A Cajun Kitchen: or a cage in the kitchen

reading Lynne Bryant’s latest  post      http://www.lynne-bryant.com/          i remembered and dug out a piece i wrote some twenty-two or three years ago.  … enjoy !

The Cajun Kitchen …

( or: The Cage-In-The-Kitchen … as the case may be. )

There is this lady, see, who tells this story about a Cajun kitchen. Except that she gets confused and the story isn’t at all about cooking gumbo … but winds up being a tale about critters … and people and critters.

Well, this lady cares a lot about people, which is why she has these critters scurrying about in her kitchen while she slaves away at the gumbo & the roux & the okra. So far as this lady knew Daniel Boone never got as far south as the live oak trees & the Spanish moss, but pecans and peanuts being indigenous to the area her kitchen is very seductive.

Were there a drafting table in this kitchen it would be very nearly perfect … for, you see, the guy who poured over footings and  re-bars would have a place to put his chili bowl & the squirrel would have legs to climb. It ( ‘it’  being the kitchen ) would need huge screened-in windows, though. The lady making a roux and the guy counting window sills would want to be able to see the tractor head for the tree-line and keep an eye out for the re-fitted shrimp boat. ( You know, of course, that Chet Atkins will go to his concerts only on a shrimp boat!) (and, besides, it might be Captain Flint and LaVern! )

By now this has gotten to be the most laid-back kitchen in the fantasy of mankind. I mean, we have, in harmony, this guy who often thinks that the synonym of courage is fatalism and this lady who cuts up okra & dropper-feeds future Daniel Boone’s while Chet Atkins & the Cajun fiddler do their thing on the screened-in porch ( never mind that Spanish moss has slipped in where the ‘changing leaves’ were … I don’t think Garrison Keeler would even notice. ) and assorted visitors … both two & four legged types  … who sort of come & go with their British ( or whatever ) accents and their squeaks & chirps ( are there any birds in this story? )

All in all Cajun kitchens are good places to be. Where else would a daddy want to be when he gives his daughter a new license & a set of car keys and watch her drive down the road; or a mommy want to be when she finds there are mysterious bumps in the bicycle road. Cages-in-the-kitchen may wind up in the attic, but Cajun kitchens never do … not for the people who have lived in one.

          TEH       1987



About Tom Honea

the south mississippi i grew up in did not yet have paved roads or telephones or televisions. it did have great story tellers, on front porches in the summer or around the fire place in the winter. we were poverty stricken, financially but not culturally. we didn't know it. everybody up and down the road was in the same boat. . after forty years of day jobs i am approaching my "fishing years." i plan to spend them writing. i have a finished and edited deep south novel in the "marketing" stages. currently i'm deep into a WW II home front piece set in the Hampton Roads, VA area. notes and character sketches are already underway for "From Hiroshima to Elvis" ( the ten years after the war ) on the coastal areas of South Carolina. . visit asheville ... come and see me.
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