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Columnist: Baked cabbage steak and “Quixie” cash

I have stumbled across something! Something big! I’m excited for myself, and I’m excited for LDN readers. I want to share the knowledge of this item and how to make it appear in your home!

Now, people who have been cooking for a long time, or people who have already tried this culinary goodness will already know what I’m talking about.

I am not a food critic and I don’t play one in the newspaper, but my taste buds have instincts. Keen instincts. Even before experiencing the tasty goodness of this calorie-friendly food item, my taste buds can sense a winner! A round one draft choice! An “A-Teamer”!

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to “Baked Cabbage Steak”!! Full disclosure: My taste buds have not yet had cause for a culinary celebration.

The reason I am so excited about this magical discovery is a combination of the list of ingredients and the fact that it’s baked. My culinary advisor, Polly Wantsacracker, agrees.

Baked cabbage steak

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, wash and remove outer leaves, trim stem off, cut 1 to 1 1/2 inch steaks, brush both sides with olive oil, garlic salt and pepper both sides; bake 30 to 40 minutes. (Ely Farmers Market, Ely Minnesota)

Update! I have experienced baked cabbage steak! I have prepared it.

It is everything I thought it would be. It is tasty and calorie friendly.

Let me know how you like it.

“Quixie” cash and other prank calls

The ’60s era was perfect for me! Almost as if it was custom made. I was young and, at least in my mind, there was excitement in the air. Part of that excitement was obviously due to the fact that I was young.

What I refer to as “The spirit of LaGrange” was all around me. And I embraced it.

My Dad was transferred from the GMAC office in Columbus, to the GMAC office in LaGrange in 1957. New city, new street, new home. The new home had a basement, which was cool, even in the summer. It was unfinished, but it provided plenty of room for ping pong. And, it had a fireplace and a phone. I was 11 years old.

In my high school years, the basement phone would provide privacy, so I could sit for an extended period of time while gathering the courage to ask a girl out for a date. Folks, it was torture! Do you realize how hard it is to sound calm while hyperventilating?!

I would find another use for the phone in the basement.

WQXI Radio “Quixie” in Atlanta was very popular among the teens. It was a “top 40” station located at 790 on the AM dial.

The afternoon announcer was Pat Hughes. He called himself Patrick “Aloysius” Hughes.

You might remember Tony “The Tiger” Taylor and Jack Hurst who did “Quixie” sports. His famous line was “Keep your eye on the ball.”

Now, back to that basement phone.

Enter Richie Mahaffey and Gary Webb. Exit, my parents. Put that together with the fact there were three phones in my Gordon Circle home. Apply the mischief factor.

The Dictionary.com definition of the word “Mischief” is: “Conduct or activity that playfully causes petty annoyance.”

At LaGrange High School the way the teachers viewed my youthful attempt to make people laugh fell across gender lines. The male teachers showed more patience.

I can imagine the female teachers having group therapy sessions in the teacher’s lounge involving prayer, temper tantrums, hugs and late night phone calls for support.

I can honestly say I never, ever talked back to a teacher. I never, ever meant any disrespect. I was the class clown and all I ever wanted was a laugh. I freely admit I overdid it.

Now, the phone fun in those golden days of yesteryear — before “caller I.D.”

Three guys, three phones, a prank idea and alias “Patrick Aloysius Hughes” is looking to give away some “Quixie” cash!

Let the giggling begin!

Ring.

Homeowner: “Hello”

Alias Pat Hughes: (In my best radio voice): “Hi, this is Pat Hughes from WQXI Radio in Atlanta. We’re giving away $79 in Quixie cash if can talk about a worm for 60 seconds.

Homeowner: “OK”

Alias Pat Hughes: “Alright, begin.”

Homeowner: “The worm. The old hairy worm …” (Actual beginning of a homeowner’s response.

A separate beginning to a prank call:

Alias Pat Hughes: “Hi, This is Pat Hughes from WQXI Radio in Atlanta. We’re giving away $79 in Quixie cash if you can talk about the sky for 60 seconds.

Homeowner: “The sky is blue. it is a beautiful sky …” (Actual beginning to a homeowner’s response)

Just one example of our youth, the fun and the memories.

I will always have my memories from 30240.

The closest I ever came up to fulfilling my dream of being employed by “Quixie” was contributing my “phone-in characters” to the “Gary McKee Morning Show” on a regular basis from 1973 to 1979.

The characters included “The Reverend Billy Grahamcracker,” “Little Jimmy Carter,” “Henry Kissinger” and a Paul Lynde sounding character who Gary referred to as “Nasal Person.”

Love life, friends, family and memories.

Eat your cabbage and keep your eye on the ball.

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Rich Simpson

Contributing columnist

Rich Simpson is a former LaGrange resident and a LaGrange High graduate who worked 42 years in radio. He may be reached at rwsimpson4@gmail.com.