Linenberger: Too much ‘good’ food
If you’re trying to diet, it’s best to follow a plan.
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Get ample amounts of fruits and vegetables.
3. Be sure to not skip breakfast and stay away from eating late in the evening.
4. Avoid Baton Rouge, La.
Yes, the fourth tip might seem a bit unorthodox, but it’s true.
I have in fact been doing my best to watch what I eat and, in the process, have dropped about 20 pounds.
Then came a short trip earlier this month to visit a friend who now lives in Baton Rouge. It was a trip I eagerly anticipated, but one that came with a warning from my friend.
“You’ll need to fast for a few weeks before you come here,” she told me.
After making my way to Louisiana, I realized what she meant: the food is beyond good — and of course, not always good for you.
First it was the boudin balls, which consist of sausage stuffed with rice and then deep fried.
Then there was the crawfish etouffee, crawfish cakes (similar to crab cakes) and pastalaya.
Yes, pastalaya — like jambalaya, but with spaghetti instead of rice. It was the main fare at a tailgate party we attended before the Louisiana State University game against Vanderbilt. With tender pieces of pork and chicken, it’s a dish I’d love to make for a Kansas University football tailgate gathering. Well, “make” might not be the correct word, as it more accurately would be “attempt to make.”
I also tried some fried gator and beignets, or as they’re known in New Orleans, French doughnuts. At the Café Du Monde, not far from the St. Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter, the beignets tasted like funnel cakes and with far more powdered sugar heaped on them than I’ve ever had on a funnel cake.
I did offset at least a few of the gazillion calories consumed with some walking.
Trying to find a place to park anywhere near LSU’s Tiger Stadium (the venue seats about 93,000) is a lost cause, so we were hoofing it to the student union for some LSU memorabilia, on to the tailgate, the game and then back to the car.
Throw in walking along Bourbon Street and other parts of the French Quarter during our time in Baton Rouge and I think a pedometer, if I were wearing one, would have reflected a good number of steps.
Speaking of steps, we also walked up the many steps that lead to the capitol building in Baton Rouge, some of which are engraved with the names of each state and the year it was admitted to the union.
Of course, it was raining while we were at the capitol, and much of my time there. When we left the building my friend slipped on one of the rain-soaked steps. I joked that she should sue Louisiana and Arizona, as it was the Arizona step she slipped on.
All joking aside, it was quite a capitol building — tallest state capitol in the United States I might add. Unfortunately, we were unable to take the elevator to the top because of some work that was being done. While inside the capitol, we saw the area where famed Gov. Huey Long was shot. Long was a U.S. Senator at the time of his death and an elaborate gravesite is near the capitol he pushed so hard to have constructed.
Of course, for all the wonderful food I devoured and great people I met while in the Bayou, I was ready to return to Kansas.
When I stepped outside Kansas City International Airport, I thought to myself, “Ah! No humidity.”
Who would have thought one could say that about Kansas?
With it being football season, I’m ready to try out some Cajun recipes for a KU tailgate gathering — with the caveat that I hit dieting and exercise much harder.
After all, I haven’t stepped on a scale since my return from Louisiana. Cajun food can make a person forget about doing such things.