Monthly Archives: August 2013

James McShane: A Winner of The Darwin Murders Literary Event

In The  Darwin Murders Literary Event, I am pleased to announce winner number two of two. Please join with me in congratulating James for his submission: The Television Licence Inspector.

james

James McShane

The Television Licence Inspector

It was the last time he would ever come to my door, the last time he’d make my life a misery. Don’t get me wrong, he had a job to do, but he didn’t have to make it personal; he didn’t have to push me as far as he did.

I knew he’d be around on Friday. He made it a habit to make sure I was his last call of the week, letting me know he’d be thinking about how much he was going to make the following week a misery for me. I couldn’t take it anymore – something had to give.

So that fateful Friday, after much planning, I admitted to him that yes, I did indeed have a television licence, and would he like to come and see it? He didn’t know what to say, the poor chap, and when I offered him a cup of Earl Grey tea, the bottom nearly fell out of his world. He sat at my table, taking sip after sip of bergamot flavoured tea, while I rooted through my drawer looking for a television licence that didn’t exist.

The poison took full effect within two minutes. I watched the poor bastard struggle to breathe, spluttering tea all over my nice Ikea table. I saw the hopelessness in his eyes as at last he understood why I did what I did. Why pay a television licence when there’s never really anything on to watch? It’s enough to drive a man to murder.

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James McShane is a writer from Dublin, Ireland. Struggling to write and complete his first novel, he spends much of his time on Facebook.

 

Paul R. De Lancey

www.lordsoffun.com

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Deborah K. Mason: A Winner of The Darwin Murders Literary Event

In The  Darwin Murders Literary Event, I am pleased to announce winner number one of two. Please join with me in congratulating Deborah for her submission; A Crushing Weight.

mason

Deborah K. Mason

A Crushing Weight

She was waiting when he finally arrived home, always waiting. A blubbery mass of human flesh. That was how he thought of Maude nowadays. However, tonight there was something different about her. Not that he paid much attention to her lately. Peggy at the local diner he paid plenty of attention to, along with numerous other women. All thin, unlike big Maude. Standing there naked smiling at him.

She wordlessly took his hand leading him to the bedroom they hadn’t shared in years. Her grip on his hand was strong. Her hair hung loose, makeup flawless. In the candle lit bedroom he saw the woman he married. A beautiful shrewd woman, foundation of his real estate empire. A passionate woman, until illness caused her to balloon in size.

They were the most hated couple in Cedar Woods, snapping up property, tossing folks into the streets. Maude was the brains behind their legal and illegal operation. The reason he didn’t divorce her despite his aversion to her weight. Maude captured his attention as she laid him on the bed, music softly playing. She danced as she removed his clothes. A fire started deep in his loins. Maude was a vixen, a Jezebel. Teasing him until he was naked.

Relax.” She whispered. Liquid heat raced through his body. Maude mounted him, her weight bore down until he passed out.

After the funeral Maude kept her appointment for bypass surgery. She returned property to victimized homeowners before beginning a new life. Far from town.

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Deborah K. Mason is an avid reader who enjoys writing short stories and poetry. Writing, researching and reading up on gruesome murders, mysteries, horror. She lives somewhere on Planet Earth with her children, The “Crew.”

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Jollof Rice From Liberia

Liberian Entree

JOLLOF RICE

INGREDIENTSJollofRice-

1 pound chicken breast
1 pound bacon
2 medium yellow onions
1 yellow bell pepper
4 Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup vegetable oil (1/4 cup more later)
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 6 ounces cans tomato paste
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 cups rice
4 cups chicken broth

Needs 2 pots and 1 skillet

PREPARATION

Cut chicken breast into 1″ cubes. Cut bacon strips into pieces 1″ wide. Mince onions, bell pepper, and tomatoes. Add chicken, bacon, and 1/4 vegetable oil into skillet. Sauté at medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until chicken begins to brown. Stir occasionally.

While chicken/bacon sautés, Add onion, bell pepper, tomato, ginger, and 1/4 cup vegetable oil or to large pot. Sauté for 5 minutes on medium-high heat or until onion softens. Stir occasionally.

Add chicken/bacon mix from skillet to veggie mix in pot. Add tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, thyme, and red pepper. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Cook rice according to instructions on bag, substituting chicken broth for water. If no instructions are available, put broth in pot. Cook with high heat until broth starts to boil. Turn heat down to low. Add rice. Simmer for 20-to-30 minutes or until all the broth is absorbed by the rice or the rice is tender.

Ladle meat/veggie/sauce over rice and serve.

This is an exciting meal to make for those who are making their first forays into cooking as this dish requires being active at all times. However, if you pass this rite of culinary passage with flying colors you’ll be able to do anything. Anything. Excelsior!

