Monthly Archives: November 2012

A Query-Letter Failure October 28, 1994

A Query-Letter Failure

October 28, 1994

Mr. Amos Keeto, Editor
Illinois Bankers Association
1313 Mockingbird Lane
Chicago, IL 60606

Dear Mr. Keeto,

For too long the world of fiction has ignored the rich vein of humor to be found in bankers and their mutual funds.

My fictional play, “Let’s Visit Mr. Banker,” illustrates the single-minded advice of a banker who sells mutual funds. For example, if customers ask him about interest rates rising, he advises why they should sell. Similarly, if people question him about interest rates falling, he explains why they should again sell.

I earned a Ph.D. in International Finance from the University of Wisconsin. I base this fiction on my experience with financial experts, especially with those on television.

Please note that there is no need to return the manuscript. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Paul R. De Lancey

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Yetakelt W’et (Spicy Vegetable Stew) From Forthcoming Cookbook

Ethiopian Entree

YETAKELT W’ET
(Spicy vegetable stew)

INGREDIENTS

1 small, or 1/2 big, white onion
1 large ripe red tomato
2 garlic cloves
3 big carrots
1 russet potato
8 ounce bag snow peas
1 tablespoon Berbere spice mix (See recipe for BERBERE SPICE MIX INGREDIENTS, if you can’t find the mix)
1/4 cup Niter Kibbeh (See recipe in this book for this.)
1 tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounce can tomato paste
2 cups vegetable broth

Goes well with injera, Ethiopian flat bread.

PREPARATION

Mince onion and garlic cloves. Dice carrots, potato, and tomato. Cut snow peas into bits 1/2-inch wide. Sauté onion, garlic, Berbere spice, paprika, pepper, and salt in Niter Kibbeh for 2 minutes on medium heat.

Add carrots, potato, and snow peas. Sauté for 10 minutes more. Stir occasionally. Add tomato, tomato paste, and vegetable broth. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to warm and simmer for 15 minutes.

Goes well with Injera (Ethiopian flat bread.) and yogurt. (See something other than fruit goes well with yogurt.)

TIDBITS

1) Yogurt used to be spelled yoghurt.

2) This “h” in the word meant that business and governments had to hire typists, use up more ink, and consume more paper every time they discussed yogurt.

3) Gradually, efficiency experts pressed for well, efficiency, and within decades the “h” was gone from yogurt.

4) Simultaneously, the budgets of nations and corporations around the world dropped by, quite possibly, several millionths of a percent.

5) Our world gets better every day.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Recipe Pictures From Forthcoming Cookbook

From my cookbook.

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Great Things Come In Little Packages

Great Things Come in Little Packages

I

It was a bad day to be a dinosaur. It was a bad day to be a T-Rex. Particularly if your name was Alex and you were the last dinosaur on Earth. Alex glanced at the Sun. Dang, it was hot. Al Gore was right about global warming, at least in a reverse time series sort of way.

Alex raised his claw to wipe the sweat from his eyebrow. Mistake. Being a lizard-or-bird like creature, the scientists are still debating, he didn’t sweat and he didn’t have eyebrows. He did have razor-sharp talons which pierced the skin above his eye. Dang, that hurt. He wished mommy were there to comfort him. But it was probably just as well, seeing how she tried to eat him when he was six-weeks old.

On and on, the last of the T-Rexes trudged. Where to, he could not say. How long, he could not now. He only knew he need food. He needed it fast. Real fast, before this short story ran out of words and he could see by scrolling down it would only be four paragraphs.

He thirsted. Oh, how he thirsted. He thirsted like a shopper at WalMart two minutes before the start of Black Friday sales. On and on, Alex trudged. His breath became more and more labored. He fancied the gentle breeze made rippling patterns on his loose skin.

An oasis appeared on the horizon. He forced his aching legs to give one last effort. Faster and faster, he careened. Then there it was, an oasis with hundreds of hundreds of delicious apatosauri grazing unconcernedly around a pool of life giving water. The cave to the right displayed a big banner, “Get it here, T-Rex big boy.” Alex tried to grin. Couldn’t. Evolution hadn’t given him lips. Be he knew he died and gone to heaven.

Well, he was partly right about that last statement. His last step was off a twenty-foot cliff. The sharp rock at the bottom did nothing to break his fall. Indeed, it shattered his kneecap. (Gosh, I hope for the accuracy of this story, T-Rexes had kneecaps.)

The rock did more than break his kneecap. It destroyed his ability to move. That destroyed his ability to hunt. No hunting. No food. Alex the T-Rex was dying. And he had proto-psoriasis. A bacterium entering the gaping wound in his knee saw to that.

