Last Friday’s Supper at Elmer’s
Notes from Nan: Guess Who’s Cooking Dinner This Week!
by HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati
Yes indeed, y’all! Willie Gray was out building coops for the 60 new chickens he’s getting to help Elmer’s stay ahead of the hungry crowds (having fired the previous 108 for failing to perform in hot weather. He said he read them my letter and shamed them.)
So Willie was out erecting chicken condos when he got the urgent afternoon call from Elmer’s that we were yet again slap out of eggs. He stopped what he was doing, gathered up the 20 dozen they had ready for him, jumped into the Williemobile and headed over to Elmer’s THUS bringing to an abrupt end the long-standing debate over which, in fact came first, the chicken or the egg. As it turns out, when it comes to what we need and when we need it, the eggs come first and the chickens will just have to wait for their little houses when Willie gets back. So there it is. For all time. Done. Now we can wonder about trees falling in forests and whether or not bears use toilet paper in the woods.
And looka heah! Mary’s done gone outta town and so you know who is gonna cook this week for y’all? Me! That’s who!
You didn’t think I could cook, did you? I can cook! I just don’t have time to cook with all the important ordering around I have to do around here! But I can cook and I am going to fix y’all up some red beans and rice, pure New Orleans style! Traditionally red beans are to be fixed on Mondays, because that’s wash day. So y’all bring your dirty laundry with you and we’ll throw it in the washing machine while we eat. ‘Cause I can sure enough make some red beans and rice!
What You Missed For Dinner Last Friday Night (08/03/07)
- Red Beans and Rice (both with meat and vegetarian)
- A big ole tossed salad entirely made of local greens and vegetables like you ain’t had here before
- And red beans and rice as a vegetarian dish
The red beans are Camillia Brand beans, the only kind you eat in New Orleans, so this is real, live authentic New Orleans food. You’ll think you was at Buster Holmeses* on Burgundy Street! (Buster closed his place in about 1982 but it was the best red beans place ever in the history of the world!) And you know what? I’m not going to make Mary’s Macaroni and Cheese because:
- I ain’t got it like she got it.
- I think Sean Skalski will like Red Beans and Rice
- So no mac and cheese this week.
*That’s how they talk in New Orleans. They say Buster Holmes-ez or Mens-ez –the plural of “Men.” **Other good New Orleans words from various neighborhoods there:
- Gradieu: yucky stuff that falls out of other stuff, as in “You better clean up that gradieu off the floor, yeah!”
- Lagniappe: Something extra for you, as in “Here! Take another cookie home with you—lagniappe.”
- Mammy: Lots of, as in “That lady got childrens, Mammy!” (You can also say, “That lady got beaucoup kids!”)
** Not everybody in town talks like that; Peggy never heard of “Mammy” and white people might say, “Beaucoup” where as black folks might say “Boo-Coo!” Same word, though.
Nan is the proprietor of Elmer’s Store in Ashfield, MA. A New England transplant from the Deep South, Nan shares her southern wit, wisdom and charm every week in her column, “Notes from Nan.” Share dinner with her every Friday at Elmer’s. Each weeks menu posted with her column. firstname.lastname@example.org
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