TIDBITS

1) Liberia has a low percentage of redheads. England has never warred with Liberia.

2) 4% of Europe’s population is redheaded. England has fought many times there. No part of that continent is owned by England save tiny Gibraltar.

2) England fought many wars with Scotland. That land is now joined with England. 13% of Scots have red hair. Coincidence?

4) Redheads require up to 20% more anesthesia to be knocked out. That is why gingers are twice as likely to skip going to the dentist.

5) The Karma Sutra says ginger is a potent aphrodisiac.

6) The FDA says ginger is generally recognized as safe.

7) So you can see why ginger is so expensive. At one point, a pound of ginger rated an entire sheep in barter. When the barter ratio of sheep to ginger rose higher than that, outlaw gangs switched from rustling sheep to rustling ginger. When the barter ratio rose even more, wars broke out.

9) Gingers never get gray hair.

9) The great film actress Ginger Rogers had red hair. But she never caused a war. She didn’t even drink alcohol. She preferred ice-cream sodas.

– 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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Book Review of The League for the Suppression of Celery by Wendy Russ

How can you not like, how can you not buy a novel with the title The League for the Suppression of Celery? I bought it and I’m glad I did. I is a fun, delightfulWendyRuss read. I would have said it is quite the page turner, but I read on Kindle so it is quite the “next-page” button pusher.

The League for the Suppression of Celery is a love story. Will Kate Pearson, a photography major from Arkansas, fall for the seductive charms of her new boss, a boss who harbors a strange secret? Will she choose the smitten computer salesman who follows her across the country?

But this is a love story like no other. Kate, gets the improbable job offer to work for one of the nation’s most charismatic celebrity chefs. Kate drives from Arkansas to California in a beat-up car to encounter as many crazy, hilarious adventures as Hope and Crosby did in their Road To… films. Along the way Kate chances upon strawberries with truly strange properties, a woman who makes love potions, a giant pig-roasting event, and The League For the Suppression of Celery, a militant organization like no other.

The League for the Suppression of Celery is a wonderfully quirky and compelling first novel with a well-drawn character. I expect more great books from Wendy Russ.

– Paul R. De Lancey,

www.lordsoffun.com

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Book Review of History Lover’s Cookbook by Roxe Anne Peacock

roxeanne       Roxe Anne Peacock has written an excellent cookbook. It will appeal to cooks wanting to create recipes from a simpler but just as tasty time. Civil War buffs will love the culinary history. Peacock’s recipes are precise, informative, and fun. Her research and period-style photographs are first rate. I am looking forward to trying many of her recipes.

 

toddy

Both the cover to the left and the recipe to the right are from her Kindle edition.

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Pizza Crust

Italian Entree

PIZZA CRUST

INGREDIENTSPizzaCr-

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/ 2 teaspoon salt
1 1 /2 teaspoons active dry yeast
no-sticking cooking spray

SPECIAL UTENSILS

bread maker
16″ pizza pan

PREPARATION

Measure out the flour and set aside. Pour the water into the bread maker. If you measure the water before the flour, the flour will stick to the sides of the measuring cup. Not the end of the world, of course, but a minor disruption in the Force, nevertheless.

Add oil, sugar, salt, and yeast to the bread maker. Do not put the yeast directly on top of the yeast. Salt is bad for yeast and yeast makes the dough rise. “Ask not what your yeast can do for you. Ask what you can do for your yeast.”

Set the timer or the menu on the bread maker to “Dough.” Wait for the required time, probably a bit more than an hour. In the meantime preheat the oven to 400 degrees and liberally spray the pizza pan with no-stick spray. This will prevent the crust from forming a glue-like bond with the pan.

Take the dough out of the bread maker and roll it out until the dough covers the pizza pan. If you do not possess a rolling pin, any canned food can will do as long as it is at least six inches tall. It is best to spray the can or coat it with a thin layer of flour before spreading the dough.

TIDBITS

1) The word “yeast” is Sanskrit for “to seethe or boil.”

2) Sanskrit is an ancient language.

3) SansabeltTM is a modern company that makes pants without belts.

4) Babe Ruth sure could belt a baseball out of the park. He was known as “The Sultan of Swat.”

5) You can form the words “tuna loaf” out of “The Sultan of Swat” and still have letters left over.

6) The yeast we use in our food is goes by Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which means “sugar fungus”

7) Why are all Latin words so long?

