Friday, November 30, 2007

Madison's 11th Annual Fair Trade Holiday Festival

After a nice long run and coffee tomororw morning, here's where I plan to head. I've never been before, but it sounds very cool. Might even find some great holiday gifts!

The 11th Annual Fair Trade Holiday Festival

Fair trade education and gifts made by real people making real wages. Products include handcrafts, ornaments, rugs, pottery, coffee, chocolate, cheese, gift baskets, textiles and toys.

Date: Saturday, December 1, 2007
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: MATC's downtown campus
Directions: Carroll Street between Dayton and Johnson

Award Winning Texas Bowl o' Red

And here is the recipe for my award-winning bowl of chili, which I found in the Williams Sonoma Southwest Cookbook. I can't honestly say that I enjoyed it all that much (too spicy), but others thought it had great flavor.
Texas Bowl 'o Red
3 lb (1.5 kg) boneless beef chuck
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large white onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tbsp ground New Mexico chili
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp coriander seed, toasted and ground
2 tsp cumin seed, toasted and ground
2 tsp freshly ground canela or 1tsp ground cinnamon
1 can (28 oz) plum (Roma) tomatoes with juice, pureed
1 oz (30 g) bittersweet chocolate
pinch of sugar
1 tbsp masa harine stirred into 1/4 cup water (optional)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
sour cream

1. Trim any excess fat from the beef, then cut into ½-inch cubes. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the vegetable oil. Add the onion and saute until softened, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes longer. Raise the heat to high and, in batches, add the beef and brown well on all sides, 8-10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the ground chile, bay leaves, coriander, cumin, canela or cinnamon, oregano, and pureed tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and summer uncovered, stirring frequently until thickened, about 1 hour.

2. Add the chocolate, sugar, and the diluted masa harina, if you wish to thicken the stew slightly, and stir to combine. Cook for 15-20 minutes to blend the flavors. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

3. Ladle into warmed bowls, garnish with a dollop of sour cream, and serve immediately

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Kim's Award Winning Cornbread Muffins

Here's the recipe for the K&K Chili Cookoff award winning cornbread muffins. The recipe is compliments of our friend and fellow admission counselor (and apparently expert chef), Kim. Thanks, Kim!

Sweet Potato Corn Muffins

(via the side of the Glory Foods Golden Sweet Corn Muffin Mix, available at Copps)

-1-29 oz. can or 2-15 oz. cans Glory Foods Cut Sweet Potatoes (I'm sure any canned sweet potatoes would do)
-2 packages 7.5 oz Glory Foods Corn Muffin Mix (I'm sure any boxed corn muffin mix would do)
-3/4 cup milk
-2 large eggs
-3 tbsp. sugar
-1 tbsp. vanilla flavoring
-1 tsp. cinnamon
-1 tsp. nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Lightly grease muffin tins (or use paper cups like me)
3. Drain sweet potatoes thoroughly and place in mixing bowl. Mash well with a slotted spoon.
4. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, stir thoroughly.
5. Add eggs and vanilla, stir thoroughly.
6. Add both packages of Corn Muffin Mix and milk. Stir until smooth.
7. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.
8. Serve at a chili cookoff and win first prize in the cornbread category!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Chili Cookoff

My beautifully crafted centerpiece

Let the games begin, may the best cook win!

Karen using her family crest to lobby for presentation points

Gotta try 'em all!

Judge Kristin at work

The Chili Cookoff winners--Kristin (best chili), Karen (best presentation), Carol (best chili name), and Kim (best cornbread)

Last night Karen and I hosted the inaugural K&K Chili Cookoff. The event was a huge success. After weeks of careful preparation, the cookoff went off without a hitch. We had twelve party attendees, six chili division entrants, three cornbread co-rec division entrants, and a few freeloaders (just kidding, they supplied ample amounts of beer, which made them far from freeloaders). Anyhow, I'm very surprised and flattered to report that my chili was named "Best Chili" of the party. Which I don't really understand, because I thought that many of the others were far better. I made a Texas chili recipe without beans (which I named Bucky's Bullseye Bowl 'O Red) that I found in my Williams Sonoma Southwest Cookbook. The recipe had some interesting ingredients, most notably bittersweet chocolate and cinnamon. I even had to break out the mortar and pestle for spice grinding, so I supposed I did work hard for the coveted title.

