Victorian Gentleman's (L) and Lady's (R) Chairs

The Tiny Waist Leads to the Armless Chair

Mary reporting. In my grandmother’s home, the Victorian gentleman’s chair had graceful mahogany arms on each side, ideal for resting his forearms while reading a book or a newspaper. The smaller lady’s chair had no arms. The wood curving around the chair’s back simply stopped at the velvet upholstered seat. Such inequality in home furnishings […]

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Auntie's Angel's Food Cake

Auntie’s Angel’s Food Cake

Every Southern lady had a recipe for angel’s food cake, a particularly delicate dessert that wasn’t too heavy after a big meal. In the 19th century, cholesterol and trans fat weren’t in diners’ vocabulary, but they needn’t have worried about this cake. It has neither. In When A Lady Loves, heroine Maureen Collins has a […]

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Ursula LeCoeur Victorian Suspense New Orleans

Better Than Better Cheddar

In 1922, Lagenstein’s Grocery opened in uptown New Orleans. At some point in the next 91 years, the family-run store concocted Better Cheddar Dip, a delightful cheese and spice spread that has been a staple at New Orleans parties for longer than anybody can remember. It’s available every day in the cold foods case at […]

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Illustration of French Market circa 1888

New Orleans Invented the Cocktail, Poker, Jazz and Plenty More

Mary Reporting. New Orleans claims many firsts, including the invention of craps and poker, the mixing and naming of the cocktail, and the rise of the new music called jazz. None of these is surprising given the city’s disparate cultures, international visitors and boundless creativity. Here are some other New Orleans firsts: First Catholic School […]

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