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As multiple readers have told us over the years, kids have an entirely different way of viewing the world.

Lisa Matherne says, "A few weeks ago I mentioned in your column my literal-minded grandson Hayden and his vocabulary words.

"Well, last night's homework was even more entertaining.

"His class has to pick an environment and create a 3D image in a box about the animals, plants, and landscape of the chosen environment. He chose the swamp.

"He was brainstorming ideas for his project, and mentioned alligators, moss, snakes, etc.

"I asked him, 'What plant are you going to use?'

"He said, 'I like water iris, but I am most interested in the wild corndogs.'"

Lisa, thanks to the photo you thoughtfully provided, I have to agree with Hayden — cattails do indeed look an awful lot like corndogs.

Food for thought

Martin Hugh-Jones points out the relative scarcity of native meats, such as alligator, on current menus.

He adds, "In the '70s and '80s it was common to find restaurants’ menus listing fried frog legs, and we had frog farmers, and frog legs were imported from Thailand. You rarely find frog legs today.

"And when did you last eat liver and onions? I could go on and on about great dishes, much celebrated and enjoyed, that we do not see today."

He says much of this is due to the shortage of local butchers and fishmongers, who were replaced by supermarkets.

"We need Chef John Folse to show us how to cook and present these old and valued dishes, and your culinary journalist colleagues to tell us where to find the components."

Crawfish chowder?

Speaking of Louisiana food, Greg Tenhundfeld offers this story to illustrate why you should be very careful when seeing "Cajun" food on the menu outside of south Louisiana:

"Following up on Cajun food names: I was in Richmond, Virginia, 25 years ago, and went to a local restaurant for lunch.

"The special of the day was 'Crawfish bisque' for $6.95. Crawfish bisque is a time-consuming meal to make — you have to clean and stuff the crawfish shells. So I knew something was not right.

"The bisque was really just a chowder. I’m glad I declined on it."

Probably a wise choice. But I've avoided the stuffing process by making my bisque with boulettes, using the recipe from "Tony Chachere's Second Helping," my go-to Cajun cookbook. (Full disclosure: I'm partial to this particular Tony's publication because I wrote the foreword for it.) 

Advice remembered

Where To Go, What To Eat

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Edna Marie C. Sevin says, regarding our recent obsession with food stories:

"My deceased husband has been much on my mind. His 90th birthday was Monday, Nov. 8, and he died on Nov. 18, 1992.

"When we became engaged, he noticed my being a picky eater; I did not eat egg whites or some green vegetables, such as spinach.

"Warren said very seriously to me, 'What you don't eat, our children will not eat.'

"Amazing what love will do to change behaviors; I began then, and still do, eat it all.

"This story bears retelling at this time of remembrance."

Shop talk

The stories about shopping techniques of men and women brought some reactions from readers:

"There's a big difference between men's and women's modus operandi after entering a store," says Diane T. Martin, of Morgan City.

"Men go in with a list of five items; they come out after 15 minutes with five items. Women go in with a list of five items; they come out with 12 items after an hour.

"The difference? Men go into a store to buy. Women go into a store to shop!"

And Lee Blotner, of Metairie, adds, "My mother always said, 'One day to shop, and one day to return!'"

Special People Dept.

Mathilde Fabre, of Harvey, celebrates her 92nd birthday Saturday, Nov. 13.

Inquiring Minds Dept.

Kirk Guidry, of Baton Rouge, is puzzled:

"A friend of mine told me something that makes me wonder.

"She said she bought her son some new underwear, and it came in a resealable packet.

"Yet cereal doesn’t.

"By the way, who closes their underwear for later?"


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