DiningDiarySquare-150x150 Monday, October 23, 2017. Red Beans & Catfish. “If I Loved You.” I didn’t mean to do so, but lunch was really two lunches. If you get red beans and rice on Monday at New Orleans Food & Spirits, they vouchsafe you the possibility of blackened catfish meuniere on the side. A variation on the idea brings basic fried catfish instead. I held back on that too, because the fish involved was a large fillet.

“But you could also get the catfish strips,” offered the waitress.

Yes! That did sound a little less an overeating. But after all the times I’ve come here lately, how is that I didn’t know that the catfish add-on, was a major serving of fried catfish The price at which this was sold gave no clue that such a pile would be coming. And let’s not forget the swimming-pool portion of red beans that followed. Nor can I ignore the general goodness of all of this. NOF&S continues to be phenomenal throughout its menu. If only I could talk them into hot sausage. . .

New Orleans Food & Spirits fried pecan catfish, lunch portion.

New Orleans Food & Spirits fried pecan catfish, lunch portion. A lagoon of red beans are beyond the crest of the pecan-crusted catfish.

The radio show was unusually busy for a Monday. Mainly, we lamented the postponement of the Po-Boy Festival, which should have happened yesterday, but which was wiped out buy a stringent rainfall. What else is new?

I showed up extra early for chorus rehearsal. I do this mainly to get forgiveness for my not having performed for any of the three performances NPAS put on over the weekend. (I couldn’t get around the radio show.)

More important is that today we are auditioning for a unique show at the Quail Farm in February. The program is called “Date Night.” Although most of what NPAS does is choral, now and then the singers are allowed solos. I knew immediately what my number will be: “If I Loved You,” from “Carousel.” When a man sings this song–I think it’s more often sung by women–there’s a good bit of irony. We guys already know (because they have told us so) that women don’t find us fully satisfactory in our attentions to them. But for a man to sing the song, the sopranos have to give a little more than usual. Or am I nuts?

Well, I passed the audition, judged by our brilliant director, Alissa Rowe. Now all I have to do is get my defective memory cogent enough to remember the lyrics. (And the words, too.)

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