Maybe it's because of the deprivations caused by the COVID epidemic, but I've been receiving a number of stories involving food. Here are a few of the best:  

Going nuts

Kirk Guidry says, "Many years ago, when we were newlyweds living in Natchitoches, we hosted a party after the Christmas festival.

"Wanting to impress our friends, we invited my wife’s childhood friend and world-renowned chef, Dwight Landreneau, to cook for us. (By the way, Dwight is now mayor of Washington).

"His choice was chicken sauce piquant. As he was in the kitchen cooking, we heard one of our north Louisiana friends say, 'I wonder when he is going to put in the pecans.'”

Faux Mexican?

Richard Fossey, of Baton Rouge, says, "Mike Dupree's Saturday comment in your column about farmers who misspell their crops reminded me of a restaurant I visited many years ago.

"I was driving through New Mexico and stopped for breakfast at a restaurant in Fort Sumner. The restaurant's sign said it served both Mexican and American food, so I decided to order huevos rancheros, a delicious Mexican dish of eggs topped with salsa and served over tortillas.

"The restaurant had the dish on the menu, but it was spelled 'Wevos Rancheros.'

"I thought about that a minute and decided to order pancakes."

Define "fresh"

Jacques Frère says, "In the early 1980s when I was in college, I was traveling back to Louisiana from Texas. We stopped at a Texas restaurant not far from the Louisiana border.

"As we read the menu, we inquired about the shrimp dish. The waitress said they were fresh. We figured we were close enough to Louisiana and the Gulf, so they should be good.

"When the dish arrived with the most pathetic shrimp, we asked again how fresh they were.

"The waitress assured us they were fresh — she had watched the can being opened that morning!"

More, please 

Edna Killian says, "Several years ago our sons were camping in Colorado when they met the owner of a restaurant, who was delighted to learn they were from Louisiana.

"He invited them to dinner, saying that they had just begun serving crawfish.

"That evening they were served plates containing about three crawfish, cooked in what appeared to be some sort of lemon and garlic sauce, and almost white (from steaming?).

"When asked for a response, our sons replied they would need about 50 more each.

"The owner could not believe this!"

A grit too far

Lucy Sloan says, "Recent comments on grits remind me of the time my husband Ken was serving aboard the USS Kidd during the Korean War.

"A true Southern boy, he was hungry for some old-fashioned grits. So I mailed him a one-pound box.

"He and some of his Southern buddies had access to the galley so they could cook after hours. They poured the whole box of grits in the pot.

"As the grits cooked, the pot overflowed. Grits were soon spilling out onto the deck. The guys grabbed shovels and were shoveling grits overboard.

"I wonder if there are any grits still stuck in the cracks of the USS Kidd's deck."

Taste of home

Ernest Blakeney, of Shreveport, says, "In 1962, I was a junior officer stationed in Germany. I grew up near Mobile, Alabama. One of the other junior officers in the battalion grew up in St. Tammany Parish.

"A senior officer, from north Alabama, told us a few days before Christmas, 'You two Southern boys are going to have Christmas breakfast at our home.'

"Breakfast included, wonder of wonders, a heaping bowl of grits! A stateside friend had shipped them.

"What a delightful touch for two young soldiers far from their families on Christmas!"

Special People Dept.

Wayne and Shirley Pate Stabiler, of Baton Rouge, celebrate 64 years of marriage Tuesday, March 30.

It's SO New Orleans!

Keith Charlet tells of receiving the second round of the Pfizer COVID vaccine on Sunday:

"You know you just got vaccinated in New Orleans when you show up at 11:01 a.m. and get told, 'I'm sorry, but you just missed mimosas.'"

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.