We had so many variations of chili--white, vegetarian, spicy, meaty, beans, no beans, etc., and as you can see from the pictures above, our kitchen was overtaken by crock pots. I think that everyone had a great time, and now Karen and I are scheming on ideas for our next party.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Clinton and Stacy

My camera is MIA. I had it on Sunday night, and now it is nowhere to be found. I do remain optimistic that it is somewhere in my possession, but a more extensive search may be warranted at this point. Therefore, I do not have Thanksgiving pictures today as promised. Hopefully they will be coming, perhaps fashionably late.

Speaking of fashion, TLC's "What Not to Wear," with Clinton Kelly and Stacy London is my favorite (currently running) TV show. Alas, I do not have cable at home, and up until this weekend, can't remember the last time I even turned on a TV. Because of this, I tend to pack in episodes when I eventually do have have some form of access to cable. Karen said that I must have watched at least ten episodes over the weekend, but I would say it was more like five. Regardless of the number, I loved them all and enjoyed every minute. I love Clinton and Stacy.

In addition to a massive intake of "What Not to Wear," which I might add Karen's sister, Martha, graciously TiVoed for me, which allowed me to watch so many episodes in a row sans commercials, I also spent a lot of time not being a couch potato. We ran the Dan Gibbon's Turkey Trot on Thursday morning in Elmhurst, which was a 5k fun run. And of course I am friends with people whom felt that distance was not enough for a day's run. So, in addition to the race, that morning I also ran from downtown packet pick-up to Marath'a house, from the house to the race, and from the race back to the house, which in total made for a nine-mile run. Seriously, why must I be friends with these crazy people.

Our Thanksgiving meal was very nice at Martha's, who is Karen's oldest sister. It was the Mittelstadt sisters (Martha, Karen, Sue, and Kate) along with Sue's husband, Martha's husband and three daughters, and me! But by now, I am seriously like part of the family. Although I generally hate Thanksgiving foods (turkey, stuffing, cranberries, blah), it was a very good meal and I especially enjoyed the gravy, stuffing, and french silk pie (which Karen and I picked up from Baker's Square earlier in the day). The rest of the weekend was spent shopping (I felt the great need to put my newly acquired "What Not to Wear" knowledge to use), playing with Martha's daughters (aged 3, 5, and 8, who are like nieces to me...sometimes they even call me Aunt Kristin :), spending time with Karen's family and friends, going out to dinner, and completing daily morning runs. It was a fantastic weekend spent with, what has become my second family.

Monday, November 26, 2007

My Brother's Turkey Dinner

This is rather impressive for boys, I think. As some of you know, my brother and his best friend, Ben, have overtaken my parents' house in Brookfield, while my parents spend their winter in Nevada and Kelly and Ben attempt to launch a business of their own. Kelly is a graphic designer, and Ben a computer programmer, and thus their talents mesh nicely. Anyhow, Ben and Kelly hosted a Thanksgiving meal at the house and invited a couple friends. As you can see, the offerings were complete, and I was also impressed to see that lace linens and candlesticks also donned the table. Indeed, a nice touch.

Ya We Fix That

Funny picture from this weekend in Elmhurst, Illinois. This sign was posted in front of a gas station garage. I had to laugh. I spent my long Thanksgiving weekend with Karen and her three sisters (and their families) in Elmhurst, Illinois, which is my favorite suburb of Chicago, and also where my Dad spent his younger days. I had an incredibly fun and relaxing weekend. It was definitely hard to come back to work and real life yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera at home this morning, and thus cannot upload my pictures from the weekend, but I promise to have good stories and pictures tomorrow. Hope you all had a great holiday weekend!

