be joining us, and the frosting on the cake was knowing that we'd be able to see our Natch missionaries--Elder Mecham, Elder Smith, Sister Ogden and Sister Arntz. Jackpot!

First we met for lunch at Lasyone's to experience their meat pies--one of the things Natch is known for. Lasyone's is an authentic Creole Cuisine experience. Their recipes have been handed down through a family with deep southern roots. James Lasyone was a butcher for 25 years, then he started working on his meat pie recipe in the 1950's. After grinding the meat, several women made the pies in their homes for many years. Then, in 1967, he opened his meat pie kitchen.

James got his first national break when the editor of "House Beautiful" magazine came om for some meat pies in the early 1970's. Since then they've been recognized by a number of celebrities and "raved" about by magazines including Southern Living, Cooking with Paula Deen, The New Yorker, Glamour Magazine and a variety of others.

So what's a meat pie? The Natchitoches meat pie is a regional dish from northern Louisiana and is one of the official state foods. Ingredients include ground beef, ground pork, onions, peppers, parsley, pepper, garlic and a pie shell, and it's very similar to an empanada.
Sister Arntz and Sister Ogden
Elder Smith and Elder Mecham
We had a very casual afternoon, just walking around this town that celebrated their 300th birthday earlier this year. Well, they're actually celebrating all year!  Established in 1714, Natchitoches is located on the banks of the 36 mile long Cane River, which isn't really a river but a lake, and is the first permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase territory and oldest city in Louisiana. It's a quaint town with French charm and the place where the movie, "Steel Magnolias," was filmed. It has a Landmark Historic District and is recognized as the Bed & Breakfast Capital of Louisiana.
At Christmastime every year, Natchitoches hosts the festival of lights with over 300,000 lights and 100+ pieces which are lit every night from the end of November 22 through about January 6. Other festivities include a parade of lights (which I doubt would rival Disneyland, but great for LA), carriage rides through the historic district, parades, fireworks and a lot more!

Several of the Christmas pieces along the banks of the Cane River
By the time the fireworks had finished, we (the 6 seniors) were ready for a small evening snack. After driving up and down, back and forth from one end of South Street to the other, we tried Chili's, only to find a line out the door and along the building. Our next stop was at Subway. (Yay! Marc and I had just had breakfast there this morning.) And who should we find at Subway? Our missionaries! They'd been at the fireworks handing out candy canes tied with bows and invitations to watch the First Presidency's Christmas Message next Sunday. Subway had also been their second attempt at finding a quick bite to eat.
Elder Mecham and Sister Ogden

Are these not 4 of the most delightful, fun missionaries you've ever seen?
Sister Arntz and Elder Smith

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