For some time now, kale has been the trendy choice for folks seeking a healthy diet. The bitter greens are touted in the national media, and evidently popular in places were tofu is regarded as food.
But here in the South there's been some hesitation about adopting kale. A while back a foodie new to New Orleans lamented the absence of the greens in local restaurants, only to be deluged by denials from eateries, who basically said they do indeed have kale on their menus — they just don't brag about it.
With that in mind, I have to tell about a conversation I overheard at a farmer's market. Two ladies were eyeing the locally-grown greens, and one told the other how she prepared her kale:
"I cook it down in bacon grease, with a couple of ham hocks for seasoning. It's a good side dish with pork roast, rice and gravy and sweet potatoes."
Tom Boone, of Gonzales, says, "Smiley, don't you think it's time you included pictures along with your readers' contributions?
"I mean, just the really good ones — but I guess you could keep the one of you at the top."
Nice idea, Tom, but my contributors are modest souls who write into the column not for personal publicity, but to enlighten and inspire other readers.
Besides, in some cases there might be awkward situations if the authorities were able to identify them…
Our two seasons
"Speaking of weather," says Tommy Tuminello, of Gonzales, "my son, originally from south Louisiana, has lived in the Far Nawth (Sheridan, Wyoming) for many years because of his job.
"He says we have two kinds of weather here in south Louisiana: hot and not quite so hot."
Slow as Sunday
After I mentioned going on "rides to nowhere" with my parents on Sunday afternoons, I heard from Bob Downing:
"So many of the mysteries of my childhood have been solved by reading your column. On Wednesday I learned who those 'Damn Sunday drivers' were."
On two wheels
Bob Courtney also comments on the Wednesday item:
"Concerning your question — do people still take Sunday afternoon drives? I am happy to report the answer is yes.
"When I was a kid in north Baton Rouge I also spent many Sunday afternoons in the family car (a Ford) riding to no place in particular.
"These days, like many of my friends, I take those weekend rides to 'nowhere in particular' on a motorcycle. You are always welcome to ride along. I have a spare helmet."
Good luck drink
John Denenea, of River Ridge, says, "I read your recent article on Zippy's (the Baton Rouge Mexican restaurant), and it reminded me of my good friends Laurie and Martin from New Orleans.
"It seems that as a Tiger home game superstition, Laurie requires a pre-game frozen refreshment from Zippy's.
"Apparently for this year’s home game against Troy, Martin got such a late start to Baton Rouge that Laurie’s lucky Tiger refreshment from Zippy's was cancelled, and unpredictably the Tigers lost to Troy.
"Well, I don’t know if there is any correlation, but since that game Laurie made sure Martin was early enough that she got her Zippy's for every other home game — and the Tigers went undefeated at home.
"Now, if we could have only hand-delivered Zippy's to Laurie in New Orleans for those away games at Mississippi State and Bama!"
Roiling the Tide
Joseph G. Simmons passes along this social media post that's making the rounds, regarding the LSU Tigers and some teams to the east:
"Just think, Alabama fans: you got beat by the team that got beat by the team that got beat by Troy."
"Mimi" is better
Regarding our long-running seminar on grandparent names, Judy B. says a Readers Digest article told of a woman babysitting a small boy, who asked what he should call her:
"She suggested he call her 'Mimi' like her grandkids did. Later he snuggled up to her and he said, 'I don't care what the other kids say, I love you, Meanie.'"