Help Out by Dining Out

FYI- AIDS Network's An Extra Helping is this Wednesday, November 28th. That means you can increase HIV/AIDS awareness in Madison by simply going out to dinner that night. Participating restaurants will contribute a percentage of the day's sales directly to AIDS Network. "So help out by dining out. Fight the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS in your own community by wielding a surprising weapon--your fork."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

WIST Holiday Trunk Show

So besides the incredible food, the main reason for going to Lazy Jane's for breakfast on Saturday was for the First Annual WIST Holiday Trunk Show. Problem was we arrived 8 hours early. Karen thought the show was during the morning, but it was actually scheduled for 5-9 p.m. So we ate our breakfast at Lazy Jane's, enjoyed the rest of the day, and then came back at 6 p.m.

It was a great little show with many unique handmade arts and crafts from local artists, not to mention the free champaign and cookies! WIST is short for the "Wisconsin Etsy Street Team." If you haven't yet checked out Etsy online, it's definitely worth seeing. Especially in light of the upcoming gift-giving season! Etsy is a website that was launched in 2005 that provides the general public with a way to buy and sell handmade goods. There's literally tens of thousands of sellers and it's sort of like one big open craft fair. It's a powerful forum. And you can find some very unique handmade items at affordable prices. As the WIST flyer states, "Join the Craft Revolution! Buy Independent. Buy Handmade." Word.

Lazy Jane's Cafe

Lazy Jane's Cafe on Willy Street (1358 Williamson St.) is my all-time favorite place for breakfast. I went there this past Saturday morning to enjoy a home style breakfast in a relaxed, classic Willy-Street environment complete with random artwork, eclectic antiques, mix matched furniture and serving ware, and an assortment of people from the east side of town and beyond. Besides the atmosphere, my favorite part of Lazy Jane's is their incredible scones. I love scones, and would fashion myself a true connoisseur. These are the best damn scones you'll ever taste in your life. And, they're as big as your head. My favorite is the raspberry scone, but this time I enjoyed a seasonal classic--a pumpkin scone with walnuts and white chocolate.

After quickly devouring the scone (which, I remind you, was as big as my head), I then moved on to my breakfast entree, the frittata with red peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, and asiago cheese. Mmm....good. My mom ordered this one the last time I went to Lazy Jane's, the morning after Ironman Wisconsin, and it was tasty. So this time I wanted my own frittata. The whole thing. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed my two-course breakfast, which I think was much deserved after a 9-mile run earlier that morning. Lazy Jane's is one of those places, like the Weary Traveler (which is where I had dinner last night with my friends Emily and Jill :), that I could eat at every single day and never grow tired of. Lazy Jane's for breakfast and Weary for Dinner. Now that's a life I could get used to.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree

A Christmas tree before Thanksgiving? Who ever heard of such a thing? When I was working a 9-hour shift at Banana last Sunday, Karen was buying, assembling, lighting, and decorating a Christmas tree, among many other projects. The girl cannot sit still. She also already decorated the mantel with poinsettias and garland. It all looks very beautiful and festive. Except, I am having trouble with all of the IU (Karen's alma mater) ornaments dotting the tree. So for perhaps the first time in my life, I am enjoying a Christmas tree before Thanksgiving. And that is something to be thankful for.

Ruby Nouveau Tasting

On Saturday afternoon, Karen and I attended a wine tasting at Wollersheim Winery for the release of the 2007 Ruby Nouveau, the first wine of the new harvest. It's a "dry red with enticing fresh flavors and a zesty finish." In addition to Ruby Nouveau, several other wines were offered for sampling, along with the winery's infamous Coq au Ruby (ruby chicken) and assorted Wisconsin cheese. We also took a special tour, which explained the making of Ruby Nouveau.

This was the first time I had been to Wollersheim Winery, which is located in Prarie Du Sac, a 15-20 minute drive from Madison. The winery and surrounding property are just beautiful, a setting that consists of a scenic hillside overlooking the Wisconsin River.

My favorite part of the tour was hearing about the history of the winery and the lasting love affair that ensued between the French intern and the owner's daughter. The property was first selected for vineyards in the 1840's. A winery was operated at the site until the turn of the century. It wasn't until 1972 that the property was again established as a working vineyard. At that time, Robert and JoAnn Wollersheim purchased the nearly abandoned property with the intention of restoring it to a working family winery. Robert, who at the time left his job as an engineer, had always enjoyed wine but was certainly no expert on its production, and thus hired many helping hands.

