Friday, November 21, 2008

The Call of the Turtle

We stopped in Jennings to visit Louisiana's only museum depicting the history of the telephone. Our decision to visit the Louisiana Telephone Pioneer Museum was probably related to our action in May, 2008. That was when we abandoned our rotary telephones in favor of two new cell phones. With the purchase of a laptop computer that same day, the pull into the twenty-first century left our heads spinning.

Although we recognized some of the phones in the museum as being similar to the recent "occupants" of our end tables, we did not have first-hand experience with these "candlestick" phones.

One of the oldest phones in the Museum was the "Ring to Talk" Box (lower left corner of the photo), which would have been found in a few homes in the early 1800's.

The challenge of handling calls at a central location must have been a daunting task during times of heavy use, but the caller always had contact with a real person rather than a recording telling him or her: "Thank you for holding. You're call is important to us . . . ."

This display caught our attention and brought back some memories of life in the '50's. The sign read: "Several of us in the Operator Services Department wore these dresses one day in the 1950's as a 'Yellow Pages Promotion'. I only hoped that it didn't rain as the dresses were made of paper."
--Gerry Apple


When last we ate at Chef Roy’s Frog City Café (see post on October 26, 2008), we left feeling too full to have dessert. I (Kate) was determined that, on a return visit, I wouldn’t make the same mistake again. Besides, the “Turtle” was calling my name. Our intention was to order luncheon entrees rather than repeat the appetizer mélange of our previous visit. The Crawfish Napoleon looked tempting as did the Chicken Fried Chicken with white gravy and numerous other menu items.

So what did we do – yes, we, with one exception, did a repeat on our earlier lunch. Rather than an order of Popcorn Crawfish and an order of Catfish Bites, we opted for two orders of the crawfish. The Cajun Eggrolls were as good if not better as I remembered and the onion rings exceptional. The waitress tried to remove the empty onion ring plate, and Chuck stopped her because he wanted to eat all of the little batter crumbs left on the plate.

To leave room for dessert, I decided to take some of my crawfish home for a midnight snack. When the “Turtle” – which we shared – hit the table, I realized I had chosen wisely. Do you remember ice cream cake roll? Chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream served jelly roll fashion? The Turtle is – as Emeril Lagasse would say – ice cream cake roll “Kicked up notches unknown to mankind.” Chocolate geniose cake (a sponge cake from Genoa, Italy) surrounds vanilla ice cream. This is rolled in caramel and roasted pecans, topped with whipped cream, and drizzled with chocolate. And all of this is served in a pool of caramel and chocolate.

I think we broke the World Record for speed of dessert eating, and when all of the cake was gone, I asked Chuck if it would be bad form to lick the remaining caramel and chocolate from the plate. He laughed and said he was thinking about wiping the plate with his finger. A five-Addie dessert from a five-Addie restaurant.

We arrived at 12:35 and had a 10-minute wait for a table. The room grew quiet over the next half hour, but we didn't realize the change occurring. The once-packed dining room was empty. It was 1:10. Evidently, the folks here take the lunch hour literally.

Whether it was a business lunch, a group celebrating a birthday, or a three-generation family lunch, lunch hour means noon to one--for everyone.

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