This story doesn’t really qualify for our series on kitchen disasters, but I find it an interesting example of how an unflappable cook goes with the flow...

“My brother and I were making sausage. Parsley was one of the ingredients,” says Bennie Hughes.

“My then 5-year-old grandson caught a little green frog. I told him to get that thing out of here, we were cutting meat.

“About three days later I was cooking a gumbo, and when I dumped parsley there was a little green frog swimming in my pot.

“Asked later what Peyton had done with the frog at Uncle Bobby’s, he says, ‘I put it in that jar of grass, Paw Paw.’

“I turned the frog loose and we ate the gumbo.”

Boy and their toys

Beverly Watts, of Waggaman, says, “When my husband retired he spent a lot of time in his two-car garage workshop doing woodworking.

“Four-year-old twin boys lived next door. They visited often, and he cut out simple cars, boats and trains out of scrap lumber for them.

“He also gave them big nails, a hammer and wood they could gleefully pound on.

“One day the doorbell rang. The twins wanted to know if he was going to be in his wood shop that day.

“He replied that he couldn’t; he had chores to do inside.

“Their response: ‘What’s the matter, your mama won’t let you come out and play?’

Beverly adds, somewhat indignantly, “I’m seven years younger than my husband. His mama?”

Open mouth, insert foot

Nel Joyner says, “Growing up in Tallulah, we did not see too many odd sights.

“One day in the early ’70s I was with my mom in the TG&Y store when I saw the oddest-looking lady.

“She had on black fishnet hose, high heels, lots of makeup, big hair — not the normal dress for a Delta town.

“I snickered as I watched her in the store.

“I saw a girl I knew, and told her about this funny-looking lady.

“When I pointed her out, the girl said, ‘That is my grandmother.’”

The dollar party

Glenn Giro, of Denham Springs, says our recent conversations about beer remindedw him of 1970, when he was in the service and stationed in central Thailand.

“The NCO Club sold regular beer for 25 cents a can, but during happy hour it was 10 cents a can.

“We would often give a dollar to the bartender for a night of drinking beer.

“Two things to remember: We only had to negotiate the sidewalks when walking back to the barracks when the club closed — and we thought we were indestructible back then.

“To those who say ‘Oh, to be young again and know what I know now,’ I would only say that I would settle for being young again.

“I obviously survived the mistakes I made — and in fact, had a great time making some of them.”

Cat-astrophe averted

Karen Anderson, Blaine Elbourne and Pam Leavy of Spay Baton Rouge, the Northside Humane Society and CAAWS thank Jonathan Stewart, superintendent of Centurion Construction Management, for “his tireless help in rescuing a cat trapped in a crawl space in the roof of the Drusilla Shopping Center.”

Karen elaborates: “Remodeling is currently being done to the shopping center, and cat was accidentally sealed behind a wall in the roof.

“Jonathan cut numerous holes into the crawl space and crawled through the entire length of the roof to reach the starving cat.

“He left baited traps and was rewarded the very next day with the distressed cat.

“We were all touched by his compassion and his attention to detail in finding the cat.”

Hardshell egg

Camile Van Gordon, of Baton Rouge, tells of a summer she spent on the farm of her Aunt Lillie in Gonzales as a small child:

“She had chores for us to do, and my brother Joseph had the job of getting the eggs out of the chickens’ nests.

“One day when he came in from the henhouse, my aunt asked him, ‘Is this all the eggs?’

“He replied, ‘Yes, except for one that wasn’t ripe yet.’

“That one was the glass egg left in one of the hen’s nests...”

No gnaws is good gnaws

Bo Stepp, no doubt inspired by our series on gravy steaks, tells this story:

“There was a man who loved to pick up a steak bone and gnaw on it, which really irritated his wife.

“One night, after a steak dinner at a fine restaurant, she whispered to her husband to not even think about picking up that bone.

“He gave her a sly smile, and when the waiter came to clear the table, he asked him to put his bone in a doggie bag to bring home to his dog.

“His wife shook her head in amazement at his quick thinking, as they didn’t own a dog.

“But she had the last laugh when the waiter returned with a huge bag full of bones from other plates for the man’s dog.”

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Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.