Fairy Tails

Fairy Tales Tails can come true. It can happen to you.

Are you old enough to remember Jimmy Durante? When I think of those song lyrics from “Young at Heart,” I don’t think of Frank Sinatra, who made them famous. I think of Durante, singing in his gravelly voice.

We’re just back from visiting our 92-year-old friend, Katie, in Baton Rouge. She is definitely young at heart – and awesome. We’ll have more food details about the trip at a later date, but suffice it to say, it was great to introduce our grandsons, ages 20 and 17, to the home and culture where their mama grew up (though they may have been more delighted by their side trip to New Orleans!).

Today our neighbor Deb is our guest blogger. She has a fairy tale tail to share with you, made all the more appropriate because we have tended to overdo dogs (Wynn, specifically) in our blog. Cats have taken the back burner – and they shouldn’t – especially one with a hint of Siamese. So here is the Story of Lumi, as written by Deb; it’s a great and happy one, sure to make you smile.

I have wanted a cat for about 3 years now.  My husband, who loves cats, didn’t want more dependents, but I needed a cat.

Lumi’s journey began in Texas.  Via two friends, he joined our family on November 30th, but let’s retrace the time before.  

Lois was visiting her two adult daughters in Texas over Thanksgiving.  When coming out of a restaurant in San Antonio, it was evening, dark, cold and raining, but there in the parking lot, was a young kitten.  He seemed to be asking each patron as they left with his “meow, meow, meow will you take me home”????  They scanned the parking lot to try and understand his origin, but all they saw were warehouses, business buildings and the question was, where did he come from?  He was persistent in his need, so they scooped him up, took him home, and gave him a bath.  The next day, they posted on Facebook his picture, the location where he was found and contact information.  They also sought out an animal rescue facility, in hopes of placing him, so he would have a future, but they were told him “we will take him, but would put him down”, so they then went to Austin, where the other daughter lived.  Again they sought out a shelter, but they were told “we will take him, but we will just turn him back out” (he wasn’t neutered, so they would probably neuter him and then release???)  Because neither option was a viable option for any of them, nor could either daughter take another pet, Lois paid to have this kitten fly back with her to California in a soft carrier, under the seat in front of her!

Upon her return to Sonoma, Lois knew she had too many animals to keep him, so she reached out to her good friend Pamela, who knew I was looking for a cat.  We met outside at a coffee shop, off a busy highway, for our first meeting.  There he was this lovely creamed colored, small cat with light orange ears and tufts, and a light orange banded tail and BIG blue eyes staring calmly back at me.  He was stretched out in the cat carrier with no concerns, rubbing his check on the nylon mesh, and just looking around; it took me seconds to decide, he just seemed so grateful!!

Lumi hanging out in Glen Ellen

I think it maybe took a week for my husband to say how happy he was we had a cat, and what a GREAT cat this one was.  It took us a while to name him, but after multiple trials and looking up things we settled on Lumi, which means “white in Finnish”.  

Lumi and Randall hanging out in Glen Ellen

Lumi is a grateful cat.  He asks for hugs after he wakes up from his naps.  He loves to rub on your face and wrap his soft paws around your neck and on your face.  He plays chase with our 15 year old Chihuahua/terrier mix, Randall, and is so lively and curious.  We are smitten!

So that’s Lumi’s Fairy Tail.

In his honor we have the perfect recipe, combining our trip to Baton Rouge and Lumi. After all, who can go to Louisiana without seeking out the perfect…you guessed it…CATFISH.

Nicely-browned Oven-fried Catfish

Oven-fried Catfish

IMHO catfish will always be best if it’s pan-fried, but I detest pan-frying.  This recipe doesn’t replicate pan-fried catfish, but it’s a good back-up – if a clean stove top and healthy-eating are high on your recipe requirements.

  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs catfish filets
  • 1 c buttermilk (milk can be substituted)
  • 3/4 c fine cornmeal
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tsp Diamond kosher salt
  • 2 T oil to coat the pan

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Cut each filet into 8 pieces; soak the pieces in buttermilk for 1/2 hour or so.

Stir together the cornmeal, flour, garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, cayenne, and salt.

Remove the pieces of catfish from the buttermilk, shaking off the excess, then dredge in the cornmeal mixture. If you have time, place the catfish on a wire rack at room temperature and let them dry out for 1/2 hr or so.

About 10 minutes before you’re ready to bake the catfish, spread the oil on the baking sheet and place the sheet in the oven to preheat.

When you’re ready to bake the catfish, brush or spray the top of each catfish piece liberally with oil.  Put the catfish on the preheated pan (being careful not to burn yourself) and place in the oven; bake for 15-20 minutes, depending upon the size of the filet pieces. The filets should be golden brown.  Remove pieces, using a spatula. 

Serve immediately with the Louisiana Tartar Sauce.

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.

Louisiana Tartar Sauce

This is great on PoBoys, with catfish, and on fish tacos. Be sure to double or triple the recipe if you’re feeding more than 2 or 3.

  • 1/2 c mayonnaise
  • 1 T sweet pickle relish (dill relish works too)
  • 1 tsp mustard (Creole preferred but not obligatory)
  • 1 T minced onion
  • 1 T capers, chopped
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Tony’s Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (always have it on hand!)
  •  a dash of Tabasco hot sauce (optional)

Mix all ingredients well.

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.


  1. Robert Briggs Carleton says:

    Catfish looks great… recipe is a keeper for sure. The tartar sauce is a wonderful improvement on most of the commercial stuff (like Kraft). Might substitute a bit of Hatch chili for some of the other spices. Sounds as though you had a great trip!


    • theRaggedys says:

      Andy here: thanks for the comment. Doing the catfish in the oven is certainly a plus when it comes to cleanup time (which is my job around here) and the tartar sauce is definitely a notch or two above the “commercial stuff.” Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.


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