After I mentioned my joy at seeing rice and gravy, potato salad and macaroni and cheese listed under “Vegetables” on a restaurant menu, I heard from Julaine Schexnayder, of New Iberia:

“When I was a young bride, I was so proud of my cooking skills.

“The problem was, I knew how to cook a few dishes but nothing about nutrition.

“During the first month of our marriage in 1962, when we were students at LSU, my husband was stricken with a terrible stomach ache.

“The following morning he went directly to the student infirmary. The doctor asked, ‘What did you eat for supper?’

“He replied, ‘My wife made meatballs and gravy, white beans and rice, smothered potatoes and French bread.’

“The doctor said, ‘Well, Mr. Schexnayder, I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but your wife is trying to kill you. …’

“I suppose I must have gradually added some green and yellow items to the menu, because we are both alive and well 49 years later.”

The crying game

Carolyn Lantz says her daughter, who lives in the Bay Area south of San Francisco, called her with this sad tale:

“Mom, we just got back from the grocery store and they had boiled crawfish. We were so excited. We did wonder about them, but decided to give them a try.

“We rushed home, covered the table with newspapers and started peeling.

“What a BIG disappointment.

“The meat fell apart. It was grainy and soft, like mush.

“Ignoring our better judgment, we took a bite and it was awful. No seasoning at all — nada, nothing.

“We gave them to Molly (the cat) and they are still sitting in her bowl. Even she refuses to eat them.

“I guess we should have been forewarned.

“The sign said ‘LOUISIANA CRYFISH.’ ”

Oh, Brother!

Marvin Borgmeyer says Brother Eldon Crifasi’s basketball team won a silver medal at the Senior Games in Houston.

Marvin also announces that Brother Eldon is once more “volunteering to fill any empty seats in the Tiger Den or Stadium Club at LSU home football games.

“He wants to remind everyone that he is a very pleasant conversationalist and would make a welcome addition to any group.

“Again, I will serve as his designated driver and ticket coordinator.

“Anyone who wishes to offer him tickets can call me at (225) 977-8364.

“Given Brother Eldon’s eyesight, tickets close to the 50-yard line are preferred.”

Home cooking

If you’re on the road and looking for a place to dine that’s not part of a national chain, Hal W. Gould suggests the website Geodining.com.

Readers recommend locally-owned eateries, and you’re told how to find them on your GPS. Prices and other information are also given.

I checked and found the most recent entries include such gems as Bassfield Texaco Food Store in Mississippi, Helen Back Café in Florida and Rutts Hut in Clifton, N.J.

In Louisiana, The Cabin in Burnside is mentioned, along with Jimmy’s Place, a Convent drive-in, and New Orleans’ legendary Central Grocery.

You can find the site at http://www.geodining.com.

Happy returns

Mary Hill thanks the Good Samaritan who found her purse at Sam’s Club and turned it in to the customer service desk:

“I went to the checkout counter with a cartload of groceries, and suddenly realized my purse was gone.

“What I thought might be a hopeless check at the desk revealed that some kind soul had turned in my purse.

“There’s not enough acknowledgement of the good that happens each and every day by total strangers.”

Special People Dept.

• Zulma Marie Chaney celebrates her 90th birthday Thursday.

• Henry B. and Carolyn Smith Baxter, of Zachary, celebrate their 50th anniversary Thursday.

Thought for the Day

From Mel Prust: “If a man says he can do as much at age 60 as he could at 30, he wasn’t doing much at 30.”

Defining moment

Marion Carr Sommers says, “My granddaughter Dawn was telling my 5-year-old great-grandson to get off the toy bike that belonged to his 1-year-old brother.

“He proceeded to explain that it was an accident that he was on the bike.

“His mother says it was not an accident; he got on it on purpose.

“He tells his mom that it was an accident — because ‘an accident you don’t get in trouble, but if on purpose you get in trouble.’ ”