The bacterium flourished in the T-Rex kneecap. One day it split into two. Later it split into four. The grandchild bacteria repeated this cycle of life over and over again. The Earth’s continents shifted. The dinosaur knee cap traveled north, always north until harsh coldness froze the proto-psoriasis colony.

But they did not die. They went dormant and waited, waited for a thaw that would bring them a new host.

II

Little Timmy Tyler didn’t want to be at Dinosaur National Monument. He wanted to be home playing Mario On Steroids alongside his friends. But here he was and it was hot. He wiped sweat from his brow. Did he thank evolution? No. He was too hungry. His stomach rumbled.

“Mom, can we eat soon?”

“No dear, we came all the way out here to find dinosaur bones for Daddy’s museum and we’re not going in until we find one. Have a snack.”

Thank goodness for the Twinkie in his shirt pocket. It was the last Twinkie ever sold on Earth. He’d had to use Tae Kwan Do moves on several people struggling to get it.

Timmy unwrapped the dessert of all desserts and brought it to his eager tasted buds. A glint appeared by his left foot. There was a tiny bone fragment that bore an uncanny resemblance to Justin Bieber’s profile. Timmy picked up the fragment. Millennia upon millennia of erosion had smoothed this fragment everywhere, everywhere but one spot
.
That one sharp spot pricked Timmy’s thumb. A colony of proto-psoriasis woke up, flexed their cilia, and stampeded Timmy’s body. Oh how they would attack him. They had eons of mutations stored up. They headed for the stomach where they would mutate and mutate and eat Timmy from the inside out.

Timmy bit into the Twinkie. His stomach tried valiantly to break down Hostess’s golden snack but failed, failed miserably.

But in failure, there is often victory and so there was now. The stomach’s defeated gastric juices had left behind a goodly pool of nasty chemicals, chemicals that rats and cockroaches normally gave wide berth. But the invading proto-psoriasis having been dormant for sixty-five-millions years knew nothing of this. Indeed, the chemicals smelled like a delicacy to them and they gleefully ingested the toxic poisons and died.

The proto-psoriasis would not infect Timmy. They would not spread to other people. They would not wipe out humanity. And Timmy took another bite of the world’s last Twinkie.

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Picture Of Entrees, Desserts, And Appetizers From My Forthcoming Cookbook

Ice cream soda to lemongrass chicken to niter kibeh to pepper pot.

 

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Recipes from my Forthcoming Cookbook

http://ow.ly/i/1aqFH

Recipes from my forthcoming cookbook.

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Teriyaki Chicken With Rice From Forthcoming Cookbook

Japanese Entree

TERIYAKI CHICKEN WITH RICE

INGREDIENTS

2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons water (3 cups more later)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon Poultry MagicTM spice
3 chicken breasts

1 1/2 cups brown rice
3 cups water
2 yellow bell peppers
2 stalks green onion

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mince garlic cloves. Cut chicken breasts into fourths. Dice yellow peppers and green onion.

Add garlic, water, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, cider vinegar, ginger, and poultry spice. Stir frequently while cooking on medium-high heat until sauce thickens and bubbles. Do not boil.

Pour sauce into baking dish, size 8-inches by 8-inches or greater. Put chicken into pan. Turn the chicken pieces around in the sauce until all sides are coated. Bake the chicken for about an hour or until done.

While chicken is baking, cook rice as directed on the bag of rice, use rice, or cook until rice is tender. Add minced bell peppers and green onion to top of rice.

Put rice mixture in bowl. Add teriyaki chicken and sauce.

TIDBITS

1) Don’t spill cornstarch. That white stuff gets everywhere.

2) “Teri” is Japanese for “luster” coming from the sauce and “yaki” means “grill.”

3) The “Why did the chicken cross the road?” joke came from vaudeville about a hundred years ago.

4) The most prestigious act out of ten vaudeville acts was the ninth.

5) I looked up “Fun facts about soy sauce” on GoogleTM and was given “Fun facts about strippers” as the second entry. I don’t believe I want to know the connection between soy sauce and strippers.

6) Often Chinese greet each other with “Have you had your rice today?” instead of “How are you?” Much nicer than “How’s it hanging?” don’t you think?

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicken Cordon Bleu

French Entree

CHICKEN CORDON BLEU

INGREDIENTS

6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
6 slices cooked ham
4 slices Swiss cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon Poultry MagicTM poultry spice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup sour cream
1 10.5 ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 teaspoon lime juice

UTENSILS

meat mallet
toothpicks
kitchen scissors

PREPARATION OF CHICKEN ROLLS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. (191 degrees Celsius, 464 Kelvin.) Use this time to attack the chicken breasts. Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise.