8) I think the Roman Empire fell because its words were so long. Can you imagine a breathless sentry running back to the Roman legions to say the Goths were just beyond the hill, massing to launch a devastating surprise attack? But because of the long Latin words, the poor sentry passes out before he can deliver all of his message. The Roman army remains ignorant of the impending attack. It doesn’t prepare for battle. The Goths slaughter the Romans. The Roman Empire falls.

9) The Dark Ages descend over Europe.

10) For a real long time.

11) Longer even than the time you spend in a dentist’s chair where time actually slows down. Albert Einstein came up with his idea of relativity while having his teeth drilled.
Why are all Latin words so long?
cover

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

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Meatball Pizza

Italian Entree

MEATBALL PIZZA

INGREDIENTSMeatballPizza-

1/2 onion
1 red bell pepper
flour
pizza crust (bought or from below recipe)
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup pasta sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/2 pound ground beef
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
no-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSIL

pizza pan

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice onion and bell pepper into thin rings. Cut rings in half. Dust pizza pan with flour and spray with no-stick spray. Put pizza crust on pizza pan. Spread diced tomatoes and its juice evenly over the pizza crust. Spread pasta sauce evenly over the crust.

In small mixing bowl, smoosh garlic and ground beef together. Use hands to form meatballs 1/2″ inch cross. Sprinkle meatballs, Italian seasoning, and mozzarella evenly over pizza. Put pizza in oven and bake at 400 degrees for 10-to-15 minutes or until cheese or crust is golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) Favorite pizza toppings around the world:

America: bacon, ground beef, bell pepper, extra cheese, mushrooms (ugh. Sorry, I don’t like them), onion, pepperoni, sausage, tomatoes
Australia: shrimp, pineapple, barbecue sauce
Brazil: green peas, hard-boil eggs
China: thousand island dressing, eel sushi
Costa Rica: coconut, pineapple
France: flambée (bacon, onion, fresh cream)
Germany: egg, asparagus
India: pickled ginger, lamb, chicken tikka
Japan: ketchup, eel, squid, and Mayo Jaga (mayonnaise, potato, bacon)
Korea: sweet potato, shrimp
Netherlands: double meat, double cheese, double onion
Pakistan: curry
Russia: mockba (a combination of sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon, and onions), red herring
Venezuela: corn, goat cheese

2) But if you really want to visit the cutting edge of pizza making you must go to Sweden where the following smorgasbord of toppings are popular: allspice, artichoke, banana, bacon, beets, bell pepper, Bearnaise sauce, cabbage, caper, carrot, chicken, chocolate, crab, curry, duck, eggplant, filet mignon, French fries, fruit cocktail, gorgonzola, guacamole, ham, hard-boiled eggs, honey. kebab meat. leeks, mashed potato, mayonnaise, onion, peanut, pepperoni, pickles, pineapple, raisin, salami, sausage, shallot, shrimp, white sauce, taco spices, tuna, and zucchini.

3) I really can’t explain Sweden’s unbridled culinary wildness. Swedish cuisine was much blander when I visited the country some years ago. Was there a mass poisoning of chefs by rotten lutefisk at a culinary convention? It’s quite possible; how can you detect bad lutefisk?

4) There are more pizza toppings in Sweden than are dreamed of in your philosophy.
cover

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 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Agua Tamarindo

Mexican Dessert

AGUA TAMARINDO

INGREDIENTSAguaTamarindo-

8 cups water
1/2 cup tamarind syrup
1/4 cup confectionary sugar

PREPARATION

Use long wooden spoon to mix all ingredients in pitcher. Stir until sugar dissolves. This goes well served over ice.

TIDBITS

1) There are no weird facts about tamarinds.

2) Not even fun facts.

3) Tamarinds came India. Sailors carried them back on rest-infested vessels.

4) The rats often were so numerous and ravenous the sailors had to throw whole handful of tamarind pods at the rats.

5) Hence the popular nautical saying and anagram, “Tamarinds, I damn rats.”

6) Not all rats were pests. Some could be trained to race each other . Bosun Arthur Beans of the HMS Kidney could amuse for his ship mates with his trained rats.

7) Other seamen of the British Royal Navy trained their rats to do tricks, such as jumping through hoops.

8) However, Arthur’s trained rats could prove the Pythagorean Theorem and to waltz. Eventually, their fame spread so much that every Christmas Eve the Admiralty would witness a palindromic performance of Art’s Star Rats.

9) Or so I’ve heard.
cover

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

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Pepper Jack Birds in a Sesame Blanket

American Entree

PEPPER JACK BIRDS IN A SESAME BLANKET

INGREDIENTSPepJackBirdsBlank-

4 ounces pepper jack cheese
8 turkey dogs
12 ounce package buttermilk biscuit dough
3/4 teaspoon Poultry MagicTM spice or poultry spice
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
no-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSIL

cookie sheet

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Grate pepper jack cheese. Spray cookie sheet with no-stick spray. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll out or flatten each dough piece until it is sufficiently long and wide to wrap around a turkey dog. Sprinkle each dough piece with an even amount of cheese and Poultry MagicTM. Press cheese and Poultry MagicTM into dough.

