River Oaks Plantation - B. J. Robinson, Author

1:21 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves

Plantation-Style Red Beans and Rice

1 lb. dry red kidney beans
1 Tbsp. oil
1 onion
1 bell pepper
1 clove garlic
1 - 2 stalks of celery
Water to fill near top of pot
Bay leaves
Cayenne pepper
Parsley
Black pepper
1 Tbsp. Creole or Cajun seasoning
Choice of meat for seasoning - Ham, ham bone, salt pork or smoke sausage

Rice:
2 cups rice
1 Tbsp. butter
4 cups water

Wash red beans and soak.  If I don't soak mine, I cook them a few hours.  If soaked, they'll cook quicker.  Wash and cut seasonings.  Brown or saute seasonings to taste, including the ones you enjoy and leaving out the ones you may not like.  If using smoke sausage, you may brown it with the seasonings.

Pour seasonings into pot with beans.  Add meat.  Let come to a boil and then simmer until done.  I recommend cooking at least two hours.  A ham bone provides the best flavoring in my opinion.
You may turn the fire to low and let the beans simmer or just keep warm after two hours.  You can also cook using a crock pot, but you should put them on very early in the morning and let them slow cook all day.  If cooking on the top of a stove, you will need to continually add water to them as it cooks out until they are nearly done.  Then, let them cook down so the gravy is thick and red.

Boil rice about thirty minutes before serving time.  Let two cups of rice, four cups of water and 1 Tbsp. of butter come to a boil, turn to low and let the water cook out of the rice.


River Oaks Plantation - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

River Oaks Plantation 1856 - The minute the horse and buggy drew up in front of it, Margaret Jane Turnrow knew she'd found the home of her dreams.  In a trance, she sat spellbound and stared.  The majestic beauty from the long white-shelled drive, the huge live oak trees dripped with Spanish moss, and the white-columned splendor of the large two-story antebellum home made her heart flutter.  She fell in love at first sight, and that first view of the large white house sitting behind massive oaks took her breath away. 

Margaret and her new husband Danny have just returned from their honeymoon to their new thirty-five hundred acre Louisiana home.  Danny's promise to "Maggie" is to become a wealthy planter and make them rich with the growing of cotton and sugarcane. But then comes the war.  Will they be able to survive the war without losing everything they have worked so hard for?

River Oaks Plantation 2005 - On August 29th, Amaryllis Camilla O'Brien eased her red metallic Chevy Camaro down River Road.  After driving all night in horrible wind and rain, she couldn't wait to reach the plantation.  Her heart thudded  against her chest the closer she got.  The best summers of her life were the ones she'd spent under shady oaks with her grandmother.  And now with the passing of her grandmother the plantation was hers. 

When "Cammie" stepped from her car and made it into her home she found more than she could ever expect.  She found an old friend from the past, but she also found that she had picked the worse time ever to return to the plantation.  Her return came just in time to experience one of the worse hurricanes Louisiana had ever faced - Katrina. 

River Oaks Plantations is made up of two stories that become one.  The struggles to survive and to keep River Oaks alive are more than most could possibly endure.  But with the help of God, both generations stand firm, determined  to keep going no matter what.  This is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read.  I've read all books written by this Author and each time I think I've read the best for her to come through with one that tops the last.  If you're looking for a book that will fill you with love and life, this is the book for you.


This book actually has an extra treat.  At the end you'll find a recipe for Allie's Famous Louisiana Cornbread Dressing to go along with the Red Beans and Rice!   

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