Il Pomodoro Wins Tutta Italia Soccer Title; Opponents Cry Foul

Cesare “Instant Death” Borgia, tenacious defender

Italian soccer fans still buzz about the tiny, virtually unknown, Il Pomodoro club winning the prestigious Tutta Italia Championship.  Pomodoro took a 1-0 leader just 33 seconds into its first-round game when striker Piero Albrizzi headed the ball into the opponents goal.

The opposing club, SSC Napoli, shrugged. So Albrizzi scored a goal. Big Deal. Everyone knew he could score. But the club was also aware, as were all soccer teams, that Il Pomodoro was just plain horrible on defense. A 9-1 defeat proved to be all too frequent for the Il Pomodro Tomatoes, whose motto is “Ci proviamo duro” or “We try hard.”

Then coach Vicenzo de’ Medici unleashed his secret weapon. As soon as his team got the ball, he called time out and substituted rattlesnakes for all his players. Alberto Pazzi, knowing the extreme slowness of rattlesnakes, ran to take the ball away from rattler Cesare Borgia. While rattlesnakes move slowly across football fields, they strike like lighting. And so, Borgia sunk his fangs into Pazzi. Pazzi sunk poisoned to the ground. Naturally, none  of the SSC Napoli players felt like approaching Pomodoro’s rattlers after that. Il Pomodoro simply ran out the clock and won 1-0.

The next three rounds against Juventus, Atalanta, and Inter Milan followed the same script. Super fast Albrizzi would score an early goal and then on came the rattlesnakes. Every game ended with a Pomodoro victory of 1 – 0.  The 74,223-to-1 underdog was now soccer-mad Italy’s top dog.

The grumbling about using snake as soccer players continue. As of press time, Italy’s Soccer Federation, is seriously considering banning the use of non-human players. If the Federation fails to prohibit animals, look for the introduction of black bears, tigers, and pumas into the game. We live in exciting times.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Two Barriers Broken In the NFL

The kickers’ nightmare

Today, two barriers fell in the National Football League. For a scant ten minutes ago, Carl La Fong, press secretary for the hapless New York Giants, announced they had just signed LeChat to a three-year, $32.1 million contract.

When asked why the Giants spent so much on an unknown player, La Fong blurted out, “The Bears do the same thing with quarterbacks.”

Almost as an afterthought, La Fong said, “Ms. LeChat is also a kitten.”

It took minutes for the uproar to die down. Finally Amos Keeto of the Salem Sentinel said, “Why on Earth, would you sign a cat?”

LaFong shrugged. “We’re the Giants.”

“Where will the cat play?” asked Keeto.

“Kitten.”

“Excuse me, kitten. Where will the kitten play?”

“On defense, specifically on punts and field-goal attempts. That kitten has a leap and a stretch that you won’t believe. Oh, and LeChat is female. Her name’s Yvette LeChat.”

“About time,” muttered Juana Danz of Glass Ceiling Magazine.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Carl La Fong, sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shiro (Spicy Ground Chickpea Stew)

Eritrean Entree

SHIRO
(Spicy Ground Chickpea Stew)

INGREDIENTS

1 jalapeno
5 garlic cloves
1 large onion
1 large tomato
⅓ cup vegetable oil
3 cups water
2 tablespoons Berbere spice*
¾ cup chickpea or garbanzo flour*
1 teaspoon salt

Serves 4. Takes 50 minutes.

* = Can be found in Middle Easter or African supermarkets or online.

PREPARATION

Seed jalapeno. Slice jalapeno into small circles. Mince garlic cloves and onion. Dice tomato. Cook onion at medium-high heat for 4 minutes or until it turns brown. Stir frequently. Add oil. Sauté for 2 minutes at medium heat. Stir frequently. Add garlic and tomato. Sauté at medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir frequently.

Add water. Bring to boil. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low. Add Berbere spice. Add chickpea flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir with whisk after each tablespoon until lumps disappear. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes or until stew reaches your desired level of thickness. Add jalapeno circles and salt. Stir until well blended.