(This is an easy task if you have kitchen scissors. They sound just like scissors do when you cut hair. Indeed, given the nature of your cutting, you might find yourself thinking of yourself as Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber. I’d recommend, however, keeping such thoughts to yourself, particularly when dining with your boss or a financee.)

Now you must flatten those chicken halves. Put each half under a plastic sheet and pound. Flatten the chicken breast halves until they are 1/8-inch thick. Use gusto. This job is immeasurably easier with a meat mallet. I heartily recommend buying just for this dish.

(If however, you wish to be contrary, there are few alternatives: the hammer, the brick, and a big can of beans. BUT it will take longer and cause any in the room to doubt your sanity for all time.)

Meanwhile back at the kitchen, cut the Swiss cheese slices in two, lengthwise. Put them on the chicken breasts. Put a ham slice, which should be no larger than the breast half, on top of that. Roll up each chicken breast from the bottom and fasten with toothpicks.

(Fret not if you don’t have toothpicks. Simply, while no one else is looking, snip off the flammable tips of the longest matchsticks you can find. Dispose carefully of the flammable and keep quiet about the whole affair. Remember, your guests have already seen you with a mallet, a hammer, and kitchen scissors. Oh and it should go without saying, never serve this to a vegetarian.)

Put rolled up chicken in a baking dish. Melt butter in pan on medium high heat. Pour butter over rolled up chicken. Sprinkle poultry spice, nutmeg, pepper, and thyme over chicken.

Put in oven for about 40 minutes or chicken is golden brown and juices on pan are clear.

PREPARATION OF SAUCE

Combine in saucepan condensed chicken soup, sour cream, and lime juice. (If a French tut tuts over you using condensed soup, look him in the eye and say, “But of course, it is gourmet condensed chicken soup. Sacré bleu.”) Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally. Serve over hot chicken rolls.

This dish is so wonderful. Be sure to give lots of credit and thanks to anyone who helps clean up.

TIDBITS

1) Between 1796 and 1815, British seamen drank 1.6 million gallons of lime juice to combat scurvy.

2) They were fighting my great, great, great grandfather Napoleon.

3) While I deplore Napoleon’s twenty years of nearly continuous warfare, I do applaud how he revolutionized humanity’s view of the healing properties of citrus.

4) The Spanish conquerors brought death by the hundreds of thousands through war and disease to the New World.

5) However, they also brought the lime with them as well. And the lime is indeed high in vitamin C. Vitamin C promotes health.

6) So the next time you’re tempted to put down some bloodthirsty conqueror, pause a bit and inquire if he didn’t perchance also bring something healthful to the conquered regions.

7) I mean we all have our bad points and good points, don’t we?

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, food, history, humor, international, recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hawaiian Pineapple Roll

Hawaiian Dessert

HAWAIIAN PINEAPPLE ROLL

INGREDIENTS

3 cups pineapple pieces
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon butter
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar (1/3 cup more later)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

4 egg whites
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 flour (sifted is preferred)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

confectionary sugar
whipped cream

PREPARATION

MAKE SURE all the juice is drained away from the pineapple. All! If you put juice in this recipe, your Hawaiian log will be a Hawaiian crumble.

Cover baking pan with pineapple pieces. Sprinkle brown sugar over pineapple. Spread peanut butter as evenly as you can over sugar and pineapple. Crumble the butter into bits and scatter them over the top.

Separate egg yolks from egg whites. You can do this by partially cracking the egg shell and letting the white drain out or let the entire inside come out and gently fish out the yolk with a spoon. Don’t even think about removing the yolk with a fork.

Beat the egg yolks with whisk until they thicken. Mix in vanilla and 1/4 cup sugar

Beat egg whites until surface gets lumpy. Mix in 1/3 cup sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt until thoroughly blended

Add the egg-yolk mixture to the egg-white blend and stir, stir, stir. Your wrist should be getting quite a workout at this point. Spread this combination over the pineapple and brown sugar in the baking pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. Loosen edges and turn over baking pan over large plate liberally sprinkled with confectionary sugar. Let stand for at least 5 minutes before rolling. After that, let it stand for an additional 10 minutes or until cool. Place pineapple roll on plate

Alternatively, if you are fortunate enough to possess a towel do the following instead of the instructions in the above paragraph. Sprinkle tea towel with confectionary sugar. Turn the baking pan upside down of the towel and let the cooked pineapple mixture fall onto the towel. Roll up the pineapple mixture as you roll up the towel. Let sit for 10 minutes or until cool. Unroll towel. Place resulting pineapple roll on plate.

