After I mentioned my Thursday stories about chance encounters in New Orleans restaurants, Lady Katherine reminded me of another one from back in the ’90s, when she lived on Constantinople Street (called “Constanople” by the locals) in uptown New Orleans.
During my weekend visits, we liked to catch a streetcar on St. Charles Avenue on Sunday afternoons and go up to the Camellia Grill on Carrollton for corned-beef-on-rye sandwiches.
On one such visit, we decided to go for all the gusto and order chocolate pecan pie with vanilla ice cream.
(They would heat up the pie slice on the griddle to make it even more gooey.)
We were sitting at the counter of the diner enjoying this dish when Lady K noticed the young lady on the stool next to her eyeing the pecan pie with undisguised desire.
She was accompanied by another young lady on the other side of her, and she kept whispering to her companion, evidently about the pie.
So Lady K turned to her and asked, “Would you like a taste? It’s very good … ”
Whereupon she procured another fork and offered a hunk of the pie to the young lady.
The pair were a bit flustered at this unexpected offer, but they did indeed have a taste, proclaimed it yummy in British accents, and proceeded to order similar desserts for themselves.
Turns out, they were visiting from London, and were not familiar with the notion of sharing food with total strangers.
They thanked us profusely, and said they would tell all their friends in England about the generous Southern lady willing to give them a taste of her Southern treat.
By the way, I didn’t share MY pie. I mean, there’s a limit to Southern hospitality …
Fine Dining Dept.
Dr. George Bourgeois, of Opelousas, sent this note after my tales of adventures in two New Orleans eateries, Mother’s and Mandina’s:
“I enjoyed your very interesting accounts of your dining experiences in New Orleans, but I am left wondering.
“Do you ever eat anything other than po-boys when you dine out in New Orleans?”
(Yes, Doc, as you can see from the article above your comments, we do not limit our culinary selections to po-boys. Camellia Grill sandwiches and pecan pies are also included …)
Sarah Stravinska, of Chestnut, tells of the “demonstration of canine persistence and creative thinking” she observed when Roxy, her Pembroke Welsh Corgi, was 8 months old:
“She was on our screened-in porch carrying around a small watering can by the spout …
“She tried to walk through her doggie door to go outside while carrying the watering can, but the spout and back end were too wide …
“Roxy put the can down and studied the situation. She picked up the can again, but farther back on the handle …
“The can got inside the frame, but got stuck.
“Roxy barked and pecked at the can with her nose …
“At this point I really expected her to give up on the project.
But I had been told that corgis could be stubborn.
“Determined to take her watering can outside, Roxy went around to the front of the can, bit the end of the spout and BACKED out the doggie door, pulling the can with her.
“Mission accomplished, Roxy picked up her watering can by the handle and trotted off to do her gardening.”
Eddie Cole says, “Recently, while driving my girls’ cross-country team by bus to our annual summer boot camp in Pensacola, we found ourselves mired in bumper-to-bumper traffic with thousands of other Louisiana motorists while waiting to pass through the Mobile tunnel.
“It took us almost an hour to go two miles through the tunnel.”
Eddie wonders if it’s ever occurred to anyone else that a bridge, in addition to the tunnel, might be a good idea.
He says it’s the kind of interstate transportation matter that Congress should consider:
“Maybe then our Congress could even function in a truly bipartisan fashion for the benefit of our nation.
“(OK, that last one is a stretch!)”
Special People Dept.
Joe and Candy Lackie celebrated their 62nd anniversary Sunday.
Generation gap blues
Algie Petrere says, “I know children have to learn computers to live in the modern world, but sometimes I wish they could experience the fun we had before all the electronics.
“(My goodness, I think I’ve turned into my grandmother.) When I was 4 or 5 years old, my daddy taught me to recite the alphabet backwards.
“I actually don’t remember him teaching me, I just remember being able to do it.
“It had to have taken him a lot of time and patience; I wonder if any parent would do that today.
“I was thinking about this the other day when my 5-year-old great-grandson, John, asked me to find him a new Spiderman game to play on the computer.
“After playing it for a while, he said, ‘GG, this is fun. Will you bookmark it for me?’ ”
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.