TIDBITS

1) About 6,000 years ago, people everywhere grew terrified over solar eclipses. These eclipses meant that the moon god was eating the sun god. If the sun god got devoured, we’d have perpetual darkness. Crops wouldn’t grow in the perpetual gloom. It was all quite distressing.

2) 500 years later, Chief La Fong of the Rohohoe tribe was contemplating the infinite while eating Shiro in a bowl exactly like the one above. Amazing coincidence, isn’t it? Anyway, he noted that while he couldn’t see the bottom of the bowl, it was still there. Shiro had merely come between his eyes and the bottom of the bowl. La Fong then embarked on a campaign of conquest by invading during solar eclipses. He’d simply told the invaded tribe to surrender and he’d make the Moon give back the Sun. How do we know this? Culinary archeologists have decoded the Rohohoe alphabet, which was based on dried out doughnuts. We don’t have the doughnuts anymore. Someone dropped a safe on them. Ironically, the safe was meant to preserve the doughnuts. Oh well.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Things That Make Me Happy – Tulip Fields

A tulip field is not as spectacular as Mt. Everest, but it has so many beautiful colors while that tall mountain limits itself to white, light gray, and dark gray. (If you want to see 50 shades of gray without the kinky stuff, go to the Himalayas.)

Oh, the temperatures around tulip fields are quite often much higher than on Mt. Everest. They’re safer, too.

Thanks be to God for the beautiful tulip. Thanks be to the workers who plant and tend to the tulips. Thank you, dear reader, for reading my blogs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fun Festivals – World Bog Snorkeling Championships

Are you tired of flying halfway across the world only to see the same exotic fish? And then the fish are hard to spot because they’ve been frightened and found hiding places. Why are the fish hiding? Because billions and billions snorkeling enthusiasts have inundated the reef. What two-inch fish wouldn’t be scared off by 200-pound oafs thrashing about my home? I would be too.

Face it, any place to snorkel that is infested by human leviathans is better than any spot with brilliantly colored fish. Where is this place you wonder? I am glad you asked.

Make your way to the World Bog Snokeling Championships in LLanwrtyd, Wales in August. Sure you could snorkel LLanwrtyd’s bog in other months when there would be even fewer people around. But what if you’re bursting with competitive spirit? Then you really must go for the championships. Trust me, they’re still won’t be many fellow snorkelers around. And you can be darned sure they won’t be scaring off any beautiful, tropical fish.

People come from all over the world to race 120-yards through a peat bog. Is it difficult? Dunno. But it is only 120 yards long. Many find the competition to be intense. People root on their favorite snorkelers. They might even bet on it, though not as yet over the internet.

Are there rules? Yes. Are they necessary? Yes. Are they boring? Again yes.

But if you’re an ironman, if you’re a triathlete, you simply must enter in the Bog Snorkeling Championships. It consists of an 8-mile run, a 12-mile Mountain Bike ride, and a 60-yard bog snorkel.
There’s lots of fun for the spectators as well. Graze and quaff your way through the food and drink stands. Work your way to the ale and cider bar. Listen to live music as your kids stampede the bouncy castle.  The festival encourages fancy dress. I have to believe , however, this request applies only to the spectators and not to the bog snorkelers.  Don’t put off making your travel plans. People are already booking hotels and BnBs. Try to get a place with nice, hot showers.
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Gain prestige. Enter the contest. Make your travel plans. Do it now.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

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Cranberry Sauce

Bosnian Appetizer

CRANBERRY SAUCE

INGREDIENTS

1⅓ cups sugar
¾ cup water
½ cup orange juice
1 pound cranberries

Makes 3¼ cups. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add sugar, orange juice, and water to pot. Simmer at low-medium heat for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves completely. Stir frequently. Add cranberries. Cook at medium heat for 15 minutes or until cranberries crack open and sauce is dark and thick. Remove sauce from heat.(Sauce should thicken more as it cools.) Cool in refrigerator for 1 hour or until ready. Goes well on poultry, pork, beef, and fish.

