June 1 marked the official start of the 2008 hurricane season, but somebody forgot to tell Mother Nature, since Tropical Storm Arthur has already come and gone over central Mexico.
Predictions of just how many storms the season might bring have changed several times over the past few months and I don’t put much stock in any of those projections. There are just too many variables.
In addition to Arthur, the storm names chosen for the 2008 season include Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gustav, Hanna, Ike, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paloma, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred.
Let’s pray that we are spared any of them.
GUARD ON ALERT . . .
I see where Louisiana’s Army National Guard’s 256th Brigade Combat Team has been scheduled for possible deployment to Iraq in 2010. You will recall that the brigade’s 3,000 or so soldiers served a year in Iraq from October 2004 to October 2005, returning just after hurricanes Katrina and Rita slammed the state.
Twenty-three members of the 256th were killed during the 2004-05 tour.
Other National Guard brigades in Texas, Pennsylvania and Tennessee have also been put on alert for 2009 and 2010 deployment to Iraq.
The 256th has undergone changes since that first deployment, switching from a heavy mechanized infantry unit with Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles to a light infantry unit, relying mostly on trucks (and boot leather) for transportation.
THIS & THAT
DeBlanc Book – The late Jeff DeBlanc’s book — “The Guadalcanal Air War: Col. Jefferson DeBlanc’s Story” — is now available from Pelican Publishing Co. (1-800-843-1724, www.pelicanpub.com) or from amazon.com and other bookstores. It’s an interesting account by the colorful DeBlanc, St. Martin Parish’s only Medal of Honor recipient.
Sister Marcelle is featured as the cover story of the May/June edition of Acadiana Profile magazine with a nice account of how our dad (Blackie) has influenced her cooking and career as an author/raconteur. Book 2 of her two-book set titled “Who’s Your Mama, Are You Catholic and Can You Make A Roux?” has been reissued by Acadian House Publishing (1-800-850-8851, www.acadianhouse.com).
SPAM – I’ve taken some ribbing through the years over the fact that Span luncheon meat is a favorite of mine. For a while my wife refused to buy it, although I’ve finally converted her.
A recent AP article reported that Hormel Foods Corp. has noted a significant increase in Spam sales, attributing much of the surge to the overall rise in grocery prices.
Although much maligned, I’ve long enjoyed Spam. (One Christmas the Teche News staff gave me a SPAM T-shirt and a membership in the SPAM fan club). My preference is to eat slices right out of the can on plain bread with just a slathering of mustard. My father-in-law Lloyd Comeaux used to include a sliced and diced can of Spam in the big egg omelet he’d prepare at his Pecan Island hunting camp. The omelet also included lots of green onions, mushrooms and cheese and was a big favorite for the post-hunt breakfast.
The AP article reported that the price of Spam is also up (nearly 7 percent over the past year), but a 12-ounce can costs only about $2.62. It keeps pretty well in the fridge (and tastes good cold) and I figure I can get at least six sandwiches out of a can so that’s less than 45¢ per sandwich for the meat. Hard to beat for such a tasty treat!
In case you didn’t know ... Spam was “invented” back in 1937 and fed thousands of refugees during WWII. There are now six different varieties of Spam (but I stick with the original).
It lasts almost forever in the unopened can, so it’s a great item to include in your hurricane stash.