Another seasonal story, this one from the Rev. Judy Gabel Roeling, of Baton Rouge:
“When my daughter Anne was 3, we invited the Easter Bunny to come the week before Palm Sunday. That way Anne could enjoy the dyeing and hiding/finding of eggs and a visit from the Easter Bunny, and still be focused on the real meaning of Easter on Easter Sunday.
“As we were ready to leave for church on Easter Sunday morning and opened the door, our cat, who had never done so before, gently brought in a live bunny in her mouth and dropped it at Anne’s feet.
“The adults in the room — her dad, aunt and uncle — looked at me and said, ‘That will teach you to fool with the Easter Bunny.’
(“Fifty-three years later, I am still observing my original tradition: sending Easter packages to children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, almost 30 people in all. Packages will go out this week.”)
As I wrap out our “kitchen disasters” series, here are a few final tales:
Susan Koehler, of Metairie, says when her aunt and uncle were first married, the aunt cooked red beans for dinner, bringing the uncooked beans to a boil but not cooking them any longer:
“They took a trip to the emergency room after dinner to have my uncle’s stomach pumped. He had swallowed the beans whole, almost straight from the package.
“My aunt did not know how to cook, but my uncle sure knew how to show that he loved his new bride!”
Jan Chategnier says when husband Greg tried his hand at baking bread, he added salt instead of the sugar called for in the recipe:
“He said, ‘This tastes like a salt lick.’”
And it’s just as bad when the situation is reversed: Harry Monnin, of New Iberia, says a crab stew at “Toe’s Camp” on Four Bayous was turned into crab preserves when sugar was added to the pot instead of salt.
Alma Mims, of Mandeville, says that on a camping trip years ago, “our dear friend Lucy brought a delicious-looking dessert — but while eating it, there were green peas rolling out.
“Unfortunately, our friend has vision problems, and had used a can of peas instead of a can of cherries.”
Judge Glenn Everett says, “A few years ago my wife and sister tried to duplicate my deceased mother’s wonderful pot-roasted doves recipe.
“Finding the gravy a bit thin, they added a little corn starch. Not getting the intended result, they continued to add more. Still didn’t help.”
Then they discovered they had used confectioners’ sugar instead of corn starch...
Brenda Topham says, “My husband injected the Thanksgiving turkey before putting it in the oven, using what he thought was Worcestershire sauce.
“It was vanilla — and there is no saving a vanilla-flavored turkey. We ate ham.”
And while this series on kitchen disasters was going on, I had my very own mishap:
Making corn bread in a cast-iron skillet to go with some white beans and ham Lady Katherine had cooked up, I discovered when I got it out of the oven that something was wrong.
A brief investigation revealed that I had used corn starch in place of baking powder (they were in similar containers).
The corn bread wasn’t fit to eat — but it would have been perfect if I had been a discus thrower...
Sign of spring
Eva Jones, of Zachary, is the first reader this year to report a hummingbird sighting:
“On Saturday I spotted one on my camellias, and on Monday one discovered the feeder. Love seeing them return to Zachary.”
Looking for stuff
John Letard is having trouble finding hyacinth vines. If you can help, he’s at (601) 783-3475.
Special People Dept.
Nora Berthelot celebrated her 95th birthday on Tuesday, March 24. (She was one of the “Brignac twins” we mentioned for several years. Her twin sister Dora Fontenot died in 2013.)
Ellis and Sylvia Peak celebrated their 69th anniversary on Tuesday, March 24.
Donnie and Betty Mauroner celebrate their 59th anniversary on Wednesday, March 25.
Charlotte Prouty, of Baton Rouge, says, “Last week I went to the museum in Port Allen to see the apron exhibit. While there, I took in the other exhibits.
“One showed how sugar was made a long time ago. A packet of brown sugar was given to me, and I put it with some pamphlets I had picked up before leaving.
“I had some shopping to do when I left the museum, so I put all the goodies in the trunk of my car.
“The next morning my husband, Don, went outside to pick up the morning paper. He came back in and said, ‘I think we need to call the police.’
“When I asked him why, he said, ‘I think we had some drug activity in our driveway last night.’
“Then he held up the packet of brown sugar to show me.
“I said, ‘Let’s not call the police. Let’s eat it!’
“I started to open the packet of brown sugar, and I thought he was going to lose it!”
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.