Christmas in New Orleans: Oyster Patties and Creole Bread Pudding (with recipes)

Family recipes are being shared and Christmas meals planned. What is served between the starter and dessert varies from household to household, but dinner traditionally begins with Creole Oyster Patties and ends with Creole Bread Pudding, topped with Whiskey Sauce. Oyster Patties
Everyone loves Oyster Patties. No culinary topic in New Orleans evokes the response that an Oyster Patty can. Locals will begin by sharing who in their family cooked them, how they were made, and over which particular holiday the Oyster Patty held court.

Mart for Art’s Sake: ‘Direct sales to art lovers are such a benefit’

Uptown resident and artist Emma Fick will be showing her work at the two-day holiday Arts Market on Saturday (Dec. 17) and Sunday (Dec. 18) in Marsalis Harmony Park. 

These holiday markets are special, said Fick, a veteran of the Arts Markets scene. There are usually many more artists participating, so it feels like a village. And because they run for two days instead of just Saturday, the booths do not have to be broken down at the end of the first day, so the artists take more time and effort to create their own atmosphere and a look that is not feasible for a one-day, six hour market.

Temple Sinai opens its sanctuary for Trinity Episcopal’s Christmas Eve service

For Trinity Episcopal Church on Jackson Avenue, Christmas Eve is one of the biggest nights of the year. This year, however, Trinity had a problem: The sanctuary is undergoing extensive repairs following damage from Hurricane Ida in 2021. With about 2,000 members, Trinity’s leaders had to find a way to hold services so that no one would be left out in the cold. 

Enter Temple Sinai, which offered its sanctuary to Trinity on Christmas Eve. “The relationship [between the two houses of faith] goes way back,” said Rabbi Daniel Sherman of Temple Sinai, as he and the Rev. Andrew Thayer, Trinity’s rector, met with Uptown Messenger at Temple Sinai. Each year for several decades, both the church and synagogue have participated in a rotating interfaith pre-Thanksgiving service with local houses of worship.

Where to find Réveillon dinners in Uptown neighborhoods

Five Uptown restaurants are honoring the Revéillon tradition with prix fixe menus that reflect their style and cuisine. 

The Revéillon dinners were inspired by the early Creole residents celebrating the start of Christmas with a big family meal after midnight Mass. This European tradition was used to break the daylong fast leading up to Christmas Eve. The word “revéillon” in French can mean “awakening,” but it has come to mean “Christmas Eve.” 

In contemporary New Orleans, Revéillon dinners have shifted to restaurants serving specials often inspired by the 19th century Creoles, with creative twists. These menus are offered in the weeks leading up to Christmas Eve, instead of on Christmas morning. The current and historical Revéillon meals have one thing in common: They are lengthy, multi-course meals that give us a chance to savor the food and the time with loved ones.

Merriment on Magazine kicks off the holiday season

The quirky collection of small businesses on Magazine Street provides an enjoyable, locally based opportunity to cross items off on your Christmas list. The Magazine Street Merchants Association is sweetening holiday shopping with “Merriment on Magazine” on Saturday (Dec. 3). The participating businesses will offer special treats and exclusive holiday offerings for Saturday only, from noon to 5 p.m.

Dating back to the early days of the expansion of the city beyond the original French Quarter, Magazine Street is a six-mile stretch of businesses, restaurants and bars with their own character. The day provides shopping specials beyond Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, notes Natalie Steuer, the director of the Casey Langteau Art Gallery, a  Merriment on Magazine particpant.

Barrel Proof is hosting Miracle on Magazine Street

Barrel Proof is hosting its Miracle Pop-up, a Christmas cocktail bar, for the fourth year. Through Dec. 28, Barrel Proof’s proverbial halls will be decked from top to bottom in glittering wrapping, tinsel, trees and lights. Miracle is an immersive experience in which bars are transformed into holiday wonderlands to serve high-end Christmas cocktails in festive mugs. 

Miracle Pop-up is the brainchild of New York City bar owners Greg Boehm and Jeannette Kaczorowski. In 2013, their bar Mace was set to open on East Ninth Street in Manhattan, but with the holidays looming, the business wasn’t quite patron-ready.

Mart for art’s sake: Wax print creations featured at holiday Arts Market

Uptown resident Adriane Butler was first introduced to the Arts Market as a customer. “I attended one of the Arts Markets and thought it was a excellent way to support local creators,” Butler said. She began making her own fabric creations about three years ago and, early on in the pandemic, she became a participant in the Arts Market. “I got great feedback about my design work, and have been doing it ever since,” she said. The Arts Markets, produced by Arts New Orleans, take place two Saturdays a month, once on City Park’s Great Lawn and once in Marsalis Harmony Park (formerly Palmer Park).