Boudin Wars in English IV Thursday, Oct 8 2015 

Yesterday, I gave in to my senior class’s persuasive overtures to have a “boudin party” in class. I turned it into a writing assignment, of course, which we called “boudin wars” as we analyzed the culinary and taste features of a variety of local retail specimens. Of course, I wrote along with them. The result is worth publishing somewhere, so here goes.

Boudin Wars!

The iconic bull marks the location of Eunice Superette Slaughterhouse, home of the best boudin.

The iconic bull marks the location of Eunice Superette Slaughterhouse, home of the best boudin.

I may be biased as a 35 year resident of Eunice, but I believe my claim is not far from the truth: The best boudin in Acadiana, bar none, comes from this prairie burg. But an issue remains to be resolved: Of the several premium brands that are manufactured here in the Prairie Cajun Capitol, which one of THE best of THE BEST?

Allons voir! (Let’se see!). We did a scientific taste test this morning in English IV at St. Edmund Catholic High School, and the verdict is in! (Admittedly, it’s my verdict—some may disagree, but it’s OK if they just have to be wrong. I forgive them☺.)

The first brand I sampled was from Mel’s, the meat market just across Bayou des Cannes on Highway 13. I never tasted Mel’s before, so this was unique. When I bit off the first bite, my immediate impression was “This is bland!” It had a non-savory, ricey kind of blandness, at least at first. I took two or three more bites to make sure I gave it a fair shake. Admittedly, after a few moments, my taste buds began to sense a slow burn—the salty/pimentee came kind of like a savory afterthought. It was really quite pleasant, and I partially forgave the product for its negative first impression.

On to species two. I sampled T-Boy’s, a brand I tasted years ago when T-Boy’s Meat Market was in Mamou. In recent years, T-Boy opened a shop in Eunice and now rivals some of the established markets like Superette Slaughterhouse and Eunice Poultry. I wasn’t expecting much of my taste-test for T-Boy’s, because years ago when my mother-in-law bought it frequently, I wasn’t crazy about it. In those days, it was an old-school boudin with a more traditional casing—the kind you could eat. It also had a stronger liver flavor than some of the other local brands, so I wasn’t crazy about it. But guess what? T-Boy’s has changed the recipe! The sample I tasted was much closer in texture and taste to Superette or the old Johnson’s Grocery (which back in the day was the real king of boudin!). So I was slightly surprised—and pleasantly so—by T-Boy’s.

For my final test, I sampled Eunice Superette Slaughterhouse’s finest. Superette Slaughterhouse, the iconic market on the banks of Richard’s Gulley with the life-size Black Angus Bull statue presiding over the gravel parking lot. OK, I admit, I’m biased. I’ve argued with people for years that Superette is the best of the best. But I determined to be objective, and so I believe my final analysis is fair. I took several bites of the Superette boudin and thoughtfully contemplated the tasty components. Ratio of rice to pork: Perfect. Amount of heat (from red pepper): perfect, just enough to not quite make the sinuses run, but close, if that makes any sense. I did have to spit out one unpleasant glob of fat that came out with one of the bites, but that was the only negative.

In the final analysis, then, my rating is as follows:
Third place: Mel’s
Second place: T-Boy’s
First place: The winner and still champion, Superette Slaughterhouse

So bring on your best, Karchener’s Grocery in Krotz Springs, Boudin King in Crowley, the Why-Not-Stop in Vidrine, Vautrot’s Grocery in Church Point, Don’s or Best Stop in Scott: Eunice Superette Slaughterhouse will take all boudin comers and RULE!

Fire and Football: Patio Dwelling’s Latest Dimension Friday, Oct 2 2015 

We are vigilant in our ever-constant lookout for outdoor living space upgrades. Since we converted a former dog pen into that gardenesque “happy place” that has shown up in posts from time to time for the past three years, our determination’s been upward and onward for improvements.

So this season we added a fire pit. Last night I baptized it with a small hardwood fire to celebrate the season’s first cool snap along with Thursday night football. Not bad!IMG_0153

Usually this time of year, the mosquito population hits its seasonal zenith, so I was worried after dark that I wouldn’t be able to hang. But, the Deep Woods Off—-and maybe the smoke from the fire?—-kept the insects at bay until I was ready to come in on my own terms, not the mosquitoes’.

Tomorrow is Saturday morning and the temp should be really fresh. A cheerful fire, a day full of football, and the first Saturday of October: These three are meant for one another.

MNF, not MFB Monday, Sep 28 2015 

I look forward to Monday nights in football season for MNF—-Monday Night Football.  Anticipation of the first-night sporting event makes Mondays more endurable, kind of like an extension of the weekend.  The anticipation of a competitive match-up builds suspense throughout the day.

31-14 at the end of 3rd quarter? Where's the remote? Time for the 10:00 news.

31-14 at the end of 3rd quarter? Where’s the remote? Time for the 10:00 news.

But nothing throws a wet blanket on Monday night football cheer like a MNB–Monday night blowout.  That’s what’s going on tonight) as the Packers are beating the Chiefs’ brains out (figuratively).  So at the end of the lop-sided third quarter, I opted for the 10:00 news, even though I saw most of the same news pieces at 6:00.

Truly,  life’s too short to endure a one-sided football game, especially between two random teams that don’t interest me other than their potential for competing.

Alas, I’ll have to tough it out until Thursday night, hoping for a  contest then.  Here’s hoping that TNF will not be TNB.

A Legacy: Women of Faith Thursday, Sep 24 2015 

I turn the blog over tonight to my beloved.  The following post is my faithful wife’s words on Facebook, recalling her maternal legacy of faith.  Power to the women!

MaMere's ring.

MaMere’s ring.

