A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from May 05, 2018
“Red beans and ricely yours”

“Red beans and rice” is an important Creole dish in New Orleans, Louisiana. The term “red beans and rice” was cited in print in The Daily Picayune (New Orleans, LA) on June 13, 1892. The dish was traditionally served on Monday (the a wash day), with Sunday’s leftover meat and beans that were soaked overnight. Mothers let the dish simmer on the stove while also doing the wash.
The red kidney beans are often served with a ham bone, and the dish is usually made with carrots, onions, celery or leaves, and a dash of Tabasco sauce.
New Orleans-born Louis Armstrong (who later lived in Corona, Queens, New York) signed his letters “Red Beans and Ricely Yours” instead of “Yours Truly.” “Louis Armstrong signs all letters ‘red beans and ricely yours’” was published in the New York (NY) Amsterdam News on August 24, 1940.
Wikipedia: Red Beans and rice
Red beans and rice is an emblematic dish of Louisiana Creole cuisine (not originally of Cajun cuisine) traditionally made on Mondays with red beans, vegetables (bell pepper, onion, and celery), spices (thyme, cayenne pepper, and bay leaf) and pork bones as left over from Sunday dinner, cooked together slowly in a pot and served over rice. Meats such as ham, sausage (most commonly andouille and Chaurice), and tasso ham are also frequently used in the dish. The dish is customary - ham was traditionally a Sunday meal and Monday was washday. A pot of beans could sit on the stove and simmer while the women were busy scrubbing clothes. The dish is now fairly common throughout the Southeast. Similar dishes are common in Latin American cuisine, including moros y cristianos and gallo pinto.
New Orleanian Louis Armstrong’s favorite food was red beans and rice - the musician would sign letters “Red Beans and Ricely Yours, Louis Armstrong”.
Wikipedia: Louis Armstrong
Louis Daniel Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo, Satch, and Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer, singer and occasional actor who was one of the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in the history of jazz. In 2017, he was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame
13 June 1892, The Daily Picayune (New Orleans, LA), “Acadie at the Fair,” pg. 7, col. 4:
There will be plain boiled rice, gumbos and rice, jombalayas, chicken pilau, fricassees and rice, tomatoes and rice, red beans and rice, baked rice, croquettes, griddle cakes, muffins and simple riz-au-lait.
21 June 1893, The Daily Picayune (New Orleans, LA), “Beans and Rice,” pg. 4, col. 2:
Without doubt the bean is not only palatable food, but it is extremely nourishing. It is largely charged with nitrogenous matter, acting in the capacity of meat rather than of bread, the Mexicans eating it with preparations of corn, while the Creoles of Louisiana constantly serve red beans with rice. Louisiana is the chief rice producer in the Union, and thus it is that red beans and rice are not only exceedingly nourishing and in every way desirable for food, but they are a marvel of cheapness and economy. There is nothing better than red beans and rice served with butter or meat gravy, and they, with a half bottle of claret, some fruit and a cup of coffee, will furnish an admirable dinner, cheap, palatable and filling every requirement for comfort and nourishment/
1 December 1894, Harper’s New Monthly Magazine (New York, NY), “A Domestic Interior” by Grace King, pg. 409, col. 1:
“A little grillade for Alfred. For us, red beans and rice.”
28 January 1906, The Sunday Star (Washington, DC), “Creole Cookery,” pt. 4, pg. 4, col. 7:
There are Creole families who never sit down to dinner without partaking of red beans with rice. Year in and year out, for generations, this dish has been a steady article of diet. It is easily prepared. Cook the beans until tender, drain off the water, season with salt, pepper, a dash of cayenne, to give it to the Creole piquancy, and to every pint of beans add two tablespoonfuls of sweet cream and a small piece of butter. Cook until the beans are flavored and serve with curried rice—plain boiled rice, seasoned with curry powder.
Google Books
The Picayune Creole Cook Book (Sixth Edition)
New Orleans, LA: The Times-Picayune Publishing Company
Pg. 189:
Red Beans and Rice.
Haricots Rouges an Rlz

1 Quart of Dried Red Beans.
1 Carrot.
1 Onion,
1 Bav Leaf.
1 Tablespoonful of Butter.
1 Pound of Ham or Salt Meat.
Salt and Pepper to Taste.
Wash the beans and soak them over night, or at least five or six hours, in fresh, cold water. When ready to cook, drain off this water and cover the beans very deep with at least two quarts of cold water, for beans must cook thoroughly. Let the water heat slowly. Then add the ham or salt pork, and the herbs and onion and carrot, minced fine. Boil the beans at least two hours, or until tender enough to mash easily under pressure. When tender, remove from the pot, put the salt meat or ham on top of the dish, and serve hot as a vegetable, with boiled rice as an entree, with Veal Sauté,Daube a la Mode, Grillades a la Sauce, etc.
OCLC WorldCat record
Red beans and rice
Author: Kokomo Arnold
Publisher: United States : Decca, [1937]
Edition/Format:   Music : 78 rpm : English
22 August 1938, St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch, “A New Yorker In ‘Fabulous New Orleans’” by George Tucker, Daily Magazine, pg. 5D, col. 3:
City of the Mississippi, of the “Big Muddy,” city of red beans and rice.
24 August 1940, New York (NY) Amsterdam News, “Backdoor Stuff” by Dan Burley, pg. 16, col. 2:
Louis Armstrong signs all letters “red beans and ricely yours.”
22 January 1942, Times-Leader, The Evening News (Wilkes-Barre, PA), “Along Broadway WIth (Walter—ed.) Winchell,” pg. 9, cols. 1-2:

“Dear Mr. Winchell:
Dig me sometimes, you hear? Twould be most appreciatable.—Am Red Beans and Ricely yours, Louis (Satchmo) Armstrong.”
7 March 1947. Minneapolis (MN) Morning Tribune, pg. 6, col. 2:
‘Red Beans and Ricely Yours’
Louis’ Sub for ‘Yours Truly’

NEW YORK.‘LOUIS ARMSTRONG, the jive expert, now signs his letters “Am red beans and ricely yours.”
OCLC WorldCat record
Red beans and rice
Author: Humphrey Lyttelton; Tony Martinez
Publisher: London : Essex Music, ©1957.
Edition/Format:   Musical score : English
2 October 1958, Kerrville (TX) Mountain Sun, “Home Demonstration Notes” by Mrs. Margie H. Williams, pg. 7, col. 4:
As a tradition, red beans and rice are served on Mondays. The custom on serving this food team started when Monday was the universal wash day. Natives soak the beans overnight in cold water, then cook them in the same liquid with pickled or smoked pork. Minced onion, a clove of garlic, a chopped carrot, and herbs were cooked in the beans. To serve the meal-in-a-dish, they heap the vegetables on a platter and top it with the meat; the rice forms a snowy border.
Google Books
Saturday Review
Volume 48
Pg. 24:
When Chep Morrison, the celebrated ex-mayor of New Orleans, was alive, Louis Armstrong would send him postcards from the far corners of the world, signing himself, “Red beans and ricely yours. ...”
30 January 1969, Wellington (TX) Leader, “Notes From You Home Country Demonstration Agent” by Mrs. Leta Hill, pg. 6, cols. 1-2:
Years ago in Louisiana a pot of red beans was set at the back of the stove to simmer on washday Mondays. Now many New Orleans hotels feature this at lunch.
Bayou Red Beans and Rice
1 lb. red kidney beans
1 quart water
1 ham bone with ham
1 large onion
1/4 cup chopped celery or leaves
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Tabasco
3 cups hot cooked rice
bay leaves
Google Books
Louis Armstrong
By Hugues Panassié
New York, NY: C. Scribner’s Sons
Pg. 10:
Many a time he ended his letters with “Red beans and ricely yours,” and one finds allusions to this savory dish in several of his recordings
OCLC WorldCat record
Red beans & rice : recipes for lesbian health & wisdom
Author: Bode Noonan
Publisher: Trumansburg, N.Y. : Crossing Press, ©1986.
Series: The Crossing Press feminist series.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : English
OCLC WorldCat record
New Orleans Dishes
Author: Tim Ward; Jeff Smith; WTTW (Television station : Chicago, Ill.); MPI Home Video (Firm)
Publisher: [Chicago, Ill.] : MPI Home Video, 1994, ©1988.
Series: Frugal gourmet collection.
Edition/Format:   VHS video : VHS tape   Visual material : English
Smith visits New Orleans. He cooks barbecued shrimp, red beans and rice, and oysters Bienville
OCLC WorldCat record
A lesson in red beans and rice
Author: Katherine T Tousant
Publisher: Bloomington, IN : AuthorHouse, ©2006.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Fiction : English
“This high concept novel boldly addresses life’s do’s and don’ts as one struggles to make transition from being a child to becoming an adult.”—Page 4 of cover.
OCLC WorldCat record
Red beans and rice-ly yours : recipes from New Orleans that Louis Armstrong loved
Author: Christopher Blake; Southern Food and Beverage Museum.
Publisher: New Orleans, La. : Southern Food & Beverage Museum, Favorite Recipes Press) ©2008
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : New ed
OCLC WorldCat record
Satchmo at the National Press Club : red beans and rice-ly yours.
Author: Louis Armstrong; Tyree Glenn; Tommy Gwaltney
Publisher: Washington, DC : Smithsonian Folkways, ℗2012.
Series: Smithsonian Folkways archival.
Edition/Format:   Music CD : CD audio : English
Jazz icon Louis Armstrong, always the consummate entertainer, turned a 1971 award ceremony at the National Press Club into an impromptu performance that was one of his last concerts before passing away five months later. Joined by longtime band-mates Tyree Glenn and Tommy Gwaltney, Armstrong shows no signs of frailty on classics including ‘Mack the Knife’. The recording, originally a limited vinyl release by the National Press Club, is now available widely for the first time on CD.

Posted by Barry Popik
Nicknames of Other PlacesBig Easy, City That Care Forgot (New Orleans nicknames) • Saturday, May 05, 2018 • Permalink

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