Tag Archives: cajun culture

Seven Things (Cajun Style)

So last week I was tagged by Stacy McKitrick with the Irresistably Sweet Blog Award, and yesterday, Ciara Knight tagged me on her blog as well for a Seven Things About Me thingy. I love getting awards because it’s proof people actually read my stuff here. I don’t always get to participate in the tags and all because I have a pretty strict blogging schedule (I’m a secret dictator of all things blogging and it has to be my way *slams fist on desk*)

This time is really no different, but I thought I could incorporate both awards with my regularly scheduled Cajun French lesson thingy. (I’m so eloquent, aren’t I? There are thingies all over this blog!)

I’m not tagging anyone, so you’re all safe!

So here we go, Seven Things About Me (Cajun Style):

1. I can’t eat crawfish. I’m allergic. It kills me. Not literally, but I love crawfish and it isn’t fair that I can’t eat it *sniff*

2. Although my last name is French, I’m not a certified Cajun. My family came to Louisiana straight from France. Like the Coneheads, “We are from France”, not Canada.

3. I do not own a pair of Cajun Reeboks. I’d love some though because you just never know when you’ll need them.

4. I have been in a pirogue (that’ll be next week’s word) and I hated it. The Pirogue Incident will go down in the family storybook under my name along with the Bead Up The Nose Incident and the Do You Want To See How Dogs Pee Incident otherwise known as How To Embarrass Your Mother in the Mall Incident.

5. I do not speak Cajun French but for a few words I’ve picked up through the years and the Cajun English phrases I grew up with. I have mistaken a full-blooded Cajun man for someone from Trinidad because I couldn’t understand him, so y’all aren’t alone in having problems with the accent.

6. I’ve never had, or cooked, blackened fish or chicken. We call that “burnt” where I’m from.

7. There was a point in my life when shoes were my enemy and the soles of my feet were thick enough to enable me to walk the length of a gravel road with no problem. Now, I cry if I step on concrete barefoot (slight exaggeration).

So those are my seven things (Cajun style). Do you have seven things you’d like to share with the class? It doesn’t have to be Cajun style 🙂

P.S. I had an amazing review for the third book in my Veil series, Lifestyles of the Fey and Dangerous. I’ve mentioned in another blog that reviews are like hugs from readers and this one is a very big hug. Thanks to Renee Rearden for the fantastic review!


Filed under humor

Cajun Culture: Coffee Milk

I found out something interesting. It seems that Coffee Milk is the official beverage of Rhode Island, but that isn’t the kind of coffee milk I’m talking about today.

You can ask almost any person raised in south Louisiana and they know what coffee milk is. Coffee is a pretty big deal down here. Not in the Starbucks, Seattle kind of way either. Oh, sure there are some people here who will only drink gourmet coffee, but most households here only carry (and recognize) one brand of coffee: Community Coffee Dark Roast.

Community Coffee is a Louisiana brand coffee that serves 11 states in the south. They opened in 1919 and from there, they’ve become one of the biggest family owned coffee company in the U.S. Probably from their Louisiana customers alone.

I’m telling you…Nearly every business you go into, every home, every restaurant, has Community Coffee. It’s that big.

It’s so big, that parents get their kids started early developing an addiction to it. Yes, you heard me right: Parents give this to their children. Well, they did when I was little. You sort of went from formula to milk to coffee milk to coffee…it was great.

Coffee drinking is a favorite pastime for most people. You put the pot on, sit around the kitchen table and b.s. for hours. Naturally, if there are children in the vicinity, they want to be part of the adult conversation. The easiest way to get rid of them is to give them a cup of milk and a dash of coffee. Coffee milk.

When I was young, my dad used to stop at his mom’s house every morning on the way to work for a cup of coffee. Not because my mom didn’t have coffee at home, but because it was a tradition for them. He’d bring me along since he used to bring me to daycare and I’d sit at the table with my grandparents and dad drinking my coffee milk, saying “c’est bon” with every slurp of my drink.