TIDBITS

1) Cranberries are good for you in all sorts of ways. I forget some of them. Apparently, cranberries don’t help the memory much.

2) The Picts and Celts in Ancient Britain were fierce warriors. They got their energy and stamina from eating cranberries. If the these ancient fighters ate too many cranberries they got tummy aches. They also found oodles and oodles of excess energy coursing through their veins. They became too hot. The Picts and Celts had to let some of their escape or they’d collapse.

3) So the first Britons took off all their clothes to cool off. Being nude, they painted their bodies blue for modesty’s sake. Then they charged the opposing army with a ferocity that’s never again been equaled.

4) But they didn’t wear hats or paint their heads. The skin on their heads turned red under the hot unforgiving sun. The invading Romans their skulls, crania, looked as red as the cranberry that the natives ate. So, the Romans called this red berry, the cranberry.

5) I almost forgot, a Roman chef, Quintus Cato, looked at the cranberry sauce in his mason jar and thought, “The mason jar is much taller than it’s wide. Is it possible to build like that as well?” He wrote of this idea to his pal, Emperor Vespasian of Rome. The energetic Emperor immediately ordered construction of the Colosseum, so named because it’s colossal in size. Now you know

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fun Festivals – The International Witches Fair

 

Such fun

Is Halloween your favorite holiday of the year? Did you or your mom spend days making a truly scary costume? Do you want another such day? Each and every year?

Then go to the Witchcraft and the Trasmoz’s Curse Fair. Other towns have their own witch fairs. But do not go to them! Do not accept substitutes. The first and still the best such fair is the one in Trasmoz, Spain. This fair is the one that truly deserves to be called, The International Witches Fair.

This fair takes places every first weekend in July and is just the thing for people who prefer to watch movies about witch burning over roasting marshmallow over an open fire.

This fair is such fun. Watch reenactors capture witches and heretics. Watch the lost souls get tried. Be enthralled by their torture. Be entranced by lovingly recreated witches’s covens. Honestly, is anything near your home that can rival this? I think not.

But wait! There’s more. Listen to the excommunication of the entire town. Puts your “Damn you, (your enemy)” to shame doesn’t it?

Watch as Pope Julius II curses the entire village.

But you can’t see the reenactment of the lifting of the excommunication and cursing. They never happened. The town is still excommunicated and cursed. Can New York City, London, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, or Bora Bora can say that? No they can’t, only Trasmoz, Spain.

Wait! There’s more.

The festival sports an authentic medieval market place and medieval camp. There are parades, magic shows, musical shows, and medieval combat. You’ll want to go year after year just to see everything.

But wait! There’s more.

Learn about medieval plants. Perhaps you’ll want to learn how to poison someone. It’s okay, it’s okay, all medieval poisons were organic. Or maybe you’ll want to heal people with medieval medicinal plants. To each his own.

But wait! There’s still more. Absorb the town’s rather exciting history as you wander around.

The history

During the 1100s, the town of Trasmoz  clashed with the nearby Veruela Monastery over firewood and pastures. Such disputes were normally decided by lawsuits or mediation by a higher lord or church official. Such a process proved unsatisfactory to the Monastery’s abbot. He excommunicated the entire town saying that witches and covens were running amok. Excommunication was an unambiguously horrible thing to happen to you in the Middle Ages. However, while bad for the town, excommunication is now an annual economic boon for Trasmoz, a town vying with other village for the tourist Euro.

In 1511, the lord of the town and Abbot Pedro Ximénez de Urrea quarreled. Perhaps the lord would point at the abbot and say, “Look, there goes urea breath.” Who can say? But we do know that the abbott complained to the higher ups. Eventually Pope Julius II cursed the entire town.

Some think the curse came about due to counterfeiting. Local counterfeiters didn’t want visitors poking their noses into this illegal activity. So the law breakers told the abbot stories of wickedness and the rest is history.

The excommunication and curse have never been lifted. Only the pope can do that. It’s something to think about should you ever ponder settling in Trasmoz.

