Gary G. Gremillion tells of this culinary mishap:

“In January 1983, my girlfriend and I were invited to a Super Bowl party at Bill Carville’s apartment.

“Bill was cooking a huge pot of seafood gumbo when we got there, and announced that it would be ready shortly.

“Later Bill went into the kitchen to put the finishing touches on the gumbo, which including adding a little paprika for garnish.

“And that is when we heard the most god-awful screaming and cursing imaginable.

“Seems it does not take very much cinnamon to ruin a pot of seafood gumbo.”

Generous reward

Chick St. Germaine, of Harahan, says that after a po-boy and fried chicken deli on New Orleans’ Elysian Fields Avenue was vandalized, “the owner posted a reward of 1,000 pieces of fried chicken for anyone who could provide the identities and location of the culprits.”

Get the lead out

Randolph Breaux, of Prairieville, adds to our seminar on non-alcoholic beer:

“In response to Anonymous, who wrote that the alcoholic content on a non-alcoholic beer is 0.5 percent, the beer drink has LESS than 0.5 percent alcohol.

“Furthermore, he/she stated that if you drink eight of these, you would have drunk the equivalent of one beer!

“Well, if I drank eight of these beers, it would take me about three hours to do so, and by the time I got to the third one, the alcohol in the first one would have dissipated.

“So, even after drinking eight of these n/a beers, I would not have the amount of alcohol in my system that you believe.

“And, I don’t know about you, but I would rather be on the highway behind a car in which the driver drank eight n/a beers, versus someone who drank eight regular beers.”

(Yeah, me too, Randolph. The only problem with the driver of the eight “unleaded” beers would be his frequent rest room stops...)

Good Grammar Dept.

“Here’s another usage that needs attention,” says Jane Honeycutt of our recent items about grammar:

“Things differ FROM one another; they are not different TO or different THAN.

“I believe the Brits may say different TO, but we should not take up that usage.

“I clearly remember being taught this in LSU journalism classes.”

Thank-you note

Julie Morgan thanks those who were so helpful during the recent fundraiser for her granddaughter, Sadie Aitken:

“The fundraiser, held in St. Francisville, was a runaway success! Sadie, 6 years old, has been very ill since late October when she developed high fever spikes, vomiting, rashes, and skewered blood/platelet counts. She has spent many nights at OLOL and most recently at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. Her condition remains undiagnosed.

“Her mom has had to quit work (as a home health care nurse) to stay home with Sadie (and a 16-month-old toddler).

“The Aitken family truly appreciates the outpouring of prayer, concern, and generous financial support from the St. Francisville and neighboring townspeople as well as Heirloom Cuisine, the Pediatric Clinic and Audubon Cafe.”

Meaty topic

More advice for Mitch Landry, seeking old-fashioned bone-in seven steaks for a gravy:

Pam Soileau, of Mandeville, recommends The Country Meat Block in Opelousas:

“He can order up pretty much ANY cut of meat his taste buds are demanding.”

And George Couvillon, of Marksville, says, “Bone-in beef steaks are readily available in several meat markets in Avoyelles, particularly Marksville. I am a cattleman, and would be very happy to sell Mr. Landry some high-quality beef that he can have cut locally to his specifications.”

Translator needed

Russ Wise, of LaPlace, comments on the “meaty topic” above:

“We West Virginia hillbillies have lived here for over 30 years, but still don’t know all of the local patois.

“Mitch Landry’s story had local terms I hadn’t seen before.

“He reported having an ‘envie’ for steak, and wrote of wanting to find a bone-in ‘seven steak.’ (And his term ‘beef gravy steak with a bone’ is new to me too, but I don’t know if that’s Cajun-speak or Mitch-speak.)”

Portion control

“In keeping with a promise I made to myself 10 years ago, I refrain from eating fast food,” says Francois.

“Between the calorie-loaded sandwiches and soft drinks, I thought it was a good way to lose a little weight and save money.

“With the Lenten season in full swing, out of town, and it being Friday, I was forced to stop and cure my hunger pains at such an establishment.

“Now over the years, I’ve heard people talking about the price of the meals going up and the size of the meals shrinking.

“They were right!”

(But, Francois, maybe this shrinkage is their way to reducing the calories in their meals...)

Contact Smiley

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.