I sometimes wear my great grandmother/grandmother’s wedding ring in place of my own. Although it bears many dents, dings, and scratches, I love it and often wonder what those marks represent. I wonder, if in part, it could be….Cooking over an open fire for a husband and seven children everyday. Picking cotton in the south La. heat; washing clothes with only a washboard and no running water and ironing with a flat iron heated over the fireplace and only an outhouse; caring for chickens, sheep, and cattle daily; praying over and tending a sick child with no medicine or doctor readily available; on her knees everyday praying for the watch care and safety of her sons fighting in WWII; Helping to plant and tend the crops and the family garden and praying for God to provide enough for her family to eat each day. I’m thankful for the legacy, commitment and faithfulness this ring represents. ‪#‎womenoffai

When I am 10 and 80. . . Friday, Sep 18 2015 

Family is blessing!

Family is blessing!

…. Or should I begin,

I’m around for my 90th birthday party?

Just in case I may not make it, as Mama has done so graciously, and without so many of the tell-tale signs of aging that usually attend longevity, I chose this last weekend at her party to celebrate as I would if this were my 90th: I ate a fried oysters po boy slathered with fattening remoulade sauce and had an ice cream cone for dessert.

Such artery-clogging, heart-stopping dietary choices could work against the odds of reaching number 90; but regarded another way, the blood-pressure-reducing levity of spirited celebration could counter the risky food effects to aid and abet the process of healthy aging.

One way or the other, September 15—-Mama’s birthday—-was a day fit to celebrate. And so we did. When life, which in the context of eternity is short anyway, affords us a happy occasion to celebrate, we must “gather the rosebuds [and fried oysters and ice cream cones] while [we] may.”

Humble rewards of the profession: When students take control . . . Friday, Sep 11 2015 

The teacher as observer: A worthy perspective when students take ownership!

The teacher as observer: An interesting back row perspective when students take ownership!

The best moments of teaching often arrive in spontaneous epiphanies, like this morning when my high-octane English I students took over the classroom in what I describe as a friendly coup. A coup because they in fact wrested the control of the proceedings from me, but friendly in that no ill-intent directed their motives—-in fact, their interest and intent was in doing the right action in the moment.

One student began the coup when he asked to share a piece of free-writing he had just finished. I had another agenda—-I hadn’t intended to have a read-around, but I’ll never stop a student who wants to read something he wrote from sharing with us.

So naturally, “Sure, Jack, have at it,” I agreed as he stepped to the lectern at the front of the room. I circled around to the back and settled in an empty back-row desk to observe. As soon as he finished reading, I started to rise from my seat to return to the front where I could direct the class into the next activity I had planned, but before I could rise, another student took it upon himself to approach the lectern with his free-writing piece and begin reading. And so on and so forth the process repeated itself, until a half dozen students, a few who were well-known for not taking part, had taken turns in the read-around. I never invited a one of them, nor had I proclaimed a time of sharing. But their behavior—-and correct behavior in the context—-set the agenda! And best—-or worst?—-they were quieter and more attentive to one another at the lectern than they often are when I’m attempting to run things!

Yes, another lesson learned and more humble rewards of the profession. Never too old to be reminded?  What a blessed calling!

Labor Day Salute, Doggy Style Thursday, Sep 10 2015 


We explained the meaning of Labor Day to Sadie and Marley. They responded right away with this stirring gesture of restful respect for the American working man and woman on this day that hallows our working class heritage.

Decadent Satur-daze Saturday, Sep 5 2015 

The first Saturday of Football season and Labor Day weekend.  Ah, how long we have longed for this daze!  For extra measure, the date even coincided with Sarah’s birthday  and an overnight visit from the kids.

At last: Football on the patio!

At last: Football on the patio!

Started this morning with coffee and boudin and Game Day on ESPN. No other agenda than a workout jog and a birthday supper date in between games lined up from morning until bedtime.   It’s a patio-dweller’s holiday.

Holi-daze: A natural state of mind!

Enlightened by holy grace: Devotional thoughts! Thursday, Sep 3 2015 

The morning prayer at school includes a sentence that has captivated me:

middlegrail“Enlighten us with Your holy grace.”

I had the students write reflections on that sentence today.  I shared with them my definition of grace: the unmerited favor of God.  I posed the question, to them but as much to me, “How does grace enlighten us?”

All my life in church and bible study, I would have used many verbs to complete the sentence: “Grace enables us, grace saves us, grace calls us, grace finds us…”

But I never would have thought “Grace enlightens us.”

Wow!  That’s heavy.  To obtain enlightenment, I think of the need for teaching, for inspiration, for study, for training.  But not for grace!

But why not grace?  The depths and mysteries of faith are too profound for my finite humanity to understand!  I am dependent on grace—-God’s unmerited favor—-to probe those depths with understanding and discernment.  If I depended on my own wits, I’d be in trouble!

So thanks be to God for the enlightenment of amazing grace.

The Flatness of the Prairie: Friday Light Nights Saturday, Aug 29 2015 

Sun sets on the Cajun prairie beyond Friday night lights.

Sun sets on the Cajun prairie beyond Friday night lights.

I’ve appreciated the imagery of Friday night sunset beyond Bobcat Stadium for over twenty years. Since our kids are grown, we don’t go to high school games as often, so last night at the local Jamboree I witnessed the simple elegance of the sunset’s glory with renewed appreciation.

The glorious scene represents Americana from South Louisiana.  It’s an iconic, slow-motion movie unfolding in gradually-darkening scenes for thirty minutes or so, from dusk’s beginning until the final glimmer of orange/pink daylight succumbs to descending night.

An ever-elegant reminder: Praise to the Almighty who created the flatness of the prairie with its life-giving cycle of rising and setting sun!

Next Page »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.