Ray Schell was reminded of old-time measurements by this:
“My wife, Shirley, recently came home with a nice item of jewelry she had purchased for our daughter-in-law Michelle.
“It is a silver set of tiny spoons with a silver fleur-de-lis, to be used when assisting our son and her husband, Craig, who is somewhat of an accomplished chef.
“The three spoons of tiny but decreasing size are labelled ‘dash,’ ‘pinch’ and ‘smidgen.’
“I’m positive this will help Craig accurately season his Louisiana seafood dishes while living and cooking in Maryland.”
Which reminds me
I was once in the audience for one of the late Justin Wilson’s televised Cajun cooking shows.
Justin, ever the showman, told us the dish he was making called for exactly one teaspoon of salt and a half-teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
He then poured some salt in his palm and dumped it in, doing the same with pepper.
When the audience laughed, he expressed surprise that we would doubt his measurements.
So he repeated the pouring in his hand, but this time transferred the salt and pepper from his hand into measuring spoons.
We found he had measured out, by hand, precisely the correct amounts.
Playing with fire
A reader says old expressions even show up in contemporary news coverage:
“One of the media, after a speech during the recent Democratic National Convention, said, ‘His speech was a barn burner.’ ”
Jamie Radley, of San Leandro, Calif., says that in a recent column I referred to something that was “destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.”
Says Jamie: “Hurricane Katrina did not destroy anything in New Orleans. A failed federal levee system did that.”
Christopher Albright says our readers who crave German cuisine might venture outside Baton Rouge to some Oktoberfests in other towns:
“There’s an Oktoberfest in old Gretna. There is also a historical German museum in the downtown area, near the ferry landing. And Oktoberfest in Robert’s Cove is in a community where German is still spoken, and the festival is very homespun.”
And in New Orleans, Broussard’s restaurant in the French Quarter (819 Rue Conti) has an Oktoberfest Oct. 6-7.
Early social network
My mention of radio station WLCS at 910 AM (now the location of a sports talk station) reminded Richard Guidry, of Zachary, that “WLCS also had a dating hookup besides bringing us rock and roll.
“It was referred to by local teens as ‘crosstalk.’
“It worked like this: You would call the WLCS request line, and so many teens were calling in that you would get a busy signal.
“But in between the beeps you could yell out your phone number, then hang up and wait on a girl to call you — or hear a girl yelling out her number and then call her.
“Talk about a cheap date finder. Come on, Grandma, admit you used to do this.”
“Well, now you have done it,” says Reggie Gremillion. “One mention of WLCS and the ole heads will climb out of the closet.”
Reggie offers these radio memories:
“Competitor WAIL once worked from a Quonset hut (Google that!) on College Drive when College was a two-lane gravel road.
“WLCS once sponsored our Optimist Club Haunted House to benefit leukemia research
“Bob Love once barricaded himself in the control room at WAIL and played ‘Sea of Love’ for about 10 hours straight.
“Bob Earle of WIBR was a player in Orson Welles’ original radio production of ‘War of the Worlds.’
“I am sure your readers can add many more.”
Nice People Dept.
Rosa Davis, of Slaughter, thanks “the nice young men from DOTD who listened to the safety concerns of some ‘senior ladies’ concerning the placement of mailboxes on our newly resurfaced highway.”
Special People Dept.
A.J. and Janelle Breaux celebrate their 59th anniversary Thursday.
Our good people
Jess Walker says, “The other day, while checking the obituaries in order to see if perchance I might be listed, I read a few.
“In the process, it suddenly struck me that hell must be a very lonely place for a person seeking to find someone from Baton Rouge.”
Fat chance, kid
Kathy Bishop tells of the value of re-reading headlines:
“I was visiting in Nashville recently, and this headline appeared in The Tennessean newspaper: ‘Odds are slim kids will get an inheritance.’
“I immediately called all of my grandchildren to let them know they need to stay slim and trim if they expect to get an inheritance.
“I read the article later to find out the message is that the odds are slim that today’s youth will receive an inheritance.”
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.