One of those interns was current winemaker Philippe Coquard, who was originally from the Beaujolais region of France. After finishing wine college in France in the mid-1980's, he took part in an American exchange program that unexpectedly sent him to Wisconsin. Shortly after arriving at Wollersheim Winery, Coquard fell in love with one of Robert Wollersheim's daughters, Julie. They were married two years later, thus resulting in a most perfect union. Lucky girl. Her father opens a winery, and then she falls in love with the French intern. Why don't these sort of things ever happen to me?

Feist Concert

On Friday night, after a dismal meal at the Mad City Crab House, Karen and I went to see the sold-out Feist concert at the Orpheum Theater on State Street. Although I probably say this after many shows, it was one of the best I've ever seen. Seriously. And considering how pissed I was after waiting an hour-and-a-half for her to come on stage (after an unbelievably long and annoying opening set, followed by a very looong wait), she really wowed me to the point of completely forgetting how pissed I was when she started.

Apparently she (Leslie Feist) had broken her ankle in Omaha the night before, so she sat on a stool for most of the show, and hobbled around with a cane when she needed to walk. Which was just fine, because most of her music is pretty chill and mellow, and doesn't require much movement. And really, unlike many musicians who would have simply cancelled the show following that sort of injury, she came to Madison and hobbled around with a smile. And she was hilarious. Her wit and timing were just so completely on. By the end of the show, the entire audience had fallen in love with her.

I also hadn't realized what an accomplished musician Leslie is (look at me, talking as if we're on a first name basis or something). During the show, she obviously sang, but also played the guitar, piano, and drums. She's got it all covered. And her voice. My god, there is nobody on this planet who has the range that she does. Her voice is just phenomenal. And it sounded even better in person than it does on her CD's, which is no easy feat. And can I also just say that I sat 15th row, center. And that's general admission. That is why I love small venues. So much more intimate.

Great show. Love Feist. Even more now than I did before the show. Despite the wait. What wait?

K&K Chili Cookoff

I love a great theme party. Next Tuesday everning (11/27), Karen and I are hosting our first annual K&K Chili Cookoff at our house for 15-20 colleagues from Admissions and other offices across campus. Below is the invite that Karen sent out a few weeks ago. Over the weekend, in full party prep mode, we went to a party store to start shopping for decorations. Above is a picture of Karen, who appears very excited upon finding chili necklaces. We, of course, had to have these. Along with a blow up chili pepper. And a fiesta mix CD. We are still searching for the perfect strand of chili lights, but remain hopeful that we will find them over the holiday weekend. I have also spent the last few weeks searching for the perfect chili recipe. I have finally decided on a Texas chili recipe--because I like my chili meaty and sans beans. Until then, I'll be perfecting my big bowl 'o red.

Hi All.

Please consider joining Kristin and me for the inaugural K&K's Chili Cookoff on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 6pm, our house.

Here's the program:

Attendees are encouraged to enter the Chili Cookoff by rustling up their favorite chili recipe and pitting it against Kristin's chili con carne (that means no beans) and Karen's secret family recipe. However, in that I myself hate cooking and tend to avoid events that require me to contribute food, you do not need to enter the cookoff in order to attend!

Non-chili cookoff participants may enter the co-rec cornbread division and/or serve as celebrity judges.

Prizes will be awarded for the best-tasting chili, the best cook's costume, and the best-named chili (e.g., Ruzicka's Mouth-of-Hell Chili, Margo's Mountain Heat Chili, Stilp's Spitfire Chili, or Bobbie Jean's Bitchin' Chili).

Please note: Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI) rules will not be observed at the K&K Chili Cookoff. It'll be a big free-for-all.

Please let me know if you're game, and if so, if you are: 1) a Chili Cookoff entrant, 2) a co-rec cornbread division entrant, 3) a celebrity judge, or 4) just in it for the fun, beer, and a free bowl of chili.

