DiningDiarySquare-150x150 It would have been a wonderful night for there to be NPAS
rehearsal tonight, but we’re in the off-season. Singing always calms me down. However, I do get an invitation to dinner from Mary Leigh, who is on her way home and has a hankering for a wedge salad with blue cheese dressing at the Acme in Covington. We split a dozen grilled oysters in our unique way: I get all the oysters and she gets all the butter, garlic, parmesan, and peppers to dip the toasted French bread.

For my side of the table, for some reason I yearn for a hamburger. The waitress said it was pretty good, but I still should have known better than to order a burger in a restaurant primarily engaged with frying and grilling seafood. The big puck was good enough, but a hamburger has to be something for me to use up my annual quota (1.2 hamburgers of normal size per month.

We don’t talk about this much, but ML is thinking about buying a house. This would be a brave episode, but if she pulls it off whe will be younger than I was when I bought my first house (in Gentilly, for $11,000. The Marys are interesting is something more substantial. They watch those television shows in which people renovate houses to within a hairs-breadth of being destroyed totally.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017. I liked the dinner I had last week at Porter and Luke in Old Metairie that I go there again tonight. Another reason for me to sample it again is that the place is running live commercials on the radio show, and if I fill them with information they’re more interesting.

Like last time, I begin with the soup of the day, which in this case is a very tasty cauliflower bisque. I’ve always liked things like that. It’s creamy, but doesn’t get offensive about it.

I ask the waiter to give me a great idea for my dinner in one word. He doesn’t waste a second: “catfish!” he says. Fried catfish, after a couple of decades of oblivion, seems to be making a major return to popularity. Some of this can be written off to the enormous piles of fish that we have been seeing. The Porter and Luke version certainly fits that description. Golden brown (that’s menu-speak in restaurants, but in this case it applies) fillets about five inches long and an inch and a half wide. Crisp, nicely seasoned, and just what I was in the mood for. And better than that burger yesterday.

Wednesday, December 20, 2019. Gin And Turtle. My most pervasive hunger is for baked oysters, on the half-shell or gratin-style. Oysters Rockefeller, Mosca, or whatever. So I thought it was a great idea when “Mr. Ed” McIntyre–owner of the restaurants that hold his name–installed quite a few such dishes when he took over the former Bozo’s. He added not only Rockefeller oysters but Bienville, Drago’s-style, and amandine, to name just a few. I loved the first two or three dozen of these, but I think they ought to fine-tune the recipes and technique. Lately they’ve been looking less than appetizing. Most versions of these things fall down in the sauce department. You could still do a lot worse than to have Mr. Ed’s oysters, but I know he could make them better.

I draw a new waitress, and I joke around with her as I usually do. She’s so flexible that I let her sell me a cocktail, which I wasn’t especially up for. A gin and tonic wasn’t the perfect drink for the weather anyway. I think I’m going to back away even from the single shot of sherry that comes with a cup of turtle soup. (As traditional as it is, sherry ought to be in the soup pot, but not on the soup plate. The bitter taste is better cooked out.)

Regardless of that, the soup is reasonably good.

Thursday, December 21, 2019. Stonehenge At Home. It’s the first day of winter, and the pine trees in the woods surrounding the Cool Water Ranch lay down their Stonehenge-like shadows at unfamiliar angles. Almost bizarre to see, but then they’re gone until next year. Many phenomena become fascinating when taken seriously.

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