Dear Smiley: When we were a newly married couple in 1963, my wife used recipes from her mom and my mom, both very good cooks.

In order to stretch our budget, she cooked and froze casseroles, spaghetti and meat sauces, chili with beans and many other dishes that we also shared with other similar financially challenged seminary students.

She graciously agreed to cook a favorite of mine, stuffed bell peppers.

I took my first bite and realized my mom had left out one important word — when the recipe called for a cup of rice, it meant a cup of COOKED rice.

I was quickly told that I could cook if I complained.

KIM “POPS” SEAGO

Columbia, Tennessee

Angry birds

Dear Smiley: Sal Suer’s story about making bread with yeast reminded me of my own sad attempt at bread-making.

I figured yeast was yeast, so I worked in brewer’s yeast.

I kneaded and kneaded, but the dang bread wouldn’t rise.

I thought that heat would make it rise, and stuck it in the oven.

Later I had a nice loaf of really dense bread that I couldn’t slice.

I threw it out onto the yard for the birds.

About a half hour later I noticed a bunch of ticked-off birds out back with crumpled beaks. Remembering the Alfred Hitchcock film, “The Birds,” I stayed in the house for the rest of the day.

SARAH STRAVINSKA

Chestnut

Lefties rule!

Dear Smiley: Everyone knows, it’s a medical fact ... the left side of your brain controls the right side of your body, and the right side of your brain controls the left side of your body.

So only left-handed people are in their right minds.

Oh, by the way, I’m left-handed.

DONALD BLANCHARD

Napoleonville

Dear Donald: Yeah, me too ... and you’re absolutely right.

The grammar thing

Dear Smiley: I notice you used “most unique” in your column.

Unique means one of a kind. Hence, if it’s one of a kind, it can’t be more “one” of itself.

It’s like any superlative. It can’t be “most best” or “most prettiest” or “most unique.” Nor “mo’ better.”

CHARLES GOODWIN

Mandeville

Divine offer

Dear Smiley: The recent discussion in your column about WWL and clear channel long distance broadcasts reminded me of the even higher-powered stations in Mexico adjacent to the U.S. border, licensed in Mexico and thus not under FCC regulation.

Though they were physically located in Mexico, they had mailing addresses in the U.S., usually towns very close to the border.

Their advertising was most often some sort of come-on for the gullible.

I recall one early morning back in the late 1940s, when a friend and I were driving to work and listening to country music on one of these stations — nominally from Clint, Texas, a tiny border town near El Paso.

At the commercial break the announcer said something like “Get your beautiful shining image of Jesus which glows in the dark. Just send $3 to Jesus, Clint, Texas.”

We were somewhat startled to learn that he had such an address, especially one in Texas!

JACK PROFFITT

Lafayette

Bad bet

Dear Smiley: In 1958 I was a young Air Force lieutenant stationed at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

I played on the base football team, and we enjoyed tremendous support, as we were the only game in town (no satellite TV).

We didn’t get the college games’ scores until Sunday morning there.

I made a season-long bet with a good friend who was a Texas Aggie. We agreed to each pay the other a dollar if our team lost and the other team won.

Bear Bryant had been the Aggie coach, but he left to become the Alabama coach.

LSU won the national championship that year.

Each Sunday morning I would walk down the hall to his room to collect my dollar.

Finally it reached the point where my Aggie friend would come out of his room, throw his dollar on the floor, go back in his room and shut the door.

I didn’t hear any more “Gig ’em Aggies!” after that.

JOE FAIRCHILD

Thibodaux

Dirty dancing

Dear Smiley: In past columns you mentioned being kicked out of an Istrouma High dance for “doing the dirty bop.”

Since I went to quiet, sedate Central High, where it was said there were more Baptists than people (and now live in even more sedate Monroe), I have no idea what you were talking about.

Just what was so objectionable about your dance?

ROY PITCHFORD

Monroe

Dear Roy: Beats me — you’ll have to ask the chaperones, if you can find any who are still around...

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.