I’m sure there are some people out there shuddering at the thought of a bunch of kids hyped up on coffee being let loose in the school yards, but I’m telling you…it was a great thing. Drinking coffee milk while your parents and relatives drank their regular coffee was like a sense of well…community. You belonged.  You were drinking coffee! Sort of. But it always had to be Community Coffee. And I didn’t realize how much I rely on this stuff until this morning. We’d run out of coffee and horror of horrors, the only thing we had was some decaf someone had given us. *shudder* What’s the point of decaf coffee anyway? It isn’t like it tastes just like regular coffee and it serves no purpose! *sigh*

I’m thinking about smuggling some in my bags when I go to New York. That stuff in the hotel last year in Orlando was okay, but it wasn’t as good as my Community Coffee, which I dearly missed when I was gone. So, anyone who wants a cup of good south Louisiana coffee, y’all head on to my room, okay?


Filed under Family

Cajun French: Cajun Reeboks

Okay, so it isn’t exactly Cajun French, but it is a part of the culture here.

If you were to walk around most parking lots in Cajun country and happened to look at pick-up trucks, you might see Cajun Reeboks wedged between the cab and bed of the trucks. I’ve always wanted a truck, just so I could get a pair and stuff them in that spot because…well, it’s kind of like a gun rack; everyone has one!

What in the world are Cajun Reeboks, I hear you ask. Well, that’s what I’m here to tell you about! Cajun Reeboks are short, white rubber boots. Like these:

Not what you thought, are they?

Rubber boots are important in this area, not just because of the rain, but because if you dig more than two feet into the ground, you will hit water. Shrimpers and fishermen wear these boots as opposed to a darker color because of the heat. You’ve seen Deadliest Catch, right? Well, down here, it’s the Hottest Catch. When the heat index is around 115 and you’re working on a boat, being comfortable and cool is a priority.

It should tell you how popular these boots are that they have their own nickname around here. I’m saving up for a pair of steel-toe rubber boots *rubs her hands together* I can hardly wait! *cough* Sorry.

So, if you’re in south Louisiana and you hear someone mention Cajun Reeboks, or you see someone walking around wearing a pair of these boots, just remember it’s a way of life down here.

Have questions about Cajun French, English, or the way of life? Send me an e-mail at danica.avet@gmail.com and I’ll make it the topic of an upcoming post!


Filed under humor


It’s Wednesday. Is it sad that it’s taken me two full days before I finally feel somewhat alert? At this rate, it’ll be Saturday before I’m running at top speed again and then I’ll have to go through this whole mess all over! But enough complaining.

Earlier in my writing “career”, I wanted to share a bit of my culture with my readers. Every week I’d introduce a new Cajun French word or phrase and explain it’s usage. I’m not sure if anyone actually read them, so I’m going to blog them instead. Yes, yes, you’re probably sick to death of me bragging about my heritage, but I’m proud to be a south Louisianan, what can I say?

First off, let me explain what a Cajun actually is. Cajuns are descended from the Acadians who were forced out of Acadia and found a new home in south Louisiana. They were French speakers and they’re very proud of their heritage. So proud that they will seek out “Cajun” restaurants in other states and have a hissy when the food isn’t cooked the way it is here. This brings me to my next point: not every person in south Louisiana is Cajun. I’m actually not Cajun. My family came directly from France in the 18th century. I’m almost positive they were convicts, but we’ll leave that for another post.

Cajun French is not the same French spoken in Canada or France, but if one of those ingenious Cajuns ever managed to build a time machine and go back to 18th century France, they would be understood. Funny, huh? The thing is, the language didn’t develop or change very much over the last 300 years because of isolation. Most of the Acadians moved to south-central Louisiana to what is commonly referred to as Cajun Country, or Acadiana. Yes, yes, words have been modified because of technology changes, but it hasn’t changed that much.

Anyway, back to the real lesson. Mais. Mais is a broad word. It means “but” and it’s used. A lot. For instance:

“Mais, did you see the UPS guy?”

“Mais, I ain’t scared, me, no.”

“Do you want a coke?” (Coke isn’t always Coca-Cola, it’s any carbonated soft drink).
“Mais, yeah.”

For the longest time I thought everyone was using “mais” like we do when “meh” began appearing all over the place. People use it to express disgust, anger, and indifference. Cajuns use “mais” the same way, but we also use it to open conversation.

Mais, there you go. I hope you enjoyed your first lesson in Cajun culture. I hope I can remember to do this weekly, but there’s no telling what other weird ideas I’ll get to blog about.

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Filed under humor