As always, thanks for humoring me and my random get-togethers.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Mad City Crab House: An Utter Dissapointment

On Friday night, Karen and I went to dinner at the Mad City Crab House before the Feist concert at the nearby Orpheum Theater. Although we had heard mixed reviews on the restaurant, which recently opened off State Street, it does tout itself as “Madison’s Premier Choice for Fresh Seafood.” And I do love seafood. We ordered the Mad City Fondue ($7.95), which was described on the menu as “cheesey cheddar and crab in a freshly baked bread bowl.” For an entree, we chose the Pan Seared Crab Cake sandwich ($8.95), which was Dungeness crab cake, romaine, carrots, tomato, onions, and homemade sundried tomato sauce on a freshly baked roll with a side of sweet potato fries.

The food was just awful. I don’t think I’ve been to a worse restaurant since trying Za’s, a cafeteria-style Italian “bistro” on State Street. The fondue was essentially Velveeta cheese with bits of crab sprinkled on top. The cheese quickly hardened, making it quite challenging to dip bread. Disgusting. The crab cake sandwich was nothing special, and the sweet potato fries tasted as if they had been frozen and reheated in an oven. The service was also horrible. After ordering waters and a beer, it took our waitress quite a while to actually deliver this seemingly simple drink order and take our food order. The atmosphere was fun—cheap nautical-ish—but everything else was appalling. Perhaps in the future I should listen to the restaurant reviewers instead of feeling like I have to try a place myself. The Mad City Crab House will not garner a single repeat customer, thus its days are obviously numbered.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Lucky Finds

So you're probably now wondering what I actually purchased in Princeton this past weekend. Above are pictures of my two "lucky" finds. Very lucky, indeed. A soft and beautiful scarf from Henry's ($15) and a necklace (with beads made from rolled up, recycled magazine pages) from Daiseye ($24). I also bought a dress from Twister that was unfortunately not captured as well by camera, and thus I have left it out for now. Maybe I can model this weekend. I do have to find something fun to wear to Feist tonight!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Princeton Botique Shopping

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had much luck boutique shopping in Princeton, Wisconsin last weekend. Just recently, Madison Magazine published an article about this hidden gem, titled "Princeton is Priceless." Following is an expert from the first paragraph:

PRINCETON, Wisconsin, is one of those little towns that you leave knowing you'll come back again. And even if you don't, you'll mean to. Set in a deceptively remote spot just west of Green Lake, its location on the Fox River and near the Mecan River is destination enough for day trip canoers and kayakers. But its proximity to Green Lake gives its two blocks of downtown retail shops, restaurants and galleries an urban edge making for the unexpected. A quick glance down Water Street reveals cutting-edge boutiques that might easily be side-by-side retailers in one of Chicago's hippest spots.

The shops in Princeton are incredibly unique and sophisticated. I love shopping there because I always find items that I would never find anywhere else--art, jewelry, clothing, antiques, and other knick knacks. Last weekend, I took pictures of my favorite storefronts. It's amazing how the small town has built up over the last decade or so. What was once just a lonely Wisconsin street with empty storefronts is now a bustling, trendy town square with hip boutiques and eateries that cater to day-trippers and those who are fortunate enough to own property on nearby Green Lake. But at the same time, Princeton still very much looks and feels like a small Wisconsin community. And even though the shops have a high-end feel, they really are quite affordable.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Storytelling Adventure

This afternoon, I attended a University Roundtable Lunch (apparently a university tradition since 1948) featuring my all-time favorite professor, Harold Scheub, the Evjue-Bascom Professor of Humanities in the Department of African Languages and Literature. This is the first roundtable event that I've attended. The events take place a few times per semester and are open to all members of the university community and their guests. It's essentially a buffet lunch with a guest speaker for $9. Not bad.

There was a huge turnout today for Professor Scheub, as he is very well known and respected on campus. There were over two hundred pre-registered attendees. I am so glad that Karen suggested that we attend. I've always wanted her to see and experience Professor Scheub in action. He's a little old man with an incredible amount of energy and passion (and fabulous hair!). And he's a world-renowned teacher and scholar. He is definitely the forefront scholar on African oral traditions. Over the course of his lifetime, he's walked over 6,000 miles in South Africa collecting oral traditions. In fact, he still walks everywhere. Doesn't even own a car.