Put a turkey dog near one end of a dough piece and wrap the dough around the turkey dog. Put this creation on a cookie sheet so that the dough overlaps on the bottom Otherwise, the dough might break apart. Egads. Brush dough with butter. Sprinkle dough with sesame seeds. Gently press seeds into surface of dough-wrapped turkey dogs.

Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 8-to-13 minutes (Yes, there is a lot of variation between ovens) or until dough is golden brown. Be sure to watch your pepper jack birds in a sesame blanket to make sure they don’t burn or cook unevenly. You might need to turn them over once if they appear to browning too quickly on the top while remaining doughy on the bottom.

Remove from oven and let cool for several nanoseconds before eating. ☺

TIDBITS

1) The cardinal is a bird. The St. Louis Cardinals use bats when they are at the plate.

2) Bats always turn left when leaving a cave. Why? Is this convention? Manners? Is there no room for artistic expression within the bat community? Is this why we never see bat art collections in the finest galleries? Does Batman always turn left when exiting his hideaway in his Batmobile?

3) The New Zealand Kea bird feasts on rubber strips around car windows. Can we use this knowledge to dispose of discarded rubber?

4) More than 10,000 birds a year die from colliding with windows. On the other wing, bird collisions have been known to bring down airplanes. Israel has lost more fighter planes to birds than it has in all its wars.

5) Chickens can run at a speed of 9 miles per hour. This figure is for short distances only. Chickens do not possess the stamina for the marathon or even the mile. The human record for the 100-yard dash is 9.2 seconds, or 23 miles per hour. So even if you are only half as fast as that, you will be able to outdistance any enraged chicken.

6) Well, as long as they don’t fly. The longest recorded flight of a chicken is 13 seconds. The longest distance for a solo chicken flight is 301 feet. Watch a chicken fly in this video for SmirnoffTM: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/160787/flying_chickens/.

7) It’s quite possible air forces everywhere have nightmares about flying chickens. If birds can accidentally decimate the Israeli air force, can you imagine what would happen if chickens took to the skies filled with blood lust?

8) An uneaten chicken can live to be eight  years old, an eaten one goes earlier. The popularity of chicken in cuisines around the world might really be prompted by nervous air force commanders.

9) Moles cannot fly. They are never found on the menus of air-force bases.

10) Moles, however, can dig a tunnel 300 feet long in just one night. If you could put a mole on the day shift and on the swing shift, the mole team could excavate a tunnel 900 feet long in just one twenty-four-hour period.

11) Compare that achievement to the construction crew that’s torn up that important street near your house for two months just to dig a tunnel for sewer pipes. I say fire the human crew and replace them with moles who will get the excavating job done in no time. We will probably still need humans to place the one-ton sections of sewer pipes into the ground. As of press time, moles have shown no real inclination to operate heavy machinery.

– 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, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ask Dr. Economics: The Stock Market

Dear Dr. Economics,penny

Should I buy or sell General Electric.

–  Howard Theend
Anaconda, IN
✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉

Dear Howard,

Beats me,

– Dr. Economics
✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉

Dear Dr. Economics,

How, the heck, can you say you don’t know?

– Howard Theend                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        forecasting tool
✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉

Dear Mr. Theend,

I can say I don’t know because I know I don’t know.

– Dr. Economics
✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉

Dear Dr. Economics,

I know you can say you don’t know because you know you don’t know, but I know those stock market analysts on TV manage to make predictions. Why can’t you do the same?

– Howard Theend
✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉

Dear Mr. Theend,

Because the financial players with the billions of dollars have access to the same information. The price of a stock gets set according to that information. Random shocks account for any other movement of the stock’s price.

– Howard Theend
✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉

Dear Dr. Economics,

Then the analysts don’t know either. 1) How come they then talk for a half hour predicting stock prices? 2) How come you just say “Beats me?”

– Howard Theend
✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉

Dear Mr. Theend,

1) They get paid to predict for a half hour. 2) I don’t get paid to predict.

– Dr. Economics
✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉

Dear Dr. Economics,

How do you predict if the price of a particular stock is going to rise or fall?

– Howard Theend
✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉  ✉

Dear Mr. Theend,

I flip a penny. I have a success rate in my predictions of 50%. I hope this helps.

– Dr. Economics

Send your questions about economics by commenting on this post.
cover

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: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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