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Plantation and Gardens

Through the Gates 


November 2010 
Fall is in Full Bloom at Houmas House
 Fall Gardens
During the antebellum period formal gardens were designed in a pattern to complement the classical and formal lines of the house. On a working plantation like Houmas House, the decorative garden was usually front and center and possibly wrapped to the sides of the house.  Through the vision and creativity of Craig Black, Houmas House has brought to life the splendid gardens from the antebellum era.
With ten full-time gardeners to maintain the grounds all year round Houmas House offers visitors full color in every season. 
Currently Houmas House is undergoing a complete color renewal of its Fall gardens.  And over the next two weeks Houmas House will welcome over 45,000 new bedding plants.  For the garden enthusiasts, it's a color wonderland full of pansies, violas, petunias, foxgloves, and dianthuses just to name a few.   So through rain or shine, winter or summer, our gardens are sure to surprise and amaze all who walk through them.

Secrets from Latil's Landing
Roasted Turkey

Roasted Turkey with Cranberry and Merlot Sauce

Serves 12



One 16-pound turkey, legs tied and giblets reserved

1 celery rib, thinly sliced

1 carrot, thinly sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

8 thyme sprigs

2 rosemary sprigs

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

4 cups water

4 1/2 cups Turkey Stock (made from Pan Juices from Turkey) or low-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour



Preheat the oven to 350�. Set the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan and scatter the turkey heart, gizzard and neck, the sliced celery, carrot, onion and garlic and the herb sprigs all around. Season the turkey with salt and pepper. Add 2 cups of the water to the pan and roast the turkey for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups of water to the roasting pan. Cover the turkey with foil and roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the inner thigh registers 170�.

Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for 30 minutes. Strain the pan juices into a large heatproof measuring cup, pressing on the solids. Skim the fat.

Pour the pan juices into a medium saucepan. Add 4 cups of the Turkey Stock and boil until reduced to 5 cups, about 5 minutes. In a bowl, whisk the flour with the remaining 1/2 cup of stock, then whisk the mixture into the stock. Boil, whisking, until the gravy is thickened. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy.


Cranberry and Merlot Sauce:

2 (12-ounce) bags fresh cranberries

1 3/4 cups Merlot

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

 zest of one orange


Combine all ingredients except cranberries in a medium saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cranberries cook for 6 minutes. Cool and transfer sauce to bowl. Cover and refrigerate until cold.   

Traditions Reign at Houmas House
Grace in Mural
Photo above: Mural in foyer of mansion. Painted by Craig Black. Princess Grace- 2 years old 

As seen from the view of Princess Grace

You would think as Princess of the Sugar Palace that I'd want to feast with our guests on Thanksgiving Day in the grand pavilion.  But actually, as royalty I prefer to dine in the comfort and privacy of my own dining room located on the third floor of the mansion.
I do, however, love to watch all the families come to Houmas House for the annual Thanksgiving buffet. It reminds me of the stories my ancestors told me about the grand picnics on the front lawn under the alley of oaks and the fancy dinners the sugar Barons would host for their friends in New Orleans.From as early as the 1770's Houmas House was a place where families and friends came together at mealtime and we've continued the Southern tradition of celebrating food today.
Although I eat with my royal children, I am occasionally seen outside the grand pavilion greeting our guests as they come to Houmas House to celebrate family, friendship, and of course food. 

Email Princess Grace at [email protected]
Orange Hibiscus  
Houmas House is on Twitter! 

For all you tweeps, you can now find us on Twitter!  We tweet daily about our lunch specials, upcoming events, favorite gift shop items, pictures from the grounds, and more.  We're looking for our 1,000th follower to award a dinner for two to Latil's Landing. Will it be you?  So, be a tweetheart and follow us and stay in the loop.


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Open Daily          


Photo courtesy of Keith Survell, visitor 10/2010 


Monday, Tuesday 9 AM- 5 PM
Wednesday- Sunday 9 AM-7 PM 
Cafe' Burnside: 11 AM- 2 PM daily
Latil's Landing: Wednesday through Saturday 6 PM- 9 PM,
Sunday Brunch 11 AM- 3 PM; Reservations Required for 6 or More

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