Amazingly, I snagged a spot at the "reserved" head (round) table, which was very sweet. I had the opportunity to introduce myself to Professor Scheub and tell him that I was in his class a few years ago. The lunch buffet was a traditional African stew with cornbread. Professor Scheub spoke for about 40 minutes on the theme of "A Storytelling Adventure," in which he interwove stories of his life with those he's collected during his career. It was fascinating material. I wish that every student here could experience his class, the African Storyteller 210, by the time they graduate. It's definitely one of those life-changing classes that makes you want to work so hard to really "get it." Not many professors have what it takes to make students truly passionate about their studies. Professor Scheub is a master at this. He makes an impact on many young peoples' lives. Professor Scheub is obviously a huge asset to the university community, and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to listen to him today and as a student.

New Orleans Pics, Final Installment

And here is the moment you've been waiting for, the final installment of pictures from my recent trip to New Orleans! The wedding was beautiful and done in traditional New Orleans fashion. It was a great experience.

The wedding ceremony was held at the beautiful St. Patrick's church in the heart of the French Quarter.

Royce and me outside our hotel (where the reception was held).

Busting a move.

The last dance: A traditional New Orleans "Second Line Dance." Everyone danced around waving handkerchiefs and umbrellas, wishing the new couple farewell.

More marching.

On the dance floor.

The happy couple heads out on a carriage ride of the French Quarter.

One final picture (notice we're now sporting the appropriate beads).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I just wanted to share this very sweet e-mail that I received from my dad this morning (dad, I hope you don't mind my sharing). The e-mail subject was "Blogtastic." Many people don't know my dad like me, my brother, and my mom do. He is an amazing person and father, and I look up to him in so many ways. And he's my number one supporter always. Thanks, Dad.


I just wanted to let you know how much I continue to enjoy your blog. I've been reading quite a few blogs lately; business related and others. Yours is by far the best. That's not just a boastful father talking, you have a refreshingly upbeat and clear writing style. You are very good at it and you seem to be getting better all the time.

Your talents and enthusiasm have obviously rubbed off on your mother. What started as a listing of a few special recipes has taken on a whole new life. She seems to be having a great time with it and I've been enjoying watching her excitement. From your blog, it sounds like things are going great on your end. You seem to be getting the most out of life. Keep it up, as I know you will.

Your proud father

New Orleans Pics: Installment #2

Below are pictures from our visit to the "City of the Dead," the St. Louis Cemetery #1, located adjacent to the French Quarter. After watching the movie Double Jeopardy some time ago, which has an elaborate chase scene in one such New Orleans cemetery, I have been intrigued by these unique above-ground cemeteries and their historical significance. I thought our impromptu self-guided tour was fun and interesting, even if it did almost make us late for the wedding. After returning from our trip, I found a web site that offered a little more historical perspective on these cemeteries. Below is an explanation of why the tombs are above ground.

New Orleans has always respected the dead, but this isn't the reason the tombs of our departed loved ones are interred above ground. Early settlers in the area struggled with different methods to bury the dead. Burial plots are shallow in New Orleans because the water table is high. Dig a few feet down, and the grave becomes soggy, filling with water. The casket will literally float. You just can't keep a good person down!

The early settlers tried by placing stones in and on top of coffins to weigh them down and keep them underground. Unfortunately, after a rainstorm, the rising water table would literally pop the airtight coffins out of the ground. To this day, unpredictable flooding still lifts an occasional coffin out of the ground in those areas generally considered safe from flooding and above the water table.

Another method tried was to bore holes in the coffins. This method also proved to be unsuitable. Eventually, New Orleans' graves were kept above ground following the Spanish custom of using vaults.
The walls of these cemeteries are made up of economical vaults that are stacked on top of one another. The rich and wealthier families could afford the larger ornate tombs with crypts. Many family tombs look like miniature houses complete with iron fences. The rows of tombs resemble streets. New Orleans burial plots quickly became known as "Cites of the Dead."