Sloan Column: It’s a Cajun Christmas, ah gah-ron-tee!
Joyeux Noel, people! Joyeux Noel!
Christmas is coming to the Pee Dee a little early this year. After a lengthy wait, The Lost Cajun restaurant on West Lucas will be opening its doors on Friday! Allons!
I’ve been waiting beaucoup time to sink my teeth into almost everything on the Cajun’s menu. Ever since the announcement was made in the Spring of 2019, I’ve had visions of beignets, jambalaya and etouffee dancing around in my head while Jimmy Buffett sings, “I Will Play for Gumbo.”
Fellow Florentines and bon amis around the Pee Dee, get ready to pinch the tail and suck the head on some crawfish straight from the bayou. If that’s not your thing, prepare to be spellbound by some voodoo pasta.
In honor of The Lost Cajun’s opening, I thought I would share with you something straight from the kitchen of one of Louisiana’s best-known chefs.
Long before there was a Food Network or an Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri or Bobby Flay, there was Justin Wilson. The white-haired Cajun was always seen wearing his trademark blue short-sleeve shirt with accompanying red suspenders or well-tied bolo. He could whip up a remarkable dish all the while sharing a joke or funny story in his thick accent. The man was a top-rate chef as well as a fine entertainer.
Wilson was known for measuring spices to near perfection by pouring them into the palm of his hand, but even more so for his signature saying – “ah gah-ron-tee!”
What follows is a joke the funnyman and Cajun connoisseur shared on one of his programs. The Cajun accent is conveyed by way of crazy spelling. Bonne chance with the translation.
“Der waz dis game warden at de docks in Louisiana, cheking everyoneds fishes. Dis ol cajen fisherman, I tink his nam was Tibideaux, camed into d dock in is bote with a cooler full of all de fishes.
The GW asked him, “where and how you catch all dim fishes?” Tibideaux say nothen.
GW askd dim gain, “whered you catch all dim fishes?” Tibideaux sayz youd want to lern tod fish? Youd b her at 6 in de mornen.”
Well d nex day de GW showd up and here com Tibideaux in dis truck and bote. They’d lauch d bote, lod up and off dey go fishn. Tibideaux stop at dis first hol. D GW get dis rod and reel and startd throwen. He lookd at Tibideaux, jest to see what he b throwen. Hed seen Tibideaux reech inside dis tackle box and lite dis ciger. He deen seen Tibideaux tak out dis red stick with a fuze and lit wit dis ciger. De fuz burn bout halfwayz down and he throwd dit in d water and boom al dees fishes com a floaten to d top!
De GW ,hed kant belivez watz he seeinn, Tibideaux scoopen up all dim fishes and putten in d cooler! D GW, hes got dis mout wiped open catchen flies, cuz he cant belivez he seenen dis!
He tel Tibideaux,”He mon youd cant be catchen fishes like dat! Dats illegal!”
Tibideaux, he dont say noten. He reeches backed in dis tackle box lites another one of dim red sticks fusez and han dit to de GW and sayz, “You goen to fish or talk?”
Now if that ain’t funny, I don’t know what is.
Laissez le bon temps rouler!