After I mentioned a Canadian restaurant that advertised Louisiana-influenced cuisine, I heard from David Haydel, of Plaquemine, an accomplished Cajun cook, with this plea:
“If you don’t do anything else today,” he said (I assured him I probably wouldn’t), “please try to get this message to people trying to cook Cajun food — it doesn’t have to be flaming hot to be Cajun! If you eat it today, you don’t have to feel it tomorrow.”
He says that while pepper is an essential ingredient in Cajun dishes, it is used judiciously along with a variety of other seasonings to create cuisine that might be spicy, but certainly not painful.
David tells of the gumbo cook-off he judged where a cook had a heavy hand with the cayenne:
“I told him that if your gumbo doesn’t have tomatoes in it, it’s not supposed to be red!”
License to heal
In the past we’ve talked about MINOR illness — yours.
Now we’re talking about MAJOR illness — mine.
Several helpful readers, learning of my current gout bout pout, offered non-medicinal ways to deal with the malady — some palatable, some not:
- Casey Bridges was the first of several readers to suggest I try cherry juice (but not the homemade cherry bounce I once received as a gift — OK, a bribe — when I was a Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade float judge).
- Buck Bertrand advises avoiding brewer’s and baker’s yeast — “no beer or cakes, doughnuts or pies.”
- Roy Pitchford, of Monroe, says to stay away from liver, sardines, sausages and Scotch.
(All right, so I cut out sardines …)
- And I especially like Carol Knight’s response:
“GOUT? That’s a word with no fun nor personality!
“How ’bout Smiley’s Syndrome?”
T-Bob Taylor, of Panama City Beach, Fla., responds to my mention of LSU’s wins over the South Carolina Gamecocks and Oregon Ducks while both were wearing outfits that appeared to be more suitable for a duck blind:
“What were they thinking?” he asks, pointing out that when Louisiana folks think of birds and camo they start making a roux — ‘cause it’s fricassee time, cher…
Bloody Mary morning
You can just stop that whining about the LSU-Texas A&M game starting at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Red Stick Farmers Market has the answer to your early-morning doldrums, with its “Tailgating Throwdown.”
The market opens at 7 a.m., an hour early, offering “delicious dishes using farm-fresh ingredients” prepared by teams of tailgaters — plus Bloody Marys and mimosas.
There’ll be music by the John Gray Jazz Trio (Baton Rouge’s answer to Wynton Marsalis) and zydeco musician Mel Chavis. TVs will be set up to blast out the football game.
A “Kids Zone” is sponsored by Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital.
For more information contact BREADA at (225) 267-5060.
Continuing our discussion of words and phrases best avoided, Ronnie Stutes says, “I know it can be difficult finding the right words to fit into a headline, but in an area carefully monitored by the NCAA, I think you’ll agree that ‘Big-ticket’ is not the best choice to describe potential college football recruits (in a recent Advocate Sports headline).”
Special People Dept.
- On Friday Jennie LeBlanc, of Paincourtville, celebrates her 95th birthday.
- Velma Mixon, of Central, celebrates her 92nd birthday Friday.
- Ray Welch, of Oakwood Village Assisted Living in Zachary, celebrates his 92nd birthday Friday, and on Saturday, Ray and his wife, Emma, celebrate their 71st anniversary.
- Wilma Watson Graham, of Walker, celebrates her 90th birthday Saturday.
- Jack Mueller celebrates his 90th birthday with friends and family Saturday at Gino’s Restaurant at 5 p.m. He was a chemical engineer at Ethyl Corp. for many years.
- Betty Toepfer celebrates her 90th birthday Saturday.
- Brenda and Alvin Glotz will celebrate their 50th anniversary Friday with family and friends. (Their anniversary is actually Saturday, but as die-hard LSU fans they couldn’t miss the Texas A&M game …)
“Q-Ball Fryoux, Your Old Baker Buddy,” sends this message:
“I hope you have room for one more old saying — this is one I like in particular.
“It’s a compliment to our fine Southern lady-folks:
“It is said she is ‘as fine as a frog’s hair split four ways.’ ”
A bad-luck Christmas
Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, has a timely story prior to a certain football contest on Saturday.
He recalls hearing this conversation years ago by two Aggies:
Aggie 1: “Christmas is on a Friday this year.”
Aggie 2: “Let’s hope it’s not on the 13th.”
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.