Speak Like A Local


I’ve developed a nut sensitivity; specifically, pecans.  I’m fine, in fact overjoyed to eat them, or consume their essence infused into a rich porter.  But when a couple of years ago I walked by a pie caller at the North Carolina State Fair announcing the availability of both [pee-kan] and [pe-kahn] pie, I realized that simultaneously there was a 50/50 chance I’d been mispronouncing it my whole life, and I couldn’t remember how I’d been pronouncing it.  Whatever I’d been saying, it was with very little thought until that point, apparently.

I’ve taken a few informal polls of locals in various pecan producing territories on the correct pronunciation.  My scientific method must be flawed, because when presented with the two options, only one person has claimed with any conviction to know the answer.

“[Pe-kahn.]” Said the locally-born bartender at Batch, in the Hyatt French Quarter.  At the time, he was busy mixing me a house specialty called the Pecan Bourbon Manhattan, which I vowed to marry on the spot.  If both marriage to cocktails and bigamy were to be legal anywhere, it would be New Orleans, no?  I’ll share the recipe below so you can try it.  You’ll see, I’m not totally nuts (only HalfNuts).  It’s that good.

So, I have it on shaky authority that [pe-kahn] is how I should be pronouncing it.  But the dilemma does not end.  In ten days, am I flying into [Spoh-kain], or [Spoh-kan], or [Spoh-kahn]?

Pecan Bourbon Manhattan
Infused Pecan Bourbon
Sweet Vermouth
Chocolate Bitters

I don’t actually know in what ratios you should mix these.  It’s 2015; experiment!  You’ll find something you like and I won’t judge you.  As for the Infused Pecan Bourbon, good luck.  The bartender at Batch checked with the manager and found he could sell me a 750ml bottle of theirs (which they make in-house) for $100.  I won’t pay that for anything less than a 23 year old Pappy Van Winkle, so I found this fun looking little DIY online.  Slainte!



I landed in New Orleans in time for lunch.   On the drive in to the French Quarter I saw that the city has cleaned up an awful lot since my last visit,  4 years ago.
I started getting a sinking feeling when I arrived at my hotel on Iberville St.  I noticed the FQ has cleaned up, too.  no more crumbling brick.  No more rusty Louisiana lace.  The stucco is fresh and new and all the buildings are now…whats the word?…plumb

I spent the afternoon looking for signs of apathetic decay, but they are seemingly gone.  Later, I met up with my husband and his work folks for dinner and a little alcotainment (alcohol + entertainment) down on Bourbon Street.  Walking the dirty mile,  there is a noticeable police presence.   Some joints have security staff.  There are actual trashcans lining the sidewalks.  When I noticed that all of the hookers and club girls are now wearing panties, my fear was confirmed; The French Quarter has turned into the Epcot version of itself.

There is a Build-A-Bear next door to the Hustler Club.  OK,  not really.  Yet.

One thing has not yet changed.   It still smells like jumbalya and sugar by day and piss and garbage by night.

I’ve got the day to myself to explore some more.  I’m going to go hang out down in a cemetery and lament the good old days with those guys.