In an effort to illustrate how the seemingly simple culinary traditions of rural South Louisiana and the women behind the stoves promote cultural preservation, Nicole Denée Fontenot spent two years interviewing Cajun women who grew up in the first half of the 20th century. She now presents her research in COOKING WITH CAJUN WOMEN: RECIPES AND REMEMBRANCES FROM SOUTH LOUISIANA KITCHENS, a cookbook featuring more than 300 recipes and as many anecdotes of times when everything (except coffee, sugar, and flour) was homemade.

These matriarchs shared traditional recipes now made with modern and simple ingredients that reflect the constantly changing influences on Cajun culture, especially as communities became more Americanized. COOKING WITH CAJUN WOMEN present classic Cajun dishes like Maque Choux Corn, Crawfish Etouffée, Seafood Gumbo, Fig Cake, and Pecan Pralines, along with unusual creations and other staple fares. An in-depth essay, "Twentieth-Century Cajun Women, Agents of Cultural Preservation," as well as answers to typical questions by non-Cajuns and an extensive resource guide complete this remarkable contribution to the perpetuation of the Cajuns’ heritage and history.

Cooking With Cajun Women: Recipes and Remembrances From South Louisiana Kitchens