Cover with whipped cream. This step is critical. It makes your dish taste better. The layer of whipped cream over the roll hides any mistakes in the Hawaiian roll. Did your carefully crafted roll fall apart when transferring it to the serving dish? Don’t worry, with enough whipped cream no one will ever know.

TIDBITS

1) Vanilla has alcohol in it. People craving alcohol bought lots of vanilla for “cooking.”

2) Captain Cook discovered Hawaii in 1778. He named them the “Sandwich” Islands. I love that name.

3) The Hawaiians killed Cook on his third Pacific voyage in 1779. It remains doubtful that he ever even tasted a Hawaiian pineapple roll before his death.

4) The British flag is part of the Hawaiian flag.

5) The Japanese precipitated America’s entry into World War II with their surprise attack on the American Pacific Fleet at Honolulu. Their attack was provoked, in part, by America’s embargo of oil and metals to Japan. It is believed that Hawaiian Pineapple Rolls were not part of the embargo.

6) On the other hand, you need a sifter to sift flour. Sifting flour has been out of fashion for decades. If you don’t have a sifter, use your food processor and “chop” or “mince” it.

7) A food processor does wonderful work crushing and crumbling solidified brown-sugar blocks. Just be prepared for a brown-sugar cloud near the processor. If our weather reports could only be, “sunny with patches of brown-sugar clouds.”

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, food, history, humor, international, recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beef Enchiladas

Mexican Entree

BEEF ENCHILADAS

SAUCE INGREDIENTS

1 fresh green chile
2 teaspoons fresh cilantro (4 tablespoons more later)
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil (1/2 tablespoon more later)
1 16 ounce can enchilada sauce-red
1 14.5 ounce can Mexican-style diced tomatoes.
4 tablespoons parsley
1/2 tablespoon basil

FILLINGS INGREDIENTS

1 jalapeno pepper
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pound ground beef
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
5 ounces Cotija cheese
1 1/4 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

OTHER INGREDIENTS

12 corn tortillas (You might want more in case some fall apart)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
no-stick cooking spray

You might need two baking dishes

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use no-stick cooking spray on baking dish.

PREPARATION OF SAUCE

Remove seeds from green chile. Dice green chile and 2 teaspoons cilantro. Add green chile and vegetable oil to saucepan. Sauté at medium heat for 5 minutes or until green chile is soft. Add red enchilada sauce, diced tomatoes, cilantro, parsley, and basil. Simmer on warm heat and stir for 5 minutes. Set aside.

PREPARATION OF FILLING

Remove seeds from jalapeno. Dice jalapeno pepper, onion garlic cloves, and 4 tablespoons cilantro. Combine jalapeno, onion, garlic, and cilantro by hand with ground beef, and cumin. Cook and stir pepper/onion/beef mixture on medium-to-high heat until beef turns color. Add Cotija and Monterey Jack cheese. Cook until cheeses melt.

PREPARATION OF TORTILLAS

Heat the tortillas for about 20 seconds in a microwave to make them easier to roll. Pour enough oil to cover just the bottom of the saucepan. Put the pan on the BACK BURNER. USING TONGS, dip one tortilla at a time quickly in the hot oil. If the tortilla spends too much time in the oil or if you take too long to put it on a plate, the oil-dripping tortilla will fall apart; have extras until you get the hang of it.

(Try to keep up with the cleaning as you prepare the food lest your guests call the bomb squad upon arrival. Being a suspected terrorist is a true resume stain.)

FINAL PREPARATION

Add about 1/12 of the fillings’ ingredients. Roll each tortilla and put it against the side of the baking dish or as close to another rolled tortilla as possible.

Pour the sauce evenly over the tortillas. Sprinkle any remaining ingredients on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until any cheese on top bubbles.

TIDBITS

1) I have been assuming that people’s stoves measure temperature in Fahrenheit. If your stove’s temperature dial is in Kelvin, then please use the following conversion. K = (5/9)*F + 256, where K is temperature in Kelvin and F is in Fahrenheit.

2) Some people assume that enchiladas only have cheese in them. So it’s a good idea to tell people this dish has meat in it, particularly if you think they might be vegetarian.

3) Mexican cuisine is quite friendly to vegetarians.

4) A distant relative of mine, Emperor Napoleon III of France, tried to conquer Mexico in the 1860s. I had nothing to do with this venture. I wasn’t even born.

5) The price of tortillas is regulated in Mexico. The price of bread is regulated in France. The French authorities still greatly fear riots and revolutions arising from rapid increases in the price of bread. Presumably, the Mexican government feels the same way and if it ever asks me to the Presidential Palace for dinner, I will ask about this.

6) If the Mexican president ever asks me over for dinner, I shall return the favor and ask him over to my home in Poway for some really good eats.

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World is available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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