I had a delightful time reading PRALINE LADY at the children’s museum today. My teen was the photographer, hubs videographer (see insta), mom guest services, and my daughter an invaluable assistant. Only person missing was my eldest.
Special thanks to my friends that showed up!!
I ended with reading a brief section of the Author’s Note about the Black women that popularized pralines. An audience member asked what was cala? It was a fitting question which allowed me to honor Ms. Loretta Harrison of Loretta’s Authentic Pralines, one of the FEW that still made this old fashioned treat. This Praline Queen’s legacy of being the first Black woman to open a candy shop in the French Quarter will live on forevermore.
I recently went to an estate sale where I came upon this picture and immediately loved it. Of course, the Praline Lady with her basket on top of her head had everything to do with me buying it. I plan to get it framed as soon as possible.
I can’t find out anything about this photo except the location is Pirates Alley. If anyone has any information please share.
June 24, 2021 was National Pralines Day and I was thrilled to share Titine’s story on social media.
“He who has not tasted Titine’s pralines has something yet to learn of the joys of the palate. As everybody knows, the praline is essentially a New Orleans product, and there is not an Inhabitant of that city who does not understand that grated cocoanut mixed with sugar and cooked in a certain way, will turn out pralines. Ah yes! But there are pralines and pralines!
And Titine’s secret of its absolute perfection has never been revealed. For thirty years, weather permitting, this old mulatress has been sitting in one place on the sidewalk, in the busiest section of the Town. Her little low table is the same; the tray, now despoiled of its paint, has never been replaced by a newer one, neither has she altered the pattern of her stiffly starched guiné blue dress, nor indeed have her pralines undergone any evolution. They are precisely of the same shape and size as they were years ago, when a buxom young matron, she first took her seat on the banquette and received the title of the Praline Woman.” Metropolitan magazine Company, Volume 23, 1905
World Read Aloud Day was on February 3, 2021. I was honored to participate and read Praline Lady at two schools virtually. The first school was Lake Forest Charter School in New Orleans. I can’t tell you how special it was that my FIRST time reading Praline Lady live was with a local school. The second school was Stride Avenue Community School in Canada! The kids were so engaged and intelligent. They asked great questions also!
I was moved by the email sent to me by Ms. Pang at Stride Avenue Community School after my presentation: “There is so much rich history in your story. It was written, illustrated, and told beautifully. Thanks again for sharing with Stride Avenue Community! I am glad they had a chance to experience that, especially during Black History Month.”
Attached is a printable word puzzle with words from my book Praline Lady. The publisher also sent me a coloring sheet with illustrations by Kameko Madere. You can download both and share it with your children or classroom free of charge!
My article “The Praline Ladies” was recently featured in the December issue of Country Roads Magazine. I really enjoyed writing it and sharing more of my research on these remarkable ladies.
Below is an excerpt. Please follow the link to read the article in its entirety.
As a child growing up in New Orleans, one of the memories I most return to is me, sitting in the kitchen, watching my grandmother make pralines. I can still picture her ladling the creamy mixture onto wax paper. I’d wait patiently as each dollop spread and magically cooled into an edible treat. As an adult, their magic never wavered.