April 25

Crawfish Bread

Days Until. . .

Jazz Festival--3 Mother's Day--19/strong>

Edible Dictionary

rabbit wings, n.--I won't insult your intelligence by noting that rabbits don't have wings. However, the number of similarities rabbit has to chicken inspires more than a few kitchen jokers to call the front legs "wings." Like chicken wings, they're not loaded with meat, but the upper parts are very tender and light. Most recipes call for frying them. But if you stew a rabbit, the results are all good, including the way the wings come out.

Gourmet Gazetteer

Rabbit Creek flows about nine miles through northeastern Iowa. It's hilly enough that the many streams in that part of the state form distinct valleys, with good farming at their bases. The creek joins Bear Creek, which flows into Turkey Creek, and then into the Mississippi River. The end of Rabbit Creek is forty-eight miles west of Dubuque, and five miles from Edgewood, where is Graffiti's, the nearest local cafe.

Food On The Air

Today in 1874 Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of radio and the man for whom Marconi Drive next to City Park is named, was born in Bologna. His patent (number 7777) came from England. Where would we be without him? We'd have to sit around writing letters or something. In Marconi's honor, tune in our radio show, from three to seven p.m. today on the future of New Orleans Radio: 105.3 p.m., HD2. While you're there, explore the many ways you can get our new, much improved radio station. Listen to the stream, from your smart phone (best: the WWL app, which has direct links to HD2).

Drink And Topology

Felix Klein, the inventor of the Klein bottle, was born today in 1849. A Klein bottle has no inside or outside; the two merge into one continuous side. Problem: it requires four dimensions. If you find yourself drinking from a Klein bottle, you've had too much. (Or, really, nothing: a Klein bottle has no volume.) Klein bottles have their own web site, with pictures of projections of Klein bottles in three-dimensional space.

People We'd Like To Have Dinner With

This is the birthday, in 1940, of Al Pacino. Of course, we'd go someplace Italian, but which place? It would have to have cannoli. We'd also invite Talia Shire, the sister of Francis Coppola. Talia also has a birthday today (1946). Both Pacino and Shire were in The Godfather, and since Francis himself might be in town for the Jazz Festival, he could come too. What an unforgettable dinner!

Deft Dining Rule #520:

In a restaurant, the person who sits with his back to the wall is the one most likely to pick up the check for that table. If he doesn't, he's a fraud.

Music To Dine By

Ella Fitzgerald was born today in 1917. "The only thing better than singing is more singing," she said. The same is true of listening, if it's to her. She was one of the creators of scat singing. Her records with one of the other scat masters--Louis Armstrong--are delicious in their contrasts.

Annals Of Canned Milk

Today is the anniversary of the 1974 Carnation Revolution, which changed Portugal from a dictatorship to a liberal democracy. Although the first thing I thought of when I saw this was a famous rhyme allegedly sent in by a contestant for a contest put on by Carnation Milk. Maybe you've heard it: Carnation Milk is the best of all No teats to pull, no pails to haul No barn to clean, no hay to pitch Just punch a hole in the son of a xxxx.

Today's Flavor

Zucchini Bread Day sounds appealing--for about ten seconds. That's why it's evolved in Louisiana into Crawfish Bread Day. Crawfish bread is made by covering an underbaked loaf of French bread with crawfish, cheese, a sauce like crawfish etouffee and herbs, then baking it. It is not widely available except at festivals--notably the New Orleans Jazz And Heritage Festival, which begins this Friday.

The Saints

It's the feast day and birthday (1270) of Louis IX, king of France. He achieved sainthood for his exemplary life and devotion to the Church. On the other hand, he was captured during the Eighth Crusade by the Egyptians, and had to be ransomed for one and a half times the annual income of France at the time. St. Louis Cathedral, the focal point of New Orleans, is named for him, as is the city of St. Louis, Missouri.

Food Namesakes

In 1932, the most famous player in the history of the Harlem Globetrotters, Meadowlark Lemon, was born. . . Stu Cook, bassist with Creedence Clearwater Revival, was born today in 1945. . . Fish, a Scottish progressive rock singer and composer, was born today in 1958. His real name is Derek Dick. . . Karel Appel, a Dutch painter, was born today in 1921. . . C.B. Fry, ace cricket player and one-time holder of the long-jump record, was born today in 1872. . . The United States lease on the Corn Islands, off the east coast of Nicaragua, came to an end on this date in 1971. . . Italian poet Torcuato Tasso died in Rome today in 1595.

Words To Eat By

"Eating at a new, highly recommended restaurant is like a Very Important Blind Date, a contract with uncertainty you enter into with great expectation battling the cynicism of experience. You sit waiting, wondering about the upcoming moments of revelation. Somewhere in the back of your head is the dour warning that disappointment is inevitable but you don't really believe it or you wouldn't be there. The best eaters are always optimists."--Stuart Stevens, American author.

Words To Drink By

"Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar."--Edward R. Murrow, CBS news reporter, born today in 1908.