So enjoy the history, the torture, and the food. Go to the International Witches Fair. Make your bookings now. It’s fun for the entire family.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: fun festivals | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Modern Day Wise Words – Part Two

On the 19th, I published all sorts of saying and wisdom from my wise readers and Facebook friends. I thought they had neatly encapsulated all the wisdom in the world. I was wrong. It turns out that the world is positively brimming with wisdom it wants to share with us. And here it is, “Modern Day Wise Words – Part Two.”

Don’t let sleeping dogs lie. Wake them up and make them tell the truth. – Amy Gettinger
A watched pot is a helicopter-parented pot. – Amy Gettinger
Two stitches in time save 18. You really can’t stitch time enough. – Paul De Lancey
The highest flag catches the most wind. – Peter Dudley
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Be wary of strangers who don’t wear masks. – Cynthia Bronco
I know I know it but I don’t know how. – 
D Lynn Frazier
Regarding my ma with dementia: every moment is a new day. – D Lynn Frazier
When you come to a fork in the road, take a knife –
Shirley Wetzel
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Shirley, it’s a fork because there is no spoon – Nancy Fairweather
A cookie in each palm is better than a burger in the bush. -Liz Husebye Hartmann
Don’t count your chickens before they’re stashed. – Liz Husebye Hartmann
Hockey sticks make lousy toothpicks. – Liz Husebye Hartmann
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“Shouldn’t you be writing?” – Nancy Fairweather
Never stop learning, never stop growing. – Suz De Mello

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

 

Categories: wise words | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Halwa

Omani Dessert

HALWA

INGREDIENTS

¾ cup corn flour or tapioca flour
1 cup water
2 tablespoons ghee (2 more tablespoons later)
6 tablespoons chopped almonds or cashews or combination
1¾ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon rose water
8 saffron threads
1¾ cups water
¾ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (¼ teaspoon more later)
½ tablespoon ghee
¼ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

8″ x 8″ casserole dish

Serves 12. Takes 30 minutes if served warm or 1 hour if served cool.

PREPARATION

Add flour to mixing bowl. Gradually add 1 cup water, blending all the time. Add 2 tablespoons ghee, and almonds to pan. Sauté at medium-high for 3 minutes or until nuts start to brown. Stir frequently. Drain. Set aside.

Add sugar, cardamom, nutmeg, rose water, saffron, and 1¾ cups water to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Boil for 5 minutes until sugar completely dissolves. Stir slowly and just enough to prevent burning. Reduce heat to low. Stir gently and constantly as you add in the flour/water mix. Let simmer until mixture thickens as starts to pull away from the sides of the pot. Fold in sautéed almonds and ¾ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds.

Grease casserole dish with ½ tablespoon ghee. Gently pour the setting mixture into casserole dish. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds. Serve warm into cups or let cool until it sets.

TIDBITS

1) Halwa can remain on the kitchen table. It can also fly up to the ceiling. This is because it can, locally, turn the Earth’s gravitational field on and off. NASA is studying halwa intensively.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fantastic Pizza at Carl La Fong’s Italian Pizzeria

Quick, what are the most beloved foods in America?

Why, they’re pizzas, tacos, and hamburgers.

What’s the only thing wrong with pizzas, tacos, and hamburgers?

You can’t have them all in one entree. If only there were an authentic Italian Pizzeria that had taco and hamburger toppings. Not just some hamburger meat, taco meat, some onions, cheese, and Mexican spices. No! We all want, we all crave, a pizza topped with entire tacos and entire hamburgers. But where, oh where, is their such a culinary heaven?

This dining bliss is found at Carl La Fong’s Italian Pizzeria. Order the Mammoth Pepperoni Taco Hamburger pizza. After just one slice you will be the happiest you’ve ever been while dining. So go down the Carl La Fong’s Italian Pizzeria. You’ll never want to dine anywhere else ever again.

The 32″ Mammoth Pepperoni Taco Hamburger Pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Carl La Fong, cuisine, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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