My daughter Maggie was digging around in a drawer the other day and found a deck of cards from New Orleans that my son, Zach, bought over fifteen years ago. They were purchased at the gift shop of a paddle boat on the Mississippi River. It was New Year’s Day and I remember that we thought the ride was a little boring and turned to playing Gin Rummy for distraction.
Since that time, the deck disappeared, has been buried in drawers, carted around the world and surfaced this week only because Maggie is ALL about playing cards these days. She pulled out the cards – called Louisiana Cajun: Deck O’ Meals and we started playing using rules from UNO.
You might remember seeing these “Deck O’ Meals” cards at one time or another; each card has a Cajun recipe on the face-side and the front of each card is an illustration of recipe ingredients like shrimp, lobster, okra, bell peppers, etc. Because of these illustrations, Maggie deemed our new game “Shrimp, Lobster, Okra.” The other day as we were playing, she was in the lead, got down to one card and when the excitement overcame her she screamed out “SHRIMP!”
Zach and I have had such a laugh and, of course, the rules of the game now require the winner to yell “SHRIMP.” I actually caught Zach yesterday morning reading the recipes and day dreaming of New Orleans. One of the best cards – the 8 of Diamonds – includes a recipe for “Smothered Alligator.”
I got on the web this morning and found out that the cards are actually quite well-known and the recipes have circulated through all sorts of sites. According to my (brief) research, it seems that the recipes themselves are highly rated. I suggest that every family order a few decks for holiday gifts and spend some time playing (and perhaps eating) “Shrimp, Lobster, Okra.”
I wrote to our long-ago traveling companion to remind him of our “Deck O’ Meals” on the Mississippi River: “Funny how things from the past will jump up and grab you when least expected.”
“Shrimp, Lobster, Okra” or the Louisiana Cajun: Deck O’ Meals