Last month, the Kitchen Sisters, who have their own show on NPR, did a segment on the Angola Rodeo called ‘Broncos and Boudin‘. Besides mentioning the rodeo itself, they discussed the food prepared and served for the guests: cracklins, pig tails, boiled peanuts, boudin balls, etouffee…
Part of the story mentioned a previous episode they had done about Robert “King” Wilkerson, who, after 29 years in solitary at Angola, was freed upon appeal in 2001. The Kitchen Sisters told about how Mr. Wilkerson made pralines in his cell, using tin cans for a stove, with ingredients he gathered from elsewhere. Now that he has been exonerated, Mr. Wilkerson sells his pralines, which he now calls “Freelines”.
The Kitchen Sisters say, “Wilkerson had made pralines two days before Hurricane Katrina hit, and gave all the candy away to the rescue workers helping trapped city residents evacuate in boats. When we met him, he just did not have the heart to make candy. But a few days before he left the Bay Area to return home to New Orleans, he made us a big batch of beautiful ‘freelines’.”
The recipe for Freelines is also on the Kitchen Sisters’ website, here.
Well, I just had to order some (the Freelines website is here). Av loves pralines and of course I do too. About a week and a half ago, I placed my order and they came in today, along with a personalized note from Mr. Wilkerson apologizing for them taking so long and letting me know that he included an extra bag for my patience (even though I never asked him about the order or anything!)
These are *huge* pralines…and delicious! Av and I shared one when he came in for lunch today. My recipe makes our favorite pralines, but really, these are the best ones I have ever had from anywhere else.